Aquatic Worlds at Bendigo Library – celebrating the Bendigo Creek | Goldfields Library Corporation

Aquatic Worlds at Bendigo Library – celebrating the Bendigo Creek

Wednesday 14 September 2022

Bendigo Library is now home to a large native aquarium celebrating the Bendigo Creek.

The impressive aquarium measures over three metres long and is home to a selection of small-bodied native fish and vegetation, including the southern pygmy perch, Murray darling rainbow fish, dwarf flathead gudgeon and Australian smelt.

The aquarium builds on conservation efforts to rejuvenate the Creek and re-introduce native fish species that once populated the waters of our region. These efforts are being driven by the Reimagining Bendigo Creek Plan which is a collaborative project between Dja Dja Wurrung, City of Greater Bendigo and North Central Catchment Management Authority.

The aquarium gives visitors a rare opportunity to look beneath the Creek's surface and discover some of the little-known creatures that call it home.

"The Dja Dja Wurrung cared for these lands for over 60,000 years, and the Creek flourished with native animals and vegetation," says Goldfields Libraries CEO Mark Hands. "When the gold rush came in the 1850s, everything changed. The landscape was devastated. And then, with urbanisation, we've seen even more loss of biodiversity."

"Our aquarium is a snippet of the bigger project to heal Bendigo Creek. It’s a mini ecosystem, letting everyone see what our beautiful Creek was, and will be again".

The aquarium will also serve as an educational tool, helping to educate the public about the natural environment of the Creek, its importance to First Nations culture, and also help the library in its ongoing mission to increase literacy, particularly among children.

"The tank will live in our children's area, so we're looking forward to using it for activities that support kids to be curious about nature, its history, and to help them understand and celebrate First Nation's culture," says Bendigo Library Manager Robin Pearson.

"Of course, it's not just for kids. We'll also look into programming for adults and young adults," says Robin. "And we're hoping it'll draw in those interested in fishing or nature who may not otherwise visit the library."

The project has been made possible with funding from the Central Victoria Libraries Endowment Program, and is a partnership between Goldfields Libraries, City of Greater Bendigo, North Central Catchment Management Authority and Aquariums By Design.

Bendigo Library Manager Robin Pearson speaking in front of audience at Bendigo Library Aquarium launch