Meet a mammoth marsupial at the MECC

A 700kg, four-metre-tall koala will drop into the Civic Precinct during the Kids’ Day at the MECC festival this Saturday (April 13).

The mammoth marsupial is the mascot of the 25th annual Townsville Cultural Festival (TCF25) and will tour regional Queensland as it journeys from Brisbane to its new home from 9-14 April.

Cr Justin Englert said it was fortunate the koala was in town on the same day as the Kids’ Day event.

“Families coming to the 9am to 1pm session of Kids’ Day at the MECC will be met by the koala who will be set up in Jubilee Park directly across from the MECC doors,” Cr Englert said.

“We are lucky that we get to see the koala before Townsville, who have to wait for the Festival Carnival on August 10, when it will join a grand parade of more than 100 floats and vehicles.”

Cr Englert said Kids’ Day at the MECC wasn’t just one show.

“It’s hours of fun, laugher and adventure – it’s really a festival for kids,” he said.

“Don’t worry if you don’t have tickets yet, because there are still some available from the Box Office on the day.”

Townsville Cultural Festival director and sculptor Dr Farvardin Daliri (OAM) said the cross-cultural appeal of koalas made the native animal a fitting choice to front Townsville’s festival in its silver jubilee year.

“Koalas provide a common ground everybody can relate to – a meeting point of all cultures, from Indigenous to mainstream, to migrants and tourists.”
Dr Daliri began sculpting large-scale art works for the festival many years ago.

His pieces are significant to the festival and include depictions of Johnathan Thurston, Slim Dusty, Ned Kelly, Mother Earth and Aboriginal Elder King Bundawaal.

The sculptures are paraded through Townsville to launch each festival, but this is the first year one will hit the road and tour beyond the north Queensland city.

The koala comprises a welded steel frame covered in fabricated steel mesh and a layer of artificial turf and paint and was crafted by Dr Daliri over several months.

About Kid’s Day at the MECC
Kids’ Day at the MECC has two sessions – session one from 9am to 1pm and session two from 2pm to 6pm. Admission costs $20, with family passes available for $68 (two adults and two children). Children under 12 months old at the time of the event are free. A full timetable of workshops, shows and tours is available at

For further information contact:

Ali McLeod
Sales and Marketing Assistant
Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre
Phone: 07 4961 9777