School holiday fun as western Sydney park is transformed into interactive art gallery

28 Sep 2017

Minister for Western Sydney and WestConnex Stuart Ayres today announced NSW Government support for a major event that will transform a Western Sydney parkland into an interactive outdoor art gallery next week - powered by creativity and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

Minister Ayres said the ‘CoLABS Festival’ will be a fun and exciting fusion of art and science to be held in Bungarribee Park at Blacktown during the school holidays, from 29 September to 8 October.

“The development of STEM skills is a state and national priority to help educate the next generation of young people who will rely upon that knowledge for future jobs,” Mr Ayres said.

“We need to ensure New South Wales remains at the cutting edge of the science and technology economy and the thousands of jobs generated in the sector.

“There’s no better way to showcase and encourage STEM skills than through an innovative and fun exhibition of interactive outdoor artworks, which has the potential to become a fixture on Western Sydney’s arts and cultural calendar.

“This is a first event of its kind in Western Sydney, and we hope it will become an annual fixture on the NSW cultural calendar to attract a wide domestic and even international audience.”

The fantastic Bear-Ometer of Positivity by artist Edison Chen will allow visitors to control a four metre high inflatable bear with their smart phone Twitter accounts – the more positive messages it detects, the larger it will inflate.

People can step into an interactive sound garden dubbed Botanicus Musica by artist Jonathon Bolitho which features touch-technology that triggers a plant to produce sounds and stories.

Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC) which is delivering Australia’s largest transport infrastructure project WestConnex, is a presenting partner of the event through its Community Connections Program.

SMC CEO Dennis Cliche said WestConnex is proud to be sponsoring CoLABS.

“SMC is committed to driving positive community outcomes and understands the importance of supporting STEM related skills and education development in western Sydney, and the benefits increased awareness can bring,” Mr Cliche said.

Shayne Mallard MLC for said this event was one of many drawing hundreds  of people to Western Sydney.

“As a kid growing up in Western Sydney we didn’t have much access to sciences. It’s great that today with technology breaking down so many barriers, that this generation have access to events like this to develop their scientific and technology career opportunities of the future,” Mr Mallard said.

The NSW Department of Industry is sponsoring  the festival including a prize of $2,000 to be awarded to the winner of the exhibitor competition.

For more information on CoLABS 2017 visit