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Photo of colourful bird boxes

Birds Boxes for a Beautiful City

The Inaugural Cameron Brown Community Innovation Fund Winners

Congratulations to the inaugural recipients of the Cameron Brown Community Innovation Fund (CBCIF), first year undergraduate students: Oliver Tonks, Jasper Mylius, Cameron Everett and Rory Kelleher, for their project ‘Bird Boxes for a Beautiful City’.

The project seeks to provide urban bird populations with shelter, while engaging with school children around sustainability and also local artists in regards to the designs on the bird boxes.
The announcement of the winning project was made at this year’s Fellows Dinner by Wyverns, Summer Merrie (1998) and Tom Hutchinson (2000), with Cameron’s family in attendance. Thanks to our generous donors, the fund grants $5,000 each year to an innovative student project that promotes either environmental sustainability, the lives of disadvantaged individuals or groups, or the building of community capability.

We spoke to undergraduate Oliver Tonks who came up with initial idea about why he wanted to get involved. “I thought it was such a great idea … it’s really inspiring positive change and making an impact on society and Queen’s as a whole,” Oliver said. So what did it feel like to be announced the winner? “At first, a bit of disbelief, and then I was already thinking about what I need to do, how do I need to get there, and it felt like a world of opportunity had opened up to me and I couldn’t stop saying thank you to everyone.” Now that exams are coming to an end Oliver and the team are keen to progress with their next steps, which involves making connections out in the surrounding community.

“There’s a bird life committee in Carlton that have all these technical documents on bird nests, so I’m going to talk to them about our idea, try to get them on-board as they will be able to supply a lot of the information about the types of boxes we will need”, Oliver said. “What I’m really looking forward to is just involving as many people as possible.”

The team’s inclusive approach to engaging with the local community already demonstrates the impact the new Fund is having in carrying on Cameron’s legacy. The CBCIF was set-up to celebrate the community-orientated values of Wyvern, Cameron Brown (1999) who lost his courageous battle with cancer in February last year. Cameron made a special mark on Queen’s College and was loved across the corridors, making it fitting that some of his legacy is left here to live on in future generations. When he sadly passed away, well before his time in early 2015 aged just 35, Cameron was still always thinking of others and putting their needs first. He looked to the future and thought deeply about the footprint we are making, the positive impact we can have on others and the ecosystem of the world around us—and that is the point of the Cameron Brown Community Innovation Fund.

To support the fund you can make a donation here.