Sahrish Atif Kazi - Australian Fritillary Butterfly

When a tiny “ladybug” landed on Sahrish’s finger and tickled it, rather than shaking it off or worse still “squishing it”, she looked more closely. This is because little creatures are important to her, and she thinks they are sometimes overlooked and undervalued just because they are so small. Her entry in the QCC’s Art Competition last year was a painting of another small thing: the Australian Fritillary Butterfly.  It is quite clear that even though she has never had this beautiful butterfly land on her, she has studied its appearance very carefully. Her favourite part of the painting is the patterning on the butterfly’s wings.  Those same wings also make sure that she has never caught one, though she has spent plenty of time chasing them in the open grassland habitat near her home.

Sahrish loves making art and has attended art classes to learn different techniques. She spends time at home practising those techniques and becoming adept at using them. Nevertheless, when the time came to enter the competition last year, she was quite nervous about someone looking at her work to judge it. She was “worried people wouldn’t like it”. However, she made the decision to be brave and enter anyway. She also has a lovely range of homemade, artistically decorated bookmarks, each one different and interesting.

Sahrish has thought carefully about the importance of habitat.  The family has been in Australia about a year now and enjoys spending time in the Ipswich Conservation Park.  Their new home is peaceful and set close to green corridors or nature reserves that are home to small creatures like butterflies, ladybugs. Children are living healthy lives in these outdoor environments where they can learn to appreciate nature. Sahrish knows that seeing birds flying free not only makes her happy, but they are happy, too. To protect habitat like the tall grass prairie that Fritillary Butterflies need, she thinks that new coal and gas projects should not go ahead.  If she were the Environment Minister, or could give the minister a message, it would be to recognise that habitat matters and we need to act now to protect it for “future generations” of small things, both human and non-human.