UQ student Danielle Nilsson with an orangutan at Melbourne Zoo
UQ student Danielle Nilsson with an orangutan at Melbourne Zoo
11 March 2011

Living in the jungle with orangutans while creating awareness about deforestation is a dream for The University of Queensland's Danielle Nilsson, but she needs your help to make it a reality.

Currently studying her Masters in Animal Studies majoring in wildlife conservation Ms Nilsson has an important goal - being chosen as the leader for Project Borneo 3D.

“I am extremely passionate about this cause and am dedicated to do whatever it takes to save the orangutan and the rainforests they need to survive in. I have made a choice to dedicate my life to helping the animals around the world and the environments they inhabit,” Ms Nilsson said.

Project Borneo is a youth initiative that is having a global impact. For five months, project leaders will live in the jungle and feature in a 3D action movie to create awareness about saving the rainforest and orangutans.

Applicants must submit a 90-second clip which demonstrates their understanding of wildlife conservation and their commitment to make a difference.

“I'm ready to take on this challenge. To be a part of a massive global initiative to halt the world's deforestation and help save the endangered orangutan, and to work alongside acclaimed conservationist Dr Willie Smits would be an incredible honour,” Ms Nilsson said.

After volunteering at Australia Zoo, Ms Nilsson knew the next step was to learn more about animals by undertaking postgraduate study at UQ.

“I was always a huge animal lover but I think it took the exposure of being in the best zoo in the world to realise just how much,” she said.

“It's now time for me to get out there and take more direct action. I'm ready to take on this challenge and do what I can each day to make a difference. I'm asking for support from the public to help me be a part of this incredible project by voting for my video.”

The selected participants will be based in Sintang, a district in the interior of West Kalimantan on the island of Borneo, where much of the original forest has already been cut or burned down. Here, a new forest will be created that will provide income for local people and a home for many thousands of protected animals of different species including orangutans.

If you would like to help send Ms Nilsson to Borneo vote for her video online.

Media: Danielle Nilsson (0412 272 154, d.nilsson@live.com.au) or Erin Pearl (07 5460 1229, e.pearl@uq.edu.au)