What is the Threatened Species Bake Off?
The Threatened Species Bake Off is an invitation to Australians to bake a dessert in the shape of a threatened species to commemorate Threatened Species Day on 7th September. The Bake Off aims to build awareness in the community about Australia’s remarkable and unique threatened wildlife. The Threatened Species Commissioner is delighted to be launching the Threatened Species Bake Off for the fifth year running in 2021!
How to participate
Using your baking skills, produce a baked creation in the shape of your chosen Australian native threatened species and share it with the Threatened Species Commissioner on social media. A list of nationally threatened species can be found on the right under resources.
Upload an image of your baked creation to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram by using the hashtag #TSBakeOff and tag the Threatened Species Commissioner. If you are unable to enter via social media, please send your submission through to email@example.com.
Schools and organisations are encouraged to submit their entry along with a short video or 100-word description on why their threatened species is important to their school, organisation or region. Schools and organisations can enter via social media or by sending their submission through to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winners of the 2021 Threatened Species Bake Off will be announced on Friday 10 September by Dr Fiona Fraser, acting as the Australian Government’s Threatened Species Commissioner. The winning entries will be displayed on social media.
By entering the Threatened Species Bake Off you are giving permission for the Department and judges to use the image or video to promote the initiative.
The winning entries will be displayed on the Commissioner’s social media channels.
Submissions are open until 5pm AEST Wednesday, 8 September 2021.
A focus on ecosystem engineers for 2021
This year’s Bake Off will focus on ecosystem engineers and the important role they play in Australia’s terrestrial and aquatic environments! This is an opportunity for Australians to research and celebrate our diverse range of incredible threatened ecosystem engineers, particularly Australia’s lesser-known engineers.
Did you know an ecosystem engineer is any animal or plant that modifies, maintains, improves, or creates habitat? Ecosystem engineers play a critical role in their environment by providing demonstrated benefits to other species, and by having a functional role or providing an ecosystem service such as pollination and erosion control.
In Australia we are lucky to have a diverse range of unique ecosystem engineers that come in all shapes and sizes. Some examples of familiar engineers include threatened mammals that dig and turnover the soil, thereby improving soil health, like the Kangaroo Island Echidna, Greater Bilby, and the Eastern Barred Bandicoot.
A lesser-known species that is an important ecosystem engineer is the endangered Cauliflower Soft Coral. This soft coral creates important habitat for a range of diverse marine species. It has been found to be a preferred habitat for the endangered White’s Seahorse and it also provides habitat for a range of fish species, including juvenile snapper, wrasses, the Bluestriped Goatfish and the Southern Pygmy Leatherjacket. The coral also provides habitat for amphipods, a major prey component of protected species like, pipefish and seahorses.
We are encouraging participants to do some ‘digging’ of their own and put the spotlight on Australia’s remarkable threatened ecosystem engineers. Engineers can include birds, plants, reptiles, fish, mammals and invertebrates, like the Cauliflower Soft Coral. You might be surprised at what you discover, and it might just inspire your baked creation!
The 2021 Threatened Species Bake Off includes six categories which offer the opportunity for everyone to get involved. Submissions will be judged based on the likeness to the chosen threatened species and the creativity of the design. Judges will also consider the content of the written or video submission when judging the schools’ and organisations’ category. Categories include:
Early Learner’s Award
The Early Learner's Award is open for children aged 4 years or younger.
The Children’s Award is open for children aged 5 to 15 years.
The Open category is for submissions by individuals 15 years and over. This can include submissions from organisations and community groups.
The winner will be decided by you, the public! All submissions will be uploaded into an album on the Threatened Species Commissioner’s Facebook page during the final week of the competition. The winner will be the entry with the most likes.
Open to all Australian schools. Schools are encouraged to submit their entry along with a short video or 100 word description on why their threatened species is important to their school or region. Schools can enter via social media or by sending their submission through to email@example.com.
Open to all organisations and community groups. Organisations and community groups are encouraged to submit their entry along with a short video or 100 word description on why their threatened species is important to their organisation or group. Organisations can enter via social media or by sending their submission through to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bake Off will be judged by baker Katherine Sabbath, water scientist Brad Moggridge, ecologist Dr Bec West, and acting Threatened Species Commissioner, Dr Fiona Fraser.
Katherine Sabbath is one of Australia’s most well-known and talented cake makers!
She is loved equally for her cutting-edge cake designs and quirky, creative personal style.
Katherine is a high school teacher turned cake creative whose unique designs have featured in print internationally, online as well as on TV.
Katherine is an author and recently a new owner of Creative Cake Decorating where she continues to celebrate the joy of creative cake making with dessert lovers worldwide.
Katherine loves depicting Australian species in her creations and can’t wait to see what you can produce for the Threatened Species Bake Off.
Brad is a Kamilaroi man from north-west New South Wales now living in Canberra.
He’s an expert in water management and an experienced water scientist.
He is currently an Associate Professor in Indigenous Water Science and aiming to complete his PhD shortly at University of Canberra. The PhD focuses on incorporating cultural values and knowledge of Aboriginal people into water management.
Brad also held the role of Indigenous Liaison Officer for the National Environmental Science Program's Threatened Species Recovery Hub, where he worked alongside threatened species researchers, hub leadership, and Aboriginal communities on Indigenous engagement and culturally informed research for threatened species recovery.
Brad’s is excited to see your fantastic creations and is hoping to see plenty of the lesser-known freshwater species!
Dr Bec West
Dr Bec West is an Ecologist for the University of New South Wales’ Wild Deserts project, which is reintroducing seven locally extinct mammals to Sturt National Park.
Bec is an avid baker and has been making threatened species cakes for various events since 2010.
The Threatened Species Bake Off was strongly supported by Bec in her capacity as a judge and co-founder when the initiative was launched in 2017.
She is excited to see what the nation can produce for 2021’s Threatened Species Bake Off.
Dr Fiona Fraser
Dr Fiona Fraser is currently acting as the Australian Government’s Threatened Species Commissioner while Dr Sally Box is away on long service leave.
Fiona has a PhD in threatened species and fire ecology and has recently been leading the department’s bushfire wildlife recovery response.
Her role as the Commissioner includes raising community awareness about Australia’s threatened species, championing the implementation of the Threatened Species Strategy and supporting practical conservation actions to recover our most threatened plants and animals.
Fiona is excited to be launching this year’s Bake Off and to help judge the incredible threatened plant and animal submissions!