17 November 2011

Melbourne Zoo today began its year-long 150th birthday party with the announcement of a stellar line-up for the Zoo's popular Twilights Season and two major new financial partnerships.

Twilights Tickets will go on sale December 1 for the revamped Twilights season, which will begin on January 21 with a concert by ARIA Award winning artist Washington and wrap up with the hugely successful RocKwiz Live at the Zoo on March 16.

At the 150th launch this morning, Melbourne Zoo Director Kevin Tanner said 2012 would be an opportunity for all Victorians to celebrate the Zoo's long and colourful history and its unique place in the landscape of the City.

"On October 6 next year we will turn 150 years old, but we will begin our celebrations in January with a variety of events throughout our birthday year, so all Victorians will have an opportunity to help us celebrate this historic event," Mr Tanner said.

The year-long calendar of celebrations will be held both inside and outside the Zoo walls. Events include:

  • Mali in the City, a city-wide art installation that will feature a herd of one-of-a-kind artist-designed Malis through the streets of Melbourne
  • a free lecture series at Federation Square exploring conservation and the role of zoos
  • a gala fundraising dinner
  • a public party at Melbourne Zoo to coincide with the 150th birthday
  • Walk for Wildlife, a community walk to raise funds for Zoos Victoria's conservation work.

A number of 150th celebrations will also be held within the Zoo throughout 2012.

To mark the significance of the 150th birthday, Zoos Victoria is looking forward with the launch of the Safe Haven Appeal, aiming to raise $85 million over the next five years. Funds raised will go towards new developments and upgrade of facilities across the three zoos and ensure the continuation of the Zoos Victoria conservation work.

Zoos Victoria CEO Jenny Gray announced two new partners in the Safe Haven Appeal: the City of Melbourne as the Zoo's official 150th Community Partner and ANZ, the major Finance Partner for the Zoo.

ANZ's partnership will include moving the Zoo's banking services to ANZ and naming rights sponsorship of the Trail of the Elephants precinct.

ANZ's Managing Director of Commercial Banking Australia, Mark Whelan, said: "ANZ is excited to be partnering with such an iconic Melbourne institution, and we look forward to supporting many of the 150th anniversary celebrations, as well as introducing an ANZ Zoo Month at Melbourne Zoo next year.

"As the leading commercial bank across the Asia Pacific Region, this sponsorship complements our long term partnerships with Sydney's Taronga Zoo and Hong Kong's Ocean Park," said Mr Whelan.