Look out for our future workshops on:

  • Taxidermy
  • Biological illustration
  • Still life with dead things
  • Insect pinning
  • UNE Discovery Natural History Museum activities for kids, ages 5 – 16

Connie the Cassowary

UNE’s cassowary was found near Mission Beach in Queensland after being caught in a pig trap several years ago. She was carefully preserved, bought to Armidale and is now on display in the UNE Natural History museum, allowing visitors to see a cassowary up close and learn more about this unique, native bird.

Cassowaries are an endangered species found throughout the rainforests and nearby woodlands and swamps of Northern Queensland. These large, flightless birds play an important role in the dispersal of rainforest plant seeds. Of three species of cassowaries in the world, only the southern cassowary, Casuarius casuarius johnsonii, is found in Australia.

Our beautiful Cassowary was welcomed to the museum with a Naming Competition in 2018. The winning name was Connie. If you’ve not seen a Southern Cassowary up close, call in to visit the Natural History Museum to meet Connie! The museum is open Monday-Friday 9:30am-4:30pm weekdays, and closed on weekends, public holidays and from 24 Dec – 1 Jan (inclusive).

To read more about the southern cassowary click here.


Held over two days in October 2020, INSECTA at the UNE Natural History Museum offered participants the opportunity to learn about, document and create with the amazing six-legged critters that we share our world with.

The event was facilitated by UNE Discovery and the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM).  Day 1 was an Insect Masterclass, facilitated by entomologists, ecologists and museum staff at the UNE Natural History Museum. On Day 2, participants attended a workshop facilitated by artist Deirdre Bean, and held at NERAM, exploring the techniques of natural history illustration.

This event offered participants the opportunity to engage and learn from entomologists, ecologists and parataxonomists working around Australia and the globe on biodiversity conservation, insect physiology, insect ecology, agroecology and STEM education. The UNE Natural History Museum holds a substantial entomology collection of both pinned and soft bodied insects preserved in jars. The specimens reflect teaching, research, student and display projects, some dating back to the 1950’s, and represent almost all insect Orders.

Day 1 was facilitated by UNE Discovery staff, in collaboration with UNE academics. Participants were introduced to the Insects (their ecology, taxonomy and significance), and then had the opportunity to collect and pin insect specimens. Afternoon sessions explored insect behaviour, depiction in art and culture, the “Insect Apocalypse” narrative, biosecurity, backyard bees, and citizen science.

The Agricultural Building (our home) was officially opened on Monday 13 March 2017 by then Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Barnaby Joyce.