Songwriter Paul Kelly tries SMaRT Centre's guitar made from waste

Above Image caption: Paul Kelly checks out the Ghost Net guitar with Bruce Rose from Parks Australia’s Ghost Nets Initiative. Photo courtesy of Dale Morris, Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Acclaimed singer and songwriter Paul Kelly has given the thumbs up to a guitar made by the UNSW SMaRT Centre from recycled wastes.

Using SMaRT's Green Ceramics and Plastics MICROfactorieTM Technologies, the guitar was made from a variety of wastes including from "ghost nets" - old fishing nets - and other marine debris and waste materials.

This comes as a result of SMaRT's involvement in ghost net research for Marine Parks Australia, part of the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.

Paul Kelly tried guitar - a great conversation starter - at this year’s Garma Festival 🎶 where it was passed around to the joy of those who tried it.

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Ghost nets arriving in the Gulf from the Arafura and Timor seas to the north take a heavy toll on wildlife in the Gulf including endangered turtle 🐢 species.

Indigenous Rangers around the Gulf are working to remove the nets and debris. The Rangers are supported in this work through Parks Australia’s Ghost Nets Initiative which funds the Indigenous Rangers Coastal Clean-up Project delivered by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry's Biosecurity, Plant 🌱 and Science Services Division.

With funding from the Ghost Nets Initiative, the UNSW SMaRT Centre has been trialling turning ghost nets into green ceramics though our MICROfactorieTM technologies.

As Marine Parks Australia said: "It turns out that the nets are well suited for making a range of green ceramic products. The Ghost-netcaster guitar is a great example of the versatility of this material, made in part from nets collected by Indigenous Rangers 🤠 from the waters and beaches of the Gulf of Carpentaria."

The guitar also went to Questacon for National Science Week, where SMaRT Director Prof Veena and Head of MICROfactorieTM Technologies Anirban Ghose joined others to give a series of talks and interactive displays.

They were invited by the National Environmental Science Program of the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water to participate as part of the Department's "take over" of Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre in Canberra, and to showcase some of the work SMaRT leads as host of the Sustainable Communities and Waste Hub.

Prof Veena was joined by Hub Steering Committee Chair Michael Sharpe (bottom image left) and others including Hub Indigenous collaborator, Firesticks CEO Victor Steffensen, showed one of his many talents in playing the guitar (below).

See below certificate provided by the Office of the Science Convenor in recognition of the UNSW SMaRT Centre's contribution to the Department's Questacon Takeover event for National Science Week.

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Hub Steering Committee Chair Michael Sharpe (left) with Hub Researcher Anirban Ghose and the guitar made of recycled waste in front of a permanent Questacon display featuring Hub Leader Prof Veena Sahajwalla.

NSW_2023_certificate - NESP