About Dr Sarah Pye
And Dr Wong Siew Te.
As a single parent, Sarah completed her Master of Communication degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast and published a guidebook called Kids Welcome to Queensland in 2009. The resulting travel business led to Sarah being named Sunshine Coast Small Business Woman of the Year in 2010.
A trip to Borneo with her daughter changed the trajectory of Sarah’s life when she met Wong Siew Te. She commenced her Doctor of Creative Arts Degree in 2016, exploring how narratives can be used to engage non-scientists in conservation. In 2018, She took a break from the books to walk 800km across Spain, and in 2020, Wong’s biography, Saving Sun Bears was published.
Sarah hopes there are many more adventures to come. Next, she plans to kayak down the Murray River, following in the wake of her inspirational parents who completed something similar a quarter of a century ago.
CONFERENCES AND FESTIVALS
During his studies, Wong was sponsored to conduct a survey of captive sun bears across Malaysia and what he found was so disturbing that he made a promise to make changes. Wong designed and created a unique rainforest centre called the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) which is located in Sepilok near Sandakan.
It is now home to around 40 Malayan sun bears rescued from habitat destruction, poaching and the illegal pet trade. BSBCC focuses on animal welfare, rehabilitation, research and education. In 2017, The University of the Sunshine Coast awarded Wong an honorary doctorate for his tireless work and commitment to save a species. The same year, Wong was named a CNN World Wildlife Hero.
related RESEARCH AND GLOBAL MEDIA COVERAGE