Key Dates

18 March - Launch Deadline
15 April - Standard Deadline
1 July - Final Deadline
8 July - Judging
15 July - Winners Announced
10 August - Awards Presentation

Koala Life - Breathing life into survival science [DRAFT]



Project Overview

To ensure Koalas live safely and thrive within our community, the South Australian Government established the International Koala Centre of Excellence (IKCE), an organisation that leads vital research into the health and habitat of the Koala.

In 2020, after bushfires nearly wiped out the world’s only disease-free population, IKCE was tasked with caring for displaced Koalas while continuing to drive research – broadening the remit of the organisation.

Through our Good Idea Foundation – which sees our agency use its branding expertise as a force for good – Principals worked with IKCE to position the organisation as the authority on Survival Science.

Project Commissioner

Koala Life

Project Creator



Sandy Belford, Strategy Director
Gareth Joe, Senior Strategy Consultant
Marine Piersotte, Strategy Consultant
Pip Ireland, Creative Director
Min Shim, Designer
Nicholas Ryan, Senior Writer
David Cunningham, Head of Production
Renée Stekel, Senior Account Director
Tallulah Storm, Account Executive

Project Brief

Koalas are in big trouble. Habitat loss, life threatening diseases (such as chlamydia and the Koala retrovirus), and rampant bushfires have pushed them to the brink of extinction. Without a collaborative survival strategy, supported by the best science and research, Koalas could disappear within our lifetime.

Founded by the Government of South Australia, IKCE tackled these new challenges to ensure the future of the Koala. But it needed a stronger brand to build its profile as an expert in a sector full of Koala advocacy organisations. This led to our invitation to rebrand the IKCE organisation.

Project Innovation/Need

Our strategy put the spotlight the scale on the problem — expanding their network to establish the International Koala Centre for Excellence (IKCE) as the authority on survival science.

We designed a distinctive brand identity with an unexpected colour palette and eye-catching logo that highlights the gravity of the situation. We then crafted a trusted voice for good, with a tone and narrative that is clear, open and honest.

The “International Koala Centre for Excellence” name wasn’t quite cutting the Eucalyptus either. To give them the best chance at success, we gave them a new name. Koala Life lends a real sense of urgency to the cause. As well as a hint of optimism. And it’s pretty easy to remember too.

Design Challenge

In a saturated market we needed a way to help explain how Koala Life was different to other charities and organisations. A deep look at the organisation revealed that Koala Life’s story about conservation isn’t the traditional message.

Koala Life think about conservation in a holistic, more complex and interwoven manner. They focus on embracing a whole realm of other methods in order to understand the big picture. These include rewiring and revegetation. Dealing with parasites and disease. Engaging the community. Living with wildlife in our backyards. Moving animals to different states and locations to create sanctuaries in case of fire. And other challenges that affect large populations.

Developed during COVID lockdown, teams worked remotely across states and cities to distill their message in way that was impactful and relatable. And we termed it, Survival Science. This collaborative survival strategy gives the full picture of how we save Koalas and their forest habitat – setting them apart from other charities or organisations.


The new Koala Life brand now lives in all parts of the organisation and has been enthusiastically received by everyone both internally and externally.

Koala Life’s Chief Executive Officer, Chris Daniels says:

“The team have taken the IKCE Board on a remarkable journey that has revitalised and reinvigorated the entire organisation. We are now close to finalising our role, purpose and function. To say we could not be in in this position without the deliverables from Principals is a massive understatement. The Principals team efficiently and effectively got to the heart of "who we are" (I'm not sure we even knew this ourselves) and from there delivered a pack of materials around name, brand, icon, colour scheme, tagline, pillars and narrative which has effectively recreated our organisation.

“We absolutely could not be where we are without this support and action from Principals and acknowledge with gratitude their pro-bono support.”

The new brand was launched in March with a lovely ceremony at Cleland Wildlife Park in South Australia. The Principals team attended and finally got to meet the working team at Koala Life in person after months of working remotely.

For us, the launch of Koala Life was so much more than just an event, it was a real celebration. Not only of Koalas, but of the passionate, dedicated people who work tirelessly to ensure our national icon will thrive and survive for generations to come.


This award celebrates creative and innovative design in the traditional or digital visual representation of ideas and messages. Consideration given to clarity of communication and the matching information style to audience.
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