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Penguin inspired community

18 January 2017 Wesley Mission news

Friday 20 January is Penguin Awareness Day – a day for celebrating and learning more about those cute, podgy little creatures. But what do penguins have to do with Wesley Mission and our work?

A lot more than you might think.

Wesley Mission operates more than 130 community services across NSW. We work with families and local communities to support them in their journey to grow and create brighter futures. We’re all about community, and penguins could well be the poster animal for community!

So on Penguin Awareness Day, we take a look at what the Emperor Penguin, in particular, can teach us about the meaning of community:

Building stronger families
Emperor penguins are known for their loyalty and sense of family. They march (or waddle) hundreds of kilometres, in colonies of up to 1000, to mate with the same partner at the same nesting site season after season for life.

After laying the egg, mama penguin - exhausted by this point - heads out to sea for the winter months to feed and recover while the father stays and cares for the precious egg. This shared responsibility and sense of loyalty is uncommon in the animal kingdom.

The power of working together
The father penguins stand together – literally – to withstand 200 kilometres per hour winds and temperatures well below minus 30°C while they incubate their eggs over the winter. They can’t leave their eggs to feed, so the penguins huddle together, sharing their body heat and saving energy.

The importance of communication
Penguins might not look like they have ears, but they are great listeners. When she returns after the winter, the mother Emperor Penguin can identify the unique call of her mate and offspring among the huddle of more than 500 father penguins.

We’re truly inspired by these community minded creatures who, like us, understand that working together and building strong families and communities is the way to make a real difference to the lives of people in need.

So this Penguin Awareness Day, join us in celebrating the important lessons these animals can teach us about community.