Baby bilby is sailor's namesake

A BABY bilby born at Ipswich’s Frank Manthey bilby burrow will be named after Young Australian of the Year 2011, solo round-the-world sailor, Jessica Watson.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said the name was agreed upon by Ipswich-based champion of the bilby, Frank Manthey, following a competition during the recent summer school holidays.

“Once we saw the name Jessica Watson emerge from the barrel of suggestions we knew this was the obvious decision for this little bilby,” Cr Pisasale said.

Co-founder of the Save the Bilby Fund, Mr Manthey, said he had approached Jessica Watson and her manager about naming the new bilby and they were both thrilled at the prospect.

“We had a Name the Bilby competition at the Ipswich Nature Centre over the school holidays with a suggestion box for people to place their suggestions,” Mr Manthey said.

“The winner was 10-year-old Anthony Bell of Leichhardt.”

Mr Manthey said Jessica Watson would be in Ipswich for the official naming ceremony at the Ipswich Nature Centre from 10.30am tomorrow.



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