Kate McIlwain

New sculpture immortalises ‘evil duck’

Staff and students who have spent time on the Duckpond Lawn over the last few years have probably had at least one run in with the ‘evil duck.’ Now deceased, the large Muscovy duck was called evil because of his penchant for chasing people around the lawn or stealing their lunch.

To commemorate this campus character the University commissioned sculptor and UOW technician Didier Balez to recreate the evil duck. The metal sculpture, which sits in the middle of the duck pond, was unveiled last Friday.

PhD research student Blake Cochran has studied at UOW since 2003 and has fond and funny memories of the duck during his time at uni. When he heard that it had died, Blake set up a Facebook group where more than 1200 past and present students share their duck stories.

“I'll always remember fondly... that day I put my foot out to kick it away and he went for me and pecked me!!!! I screamed and ran away,” one student wrote.

Another wrote: “I love and loathe the evil duck of the duckpond at UOW. Is it really dead? Many a time in my four years did I encounter this duck, I will look back fondly at my memories of the evil duck and feel better for having known him. He filled my days at UOW with laughter and terror.”

Blake said he thought the sculpture of the duck was a fantastic idea.

“Not only is it a beautiful piece of art, I think it shows that the uni has a bit of a sense of humour, and has listened to students,” he said. “The duck was a part of people’s UOW experience, and despite its temper it was quite endearing.”

“On the Facebook groups, there are even photos of people at their graduation ceremonies who are having their picture taken with the evil duck,” he said. “If only the statue breathed fire!”