Term 2 2021 Riverina Environmental Educator’s Network Meeting Minutes 

15/6/21 

Meeting recording  can be viewed at https://youtu.be/34IiYyhBLaM

 

Kath Irons, Turvey Park Public School 0:00m-26:21m 

  • Turvey Park Public School is working with the Riverina Environmental Education Centre on a Kreative Koalas project. It aims to empower students and meet the United Nations Sustainability Goal of responsible production and consumption. They are reducing waste in the playground by using green lid FOGO bins in each playground and FOGO caddies in each classroom, staffroom and canteen. They are also planning to begin an Earn and Return program. They are also starting a Wipe out Waste program in conjunction with the Riverina Environmental Education Centre and the Turvey Park Parents and Citizens committee. 
  • Landcare, Live Life Well and Charles Sturt University have all awarded grants to Turvey Park to support this work. 
  • Rotary Sunrise are also going to help Turvey Park Public to set up kitchen gardens. 
  • A bush tucker garden and a garden supporting the English as an additional language or dialect (EALD) community is also in the pipelines. 
  • Turvey Park is also working with the Riverina Environmental Education Centre to help refugee students learn to value and love the Australian environment. Hopefully this will be expanded to other schools in 2022.  
  • One of the biggest challenges for teacher’s is trying to find the time to do this type of work. Also, trying to find time to co-ordinate one class’s work with another, is challenging as well. 
  • Bunnings has donated two raised garden beds.  
  • It takes a significant amount of time to teach the kids to sort their rubbish correctly into their bins.  
  • One hundred and fifteen students signed up to be a part of Turvey Park Public School’s “Green team”.  

 

Jade Auldist 

26:22m-39:00m 

Murrumbidgee Landcare working in areas such as Bidgee West, Hay, Booligal, Goolgowi, Rankin Springs. 

  • A pre-school at Hay built a bush tucker garden in the shape of a Rainbow Snake. This related to a story the students have been learning about. Next week an opening of the garden will occur with the Nari Nari Tribal Council. It will include some rock painting and a smoking ceremony.  
  • Junior Landcare and Woolworths’s helped with a garden at St Mary’s School, which will be opened in NAIDOC week. 
  • Booligal also got a $1500 grant from Landcare and a $5000 grant from Transgrid to make a big native garden with a bush tucker section, including a yarning circle (a learning space). This project has included seed collection and propagation along with studying the plants and insects in order to plan the garden. 
  • Jade touched base with the local land Council and the Nari Nari tribal Council to get the projects done. She said this was a great idea. Googling local groups would be the place to start. Local Land Services (LLS) in Wagga have an Aboriginal Officer named Greg Packer. Geoff Simpson at OEH (Office of Environment and Heritage) could also be good places to start. Rosalie is also the Aboriginal Laison Officer at Wagga City Council, who may be able to assist. ErinEarth can also put teachers in touch with members of the community who may be able to help. 
  • In terms of selecting species for gardens, the Wiradjuri Plant Use of the Murrumbidgee Catchment is a good place to get information from. It was produced by the Catchment Management Authority. It can be found at the link below.  
  • https://archive.lls.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/495261/archive-wiradjuri-plant-use.pdf 
  • Schools are really excited to make their gardens. 
  • Seed propagation can be tricky.  

 

Wyalong Public School 

Melissa Blackwood 

39:00m-43:55 

  • Wyalong Public are recycling soft plastic, all cans and bottles, bread bags and bread clips and lids for kids. 
  • An unforeseen difficulty has been mice eating the milk containers that they were keeping for recycling. 
  • The kids have really taken it on board. Kids are policing their parents on how to recycle. 

 

Jennifer Cunningham 

44:57-53:00 

Petaurus Education Group 

  • Petaurus has supported 20 schools to write Sustainable Schools grants and been successful for the majority of those. One of those schools is Albury High School. 
  • Albury High School has made a collaboration with a local community garden which is a short walk from school. Special needs students from Albury High are also establishing a greenhouse (which can be dismantled) on site at Albury High School.  
  • The special needs students at Albury are engaging in a local lunch challenge. They have learnt about what grows within one hundred kilometers from Albury. This is the culmination of the first term of their two-term learning program. Another local lunch challenge will occur at the end of the second term of learning. There is a lot of local produce available for this. 
  • Albury high has collaborated with Bunnings and a local Albury nursery called “Peards”.  
  • Excursion paperwork and working with children paperwork has been a challenge to navigate. 
  • Next term they are looking at trying to get more indoor plants in the school. 
  • School staff also help with supplying local produce.  
  • Kids watching the seedlings pop out of the seedling trays has been great. Students also gaining a better understanding of what grows in their area has been a highlight. 
  • Wirraminna Environmental Ed Centre at Burrumbuttock in Week 10 of Term 3 2021 is hosting a professional development day, where school staff can network and share ideas about environmental education. Week 10, Term 3 Thur 16th September. Teachers from our area are welcome. It is a 1.5 hour drive from Wagga Wagga.  

 

Kate Livio – Sturt Public 

54:05m-58:43m 

  • Sturt Public engaged Alice Kent, Wagga’s Environmental Education Officer, to help with ideas around waste and their school. 
  • The easiest possible win is to start up the 10 cent return and earn program. 
  • The second best idea is to get green lid bins at the school.  
  • For more info check out Sturt Public’s YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3j5NZP8-gg 

 

Ben Holt 

Online Resources 

58:43m-1:00:00 

  • Cool Australia is a great website to get teaching resources to support environmental education. 
  • Kids care about climate colouring and drawing competition is on at the moment – entries close 30th June.