Strike 4 Climate Change

Today, Friday 15 March 2019, school students around Australia have been encouraged to take part in worldwide rallies to make our politicians aware that as a generation of Australians, they are concerned about what is one of the biggest issues the world faces – Climate Change.

As a Round Square school and one that is committed to our students having a voice, we have, for a long time, dedicated considerable time and energies to the topic of the environment and environmental sustainability – all of which has a significant impact on Climate Change. One only needs to look at recent student-led activities across the College to get a sense of the importance this plays in our curriculum:

• Year 3 student initiated design and selling of ‘keep cups’ to minimise the use of take-away coffee cups;
• Year 3 Sustainability Pop-up Fair;
• Year 5 Community Projects program;
• the installation of various waste bins for different types of waste;
• the significant reduction of wasted paper from printers;
• IY8 individual projects on the theme of recycle, reuse, re-purpose;
• The 9 Alive, Our Land Our Future experiential program;
• the long-running revegetation project at St Johnson’s farm; and
• Scotch Oakburn Park wetlands tree planting and foreign species eradication.

Education and awareness raising of environmental issues are at the foundation of these initiatives.

The College’s student leaders, including the Round Square Committee and the Year 12 Student Executive are often the ones who lead larger scale awareness campaigns on environmental sustainability and best practice actions to reduce waste and minimise our impact on the environment. This is the case with today’s awareness raising of Climate Change.

Scotch Oakburn is fully supportive of actions that make politicians and policymakers in our community aware of the fact that Climate Change is an issue that ‘we’ want prompt action on.

Whilst a small group of senior students represented the College at the rally in the city, the rest of the College were involved in one event or another that highlighted the issues regarding our environment. In the lead-up to today, senior students made, and posted online, a video in which College community members were asked what they do to minimise their impact on the environment, finishing with the open question to politicians, “What do you do, to address the issue of Climate Change”? Other students have made posters, for a large scale photo for social media and at the Penquite campus, a special assembly was held that was devoted to Climate Change. In short, we have organised protest action at the College. This has been supported by local media who have come and interviewed our student leaders to hear firsthand why they are so concerned about this issue.

Therefore, we are both supporting action on a very important issue in the public arena as well as further educating our students and showing Scotch Oakburn’s commitment to raise the topic of Climate Change in the minds of our politicians and policymakers. Finally, I’d like to thank all students who have been intimately involved in today’s special activities.

Andy Müller