Enviro Week Reflection from Year 12 Sustainability Student Leader, Lauren Dillon

In Enviro Week, we introduced a new waste system through the partnership of Recycle. This trial bin will collect soft plastics and then be recycled by the organisation into benches, roads, and posts. A central focus of the week was educating the school community about the new system but also providing a reminder about our current bins through videos and PowerPoint presentations.

A sculpture of a flower was also unveiled at the start of the week, made from recycled materials collected on Clean Up Wadawurrung Day earlier this year. A totem tennis pole was used as the stem and painted green. An old metal wheel became the flower head, and the petals were made out of wire which we twisted and added old beads to. Although seemingly simple, this project took over the Dillon household for an entire week and to this day they still find beads on the floor.

As a Year 12 Sustainability Leader at Clonard, I was invited to participate in a community event called ‘Green Drinks’. This event was co-hosted by Geelong Sustainability and Women in Local Democracy on Wednesday night. I was invited to provide a youth insight on climate change and several other Clonard students came along in support. It was a warm community atmosphere where there was even laughter at my jokes (truly a feat).

Regenerating Australia Film

Throughout the week, wellbeing groups from all year levels watched the short film, Regenerating Australia by Damon Gameau. The film explored a number of solutions to climate change and how Australia has adapted in the last decade to transition to a more equitable, cleaner and regenerative economy through the wisdoms of First Nations people, our unique environment and our sense of community.

Initially mobilized as a response to the recent bushfires and ongoing challenge of COVID-19, there was a strong urge to engage the public with a “unified, positive, compelling vision and narrative for the future that has never been more acute”. It also delved into the future of Australia and what can be achieved if all sections of society work collaboratively. We hope that this film has inspired students to get involved and take action within their community in order to combat the most pressing threat of our lifetime).
Regenerating Australia • Regenerators (theregenerators.co)
– Montana Morgan, Year 12 Sustainability Student Leader

Enviro Week Reflection from Year 11 Sustainability Student Leader, Sattine Pirrottina

Hey Clonard, WOW what an amazing week we have had! What an amazing effort from everyone; it was awesome to see so many people get involved! Enviro week is so amazing and the message behind it is even more incredible. Now that enviro week is over, we need to remember that we need to keep these enviro practices’ strong and make these small changes in our day to day lives to create a healthier and more sustainable way of living for ourselves, Clonard and the wider community!

On the very first day of enviro week, we kicked off with the unveiling of the recycled sculpture created out of recycled objects collected by some of the students. This was such an inspiring idea because it encourages us to get involved and also get an idea about how we can upcycle and reuse the objects around us. On Tuesday we had an amazing clothes swap in the Nagle room at lunchtime, this had an amazing outcome and was so awesome to see so many students getting involved, with this whole trend of “thrifting” all over the media that just boosted the clothes swap even more. On Wednesday there was an amazing local speaker, Renee Williams from Sea Shepherd in the Brigidine centre at lunch, speaking about their urgent fight to defend, conserve and protect our oceans. On Thursday there was another clothes swap and an amazing film about Regenerating Australia, which was super optimistic and had a fantastic outlook on our future, giving young people hope, passion and fire to keep being sustainable. Lastly on Friday, we had an amazing tree planting at Kevin Kirby Reserve, planting, weeding, and looking after the reserve. This was amazing and many of the students loved it, feeling closer to nature, and connected to their surroundings. This was an absolutely amazing week with such amazing outcomes, a massive thanks to all the students that got involved but also the enviro team and all the hard work that went into this week, not just this week but making Clonard a more sustainable, environmentally aware place.

Clothes Swap

The Clothes Swap was a huge success and a fabulous way of bringing awareness and taking action to tackle the fast fashion trend. Students from all year levels were encouraged to go through their clothes at home, including tops, bottoms, and some accessories, to find any items they were no longer wearing and bring them to school. A ticket was given for each item and on the swap days, students could select a new item of clothing. Congratulations to Year 10 Sustainability Leaders Evie Ryan and Georgia Atherton for superbly organising this activity for students.

Launch of REDcycle Bin

Last week Clonard’s Sustainability Team introduced a REDcycle bin in front of the staff room in hopes to collect soft plastic waste which will be taken to Woolworths or Coles to be recycled. We encourage the whole Clonard community to separate soft plastics from general waste so that they can be recycled into park benches, fitness equipment, signage, and outdoor furniture. On top of that, don’t forget about the Mobile Muster and Bread Tags recycling. The Bread Tags are recycled locally and help raise funds to buy wheelchairs for disadvantaged people, mainly in Africa. The Mobile Muster recycles mobile phones as well as chargers and accessories to support a zoo of your choice which raises funds to support wildlife conservation in Africa.
– Yu-Ru Tan, Year 9 Sustainability Leader

Did you know that you can REDcycle at home? Collect your soft plastics and take them to your nearest participating Coles or Woolworth’s store. They will be transformed into new products rather than going to landfill.
Guest Speaker from Sea Shepherd

We were grateful to hear about the mission and work of Sea Shepherd from Renee Williams, who has been volunteering with the organisation for over 15 years.

Sea Shepherd is an international, non-profit marine conservation and organisation that campaigns to defend, conserve and protect the world’s ocean. Sea Shepherd is passionate about upholding the United Nations World Charter for international conservation laws. They take direct action on the seas and have land-based campaigns. Local community campaigns include cleaning up beaches and monitoring rubbish by counting each item collected. New volunteers are welcome. Get involved via Sea Shepherd Australia.

National Tree Day

To commemorate National Tree Day and the end of Enviro week, the Year 7’s and Year 11’s planted native plants at Kevin Kirby Reserve. Kevin Kirby established the reserve to give back to the environment, so it was great to continue his amazing work. Year 7’s and 11’s walked down to the reserve on Wadawurrung country, picked out their plants, and got to work. Not only this, but it was also a nice, sunny day to learn more about being sustainable. This was a valuable part of enviro week to get Clonard students involved in nature, showing the importance of looking after the environment.

– Claire Fitzpatrick, Year 11 Sustainability Student Leader