Student conservation celebrations feature reptilian guests


Have you ever wanted to get up close and personal with a blue tongue lizard? For 120 lucky local year 9 students that’s exactly what they got to experience at last month’s Coast Guardians Forum.

The annual forum allows students from four regional schools the opportunity to celebrate their significant contribution to the coastal environment from the past twelve months.

Prizes and giveaways for the 2014 event were generously provided by Quiksilver, SeaEarth Adventures, EcoLogic Education and Environment Services, SurfWorld Museum, Third Wave Kiosk and the Deck Café Anglesea.
These hard working students were rewarded with a Black Snake Productions live wildlife show which featured some very interesting native animals, many of which are indigenous to the Surf Coast and some, like the very cute Bettong, which used to be indigenous to our area but are now no longer found here.
Michael Alexander from Black Snake Productions with a copperhead snake. Photo: GORCC
Michael Alexander from Black Snake Productions with a copperhead snake.  The wildlife show presented some scaly guests including a blue tongue lizard, copperhead snakes, pythons, baby crocodiles and some mammals and native birds.

 

 

GORCC Conservation Supervisor Georgie Beale cuddles up to a Bettong. Photo: GORCC
GORCC Conservation Supervisor Georgie Beale cuddles up to a very cute Bettong.

Along with the reptile display, the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre kindly contributed an interactive ‘touch tank’ which allowed students to interact with some of the marine wildlife they were protecting.

GORCC Education Activity Leader Pete Crowcroft, Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre's Alan Beckhurst, Christine Allen and Leoni Brilli from Northern Bay College and GORCC Conservation Supervisor Georgie Beal with goodies from the MDC's 'Touch Tank'. Photo: GORCC
GORCC Education Activity Leader Pete Crowcroft, Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre’s Alan Beckhurst, Christine Allen and Leoni Brilli from Northern Bay College and GORCC Conservation Supervisor Georgie Beal with goodies from the MDC’s ‘Touch Tank’.

As part of the celebrations, Wathaurung Aboriginal Elder Bryon Powell introduced the day with a Welcome to Country before educating students about bush tucker and important tools.

Students were able to try their luck at starting a fire using traditional Aboriginal methods.

Students attending the forum try their hand at making fire the traditional way with Elder Bryon Powell of the Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation. Photo: GORCC
Students attending the forum try their hand at making fire the traditional way with Elder Bryon Powell of the Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation.

This day is a fun and interactive way for students to reflect on the topics covered over the last twelve months, including aboriginal culture, coastal animals and plants and threats to and management of, the natural coastal environment.

GORCC Community Liaison Manager Jane Lovejoy commended the students on their hard work throughout the year.

“These schools and their students are making a very real difference to their coast. The aim of the program is to build future generations of environmentally aware individuals who proactively care for the coast they love. This end of year event is an opportunity to celebrate their hard work and achievements and touch on what they have learned and gained over the past twelve months,” she said.

View the photo gallery here. Learn more about the GORCC Coast Guardians Program here.

 

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