Fun-filled education at the Coast Guardians Forum 2015


Local students got creative and hands on at the 2015 GORCC Coast Guardians Forum last week as they celebrated a year of conservation achievements.

The annual forum gives students, who have been working hard to rehabilitate coastal sites all year, the chance to celebrate their significant contribution to the protection and enhancement of the local coastal environment.

Students showing off some aboriginal items. From left: Geelong Lutheran College students Jera Norton, Cameron Wilkinson, Taj Dillon, and Benjamin Lunt with Education Activity Leader Hilary Bouma and Wathaurung Aboriginal Elder Byron Powell.

Students showing off some aboriginal items.
From left: Geelong Lutheran College students Jera Norton, Cameron Wilkinson, Taj Dillon, and Benjamin Lunt with Education Activity Leader Hilary Bouma and Wadawuurung Chairperson Byron Powell.

Bryon Powell, Chairperson of the Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation (trading as Wadawurrung), performed a Welcome to Country ceremony to commence the proceedings, and stayed to conduct educational sessions with the students, introducing them to indigenous food, culture and tools.

As part of the event, students worked with local artist Lisa Hunter to make an endangered animal out of rubbish that is commonly left along the beaches. With a hot glue gun in hand, the students created a Weedy Sea Dragon, a Hooded Plover and a Southern Brown Bandicoot.

Trashed turned into treasure - Seahorse, Hooded Plover and Bilby

Trash turned into treasure – Weedy Sea Dragon, Hooded Plover and Southern Brown Bandicoot.

Students also participated in a number of other activities including an interactive ‘touch tank’, kindly contributed by the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre. This allowed students to interact with some of the marine life they have been protecting.

Students from Geelong Lutheran College Annalyse Palladini and Brittany Young with Rachael Beecham.

Students from Geelong Lutheran College Annalyse Palladini and Brittany Young with Rachael Beecham.

To finish off the day, the students were rewarded with a Black Snake Productions live wildlife show, getting up close and personal with some amazing native wildlife.

The show featured some reptiles including a lace monitor, a few snakes, a number of cute mammals including a baby wallaby and a barn owl named Tyto.

Black Snake presenter and a Spiny Freshwater Crayfish

Black Snake presenter Ben with a Spiny Freshwater Crayfish.

Students from Geelong Lutheran College and Surf Coast Secondary College attended, making the most of the array of activities on offer and presenting to the group about their achievements on their sites.  From planting native plants, removing invasive flora and collecting rubbish, all groups made significant improvements to their coastal sitesover the year.

Check out the photo gallery of the day below:

For more information on GORCC’s Environmental Education Programs, head over to our website here.

Have you had a close encounter with any local, indigenous wildlife on the coast lately?

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