Students from four local schools celebrated their commitment to coastal conservation on the Surf Coast at the annual Coast Guardians Forum hosted by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) last Thursday.
The year 9 students from Northern Bay College, Surf Coast Secondary College, Geelong Lutheran College and Lorne Aireys Inlet P-12 College, were rewarded with a day of guest presenters, exciting activities and prizes as part of the GORCC Environmental Education Program.
The day featured special presentations from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Eco Logic, Queenscliff Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre, Streamline Media and Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation with interactive sessions to promote and celebrate coastal conservation.
Students also teamed up with local artist Lisa Hunter to create artwork from recycled marine debris collected from the coastal visits throughout the year.
GORCC CEO Richard Davies said the event is a great way to celebrate the achievements local schools have made over the year, and recognise their dedication to coastal conservation.
“These students are making a real contribution to our coastal landscape and support our conservation team, and the tireless efforts of local volunteers.
“Environmental education is an important aspect of encouraging environmental stewardship in the next generation, and the Coast Guardians program provides fantastic opportunities for local schools to enjoy and respect the iconic coastline.”
The ongoing Coast Guardians program allows schools to participate and rehabilitate key coastal sites along the Great Ocean Road including Whites Gap, Erskine Paddock, North Lorne and Spring Creek.
GORCC Education Activity Leader Hilary Bouma said the forum encourages students to reflect on their achievements throughout the year and share their unique experiences with other schools.
“Each school protects a different environment along the coast and has a different experience to share with the other schools.
Guest presenter Angeline Charles gave students a snapshot of life in the environmental sector.
“This forum celebrates the students’ personal development and their hands on contribution to the enhancement of these local coastal areas,” she said.
GORCC offers free environmental education opportunities for schools and groups and promotes hands on learning that will equip students with the knowledge and skills to work with, understand, respect, protect and enhance their beautiful coastal surroundings.
To find out more about GORCC’s free Environmental Education Programs and the Coast Guardians Program visit www.gorcc.com.au/education/.
A special thank you to all our partners and sponsors:
Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation
Marine Freshwater Discovery Centre
Ginger Monkey Café
West Coast Indigenous Nursery
Australian National Surf Museu,
Bellarine Catchment Network
Fishes and Loaves
Music Workshop Geelong