Coast Guardians – future protectors of the coast

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s (GORCC) management area is rich with various habitats and environments, each providing separate and valuable educational opportunities for students.

Since 2011, GORCC has been running education activities based on natural resource management practices and hands-on conservation activities, engaging with students from all over Victoria.

The program – designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to work with, understand, respect, protect and enhance our coastal surroundings – aims to inspire students to be the environmental stewards of the future and become advocates for the coastal environment.

Coast Guardians

Coast Guardians is an environmental education program designed for year 9 students, with five secondary schools throughout the Surf Coast and Geelong participating each year.

Throughout the year, students spend time learning with Coast Guardians Program Coordinator, Hilary Bouma. Each school group is responsible for the rehabilitation and conservation of a specific coastal site during the program.

GORCC education leader Hilary Bouma teaches a Coast Guardians class with Geelong Lutheran College year 9 students.

Speaking about the Coast Guardian’s program Hilary said, “these sessions are designed to be engaging and interactive, with a focus on informing and educating students while fostering a love of the coast and its natural environment.”

This year, students from Geelong Lutheran College will be visiting Fishermans Beach, learning about natural processes, threats and how they might be managed, prevented and cared for in the future.

Geelong Lutheran College’s Coast Guardian program is tailored to complement their Science curriculum. Students go through the ‘Experience, Explore, Explain’ process, with sessions including geography, outdoor education, community service, research, and problem solving.

As part of the program students participate in practical conservation activities, such as planting and weeding, whilst learning about the local flora and fauna and GORCC’s role in caring for the coast.

Later in the year, there will be a Coast Guardian’s forum, which is an opportunity for all five schools to come together for a day to collaborate, hear new perspectives on environmental issues, and celebrate their hard work and achievements. The Coast Guardian’s will also have the opportunity to learn more about the Surf Coast’s first coastal guardians, the Wadawurrung.

We’d like to thank all of the participating schools for their ongoing support of this important program. Together, we’ll continue to look after our coastal environment for future generations.

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee is a State Government body responsible for protecting, enhancing, and developing coastal Crown land from Point Impossible to Cumberland River.



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