On Wednesday 5 September, around 160 students from five local schools gathered in Torquay to learn, work-shop ideas and celebrate coastal conservation at the annual Coast Guardians Forum hosted by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee.
The year 9 students from Northern Bay College, Surf Coast Secondary College, Geelong Lutheran College, Lorne Aireys Inlet P-12 College, and Sacred Heart College had a day of guest presenters, exciting activities and prizes as part of the Great Ocean Road Coast’s award-winning Environmental Education Program. Read more →
The 2017 GORCC Coast Guardians Forum was a day of celebration and inspiration for the 140 year 9 students, teachers and staff from the four local schools who attended at the Surf Coast Shire Grant Pavilion in Torquay. The weather was not in our favour, but the spirits were high for a fun-filled day with delicious food, wonderful donated goods as prizes, and local coastal expertise.
An excursion to the beach provided an exciting new classroom for Jan Juc Preschool kids recently.
The students spent three sessions at their local beach learning about the importance of the coastal environment as part of ‘Beach Kinder’ – a free educational program. The eager little participants learnt about local plants and animals and the danger beach litter poses to the environment and the animals that live in it.
GORCC conservation worker Pete Crowcroft believes that it is necessary to educate young children about their local surroundings and how to preserve it.
“It is a very beneficial program as it helps them to think about the environment and what belongs at the beach and what doesn’t while having fun,” Mr Crowcroft said.
The kinder kids participated in a beach treasure hunt with some exciting finds including shark eggs, sea stars and a bottle nose dolphin spine, examined fossils in the cliff face and learnt about the endangered Hooded Plovers.
Jan Juc Preschool teacher Jane Wilson said she hopes the activity will become an annual event.
“The Jan Juc Preschool has a philosophy of supporting children with their education of the local environment and to support children to appreciate and learn to care about their local areas and this program fitted in perfectly to this philosophy.
“The beach is an integral part of living [in Jan Juc] and the discussions are ongoing. The excursion brings together the ongoing discussion we have over the year.
“Interesting stories about the various uses for kelp in ice cream, toothpaste and Vegemite is something the children will remember for a long time,” she said.
For more information about GORCC’s educational programs and how to get involved, click here.
90 students joined some special guests at a coastal forum in Torquay this week to celebrate of a year of coastal conservation achievements.
Year nine students from four regional schools came together at the environmental education forum which is held each year as part of the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) Coast Guardians Program.
GORCC Community Liaison Manager Jane Rowlands said the forum celebrated the significant contribution the students have made over the past year to the local coastal environment.
“The day included interactive activities and challenges, prominent guest speakers, student presentations and prizes and giveaways.
This year’s guest speakers and special guests included:
• Wathaurung aboriginal elder Bryon Powell
• Phil Armato: manager of Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre for Fisheries Victoria. Previously worked at the RSPCA and Zoos Victoria.
• Dr Kate Charlton-Robb: founding director and principal researcher at the Australian Marine Mammal Conservation Foundation. Researcher, lecturer, campaigner, and discoverer of the unique species of Port Phillip Bay Dolphins called Burrunan Dolphins.
The day has been designed to increase and extend understanding on topics students have covered over the last twelve months including aboriginal culture, coastal animals and plants and threats to and management of, the natural coastal environment.
“We hope that these Coast Guardians will now graduate to become ongoing ambassadors for our beautiful and fragile coast,” said Ms.Rowlands.
Students received thank you gift packs donated by Quiksilver and, spot prizes donated by other local businesses.
“GORCC thanks Quiksilver and other local businesses for supporting this very special program and for recognising the achievements of these students who are making a very real difference to the environment.
The GORCC Coast Guardians Program sees four schools take ownership of the rehabilitation and conservation of four sites. Schools involved are:
• Lorne Aireys P-12 College
• Geelong Lutheran College
• Northern Bay College
• Surf Coast Secondary College
“This is a long term program where students, mainly year 9s, look after a specific site between Torquay and Lorne over 5 years.
“The Coast Guardians Program aims to relate work undertaken on the ground to the school curriculum, linking to subjects such as science, outdoor education and community volunteering,” said Ms. Rowlands.
Students from four regional schools came together to celebrate a year of coastal conservation achievements at an environmental forum held in Torquay last week.
The educational event formed part of the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) Coast Guardians Program and included environmental activities, guest speakers and student presentations.
Geelong Lutheran College Middle School Co-Ordinator Georgia Quirk said the forum highlighted the importance and impact of the students’ year of environmental work.
“It was great to see the students come together with the other schools in the program, and realise that what they have done has a larger purpose.
“Together we can achieve a whole lot more and it was wonderful to see our students interacting with others by take part in this community endeavour,” Ms Quirk said.
Participants learnt about indigenous foods, protecting and caring for wildlife, the impact of marine debris on our environment and were encouraged to consider environmental volunteering and future careers in conservation.
GORCC Conservation Officer Georgina Beale said the forum acknowledged the students’ hard work and contribution to maintaining the coastal environment.
“The students have assisted us to protect and enhance the natural environment and supported the incredible work of local environmental volunteer groups,” said Ms. Beale.
The program covered a range of environmental topics integrated with hands-on activities such as weeding, planting and erosion prevention.
Geelong Lutheran College, Northern Bay P-12 College and Lorne-Aireys Inlet P-12 College and Surf Coast Secondary College Students took part in the Coast Guardians Program for 2012.
Each school took ownership of the rehabilitation and conservation of a coastal site with the help of GORCC’s conservation team and supported by local volunteer groups including ANGAIR, Friends of Queens Park and Torquay Coast Action.
Students involved ranged from years 7-10 from four schools. The activities the students undertook this year helped to increase awareness of environmental issues and encouraged social responsibility and environmental stewardship and it is hoped that participants will be able to walk along that section of coast in years to come and see the results of their hard work.
The program is additional to GORCC’s general Environmental Education Activities Program and is provided free of charge to the schools involved.