Port Phillip Eco Centre – Elster Creek Sustainable Project

Here is a brief summary of the innovative primary school educational programs the Sprouts supported in 2016. The Port Phillip Eco Centre developed extensive programs for both St.Columba’s Primary School and Elwood Primary School.

Innovation in Environmental Education

During Term 3 2016, Environmental Educators from Port Phillip EcoCentre have assisted 53 Grade 3/4 students from St.Columba’s PS investigate the rich biodiversity on Elster Creek in Elwood. Grade 6 Sustainability Leaders from Elwood Primary have conducted citizen science activities along Elster Creek and the beach front at St Kilda and St Kilda West beaches. They investigated the rich biodiversity on Elster Creek in Elwood, mapping the biodiversity and habitat locations along the creek and auditing pest sightings in the area and surveying species count.

Facilitate engagement in environmental action

The Tomorrows’ Leaders for Sustainability program at St.Columba’s has been successfully implemented with the grade 3/4 covered the topics of Energy, Biodiversity and Waste.  The Sustainability Leaders (Eco Warriors) conducted Energy Efficiency assembly presentations, made signs for classrooms to monitor energy savings, conducted energy audits of their school and reported their findings to their school community. Grade 6 Sustainability leaders from Elwood PS have participated in Tomorrows’ Leaders for Sustainability (TLfS) program and as leaders they have assisted in Nude Food initiatives, provided information at school assemblies and coordinated the Golden Tree award, an award that celebrates achievements in energy saving and waste reduction in the school.

Advocate for environmental sustainability

The EcoWarriors at have participated in an Indigenous workshop in Caring for Country, exploring biodiversity and the impacts of waste and pollution on biodiversity in the Elster Creek area.  The influence of this workshop inspired them to explore further the local impacts of litter in waterways and their passion for these issues inspired a group art project displayed at the school. TheTomorrow’s Leaders for Sustainability students have also participated in an Indigenous workshop in Caring for Country, exploring biodiversity through storytelling. They were joined by other leaders at the school for this workshop. The engaged with Boonwurrung stories about Bunjil’s law in caring for country.

A word from our Chair

The Sprouting Soiree, our upcoming election and other news

The Sprouts have had a busy autumn and winter with many a meeting before and after the Sprouting Soiree event. I personally want to thank our incredibly dynamic team for all chipping in on the organisational front as well as all of the generous donations of both time and labour from members of the family. Such was the positive response to the event, we are planning a yearly event in May to present our grant recipients to our community.

With the Federal election one week away, it is frustrating that the environment has not been at the forefront of policy and debate. Mark Wakeham and the team at Environment Victoria have put together an election scorecard rating the major party policies. The Guardian newspaper has an excellent article outlining the party policies on revitalising the Great Barrier Reef.

Recently I met with Mark Donaldson the Director of Goodwill Bills. Mark is an entrepreneur who is working with major energy, insurance and telecommunications businesses to divert their marketing expenses into the non-profit sector. Check out the website and see how you as a customer can divert company profits to environmental projects – a great idea!

The Sprouts are looking forward to visiting our grant recipients in the coming months and reporting back on their progress.

Again, thank you for your support and don’t forget to donate before the end of financial year.

Dave Browning

Tipping Point: A letter from a Grant Recipient

Tipping Point
Climate Change secondary school program

Tipping Point Australia co-ran the Open Space forum in the Footscray City College Environmental Centre on Friday 15 April and sustainability and climate change were high on the agenda. This year participants in the forum included the Hot Docs class, who are focusing on sustainability and climate change for their documentary film productions, students from the school’s Student Representative Council and several students from last year’s Hot Docs class. In addition four thoughtful and inspiring young students from Yarraville West Primary School joined us and shared their imaginative ideas for the future of the planet.

The event began with a series of lightning talks from presenters including facilitator Matt Wicking from Tipping Point, writer Tom Doig, Tom Reddington from the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, performing artist Jodee Mundy, author Deb Hart, and Year 10 students Spencer Davis and Darcy Smith.

After the talks, the students, teachers and presenters participated in an interactive forum where everyone was encouraged to generate questions and ideas about sustainability and climate change, which were then further discussed in small groups. Lots of wonderful ideas were generated about what we can do to mitigate the effects of climate change, prepare and adapt to the changes already happening and make the world more sustainable for the future.

The Hot Docs class will spend the rest of the semester making documentary films about an aspect of sustainability or climate change that they have chosen to investigate. We will send copies of the films to you when they are completed (hopefully by July).

Many thanks for your generous support of this wonderful project.

Best wishes,

Tipping Point Australia