Carly Talks Marine Debris

Southern Cross Distance Education student, Carly Shanahan, speaks about marine debris. This is part of the school’s Save Our Seas and Cross Current Collaborative projects and is supported by Tangaroa Blue and the Australian Marine Debris Initiative.

Our Voice Youth Sustainability Conference

Recently students from Southern Cross School and Bangalow Primary joined forces at the Our Voice Youth Sustainability Conference. The day kicked off with an inspiring speech from 6 year old Noah about sun bears in front of about 300 of his peers! Events followed with kids teaching kids about their recent sustainability initiatives. Connected with the cross curricular Save Our Seas unit of work and recent beach cleaning activities, Southern Cross students showcased their work and knowledge about marine debris and source reduction. Their informative workshop included a hands on creative component where kids made art using rubbish that had been collected from Australian beaches. The day was very empowering for the students and other schools in the area such as Cape Byron Steiner and Main Arm Primary School are now also becoming part of the Australian Marine Debris Initiative.

Tangaroa Blue Goes Totally Wild!

Take 6 different groups of young people and put them on a beach with a TV crew and what you get is a lot of fun! This is exactly what happened recently at Byron Bay’s 7 Mile beach with Totally Wild coming to showcase youth and their endeavours to keep their local beaches clean.

It was a great example of how schools can collaborate with community to give students a real voice and a real audience. This makes their learning so much more authentic and increases student engagement. Features of the day inluded a flying drone camera that followed the kids around on the beach, capturing beach cleaning at its best, plus all of the high school students bringing their marine debris artworks down for display on the beach to show other young people some examples of how to get the marine debris message out to the general public.

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Southern Cross Distance Education Camp

Distance Education Students from Southern Cross School travelled from local and distance places to experience a three-day beachside camp at Shelly Beach in Ballina. As part of this event they conducted their first clean-up at this beach! With a few sunrays coming through the clouds and a break in the rain – first off the rank was the beach cleanup!! Students and teachers loved the event with the most common item found being tiny hard bits of plastic.

Most of the teachers being surfers and visiting the beach on a daily basis were amazed at how they had never tuned into how much of this ‘tiny’ rubbish is actually on the beach. Some interesting items found were a tyre, some weird looking old wooden school desks and plastic resin pellets! Southern Cross School now wants to adopt Shelly Beach and do regular cleanup activities as a result of today’s beach cleanup workshop being a success.

Jubullum River Clean Up

Southern Cross Distance Education in Ballina collaborated recently on a project with Tangaroa Blue Foundation where Indigenous students living in Jubullum did a series of river clean up activities, sharing knowledge about the rivers and creative expression. Community members all played a role in the cleanup and then students painted a story line about looking after our land and waterways on the bus which will then be part of Tangaroa Blue’s Marine Debris Road Shows.

Tangaroa Blue has been engaging with schools all around Australia in conjunction with the Australian Marine Debris Initiative. The goals for the Australian Marine Debris Initiative are to remove marine debris from the coastline, collect data on the types and amounts of marine debris being found at each site, track to the source wherever possible and then to work with all stakeholders to find solutions that stop those items from entering the oceans in the first place.

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