In this edition of ‘What Inspires Me’ we feature the entire Outreach team from CERES Education!
Just for something different, each member of the CERES Outreach team was asked the following question and given a short space to respond:
What has been your most memorable sustainability highlight from this year?
Deanne Jones – Outreach Educator / ResourceSmart Early Childhood Coordinator
I currently work with early childhood centres to assist them implement sustainability into their operations, curriculum and through community links under the ResourceSmart banner. The highlight of my role this year has been delivering Professional development sessions to educators and teachers. It can sometimes be a tough gig as it is often scheduled after work and the educators are coming down after a hectic day. Throughout my workshop however, I see a gradual shift in energy and by the end a complete buzz in the room with educators often staying back to chat or tell their story! I believe story telling is key to bring about change locally and beyond.
Kelsey Smith – Outreach Educator
The main thing that springs to mind for me was an awesome piece of resource sharing and collaboration between two schools! One of my schools, Carlton North Primary School (CNPS), really wanted to begin composting – but wasn’t sure how to get it started and what it involved. CNPS contacted a nearby school, Brunswick East PS (BEPS), and the gardening teacher and students actually visited them and taught them how to set up and maintain their compost! In return, CNPS taught BEPS how to make their very own beeswax wraps – a fantastic example of sharing resources and ideas for a more sustainable future!
Emmanuelle Delomenede – ResourceSmart Schools Southern Metro Coordinator
The month of October was special for me as I got to go back home for a month, which I do only every two years. I have left the stunning French island of Reunion when I was 18 years old and seeing resilience, respect for the land and community getting stronger every time I visit resonates very deeply with my heart! This year I stumbled across this massive 6.6 MW solar installation integrated among the hills and pineapple plantations on top of an old landfill site, on my way to a quiet river picnic area on the East coast. The unexpected sight made me extremely proud and excited! I also had the chance to visit a 4th generation farmer on a protected site in the Cirque of Cilaos, an old sunken volcano crater. I was blown away to see the regenerative land management that this farmer was sharing very humbly on his flourishing & productive plot – his ways echoed strongly with the permaculture principles, which illustrated clearly for me again the link with indigenous practices.
Solar panels installation
The Cirque of Cilaos
Leah Martini – Outreach Educator
It’s safe to say 2018 is a year I will not forget! Being accepted into the CERES family through Education and Outreach has been a dream come true, and has allowed me to share my sustainability passion with a wide range of amazing people. From dressing up and dancing like Bees with Education, to running staff Audits and Workshops with Outreach, these career opportunities have been a major sustainability highlight, and I can wait to share the success stories of my students and schools in the years to come.
Jane Burns – Outreach Area Manager, ResourceSmart Schools Northern Metro Coordinator
I am inspired by the young people and staff in schools and early learning centres who put their hand up to help our environment. And I am passionate about the potential of education – from early learning through to Universities – to be the top priority to drive Sustainable Development and scale up solutions driven by young people.
Education for Sustainable Development gives learners a framework for knowing about and acting on global and local issues and reorientates education towards achieving a sustainable and resilient world. In addition young people can link to Green Jobs in career pathways and connect to the natural world – cultivating the values needed to protect our environment!
My most memorable sustainability highlight from 2018 …
Seeing St Kilda Primary Principal Sue Higgins accept the 50th 5Star ResourceSmart Schools certificate from Minster D’Ambrosio at Parliament House and feeling very proud both of the school and the environmental education partners like CERES and the Port Phillip Eco Centre.
Kate Checkley – ResourceSmart Schools Eastern Metro Coordinator
There have been many sustainability highlights over the course of this year. One in particular that stands out was attending Silverton Primary Schools Kids Teaching Kids event. Groups of students from several schools in the local area hosted workshops for their peers on topics including waste management, vegetative propagation, overfishing and water sanitation. One workshop delivered by students from Silverton even had students building “Air Bee n Bee’s” as a refuge for native bees and insects. The students did a brilliant job teaching their peers about the importance of sustainability, it was truly an inspiring day.
Alex Hoffman – Outreach Educator
There are many inspiring sustainability moments throughout a year when you work with such passionate teachers and students. It may come in the form of a fleeting moment where, upon placing a worm in a little boy’s hand, he exclaims, “he’s so beautiful!” These are the day-to-day inspirations that move us in our work, but sometimes these smaller inspirations somehow accumulate into whole-school leadership initiatives that are complex and commendable in their realisation.
One school with a particularly passionate teacher and sustainable business manager heard their students’ proposal for solar energy loud and clear. In 2019, after a couple of years of dedicated investigation and planning, Camberwell Grammar is now the largest solar school in Australia. They have installed a 862kW system which amounts to a whopping 2650 solar panels that will generate 1GWh of electricity per annum. As a school, they are in the privileged position of having the resources to do this, but how they’ve chosen to apply these resources is commendable, demonstrating strong leadership on global warming. Not only have they installed solar power but the sustainability coordinator has worked with a passionate team of students to introduce co-mingled recycling, to ban single-use plastic in the canteen and introduce electronic waste recycling bins at the school. It’s been an exciting 2019!
Taylor Foster – Education Communications Coordinator
It might sound cheesy, but the most inspirational sustainability highlight of this year for me has been joining the Outreach team way back in June!
There is nothing more inspiring then surrounding yourself with people who have dedicating much of their waking hours (and I’m sure much of their lucid dream time) to championing environmental awareness, action and the need for sustainability. Everyone on the team has their own area of interest within the spectrum of sustainability and it has been inspiring to learn about these and change my own behaviour and beliefs accordingly!