Coast’s future environmental guardians take action
  • Monday 29 August 2016
Students from the 2015 Sunshine Coast Kids in Action Conference get their hands dirty at the Environmental Projects DayAround 350 Sunshine Coast school children will challenge the way we think about sustainability in our day-to-day lives when they take part in the 2016 Sunshine Coast Kids in Action Conference this Thursday and Friday, September 1 and 2. 

Students will present an interactive project to their peers to teach one another about the environmental problems they have solved in an effort to create a more sustainable future for the region.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said she was excited to hear what the students had prepared for this year’s event, which is themed “Living Communities”.
“On day one on Thursday, students will be presenting on everything from eco-dying (using vegetables for colour), mindful consumerism, sustainable green walls and exploring our local mangroves,” Cr McKay said.

“Students and teachers have been preparing these projects for months and will share their innovative solutions and findings with their peers at the conference in the hope that they too will be able to make more sustainable choices at school and in their homes. 

“Day two will see the students explore some of the region’s living communities, including the Mary Caincross Scenic Reserve, Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary and the Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden.

“They’ll take part in botanical explorations, indigenous storytelling, clay pot making, wetland water sampling and more.” 

Cr McKay said it was no wonder the program was a finalist in the UN Association of Australia World Environment Day Awards earlier this year.

“We had outstanding results from the 2015 program and it’s the high participation of local schools, students and teachers, and the investment of our local volunteers and environmental groups that really care about the future of our region are what make this project a success,” Cr McKay said. 

“This is a program that effectively inspires and fosters our future environmental leaders and is aligned with council’s vision to achieve long-term cultural change in the way we look after and interact with our environment.”

The Kids in Action Conference is a collaborative partnership between council, Unitywater, Kids Teaching Kids, Qantas, local schools and environment groups to inspire the region’s future environmental leaders. 

Qantas Head of Environment Alan Milne said the partnership was an opportunity for the airline to engage with the community about environmental issues.
“We recognise aviation is a significant contributor to carbon emissions and at Qantas we are absolutely committed to reducing our environmental impact,” Mr Milne said.
“We are really proud to be setting the example in the aviation industry with initiatives such as our Fly Carbon Neutral carbon offset program, inflight recycling initiatives and leading fuel efficiency processes. 

“Working with Kids Teaching Kids means we can share the knowledge our team has developed to educate and engage with young people on environmental issues and help them see opportunities to create a more sustainable future for everyone.” 

Founder and Managing Director of Kids Teaching Kids Arron Wood said the partnership played an important role in delivering environmental education in Australian schools.
“Years of independent research show time and cost are the two key reasons teachers aren’t able to get their students involved in environmental education,” Mr Wood said.
“With Qantas providing grants to schools, we’ve been able to eliminate both of those barriers.”

The conference is supported by the Environment Levy.

Participating schools
Ananda Marga River School, Beerburrum State School, Blackall Range Independent School, Burnside High School, Chevallum State School, Conondale Home Ed, Conondale State School, Coolum Beach High School, Cooroy State School, Golden Beach State School, Good Shepherd Lutheran College, Immanuel College, Kin Kin State School, Montville State School, Moreton Bay Homeschooling Connections, Mount Mee State School, Nambour State High School, Nature Weavers, Pacific Paradise State School, Peregian Springs State School, Sunshine Beach State School, Sunshine Coast Home Educators, Talara Primary College, Unity College and Woombye State School.