[ASC-media] Save years of political talk through environment education

Cathy Reade creade at squirrel.com.au
Sun Oct 17 01:55:19 CEST 2010


2010 Australia Post International Kids Teaching Kids Coastal Conference

 

MEDIA RELEASE  


Embargo: 17 October 2010


For further information and interviews: contact Cathy Reade 0413 575 934
creade at squirrel.com.au

The Environment - hot political issue but cool for kids

 

"Save years of political talk through years of environmental education."

 

This was the message from former Young Australian and Environmentalist of
the Year and creator of the groundbreaking education and environment event
for kids being held this week. The Kids Teaching Kids Program was announced
as the winner of the People's Choice Award at the 2010 national Banksia
Environment Award Ceremony on Friday, 15 October. The awards are regarded as
the most prestigious environmental awards in Australia.

 

Over 500 students from across Australia are converging on the Sunshine Coast
in Queensland from 17-19 October for the 2010 Australia Post International
Kids Teaching Kids Coastal Conference. The group includes kids from remote
regions of the NT who have never seen the ocean, and from the Torres Strait
who live and breathe the sea, as well as students from nine overseas
countries.

 

"Imagine how much easier political decisions on the environment would be if
we started learning about the environment through English, Science, Maths
and other classes or a standalone subject from year 1," said Arron Wood, who
advised the Australia Government as part of the National Environmental
Education for Sustainability Council.

 

The 2010 International Kids Teaching Kids Coastal Conference is about
developing Australia's new environmental leaders, and so far over 30,000
kids have joined the 'green army', having experienced one of these
internationally acclaimed events.

 

"When the Kids Teaching Kids green peer education program started 11 years
ago, environmental issues rarely hit the headlines but we had no trouble
finding kids and schools interested in and working on them. Then there was
climate change and now there's carbon taxes so the environment is rarely not
in the news of the day. Politicians keep talking but it's the kids taking
action and taking their communities along for the environmental ride," he
said.

 

"The power of combining peer and green education is in bringing about
authentic learning and environmental change as well as fostering personal
resilience, optimism and confidence."

 

"For Australia to be at the forefront of what will no doubt be a thriving
global green economy, we need confident, passionate environmental leaders
and an informed public. These events are working towards both those
outcomes," said Arron. 

 

"What would be an even greater step would be to make 'environment' a key
learning area or standalone subject in national curriculum."

 

Arron says the conference is empowering for children and providing hope for
a future generation of environmental leaders who will make the hard
decisions that today's leaders find so difficult. 

 

Adults and teachers take a back seat and kids work for months leading up to
the events on an environmental issue that concerns them and their community,
and they then teach their peers about the issue and how they're addressing
it, but they do so in fun and engaging ways. 

 

The first day of the conference has students using costumed drama, comedy,
dance, songs, games, quizzes and multimedia displays to teach their peers on
topics as varied as the problems for coastal regions from landfill; the
impact of waste streams and rising sea levels; the secret world of
seahorses; how to monitor coastal erosion; creating a balance between
enjoying our coasts and conserving them, and the effect of boating on
dolphin populations. On the second day students will get their hands dirty
in hands-on activities such as revegetation work, weeding the foreshore and
nest box building.

 

 

The conference is proudly supported by Australia Post (Principal Sponsor of
Kids Teaching Kids); Veolia Transport (Transport Partner); Australian and
Queensland Governments; Sunshine Coast Council; Citipower; University of the
Sunshine Coast; Toshiba, and Landcare Australia.

 





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