In 2018, EASL piloted a student focused program which aimed to strengthen students’ leadership and project management skills, providing them with the skills and knowledge to apply sustainability in their own lives and broader communities.
This program targeted students in grade 5 to year 9 and involved a one day conference style event and a number of online workshop sessions held before and after the conference. It was anticipated that students who participated would feel empowered and be able to clearly communicate the changes they want to see in the world and throughout their community.
Below is an article provided by Oxely Christian College to showcase their journey through this program.
Earlier this year, Oxley were selected to participate in a pilot program, Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF). This program is facilitated by the Eastern Alliance for Sustainable Learning (EASL). EASL’s goal is to promote lifelong learning and action that improves the health, wellbeing and environmental sustainability of local communities.
Our students agreed with the goals EASL aspire to achieve so we worked enthusiastically as a team and came up with a great program for our school.
Ava, Stella, Chloe, Angelica and Spike enjoying ‘the fruits of their labour’.
Stella, Chloe, Ava, Spike and Angelica were selected to represent Oxley Christian college in the LSF Student Leadership Program. Each of these students demonstrates leadership, passion and enthusiasm in caring for the environment. After attending a one-day conference, the students were asked to design a sustainability themed project using a design thinking approach. Our team of students was keen to introduce a poultry program into the school. They each worked determinedly to accomplish this outcome. They named the program Chooks4Charity because they wanted to give the money raised from funds received for the eggs, to the OrangUtan Project and The Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater, two charities supported by the work of the Junior School Enviro Team activities. This project would:
- Raise money to support the critically endangered Helmeted Honeyeaters and Leadbeater Possums, and support the OrangUtan Project.
- Allow students to experience the joys of caring for pets
- Improve the edible gardens at the Enviro Barn with organic fertilizer
- Enable Oxley Christian College students to mix with Oxley Kids children as the chickens are located here
- Give the hens fresh table scraps collected from the Oxley Kids kitchen and Oxley Christian College Enviro Barn alfresco area
- Provide eggs for use in cooking sessions at the Enviro Barn.
Stella and Ava and the Junior School Enviro Captains attended an excursion to the Yellingbo Wildlife Sanctuary to present funds raised for forest revegetation.
As a team, they prepared a drama to launch the program to the Junior School community at Chapel. They designed posters and helped to write a proposal and risk assessment. They prepared a budget and researched the friendliest and gentlest breed of hens to purchase. They excitedly met together with Mrs Gaschk to discuss the progress of the project and to determine the next steps of action.
The online power point sessions that students attended at intervals during Term 1 and Term 2 enriched students’ ability to prepare and launch our sustainable project. The presentations at the conference encouraged the students to develop and use leadership skills.
Spike, Ava, Chloe, Angelica and Stella gaining leadership skills at the LSF conference.
We now have four very friendly and gentle hens who are safely housed in a fox-proof home at Oxley Kids. It has brought enormous joy working in alliance with Oxley Kids staff and children. Our hens are regularly laying eggs now that the weather is warmer and the hours of daylight are lengthening. Students love visiting the hens with Mrs Gaschk during their Sustainability lessons and it’s even more wonderful when the preschool Oxley Kids children are in their playground. We have gathered eggs to sell at our Market Garden stall each week. They sell like hot cakes. Our mascot, SuperChook visits the stall. You can’t miss her, she is a Year 5 sized happy hen.
Raising funds from donations received from the sale of eggs.
We are very grateful for the determination, encouragement and diligence of our five students! We appreciate the opportunity given by Eastern Alliance for Sustainable Living, to introduce the poultry program into our school community.
Chloe (Year 5): “This has been an amazing experience. I’ve learnt so many things: how to get a major project running, how to participate in it and how to handle chooks.”
Stella (Year 5): “I love how we’ve helped the kinder children. They are all happy with smiles on their faces. I love how we have created a fabulous place for the children and the hens to grow.”
Spike (Year 6): “I’d like to do something like this again.”
Angelica (Year 6): “We can’t wait for our next visit to see the chooks. It was worth the hard work.”
Ava (Year 5): “We thought of some great ideas to raise money for charities.”
Thank you EASL, for inviting us to participate in the LSF program.
LSF Student Leadership Conference
The LSF Student Leadership Conference is a key component of the Learning for a Sustainable Future program. Schools participating in the LSF program are invited to send up to five students and one teacher to the conference day.
The conference will be held on Tuesday 1st May at the Sage Hotel Conference Room and in the Realm Centre meeting rooms.
The day will start with the morning keynote, presented by Angela Rutter. This session will introduce students to values-based approaches for leadership and communication skills for social change and environmental sustainability. Drawing on a growing body of research in the fields of psychology, cognitive science, linguistics and behavioural economics, this will be a thought provoking and interactive session for students to creatively explore the change they want to be and see in the world.
I grew up in suburban Melbourne in a home which backed onto an oval, which backed onto a creek. Many hours were spent with the neighbourhood kids and their dogs wandering the creek, playing games and creating stories. This was one experience which inspired a love of nature, fresh air and big old trees.
My curiosity in why people do what they do has shaped my working life, initially in advertising and more recently in civic leadership and engagement for a more beautiful world.
I’m Co-Founder and Director of Common Cause Australia, an organisation dedicated to engaging cultural values for a compassionate society with community, nature and equality at its heart. We work with non-profit organisations, social enterprises, councils, government departments and political parties across Australia and New Zealand to create communications, engagement, build capacity and think about ways of doing things which does right by people and nature.
After a short break, students will rotate through workshop sessions with the following speakers and topics.
- Superspeak will hold sessions on public speaking to increase students' confidence and ability to speak to an audiance. Superspeak are Melbourne's leading public speaking and drama program for kids.
- Mary Catus-Wood from Melbourne Water will be presenting workshop sessions looking at what to include in a Communication and Marketing plan, for your project.
- Miranda Wills from Healesville Sanctuary will present sessions on project management, running through case studies from the campaigns run by Zoos Vic.