Students take the lead on sustainability

Article image - Students take the lead on sustainability Mayor of Campbelltown George Brticevic with Leumeah High School Year 10 students, testing out their Schools for Sustainability water refill station project.

High school students in Campbelltown City Council in New South Wales are helping to develop and implement sustainable projects at their schools.

Leumeah High School was among six local schools to receive grants of up to $1000 to develop an environmental project as part of the Schools for Sustainability program, a partnership between Campbelltown City Council and Western Sydney University (WSU).

Mayor of Campbelltown George Brticevic visited the school recently to see the outcome of its project: a new water refill station that aims to reduce the use of plastic bottles.

“It’s fantastic to see our local high school students developing ideas on how their school can develop practical ways to address sustainability issues,” the mayor said.

“Leumeah High School has gone one step further, with students and the school’s P&C [Parents and Citizens] raising an additional $5000 towards the project, which funded the purchase of a water refill station and reusable drink bottles. “I’m pleased Council was able to provide funding to assist this project come to fruition.”

Schools for Sustainability was launched at a two-day forum in August 2016, providing students with the opportunity to explore global and local environmental issues through a series of engaging workshops.

Through the forum, students were equipped with the knowledge and inspiration to develop a project idea that could be implemented within their school or the local community.

Other schools which received grants included John Therry Catholic High School, Campbelltown Performing Arts High School, Ingleburn High School and Mount Carmel Catholic College.

Their projects included building a native garden, developing media campaigns around the reduction of single use plastic, increasing recycling rates in school through additional bins, and permaculture lessons for both teachers and students.

The projects are underway, and Council and WSU are working with the schools to complete the projects.

Council is currently designing the 2017 Schools for Sustainability program that will again invite high schools to participate in a two-day forum.

This year’s forum will see a range of sustainability pioneers inspire the students, including Tim Silverwood from Take 3, Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Terracycle and the team of student engineers that designed and built WSU’s Solar Car ‘Unlimited’.