Social Justice

Ecology: Year in Review

2018 has been a very busy and highly successful year for the Green Team who has worked tirelessly over the course of the year and made many impactful ecological changes, both within Loreto Normanhurst and the wider community.   

Some of our major successes include the banning of plastic straws, cups and cutlery at the school canteens and in the boarding school dining room and common rooms. This was a result of consistent and determined campaigning and negotiations by the Green Team and key staff members. This change has and will continue to drastically reduce the amount of waste produced by Loreto Normanhurst.

We supported several causes which we were running throughout the year, including Project Uplift which involves the collection and recycling of bras which are given to women in disadvantaged communities, the Mobile Muster which recycles mobile phones, batteries and chargers and the Australian Marine Conservation Society.

Another major event in the ecology life of the school was the screening of Blue, which is a powerful marine conservation film. Green Team’s successful advertisement of the film drew large numbers of students, parents and staff and was a powerful way to raise awareness about the concerning extent of marine pollution and depletion of fish stocks and encouraged participation in the conservation of our oceans.

In line with this, another ecological campaign which was spearheaded by the Green Team was a letter writing campaign. This involved the writing and signing of letters which were addressed to the then Prime Minister, The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, and former Minister for the Environment and Energy, The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP. Our letter expressed the Loreto Normanhurst community’s deep concern about the construction of the Adani Coal Mine which will have devastating environmental impacts and is proposed to be constructed on the lands of two Aboriginal communities. Over 100 students signed this letter which was then put into envelopes by the Green Team and sent to our politicians. This campaign enabled us to ensure that our politicians are hearing the voice of young, environmentally aware Australians.

As a school community, we also celebrated several days which promote ecological conservation. We celebrated Earth Hour in March, wherein all electricity was switched off throughout the school for one hour in order to highlight the need for climate action. We also celebrated Snug as a Bug Day in July. On this day, all students rugged up in casual clothes for school in order to conserve energy and raise awareness about the difficulties of those who do not have the luxury of heating as we do. World Environment Day was another important day in the ecological calendar of the school. This was celebrated in June and was marked by the handing out of merits to students with plastic free lunches. We were pleasantly surprised about how many merits we were able to give out.

Finally, as Year 12 prepares to leave, they participated in their final Green Team meeting on Thursday. In order to mark this occasion, the Green Team headed down to the Loreto bush and embarked on a litter picking mission. This final action as Green Team members was reflective of Year 12’s efforts in the ecological life of the school over their time at Loreto Normanhurst.

The Green Team’s work assists in ensuring that Loreto Normanhurst fulfils its commitment to being an Ecology-centred School. As Year 12 leaves Loreto Normanhurst and continues to make an impact on the world around them, we are grateful for the opportunities that Green Team has given us to kick start our passion for ecology and our drive to make change.

 

Elizabeth Isaac

Year 12