200 school students from 20 regional schools will come together at the Southern Great Barrier Reef Regional Schools “Reef Together” Convention for International Year of the Reef (IYOR), Bundaberg Multiplex Exhibition Hall, Monday 10 September, 2018, 9am.
Students will showcase their environmental projects to Earth Hour Founder and Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef CEO Andy Ridley, Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort Managing Director Peter Gash, Plastic Pollution Solutions Founder Anthony Hill, Dr Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Queensland Coordinator Peta Wilson, Queensland Department of Environment and Science Chief Scientist, Dr Col Limpus, Save the Bilby Fund Co-Founder Frank Manthey, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Mon Repos Turtle Ranger In Charge Cathy Gatley and 250 scientists and attendees from the Australian Marine Turtle Symposium (8-10 Sept).
Reef Together, supported by a Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Reef Guardian Stewardship Grant, is designed to engage student learning, inspire students through guest speakers, showcase school projects, workshop and share ideas, and collaborate for the greater good of the environment.
“It is International Year of the Reef this year. We are looking forward to Reef Together to hear from Mr Andy Ridley from Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef to see what else we can do to help the Reef,” said year 6 Kalkie State School student and Reef Guardian Leader, Lawson Bignell.
“At Bargara State School we create bees wax wraps to use instead of plastic. It will be great to come together with other schools to share ideas and enthusiasm to help the environment,” said year 6 student and Reef Guardian Leader, Natalie Ephraims.
“St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School practices ‘Nude Foods’ to reduce rubbish. We are looking forward to Reef Together, it will be nice to inspire others also. We heard Elliot Heads State School is just starting ‘Nude Foods’, we will be able to give them ideas,” said St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School student, Khobi Patrick.
Year 9 St Luke’s Anglican School student, Halle Gregson-Allcott said, “As Junior Turtle Rangers at Mon Repos, we learn about science, turtles and protecting the environment. We also help people coming to see the turtles become more aware about how they too can help look after turtles and the ocean. I’m excited about Reef Together, learning from the speakers, and seeing what other students in our area are doing to help the environment.”
The idea of Reef Together originated when Kalkie State School and Bargara State School students shared their ideas when the Education Queensland Director General visited in 2017. St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School was the newest GBRMPA Reef Guardian School so the three schools decided to collaborate to design the first regional environmental convention to support student learning and engagement, and the
International Year of the Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Reef Guardian Schools annual ‘Future Leaders Eco Challenge’ (FLEC) is also being held at Reef Together, with a focus on plastic pollution and actions that we can all take to love the Reef. The Reef Guardian School program has inspired 297 Queensland schools to become Reef Guardian schools, 17 in the Bundaberg Region, to learn Reef and environmental protection and conservation. More than 120,000 students and 7400 teachers are involved.
Reef Together is kindly supported by KNAUF Plasterboard Bundaberg and Guzman Y Gomez Bundaberg. The Reef Together event has been proudly offset by Greenfleet, a leading not-for-profit environmental organisation. Greenfleet will plant 150 native trees to offset carbon emissions relating to the event and protect our climate. “Greenfleet is delighted to be contributing to Great Barrier Reef conservation through the Low Glow project and by supporting events such as Reef Together. We believe that we need to work together now to achieve real impact on our environment for the future”, said Wayne Wescott, CEO Greenfleet.