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Meet Generation Green: Sustainability at Learning in Residence (LiR)

Our Learning in Residence (LiR) Prefects, Harriet Norman and Angie Selkirk, identified three areas of service that they would like our community to support each year - environment, animal welfare and vulnerable groups. To mark World Oceans Day, our students travelled to Lake Connewarre Wildlife Reserve and engaged in a range of activities that will have a positive impact on the ecological diversity of the area.

Lake Connewarre is the largest area of remnant Indigenous vegetation on the Bellarine Peninsula and is of particular importance for maintaining the ecological diversity of the region. Henry Kisby from Conservation Volunteers Australia put this opportunity together for our Year 9 and 10 students, as well as some students in Years 11 and 12 (who were able to take a break from their studies) in partnership with Southern Ocean Environmental Link and the Geelong Field and Game Club.

Throughout the day students engaged in three different activities:

Activity 1: Plastic Recycling workshop

Staff from Southern Ocean Environmental Link explained where plastic comes from, the various types of plastic and how to identify if they are recyclable or not. Students discussed the impact of plastics on our environment and more specifically, our wetlands and oceans. They learnt about the recycling process, separating different types of plastics and inserting the plastics into a machine that melted and injected the melted plastic into a pen mould, creating recycled pens the students could use.

Activity 2: Re-vegetation session

Students planted 200 silver tussocks and there were prizes awarded for those who planted the grass to the highest standard.

Activity 3: Litter blitz

Students finished the day by picking up any litter they found scattered around the reserve.

Here are some reflections from our students on their community service activities:

‘The LiR community service was an insightful and important experience. The Lake Connewarre Wildlife Reserve helped teach us about how our waste negatively impacts Australia’s ecosystems. As we are in a position of privilege at Wesley College, we have a responsibility to use our initiative and make change. After my time at the Wildlife Reserve, I look forward to being involved in future Community Service Programs.’ - Tara O’Brien

‘Participating in the community service program at Lake Connewarre Wildlife reserve was a valuable experience which developed my knowledge about the detrimental effects of plastic on the environment. I am pleased that I had the opportunity to participate in this experience as it taught me valuable lessons on how to reduce our waste, recycle responsibly and protect the environment in alternative, sustainable ways.’ - Cate Martin

Tyler Gavralas - Senior Residential Mentor (Programs), Learning in Residence