Students take the lead at annual conference

Melbourne Girls College Community Leadership winnersMelbourne Girls’ College held its tenth annual Student Environment Conference attended by 100 students from across Melbourne. The Repower Conference held on 30 August 2012 was a big celebration of the school’s ongoing community engagement around contemporary environmental issues.

Students also came up with other innovative projects that engaged the broader school community.

Challenges

The school had a problem with contaminated compost. To overcome this, student representatives created an “Adopt a Worm” campaign. They made individual worm sponsorship cards with a biography of the worm and the 'likes' and 'dislikes' of the sponsor worm.

Students sponsored worms for $1. This paid for more worms to replace the ones that perished over the hot summer. Worm sponsor certificates endeared the worms to the wider school community. It also made students think about what worms could and couldn’t eat. This helped reduce the misuse (contamination) of worm bins.

Actions

Students and teachers took action to implement a number of community leadership initiatives: 

  • student environment representatives and the MGC Sustainability Collective developed the program for the Repower Conference. They invited schools and guest speakers to the event
  • the Repower Conference featured presenters from CERES, Future Spark, Beyond Zero Emissions, Pacific Hydro, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, the Australian Conservation Foundation and Climate Change campaigner Rod Quantock 
  • four captains of the student environment team attended the Department of Education’s World Environment Day lunch and presented on the school’s environmental campaigns 
  • another initiative introduced by the Environmental Science class was the Pedal Pledge for Solar challenge where students challenged their peers to give up their favourite electronic device for two weeks. This community engagement strategy was extended to ten weeks with the aim of raising funds for a community solar farm.

ResourceSmart Community Leadership School of the Year 2013 category sponsored by: