In his encyclical Laudato si’, Pope Francis declares, “A great cultural, spiritual and educational challenge stands before us, and it will demand that we set out on the long path to renewal.” The challenge that Pope Francis is referring to is the threat that our environment is under. One small such example can be found in a study conducted in the Arctic in 2019.. Such is our society’s infatuation with packaging, scientists have detected micro-particles of plastic falling in snow in the Arctic. Plastic is literally raining from the skies. According to the United Nations, for every square mile in the ocean, there is an estimated 46000 pieces of plastic! The list of environmental concerns could go on and on. Thankfully we are waking up to these concerns, and as a community who are called to build relationships with the poor and marginalised, we are also called to be stewards of the Earth. At ATC we are answering that call.
Hard Work in the The Gully
Huge numbers of students continue to work on the regeneration of the Gully. Led by Year 12 students Alexander Davies, Thomas MacGeorge and Thomas VanGilst, ATC students from all year levels have been attending the Gully Working Bees on Wednesday afternoons. Our committed group of students work tirelessly to weed and extract pest species so that native plants and animals may thrive. Students this year have planted over 200 new trees and continue to monitor the health of the delicate and quite rare ecosystem that we are so fortunate to have on our campus.
In Term 3 ATC students will recommence the construction of Boomerang Bags. Boomerang Bags are eco-bags made from recycled material that would otherwise go straight to landfill. These bags are plastic-free and are perfect to use as shopping bags. An army of students will be designing, cutting, sewing, labelling and creating these unique hand made bags all in the name of sustainability. They were in hot demand last year!
Containers for Change
With 1300 students and over 200 staff we are mindful of our ecological footprint. Led by the Year 5 and Year 9 cohorts, we now participate in a school wide Containers for Change program. The implementation of the yellow recycling bins around our campus ensures that containers that are able to be recycled are separated from general landfill. Adding to the appeal, is the fact that the money generated from these containers being recycled is put back into our recycling and sustainability programs at the school as well as supporting our many friendship groups.
What do Student Leadership and Bees have in common?
Jontay Gothachalkenin and Linus Borger have been leading the way by taking part in the Brisbane City Council sponsored program, Student Environmental Leadership Network (SELN).. As part of this project, Linus and Jontay were tasked with implementing positive change within our school community in relation to the environment. Through their hard work and commitment, they have received funding to establish a new bee colony on ATC grounds. Why is this a good thing? As pollinators, bees play a part in every aspect of the ecosystem. They support the growth of trees, flowers, and other plants, which serve as food and shelter for creatures large and small. Bees contribute to complex, interconnected ecosystems that allow a diverse number of different species to co-exist.
It is not by accident that so many of our Service activities in and around the school relate to sustainability. We are geographically bound to the waterways and with that comes a responsibility to care for the surrounding environment of these waterways. Well done ATCommunity, let’s keep up the good work.