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The Renaissance of the Eco Warrior

Cr. Julian Simmonds, Thomas and Brian Venz

In an world where sustainability and care for the environment is at the forefront of conversations, the Ambrose Treacy College Eco Warriors have created a rejuvenation model for others to follow.

Students have impressed community leaders, environmental groups and our staff with their approached to the Gully Project, whereby a neglected, weed infested and poor quality piece of natural vegetation in a crital location close the the Brisbane River, has been turned into a haven for local habitat, full of prime flora native to the area. It has been labelled ‘a haven of natural beauty amidst the urbanised environment.’

The Gully Project in its infancy.

Rather than simply filling the space with any tree, the warriors decided that only native trees be planted, knowing that they would attract the native fauna to the area. With their deep knowledge of plant and animal life, the purpose and integrity of the students was not questioned and in fact, as the young men continue to promote environmental awareness and sustainability within the community and beyond, their knowledge base continues to grow.

Year 4 'Plant a Tree Day.'

This week marks two very important events for the project. Tuesday afternoon saw the official School Yard Reveal, where a network of community organisations were invited to view the amazing work of our students. Prospective families attending our Twilight Tour and neighbours were invited to share a BBQ and chat with the students who have been at the forefront of the project.

On Friday evening the Eco Warriors group along with student, Alexander Davies will attend the annual Healthy Land and Waterways Gala event, having been nominated as finalists in the group and individual awards categories. This event acknowledges both the thousands of hours of work input on the project and the passion and zeal the Eco Warriors group have for our environment. We all sometimes take for granted the tireless work of our committed environmentalists, in particular Alex Davies, Thomas VanGilst and Thomas MacGeorge. The accolades they have received by being nominated, and the praise from Brisbane Catchments Network, Cubberla-Witton Catchments Network, Oxley Creek Catchment Asssoication and Healthy Land and Waterways formalises the community’s demonstrates the magnitude of their transformational project.

Club member, Matthew and Mr. Senior

Collaboratively, the Eco Warriors have successfully worked with the College ground staff, teaching staff and community groups. They have not only listened to suggestions and the wisdom shared, they have also played a huge role in the decision-making process, from sourcing the correct plants, ordering tools and equipment and keeping a close eye on the gully, the young men have blossomed into leaders within the College.

In a society where having different interests can be seen as ‘not cool’, this group of students have challenged the status quo. With courage, they have demonstrated their passion for their cause, putting in the hard work and promoting their respect for the environment. In doing so, they have built a following of loyal supporters who admire their dedication and truly appreciate the green space they have created for everyone at our school.

Without the grant obtained from Cubberla-Witton Catchment Network and the Australian Government it would not have been possible to realise our dream or rejuvenating the Gully precinct and combined with the commitment, passion and drive of our student-led group, we can now all enjoy a haven of beauty. Special thanks and acknowledgement should also be given to those who supported this initiative: Healthy Land and Water, Brisbane Catchments Network, Brisbane City Council, Oxley Creek Catchment Association and ATC parents. We look forward to remaining in close contact and having your support on our next project! Watch this green space!

Bernard Wong
Coordinator of Environmental Club

See our Facebook page for more photos.