St Thomas More gloves up for Clean Up Australia Day
St Thomas More students have joined thousands from Catholic schools across the diocese in gloving up for Schools Clean Up Australia Day. From clean ups of school grounds and local parks to themed classroom learning and activities raising awareness amongst students and staff, our school has embraced this year’s theme, ‘Change Starts With You’ by taking action to protect and care for our local environment.
Participating in the Schools Clean Up Day has been a fun and engaging way for our students to learn about the best methods for disposing of waste and the damaging environmental repercussions of dumping rubbish irresponsibly, while playing an active role in the solution by helping clean up their local area.
Our students participated in a clean up on the first Friday in March. Classes discussed the importance of picking up rubbish around us and the purpose of a campaign like Clean Up Australia Day. Each grade then had fun being outdoors and cleaning up their special area of the school.
“It was a great opportunity for the school to come together as a community and take time to care for the environment,” St Thomas More WEN Coordinator, Lauren Walsh said.
“We contributed to Clean Up Australia Day by cleaning up our whole school. Our Year 5 classes had to clean up the oval and you won’t believe some of the things we found – from cans to crates to high-heeled shoes!” Year 5 student, Imogen said.
“Cleaning up the oval was a lot of fun. We had our gloves and picked up so much rubbish, it filled our whole bin,” classmate, Amali said.
Not-for-profit environmental conservation organisation that started this community event 30 years ago, Clean Up Australia, says every young volunteer across schools and youth clean up sites is ‘AWE-some’. That is:
- (A)wareness – their eyes have been opened to the scale of rubbish that is harming our environment and wildlife;
- (W)ellbeing – their reward is a better understanding of how keeping the environment healthy is part of leading a healthy life;
- (E)mpowerment – they are now empowered to continue to take positive action to make their schools, clubs, sporting grounds and outdoor spaces the cleanest places they can be.
“The kids of Australia, led by their teachers and youth leaders, are showing us all that they really care. Their efforts across the country are raising awareness and developing leadership skills as our young people take up the challenge of creating a more sustainable and waste-efficient future,” Terrie-Ann Johnson, Clean Up Australia Managing Director said.
An encouraging additional dimension of our school's environmental awareness and action is that our ongoing focus is now as much on preventing rubbish entering our environment, as it is removing what has already accumulated – initiatives such as waste-free or ‘nude food’ lunch days, adopting a more environmentally-friendly multi-bin waste management system, and our participation in the Vinnies ‘Return and Earn’ program.