At St Teresa's Catholic College, we recognise the dignity and sacredness of our environment. Staff and students work together to respond in sustainable ways to our natural environment, considering the impact we have on our campus and community.
The St Teresa's Eco-Committee was established in 2017 to enable student stewardship of the College's natural environment and student leadership of broader initiatives relating to the environment. Ms Geraldine Pettit, our Curriculum Development Leader for Languages, has been the teacher mentor for the Eco-Committee since inception.
“We roll our sleeves up together and the adults work alongside the students to model care for the environment," Ms Pettit said.
“The work of the committee is also a response to Pope Francis 'Laudato Si' call to action."
Over the past 5 years, the committee has truly established itself, both in the College community and the broader community, working locally with Noosa Council, Noosa Youth Advocacy group, Pomona Landcare and involvement in national initiatives such as Clean Up Australia Day and Worn Up uniform recycling.
The College has had membership of Eco-Schools Australia and currently holds Bronze accreditation. Some committee members also sit on the Noosa Advocacy Group.
The Eco-Committee meets fortnightly in the student's lunch break. Meetings are well organised with a roll, agenda and minutes which are shared online. The fantastic groundsmen, Mike, Simon and Ned attend all committee meetings and provide invaluable support to the students and their projects.
Some of the committee's initiatives in 2017 included planting of native trees on campus, providing additional recycling bins, a water van for athletics carnivals to encourage bottle refills and clean-up event in conjunction with Clean Up Australia Day.
They acquired their first beehive in November 2019 and split it to create 2 beehives in December 2020. This year, they will split again to create 4 hives. House Groups are invited to use the 'prayer for the bees' next to the hives.
In 2020 the committee started fundraising for their projects by recycling 10c containers. Committee members work with the groundsmen to sort the containers for pick-up.
Also, the 2020 leaders sponsored a coral for each House to help regenerate the Great Barrier Reef. The Houses had great fun naming their coral.
The College's bush tucker garden was created by the 2021 leaders and is flourishing. This year a native garden was planted with 100 plants which the College won through participation at the 2021 Climate Summit. This includes some endangered local species which will be propagated by Pomona Landcare to ensure survival of the species.
St Teresa's was recently asked to speak at the International Women's Day Zonta Club breakfast and Environment Leader Kristin Self presented a speech on the impact of climate change on women.
We are excited for what the future may hold for the committee and how these students will sustainably impact the world around them.
Some future initiatives already being considered for the College include: improvements to the composting system, soft plastic recycling and house-themed flower gardens.