In 2017, we worked with environmental artist Peter Day on the Brolga pathways project. Students made life sized brolga sculptures that we placed out in paddocks, by roadways, in the main street and on farms.
We then organised a brolga sightings register and collected brolga sightings with our community.
It was a fantastic project and our students and many people in the community became involved in the sightings register. Creative Victoria and the CCMA provided the funding for this project.
We learnt that the brolga is a threatened species in our landscape. We learnt about brolga in indigenous culture, the stories and the dance, and its habitat, nesting, diet and features.
We shared our learning with the community. We made brolga ambassador badges and now work as leaders in this field. We went to Alvie Primary and shared our learning with them.
Premiers Sustainability award
In 2018 Beeac Primary School won the Premiers Sustainability Award for the Education section which meant that we were the only school in Victoria to win this award in 2018.
Annual brolga sightings
In term three each year we now collect brolga sightings. We work with Dr. Inka Veltheim to register our sightings with Victorian Biodiversity Atlas. This means that our schools work is helping to protect the brolga in our district.
The Melbourne Zoo
The Melbourne Zoo loved the Beeac Brolga Pathways Project and invited our students to the Fighting Extinction day where our student leaders presented the brolga project to students from many other schools.
Staff from our school and Peter Day were also invited to speak at the Melbourne Zoo, Empathy, Ethics and Animals Conference in front of 200 teachers, many of whom were inspired by our project.
We will continue working with the Zoo and children will be going for another special day at the Melbourne Zoo in fourth term. The Zoo have given our children two free zoo days in recognition of their work on the Brolga Project.
This year we will be making posters, postcards and brochures which will inform the community about the brolga and how to maintain or create brolga friendly wetlands. We will be working with artist, Anne Sande on this project, which will provide a wonderful artistic extension opportunity for our students. The Colac Shire provided the funding for this project.
Sustainability and Connection
We learnt from Peter Day the value of connecting students with the environment with real, hands on environmental work. This influences all our ecology projects now.
The back paddock…our indigenous native plants and grasses
We are now learning about native grasses and plants and transforming our back paddock into a native grassland with other native plants. We will be building a bike track into the paddock to enhance children’s opportunities for engaging with this.
Students went to Ecolinc and learnt all about native grasslands and they planted the seeds for grasses and plants for our garden. We will have our first planting on the 6th of August. Each year we will add to the plantings until our garden is complete.
Our Vegetable Garden
We continue our veggie garden with different veggies each season which provides us with wonderful produce for our cooking classes.
Among other vegetables we are also planting native yam, and Warrior Greens (which is the native spinach)
We are also establishing our chook shed and are very excited to get our chooks in third term.
Resource Smart Sustainability Victoria
Beeac is a Resource Smart School and this term we are working on our re-cycling processes.