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Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle www.mnnews.today/aurora-magazine
Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si' challenges the
world community to accept responsibility to care for
the ear th. Students and staff of St Joseph's Lochinvar
have accepted that challenge with gusto, spending a
day focusing on all things environmental.
Gardening guru and guest, Angus Stewar t of
ABC TV's "Gardening Australia", cer tainly had
the attention of students when he admitted,
"Manure happens every day -- let's make the most
of it." In fact, much of his presentation was about
utilising waste -- from kitchen scr aps to manure
to "wor m wee" -- in the garden. Stewar t's
laidback style, with the occasional dad joke
thrown in for good measure, was an excellent
beginning to St Joseph's Environmental Expo.
As principal Paul Greaves impressed on the
students, "Let's not have any nor mal classes....
there are matters we need to address ! " Those
matter s involved a series of demonstrations
and presentations focusing on everything from
wildlife rescue and land care to weed er adication,
appreciating biodiver sity and learning firsthand
what 'firies' do.
A highlight for most students -- including visitor s
from St Patrick's Primary, Lochinvar -- was the
'live' demonstr ation by staff from the Austr alian
ST JOSEPH'S LOCHINVAR IS AS
ENVIRONMENTAL AS ANYTHING
Cambelle Seeque of Year 10 and Ben Stanwell of Year 9 enjoyed meeting John
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Reptile Park, including Priscilla, the diamond
python and Rosie, the roaming alligator. Hunter
Wildlife Rescue's John Penman was accompanied
by Lacey, a bat which had been injured and
cannot fly but which is a regular visitor to schools
and other groups.
Event organiser and Science Co-ordinator
Paulina Phillips said, "The day is largely motivated
by my own passion for our environment. I
think it is possibly the singular most impor tant
message we can impress on young people. I
am hoping students will realise that St Joseph's
is willing to go to great lengths to stress the
impor tance of caring for the environment. The
issue is so much wider than just planting trees
and tur ning lights off. I want them to recognise
that the whole r ange of social justice issues runs
parallel to every environmental debate."
Year 9 student Ben Stanwell feels strongly about
environmental issues, and said during the enviro-
day, "We're putting so much effor t into such an
old, non-renewable and wasteful process which
is mining coal and then shipping it away. In the
Hunter we're very affected by coal. A lot of
people believe we have no economy without
it. There are so many cleaner alternatives....
the mining industry could move towards less
polluting materials. I think today we will see a
shift in people's outlook, a massive change in
students' seeing things that will benefit
School leader s Chloe Parker and Josephene
Everett wer e enthusiastic about the day, with
Chloe saying, "Composting, shor ter shower s
-- little things can add up and have a positive
In the words of Pope Francis, "...young people
have a new ecological sensitivity and a generous
spirit, and some of them are making admirable
effor ts to protect the environment. At the same
time, they have grown up in a milieu of extreme
consumerism and affluence which makes it
difficult to develop other habits. We are faced
with an educational challenge." (n209)
St Joseph's Lochinvar is meeting the challenge!
To see a gallery of photos, please visit
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