Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Starting small to make a big difference was one of the pledges that local kids made at the recent Kids Teaching Kids Conference held at the Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club.

Over 290 young people attended the 2 day conference, from 12 different schools from the Perth and Peel region.

This was the seventh year that the City of Mandurah has held this conference and it was declared a success by everyone involved.

This year’s highlights included talks by Western Australian Young Achiever 2018 nominee Bella Burgemeister, and Catrina luz Aniere the CEO of Millennium Kids. Another highlight was the expert panel where students were able to ask the ‘experts’ all sorts of questions ranging from: the renewable energy transition, working with alternative fuel sources, ways to recycle more effectively, to how they can personally start to make a big change.

Each school involved in the Kids Teaching Kids Conference led a different workshopping session, which was student run. Both Frederick Irwin School’s conducted workshops on worm farms, St Damien’s Catholic Primary School ran workshops on plastics in waterways, and John Tonkin College ran workshops on Migratory Shorebirds and protecting their habitat, just to name a few.

The year 2 students from Meadow Springs Primary school kick-started the conference with a play named “the 4th Rmigo” which explained the 4 important “R’s” for waste management and the environment being: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Refuse.

On Day 2 of the conference - out at Baldivis Children’s Forest - the weather was excellent and the students got to learn about overfishing, wrote love notes and poems to the trees, and got to go on a tracks, traces and scats hunt around the wetland. A popular session was drawing aboriginal artworks with the help of local Noongar artist Lea Taylor.

The opening address was made by Mandurah Mayor Rhys Williams. The Mayor made the point that he was not talking to future leaders, but rather just leaders.

“This is one of my favourite events because they provide us – the City – with an insight into what our young people feel is important,” the Mayor said.

“This year Mandurah Baptist College students won a City of Mandurah Scholarship to attend the National Water Kids Teaching Kids conference.

“These young people pledged to ban helium balloons in their school and encouraged the wider community to follow their lead.

“They were the reason that the City of Mandurah has pledged to become single use plastic free within one year.

“I know the students at this year’s conference will incorporate what they learned into their school practices as well in their everyday lives and within their families.” The Mayor said.

Schools that attended included:

• Halls Head College
• Coolbinia Primary School
• Meadow Springs Primary School
• John Tonkin College
• Frederick Irwin Anglican School – Meadow Springs
• Frederick Irwin Anglican School- Halls Head
• Baldivis Secondary College
• Lakelands Primary School
• Assumption Catholic Primary School
• Mandurah Baptist College
• Junior Council
• St Damien’s Catholic Primary School