More than 50 high school students and teachers from 10 schools in the region have being taking part in the fifth Students Using Sustainable Strategies (SUSS) Forum at Lismore, participating in a range of hands-on activities and workshops about waste, recycling, water conservation, energy and biodiversity auditing, and sustainable food production.
Three days of intensive activity about sustainability has produced another group of better-informed students and teachers to share their knowledge with their schools and broader communities.
‘Not only do they learn about these important aspects to sustainability in our communities; they also take part in leadership training and public speaking so they can share their newfound skills and information with other students, their families and their communities,’ said SUSS Coordinator, Hannah Rice Hayes.
Among the workshop’s speakers have been local Indigenous Elder Aunty Thelma Roberts, sharing her knowledge, and Kim Kairies from Dorroughby Education Centre talking about ‘guerrilla gardening’, while the Ballina Shire Council’s Environmental Education team organised ‘recycling relays’.
Each year the SUSS tree planting has been extending the rainforest along the Wilsons River at the college and this year the last local Green Corps Team, managed by ENVITE, were on hand to share their learning and experience with the students, training them in native species planting and maintenance along the river banks.
‘While the students were busy becoming the environmental leaders of tomorrow, their teachers also developed additional skills in managing environmental sustainability in schools. SUSS is unique in that it provides learning opportunities for both students and teachers,’ said Ms Rice Hayes.