Students at Sathya Sai Primary School in Murwillumbah went the extra mile for a special dolphin that lives in the ocean off Byron Bay, with a cleanup at Fingal Head last Friday.
The school is a partner of Dolphin Research Australia (DRA) and for the past three years the school community has adopted Scooter the dolphin.
DRA founding director and executive officer, Dr Elizabeth Hawkins, joined the students during their beach and park cleanup.
As part of its link with DRA, the school hosts a Dolphin Club for children, combining scientific investigation of marine ecosystems and dolphins with personal reflections on what humans can learn from these amazing animals.
School support officer Isabela Keski-Franti founded the club four years ago with year 5/6 teacher and school sports co-ordinator Michelle Dwyer.
Ms Keski-Franti, DRA’s education program manager, said the idea for the clean up came from a tradition shared by indigenous tribes around the world to show gratitude for environments that we use.
‘Because we are able to use this beautiful landscape for our cross-country, we want the children to be able to show gratitude for that by giving something back,’ she said.
‘The children understand that by cleaning up the beach environment they’re preventing rubbish from going back into the ocean. Therefore they’re helping Scooter and his family and all the creatures in the sea.’
Ms Keski-Franti said the cleanup was also a great opportunity to put the school’s focus on human values into action because it balances out an event focused on competition and beating your personal best with a cooperative activity.