Sharing culture across the globe

Local youth connect with kids from Kodiak Island, Alaska

Deadly Bunarm Boys (Ramone and Kyle) from Southern Cross School of Distance Education.

Deadly Bunarm Boys (Ramone and Kyle) from Southern Cross School of Distance Education.

Katie Grubb

Local Indigenous students from Southern Cross School of Distance Education spent last week around Lennox Head and Ballina sharing culture and discussing global issues such as marine debris with youth from Kodiak Island, Alaska.

Called Cross Current Collaborative, it aims to create global perspectives, share culture and create positive futures for young kids.

All via the internet.

Despite Alaska’s distance from here, some of the problems their community faces are not that different from our own. As indigenous cultures still partly rely on subsistence living, issues such as marine debris are very real for them.

Marine debris

Thongs and other marine debris that fall off ships were an issue for both locals and Alaskans.

Kodiak Island kids said that one year their whole beach was covered by marine debris, and another year  boxes of fireworks washed up from Japan.

Activities for the week included a beach and lake cleanup, a turtle release, cultural dancing, canoeing, and collecting water samples.

The best part was a live snake show that was broadcast from Australia to Kodiak Island, where 65 Alaskan schools, as well as local distance-education students, attended the event virtually, and asked questions in real time.

Short video clips were made each day of the event and were shared globally.

It was the first time ever that a state school in the northern rivers area has live-streamed globally and shared culture like this.

Adviser to NSW Department of Education (Distance Education Technology) David Foley, told The Echo, ‘It opens our kids up to the world and opens the Kodiak Island kids up too, because they are also in an isolated community.’

  • The Cross Current Collaborative was supported by The Australian Marine Debris Initiative, Seabird Rescue, NSW Parks and Wildlife, Tangaroa Blue, Byron Bay Surf Festival, Plastic Free Byron, Positive Change For Marine Life and the Dorroughby Environmental Education Centre.
  • Katie Grubb is from Tangaroa Blue


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