The Seabin Foundation saw the culmination of their three month pilot program with Byron High School come to fruition on December 9.
A group of students from Byron High School called Positive Change for Byron High (PCFBH), ran an event aimed at giving the students the opportunity to learn how to organise an event while making conscious decisions along the way, to reduce their footprint. The event was called the Seabin Bloom Experience and invited any students from the school to register for a day of workshops for cleaner oceans and a healthier planet.
Mahi Paquette, COO of the Seabin Foundation, was the driver of the pilot program and meet with students on a weekly fortnight basis for three months to set up the event.
The program was directed by the students who veered away from a panel and speakers towards more hands on practice workshops that they could lear from.
‘They said they’d heard enough about the issues and wanted practice ideas on how to do things that would make a difference,’ said Ms Paquette.
‘The final event was a series of eight workshops that included making beeswax wraps, surf wax, eco-friendly screen printing, planting trees, indigenous bushwalk, beach walk, surfing, making eco body care products and cooking veggie burgers and smoothies with ingredients sourced from local markets and bulk stores.’
Having organised the Summit To Sea conference earlier this year Ms Paquette said that they had learnt a huge amount about putting on an event. Combining the volunteer work she had previously done with Positive Change for Marine Life and PCFBH she applied for the Byron Shire Council event funding to help pass on that learning.
‘You have to ask yourself what do you print? How do you reach people? What do you feed people? There are lots of questions around how you put on a event without making a big footprint,’ said Ms Paquette.
The young people involved said it was a great experience to work with a range of different ideas and learn how to compromise as well as working with people wh they hadn’t previously known.
Ms Paquette said that after the success of the pilot program they would look at running the program again at other local schools.
‘We learnt plenty through this pilot program and would make some changes to run it again at other local school.’