Students take over teaching for environmental gains

04 September 2018

Children from across the district took over teaching in Hamilton today when they hosted workshops to educate their fellow students about environmental issues.

The initiative is part of the award-winning Kids Teaching Kids program being coordinated by Wannon Water in conjunction with Hamilton North Primary School. The event was supported by Barwon South West Waste and Resource Recovery Group, the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and ResourceSmart Schools.

Around 140 children gathered to listen to presentations and take part in hands-on activities throughout the day including sessions on recycled art, reducing rubbish, biodiversity and the war on waste.

Wannon Water took the opportunity to promote its new campaign encouraging people to ‘Be Clever – Never Ever’, highlighting the importance of keeping non-biodegradable items out of sewerage systems and helping to contribute to a cleaner environment.

The campaign calls on locals to be clever and never ever flush anything other than the three Ps – pee, poo and (toilet) paper down the toilet. The message comes as Wannon Water has noticed an increasing number of products such as wet wipes, baby wipes and antibacterial wipes getting clogged in pipes and on the screens at the Hamilton Sewage Treatment Plant.

The package may claim the wipes are ‘flushable’, but they don’t break down or disintegrate like toilet paper. Across Australia, it costs the community millions of dollars every year to deal with the issues the products cause, not to mention the potential for long-term impacts in the environment.

Kids Teaching Kids involved students from Hamilton North Primary School, Penshurst Primary School, Merrivale Primary School and Our Lady Help of Christians in Warrnambool.

Wannon Water’s Engagement and Education Advisor Catherine Grist said it was the fourth year the corporation has coordinated the event. “Investing in education in our region is part of Wannon Water’s strategic direction of going “beyond water for strong communities,” Ms Grist said.

“Being part of Kids Teaching Kids gives students the tools to manage their own learning and become confident, caring and informed citizens ready to take on new challenges in our community.