Sustainability

In his Catholic Social Teaching encyclical (n. 15), Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home, Pope Francis entreats ‘All of us’ to ‘cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents’ (n. 14). He reminds us that the forgiving earth, our ‘sister’, ‘now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her.’ Laudato Si’ (n. 2).

(Education for Sustainability in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, 2015)

At Stella Maris we are taking steps towards the goal of embedding sustainability in everything we do and becoming a more sustainable school. Since 2012, we have been registered as a ResourceSmart School. Guided by our facilitators from CERES, we have participated in programs offered by various organisations that focus on environmental sustainability. We have established networks throughout the community and with other local schools. Some such programs include the Teaching and Learning for Sustainability Leadership Program (through the Port Phillip Eco-centre), the ‘I Sea: I Care’ Ambassador Program with the Dolphin Research Institute and our innovative whole school approach to waste management. These, along with participation in initiatives such as Active Travel days (Ride 2 School Day and Walktober) and maintaining our chicken community and Kitchen Garden have been incredibly successful over such a short timeframe. The main benefits seen from all such programs so far are the changes in attitude and enthusiasm from our children and staff. Everyone is on board!

In time, Stella Maris aims to achieve a 5 star sustainability rating as a ResourceSmart School. Our ultimate goal is to promote student ‘Voice and Choice’ and develop a culture of young leaders, actively engaged in making a difference with a ‘Think Global – Act Local’ attitude; Children with a growing awareness of local and worldly environmental issues, and skills to pass on to other children through a ‘Kids teaching Kids’ approach.

Current Projects:

-       Composting waste

-       Maintaining a chook shed

-       The creations of our ‘Peace Garden’

-       Observing bird boxes

-       Planting, maintaining and harvesting our Kitchen Garden

-       ‘Chop and Chat’ composting (Year 3)

-       Teaching and Learning For Sustainability leadership program with the Port Philip Eco-centre (Year 6)

-       ‘I Sea, I Care’ Ambassador Program with Dolphin Research Institute (DRI) (Year 6 School Captains)

Find out more about our partners:

CERES http://sustainability.ceres.org.au/ 

DRI http://www.dolphinresearch.org.au/ 

Port Phillip Eco Centre http://www.ecocentre.com/ 

Would you like to view a copy of the Education for Sustainability in the Archdiocese of Melbourne framework? Contact truyg@smbeaumaris.catholic.edu.au