Kreative Koalas helping young people solve tomorrow’s problems today

‘Problem solving is the essence of what leaders do’

 “I’ve often contended that the best leaders are the best problem solvers. They have the patience to step back and see the problem at-hand through broadened observation; circular vision. They see around, beneath and beyond the problem itself. They see well-beyond the obvious. The most effective leaders approach problems through a lens of opportunity.” Karl Popper Source

Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future Challenge helps young people solve some of the world’s biggest challenges by giving them ownerhsip of the solutions. Using the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals each school participating in Kreative Koalas is tasked with choosing one main goal to study. Our schools have selected a wide range of SDGs, illustrating the variety of issues important to primary school students.

Continuing our series showcasing the 2019 Kreative Koalas artworks –  let’s have a look at their creative contributions that focus on SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities and SDG 14 Life Below the Water.

Captain Waterways is the split personality koala from Medowie Christian School at Port Stephens who looked at SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation. Half of Captain Waterways represents a healthy waterway; the other half represents an unhealthy one.

Captain Waterway’s main message is ‘Only Rain Down the Storm Drain’.

Inspired by a field visit with Jane from Hunter Local Land Services the Year 3 and 4 Medowie students came up with six initiatives to support clean water.

  1.  Don’t litter
  2. Pick up your dog’s poo
  3. Wash your car on the lawn or at a car wash
  4. Prevent sediment going down the drain
  5. Fix your leaky cars – oil is bad for our waterways
  6. Pick up grass clippings after you mow”

Another koala exhibiting signs of a split personality is Elanora from Oxley Park Public School with one side paying homage to Indigenous Australia.

The school and community are part of Darug land and therefore half of the koala is connected to our past. We wanted to represent water as giving life, hence the black silhouettes of water creatures. Water also gives life to communities and that is represented in the concentric circles on the koala.

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Oxley Park students are working on a range of environmental projects and these are represented on the second half of Elanora, along with their key messages of “Think globally – act locally” and “small change – big impact”.

Elanora is a distinctly city-dwelling koala with ties to her Indigenous ancestry. The messages and mini sustainability projects depicted on her left side are testament to the student’s endeavours and genuine concern for leading a more sustainable lifestyle. By having two sides to Elanora showcases the unique, diverse cultural community of OPPS.”

Oxley Park combined several SDGs including 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, 12: Responsible Consumption and Production and 14: Life Below the Water.

Cessnock Primary School also looked at SDGs 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and 14: Life Below the Water as they created Gumnut. Gumnut is also a split personality koala.

Our theme was to show two futures. One side was a good side, where we as a world choose to recycle and be sustainable. The other side of our Koala represents a world where we don’t recycle, and the world gets overrun with pollution and waste.”

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At the beginning of their Kreative Koala journey students at Cessnock Primary School realised they did not have a recycling program and so their first step was to petition teachers for a bin. This idea became incorporated in Gumnut.

We designed a box, which the koala sits on, and the plinth doubles as a garbage bin that can be opened and removed from the back of the box. Stage 3 students empty it out in afternoons. The sides of the box match the koala. One side is bright and beautiful, the other is a beach littered with rubbish.”

Another split personality koala is Koral Koala from the students at Thornton Public School, in the Hunter Valley, who concentrated on SDG 14: Life Below the Water and, in particular, the effects of litter and pollution.

On one side is a clean flow of water with marine animals alive and well. On the other side is polluted water with litter scattered around. Our message was rain only down the drain.”

Koral incorporates a rainbow fish, made from chip-packets, spewing out storm water. She holds a net she is using to scoop litter from the water and she proudly wears a Thornton Public School hat.

On the ears we painted the aboriginal symbol for community – this was to show that as a community we need to come together to work to help save our environment.”

Also looking at Life Below the Water were students from St Michael’s Primary School at Nelson Bay who created Plastic Pete, a koala with a hidden message.

Students selected to create a beautiful ocean scene with the hidden message, just as plastics can be hidden in the ocean as they break-down.”

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Plastic Pete has fabulous depictions of marine wildlife but students wanted to show the long-term impacts of plastics in the ocean.

Just because the ocean looks clean and beautiful, doesn’t always mean that there aren’t plastics there. They continue to persist in the food chain in smaller and smaller fragments. Plastic Pete is unique as appearances can be deceiving. Below his beautiful ocean scene lie a compilation of common single-use plastics, many of which were collected in our beach clean-up.

Mega shoutout to our supporting partners helping young people solve tomorrow’s problems today

KK Sponsors

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