With 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to choose from it is no wonder our 2022 Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future primary schools explored a world of diversity. For example, just three schools in our Newcastle cluster investigated five different SDG:
- SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being
- SDG 5: Gender Equality
- SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
- SDG 13: Climate Action
- SDG 15: Life on Land
Looking at SDG 15 and 13 to investigate the effects of fire were students from Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School who named their koala “Alinta”. Alinta illustrates the effects of both unmanaged bushfires and controlled cultural burns.
To show these contrasting fire regimes Alinta became a split-personality koala. Bright colours on Alinta’s back represent the destruction of out-of-control bushfires, while cooler colours represent regrowth after managed cultural burns. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from Years 1-6 assisted in creating traditional art for inclusion on Alinta and the local Aboriginal community taught all the students about managing the land with fire.
“Our entire school community was positively impacted by our involvement in the Kreative Koala program. All students were educated about the negative impacts of out-of-control bush fires on our climate, communities and wildlife. Students are now armed with the knowledge of how we can take on Aboriginal ways of healing the land through fire and feel hopeful about the difference we can make.”
Looking at SDG 3 and 5 were students from St Joseph’s Primary School who designed a koala named, appropriately, Joseph (or Joey for short!). Involving Year 4 and 5 students across PDHPE, Mathematics, Science and English, Joseph represents sports and physical activities the students can participate in to remain healthy.
Joseph is resplendent in green and gold, Australia’s national sporting colours, and adorned with both the Australian and Aboriginal flags. Hand-drawn pictures across the koala represent the activities the students enjoy and the inclusion of the Olympic rings alludes to aspirations for the future.
“We used our love of different sports to create this original design and we showed the statue the same respect that we would for a living creature.”
Students from St Paul’s Primary School chose SDG 7 and created Kristie, the sustainability warrior,
“to promote energy saving tips, to demonstrate the most efficient forms of clean renewable energy and promote the work of climate activists Greta Thunberg and Pope Francis in our school and community”.
Kristie is a smart-looking environmental activist koala. She wears a hat featuring solar-powered fans and a shirt showcasing clean energy sources such as hydroelectric, wind, solar and geothermal. Images of traditional bush tucker remind us to take only what we need and Baiame, the creator, represents the knowledge we can learn from Aboriginal nations.
“We have given Kristie a shirt advertising climate action. We believe clothing is a great way to advertise and promote how to save energy. Greta [Thunberg] is currently going after fast fashion as a new initiative … [and we wanted] to support climate activists like Greta to keep governments accountable for their role in saving the environment.”
Congratulations to all schools in our Newcastle cluster for showcasing the diversity of the Sustainable Development Goals.