“I was able to open up ideas, I looked through the lens of my teammates, and by putting our brains together we have come up with an idea that may be difficult but possible to do. Overall, we are thinking big and are exhilarated for the weeks to come.” Student feedback
The Young Environmental Champions program is officially off and running with launch events held in February across the Hunter and Hawkesbury regions.
At the Hunter launch event we were joined by representatives from the University of Newcastle, local councils, Office of Regional Youth and Local Land Services. Special guests were teacher Kristen Jones, who spoke passionately about challenges that face schools in the modern era
And Zane Osborn from Hamilton Public School who spoke about students teaching their peers, using Hamilton’s Blue Gate Garden TV as a wonderful example.
At the Hawkesbury event we were joined by representatives from RDA (Regional Development Australia) Sydney and the Greater Sydney Landcare Network.
YEC is funded by the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation and the Office of Regional Youth and engages leadership coach Josh Farr to facilitate student workshops while teachers have the chance to learn with changeologist Les Robinson.
As part of the launch events 50 students from primary and secondary schools representing ten Local Government Areas attended Josh’s initial workshops where he introduced team building and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which will underpin projects designed by students over the ten-week program.
Students relished the chance to network with like minded young people and to make connections with those in the workplace such as representatives from local councils and Josh’s discussion on the structure of teams particularly resonated with students:
“I found the four styles of teamwork – planner, connector, dreamer, do’er – and how they contribute, extremely interesting and expect it to be useful.”
Students commented that they learnt more about the value of brainstorming ideas, planning, asking questions and to look at a problem from another’s point of view, and showed great interest in learning more about the SDGs and how they can be applied to their own challenges and visions.
Future workshops, both online and in-person, will strengthen the skills and ideas ignited in the first workshop and will look at design thinking and project planning, including presentations from special guests.
A final pitch event will be held on May 12 where students will showcase their visions for a sustainable tomorrow.
Teachers will be supported to, in turn, support their students through a workshops, held in early March, with Les Robinson
Both teachers and students will be invited to a special workshop delivered by Headspace on self-care for volunteers.
We, at Action4Agriculture, are excited to see the launch of Young Environmental Champions and can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s leaders create today to show us their vision of a better world. And we are thrilled to see our enthusiasm mirrored in the participating students:
#youngenvironmentalchampions #creatingabetterworldtogether #yec