2020 blog continues


Firstly – while we welcome in the new year we do not welcome the devastation that has been taking place. Our hearts go out to all affected including the natural world and its inhabitants.

This blog has been neglected, so we will gradually catch up.

But an important piece of information that needs to be found by as many people as possible is that there is a major conference on February 14th and 15th February in Melbourne The National Climate Emergency Summit.





RCE Gippsland Meeting 12/12/2018

Schools Expo. 2019
Planning continued for an East Gippsland hosted event in 2019
• Sam to contact Nagle College (Andrea) to see if they would consider hosting the next Expo. First or second week in September (5th?) in 2019.
• We need to be applying for LGA funding. “Biodiversity: safeguarding the future” theme was determined by the group based on the information Raq provided about the school and its setting. Community grants open on Jan 9, close 6 March, 2019 up to $5,000. If there was a biodiversity theme then Landcare and/or environmental grants were highlighted as less competitive as they are often less sought. ACTION – Monica offered to write the community grant.
. Will Tait needs to be notified that the EG Expo will now be held in September. ACTION – Peter can you please let Will know.

General Business

• Barb presented the Regional Achievement and Community awards ACTION – Monica to scan and send to Ash, and certificate to be kept in the FedUni office. ACTION – Ash to put on this blog.

• RCE Global Questionnaire Schedule 2018 Measuring the effectiveness of RCE governance network – Jess completed this on behalf of RCE – thank you Jess!• Sustainable Development Goals need to be embraced by RCE Gippsland. The biodiversity goal could be pushed in both the community application and for the Expo..

• Ian Southhall called in briefly to the meeting and threw some weight behind the proposed climate change workshops and has offered to fill in for Ashley when he is unavailable as contact with GCCN.

• Joan contacted Dr Jessica Reeves from FedUni (Environmental Science Lecturer) to be part of RCE Gippsland. Jess’s research is in the area of biodiversity/salinity and contaminant mobility in Gippsland Lakes

• FedUni office has moved and Joan has the key.

• It was discussed that the RCE Charter to remain. The new focus on climate change education as professional learning for teachers was deemed timely as it fitted in with a new direction for RCE post the roll out of Expos across the six LGAs.

Proposal of Climate Change Education Workshops for Gippsland Teachers

• Proposed Climate change (CC) education workshops for teachers in Gippsland:
Monica discussed a recent after school sustainability forum (ED Talks workshop arranged by John Caldow and Bug Blitz) that she and Raq had attended in Sale with approximately 35 teachers. Most teachers there had indicated their lack of preparedness to engage in climate change pedagogy.

 In response, Monica spoke to a number of people (including Ash and Joan) about rolling out some CC workshops across each of the six LGAs. Alison Taylor from ResourceSmart (RS) was interested in partnering with RCE Gippsland who would take overall responsibility for planning the workshops as part of their UN mandate. Alison mentioned she had funds for sponsoring RS attendees who could be replaced with CRTs. Simon Taylor from RS has good expertise in CC and has developed a number of curriculum resources, making her a possible workshop presenter.
 Joan followed up with BBSN and got some names for possible involvement in the workshops.
 Ash spoke to John Lawrence about the idea and suggested we make an appointment with Karen Cain from LVA to talk about CC education through their renewables focus.
 Monica spoke to Dr Peta White from Deakin University who works closely with Jorja McKinnon, another CC educator

• It was deemed by the group that RCE Gippsland run a Pilot CC workshop in Sale. Rather than have a full day as originally proposed, we decided that x2 2hr workshops across separated by a fortnight in early May would be held in Sale (Wellington LGA) – the first workshop setting the scence with definitions, data and facts. The second being a practical hands on workshop to be broken down into three groups – early childhood, primary and secondary. Knowing that the turn out at the earlier sustainability workshop in Sale attracted such a good turn out in after school hours, we felt we could tap into the same formula. ACTION Monica to contact John Caldow to see if we could get the emails of the people that attended the forum.

• Monica mentioned that Marie Clarke (science teacher from Maffra secondary college was interested to join the RCE committee. Marie also expressed interest in being involved as potentially one of the workshop educators, which is timely and fortuitous given the Wellington shire will host the first workshop in May, 2019 in Sale.

2018 Gippsland Sustainable Schools Expo in Inverloch Theme: Living Better with Less

A rich program was provided for the 300 plus students who attended the fourth RCE Gippsland Sustainable Schools Expo held at the Inverloch Community Hub in May 2018. The titles of workshops and names of presenters were Water in the Environment – South Gippsland & Westernport Water, Worm farms & Composting – Wellington Shire Council, Stuffed? Living Better with Less – Will Tait – Our Planet, Gotcha Bag Door hanger – Bunurong Coast Education, Creating a Sustainability Story – Bass Coast Library 6. Energy Trailer – Gippsland Climate Change Network 7. Boomerang Bag Decorating – Plastic Bag Free Bass Coast, Habitat Game– ResourceSmart Schools Program, Habitat Game (2) – ResourceSmart Schools Program, Marvellous Mural Making – Bunurong Coast Education, Plastic Pollution Control – Bunurong Coast Education, My Bubble and Squeak Rules – Domestic Goddess Mentors 13. Felting – Koorooman Spinners and Weavers, Bug Bits – Bass Coast Landcare Network, T-shirt Bags – ResourceSmart Schools Program, Sculptures from Recycled Materials – Waste around the Home – Ed Thexton and Planting in reuse containers – ResourceSmart Schools program.

These programs were presented in the morning and afternoon so students were able to attend two different sessions. Will Tait was able to act as compere, presenter of information, stories, a song and to generally include students where possible in his very engaging and informative presentations. Once again the South Gippsland, being the local Shire provided the venue, personnel and a warm welcome at the beginning of the day. It can be seen the variety of support we received by looking at the list of presenters. Local supermarkets provided fresh fruit for morning tea for students, the local Red Cross Opportunity shop attended and was grateful to accept goods donated by students and teachers in keeping with the theme of the day of “Living Better with Less”.

Students working on thought provoking activity with Will Tait.

Ian Southall with GCCN energy trailer presentation.

3rd time is a charm- 2017 Sustainable Schools expo

On Thursday 4th May 2017, we held our 3rd Gippsland Sustainable Schools expo at St Pauls Warrigal Campus, many thanks to them for hosting the event which was attended by over 250 students and represented some 13 schools from around the district and as far as Bairnsdale.

This years theme was on sustainable food into the future and we broached subjects as diverse as eating insects and what the comparable.

There was 14 individual workshop stations that had kids learning about Bees, composting, dairy cows, seedling panting, renewable energy, indigenous foods, future eating, and water in the landscape to name a few.

We even had the support of some local celebrities in Tammy Logan (https://gippslandunwrapped.com/ ) and Steve & Sally (https://www.gippslandjersey.com.au/ ), this helped create some media around the event, where featuring on the local news station can only help spread our message.

Will Tait, (http://www.ourplanet.com.au/home/opemodel) was once again, instrumental in gathering all the students and weaving his magic to keep them engaged and on the edge of their seats. Will is thought provoking and fantastic with all age levels. We have used Will’s skills for the past 3 years and could not do without him.

One of the many displays that we had on the day, this was from Neerim District Primary School

Sally from Gippsland Jersey

Learning about where Real milk comes from, a Jersey cow from Gippsland Jersey.

Mary Dunn is a passionate bee keeper whom helps local people set up bee hives in the region, but had some great activities for the kids to learn about bee pollination

Learning about renewable energy with Ian Southall from Mirboo North Community Energy project, I an also is executive officer for the Gippsland Climate Change Network

The walk down to the composting station

Melissa Pavey, Glengarry Primary school Kitchen garden teacher, taking the kids through the St Pauls Kitchen garden

Below is the program, we also provided fresh fruit for morning tea. Each school was given a bag of gifts and learning material to take back to each school. We sourced some bags of vegetable seeds that were sent as a thanks for attending to each participating school.

11:45 – 12:15pm


Activity Rotation A

(30 mins)


1. Food and Future Eaters – Will Tait

2. Exploring Food Garden – St Pauls

3. Compost & Worm Farm – Jessie Ablett

4. Waste Audit – Nola Anderson

5. Insect Hotel – Raquel Harris

6. Food Packaging and Marine Pollution – Tammy Logan; Gippsland Unwrapped

8. Biodiversity Audit – Alison Taylor

9. Energy Trailer; Food & Energy – Ian Southall

10. Organic seedlings – Leni Teng

11. Hidden Water – Gippsland Water

12. Organic soil and growing – Liz Clay

13. West Gippsland Beekeepers – Marty Dunn

14. Bush Tucker – Cheryl Drayton

12:15 – 1:00pm (45 mins)


Lunch, further time exploring the displays
1:00 – 1:30pm


Activity Rotation B

(30 mins)

1. Food and Future Eaters – Will Tait

2. Exploring Food Garden – St Pauls

3. Composting & Worm Farms – Jessie Ablett

4. Waste Audit – Nola Anderson

5. Insect Hotel – Raquel Harris

6. Food Packaging and Marine Pollution – Tammy Logan; Gippsland Unwrapped

8. Biodiversity Audit – Alison Taylor

9. Energy Trailer; Food & Energy – Ian Southall

10. Organic seedlings – Leni Teng

11. Hidden Water – Gippsland Water

12. Organic soil and growing – Liz Clay

13. West Gippsland Beekeepers – Marty Dunn

14. Bush Tucker – Cheryl Drayton


Blog home

What is RCE Gippsland? Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCEs) are a global network of formal and non formal education organisations that seek to empower people of all ages to assume responsibility for creating a sustainable future through public awareness and understanding, access to quality basic education, reorientating existing education and providing training programmes for all sectors. RCEs aspire to achieve the goals of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development ( DESD, 2005-2014) by translating its global objectives into the context of the local communities in which they operate.


Switched on Schools Summit

On the 28th and 29th of October 2016, The Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) and supported by local sustainability groups did a fantastic job, bringing together over 120 students from nine local high schools to talk about and tackle the issues of Sustainability and climate change for the Switched on Schools Summit, the first to ever be held in Latrobe Valley.

The students gathered at Federation University and heard from local speakers trying to create a vision for the future of the Latrobe Valley. The students, had a chance to come up with their own proposals to take implement in their school, these included proposals for vegetable gardens, sustainable food supply, solar panels, less waste, better school design and energy efficient light globes to minimise their carbon footprint.

In the Long-term, each school has a supporting volunteer that will guide them with their projects, these have been from local government agencies and some environmental groups

There were many great ideas around how young people can take action in their schools and communities.

Below are some photos of the event


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For more information:

Visions for the Valley

2016 Schools Expo- A story of success

Well what a wonderful day, with over 270 students attending and some 35 teachers taking part in the day. RCE Gippsland is very grateful for Gippsland Grammar School’s St Anne’s Campusfor hosting the event, and for support from the Gippsland Climate Change Network, Gippsland Water and the Wellington Shire Council.

The RCE Board, made up of individuals from organisations such as Latrobe City; Federation University; Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning; Gippsland Waste & Resource Recovery Group; Wellington Shire; Catholic Education and support from Volunteers was very pleased with the outcomes. We have received good feedback and will use that for our next event.

Mark Yeowell- Head of Junior School – St Anne’s

Mark Yeowell- Head of Junior School – St Anne’s

Wellington Shire stall

Wellington Shire stall

The Expo had plenty of activities for students to get their hands on and in; from making blue banded bee homes to looking for water macro-invertebrates. Students also got to learn about indigenous lifestyles, composting and worm farms, energy use and generation, recycling, water in the environment and lots more.

searching for Macro- invertebrates

searching for Macro- invertebrates

Macro-invertebrate under a microscope

Macro-invertebrate under a microscope

They all came together to hear stories of sustainability and to share knowledge from school to school. Students got to interact with each other and share their personal experiences with practicing sustainability in their own schools.


Supported by many individuals and organisations, this was the second Sustainable Schools Expo that RCE Gippsland has organised.  After the first expo, we asked participating schools how to do things better and this is what we came up with: ideas to support the already existing work that is going on, to give kids hands on  experiences and a place to share and transfer knowledge.  The schools do not have many chances to gather around a particular topic. We provided the setting, topic leaders and time for them to come together, share and Learn.

This day would not have been as successful as it was without the help from Will Tait, from Planet Enterprises, with his expertise in conveying the message in context. Will spoke about the kids having a messy room concept and that they need to tell their parents to come and help clean up the mess- the room being planet earth and the mess being all the pollution, rubbish co2 etc that we have put into it.

The kids were engaged all day- with a good balance of activity and listening.









Sustainable Schools Expo- Sale, April 21st 2016

Hi all,

We are very excited to build on what was achieved 2 years ago. Where over 450 students came together to discuss & learn all about sustainability.  This year we are excited to move it around Gippsland. Wellington Shire & Gippsland Grammar School will host the event in Sale, Victoria, on Thursday April 21st.

Feedback from last time was very engaging and worthwhile. There are plenty more schools and teachers that would like to see and hear how other schools are tackling the sustainability subject.

We have plenty of sponsors that have kindly donated funds, people, & resources, most are listed at the bottom of the flyer. The Gippsland Climate Change Network, a major sponsor are supporting the event this year, this will complement the good work that they do across the region with efforts to reduce the effects of climate change.

We will be using Will Tait to help facilitate the sessions, Will was fabulous last time and really helped bring it all together.

Click on the Icons to view them up close.

Flyer Feb 2016

The 2016 Program


Some Teacher Info

Teacher Info


Teams Triumph

Well done to Dr Monica Green, not only an RCE team member but also a great academic. Monica has just finished some research finding our children’s perspectives about sustainability.

Here is an excerpt from the research.

“The study found that children’s involvement in sustainability largely stems from practical experiences in school and home environments, mostly through action based projects. Projects involved embodied learning that promoted creating and caring for specific locations, such as wetlands, creeks and rivers, school grounds and food gardens. In conjunction with other adults from the wider community, teachers played a key role in implementing sustainability in schools and supporting children’s subsequent learning, which was often self-directed and discovery based. The children in this study have well developed ideas about what sustainability is, its impact on the planet, and its contribution to planetary survival. Their sustainability knowledge is testament to the rich sustainability learning opportunities afforded to them in their school.”


The research highlights the need for kids to be in the green stuff, to get their hands dirty, to experience the full meal of the wilds, not just look at the recipes in a book. The wilds have taste, smell, sounds, feelings, – you will need to use all of your sense’s to experience the wonderment of nature.

Monica has also just published a great book.

IMG_0515 IMG_0516


Well done Monica- a great resource that will support the work that we are all trying to do.

Please send this onto any educators that can use this research or book in their daily events.




New Movement

We were witness to a film about getting children connected with nature and how much it will add value to their lives, both physically and mentally.

Project Wild Thing is a film led movement to get more kids (and their folks!) outside and reconnecting with nature. The film is an ambitious, feature-length documentary that takes a funny and revealing look at a complex issue, the increasingly disparate connection between children and nature.

And Project Wild Thing is much more than a film, this is a growing movement of organisations and individuals who care deeply about the need for nature connected, free-range, roaming and outdoor playing kids in the 21st century. Hundreds of people have already committed huge amounts of time, energy, resources and money to help get the project where it is today. Which is really just the beginning.


We recommend that you can watch this film, we might be working to have some film nights in the very near future