QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA – Prompted by a disturbing news report about koalas being a threatened species, prep students at the Rockhampton Grammar School in Queensland have conducted a year long campaign to “Save the Koalas”. Their campaign had the support of Australian author, Mem Fox and then Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.
We need to save the koalas. In a year they will be extinct like the dinosaurs. They are so cute. We have to save them! – Alex Mitchener
Bursting through the classroom doors, Alex made the declaration to his classmates.
The students took it upon themselves to learn all they could about habitat destruction, traffic accidents, disease and how koalas live. Since then the boys and girls have built model “tree houses” for koalas to keep them safe from cars. A baby koala visited their classroom and the children worked and painted alongside local Aboriginal artists to learn more about the beauty and cultural significance of the national icon.
To mark National School Tree Day the prep students joined their year seven buddies at Rockhampton’s Rosel Park to help plant hundreds of gum trees that will be used by the Rockhampton Zoo to feed the city’s koalas.
The children made coasters and other items to raise money for research and animal care. The class presented cheques to the Rockhampton Regional Council and CQUniversity’s Koala Research Centre.
Prep teacher, Adair Melhouse has highlighted that the project nurtures the children’s innate curiosity about the natural world, fosters their understanding of the interconnectedness of all living and non-living things, and instills in them an abiding sense of care and responsibility for the well-being of their communities and the planet.
- Channel 7 News Report 9 May
- Prep M Save the Koalas Campaign Video
- Report in CQ Koala Volunteers Newsletter written by Adair Melhouse
- Rockhampton Preppies Save the Koala (with audio) – 20 Jul 2012, ABC Capricornia Radio
- School Koala Project Takes Root – 31 Jul 2012, The Morning Bulletin