Home' The Southern Cross : June 2015 Contents June 2015 Page 13
World Environment Day June 5
Students as young as six years old have
been able to fashion the theology of
creation conceived by St Francis into
an impressive recycled wall mosaic of
“Brother Sun” and “Sister Water” now
proudly displayed at their St Francis
schoolyard in Lockleys.
“The students have been able to learn that
you can make something beautiful from
something that we would otherwise throw
away,” said Adelaide artist Daniel Connell.
Mr Connell said the Year One students
collected more than 300 boxes which took
six months to papier-mâché, seal and then
paint to form the mosaic.
The children’s work was part of a school-
wide project which focussed on Catholic
identity and the importance of spirituality
and ecological conversion.
St Francis APRIM and school chaplain
Helen Wilsdon-Smith said year levels from
R-7 had installed art across the school,
including colourful totems made from
recycled cans, a river-scape mandala
using recycled materials, a “claymation”
video and hand designs, and a unique “St
Francisness” song and dance.
She said the “St Francisness Project”
emerged from in-depth student and
teacher discussions with Mr Connell.
Conversations led students to create their
own interpretation of St Francis through art
and performance, focusing on promoting
sustainability and emphasising the use of
Staff also took part in professional learning
on St Francis and participated in the 2014
Religious Education Ecological Inquiry
Network through Catholic Education South
Australia to develop a new teaching and
learning vision called “Growing Together in
Faith, Peace and Wisdom”.
“We have truly breathed life into our story
with the successful completion of the St
Francisness Project, the reconnection with
the local river environment, a new vision for
teaching and learning, and the regeneration
of our frog pond area,” said Ms Wilsdon-
St Francis inspires sustainability
Continued from page 1.
The project evolved from school
workshops, held last year with Pop-Up-
Foundation co-director and founder Dr
Paul Clarke, where more than 70 students
from 15 different Catholic schools planned
to plant 14,130 trees with their school
Dr Clarke, professor of education at
London’s St Mary’s University, said the
group was in discussion with WeForest to
find a way for corporate sponsors to fund
an additional tree for every tree planted in
the Forest of Eden Project. WeForest is an
international not-for-profit body which has
helped plant more than 8.5 million trees in
severely degraded places like the Brazilian
“There are lots of great tree planting
projects around the world...however there
are hardly any school-based projects doing
this in this way, that is why it’s such an
exciting initiative,” said Dr Clarke.
He described the project as “hugely
ambitious” starting with small seeds and
actions to implement an effective way to
“put the words of the Pope into action”.
All Saints environment and sustainability
coordinator Bill Giles said it was a simple
and positive message for students to
“If we plant 250 trees and 20 other schools
plant 250 trees, well that’s more than 5000
trees and that’s what we are trying to show
the kids – that collectively, this is a really
powerful option,” said Mr Giles.
Galilee Catholic School, in Aldinga, will
later this year plant about 100 mostly Pink
Gums, but also Banksia and an Australian
Christmas tree. And St Catherine’s School
Stirling will later this term plant a fruit tree
to start an orchard that will grow by one
tree each year. About 20 Year 7 students
will be given a native tree to plant off-site
ECO-GROUNDBREAKERS: All Saints Catholic School students Blake and Amber will kick-start the Forest of Eden project later
this month by planting 100 native trees to help restore the ecosystem of farmland in Second Valley.
Photo: Heidi Linehan
Deacon Pat Edwards from Glenelg
parish knows the value of environmental
The parish has enjoyed a $4500 power bill
saving in the first 18 months of installing
solar panels as part of a parish office
Deacon Pat said the parish was using up
to 90 per cent of solar-generated power to
run the parish house and St Dominic’s Hall.
“There is a benefit – there is no question
about it,” he said.
The parish has also installed rainwater
tanks which partially serve the needs of the
parish house and memorial garden.
Deacon Pat, a retired banker, said savings
assist the parish as it works to balance
a tight operating budget to avoid cutting
costs on important ministries.
He said parishes needed to commit
to ecological conversion by example
and projects like the National Energy
Efficiency Network (NEEN) were helpful in
connecting faith communities to share their
experiences and provide advice.
NEEN was set up in 2013 by Catholic
Earthcare Australia through a one-off
Federal Government grant. The grant
expires on June 30, however the learning
communities the NEEN project has
established across Australia will continue.
In South Australia, NEEN has assisted
over 15 faith-based and not-for-profit
community organisations to develop
preliminary business case reports to
reduce energy consumption. Among those
are Centacare Catholic Family Services
and Catholic Care Centre in NT.
Faith groups have been able to access
NEEN’s free online specialist energy
efficiency calculator to determine relevant
energy saving actions. Four learning
communities have been established across
the State, involving more than 45 people
in dialogue about energy and financial
challenges and smart solutions.
“A large chunk of a parish’s funds can
go to energy bills so any help to improve
efficiency can be of great value,” said
NEEN SA/NT regional leader Philippa
Rowland. “Simple solutions can sometimes
make a big difference.”
Ms Rowland said practical low cost actions
could have an immediate impact on
energy consumption, like turning off lights
and turning down heaters, while buying
solar panels or new efficient equipment
were longer term investments for a bigger
Ms Rowland will be establishing NEEN
Learning Communities in Mount Gambier
and in Whyalla in the next few months.
For more information contact
Ms Rowland on 0471 799 360 or email
SOLAR DISCOUNT: Deacon Pat points to the solar panels on St Joseph’s hall.
Seeing the light
Links Archive May 2015 July 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page