In the third of our Kreative Koala kids artwork showcases we introduce you to the Young Australians who are thinking deeply about water and energy
With young Australians being highly aware the country they live in is the hottest. driest inhabited continent its not surprising that they are very focused on ensuring we have access to clean water and renewable energy
The United Nations has created 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Several of these encapsulate our attitudes to water SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production [including water use] and SDG 14: Life Below the Water). SDG 7 looks at affordable and clean energy. Five of our 2020 Kreative Koalas chose to explore these themes.
A tap sprouting from his head is the most arresting feature of Marang Galing Barrandhang (Good Water Koala) from Grenfell’s St Joseph’s School. Every other element of their koala flows from this tap.
Marang Galing Barrandhang is a kaleidoscope of activity . The wetlands of Lake Cowal are featured, as is the Murray-Darling river system. The students have used a combination of bright and dark colour schemes to illustrate different water use practices and the oranges of droughts through to the blues of their recent rain.
Looking at water use has inspired St Joseph’s to change its own water use practices.
“Our school has recently implemented a new, more sustainable, school watering system for our playing oval, green spaces and garden beds. To achieve this, we connected to the local council’s reticulated wastewater system. We installed tanks at our school to store the treated water. The water from the tanks was then connected to our existing pipework. This will ensure our students have green spaces to play on, even during droughts which are common in our area. This offers far better water sustainable practices!”
Watch the students talk about their Kreative Koala journey here
Water sustainability was also the theme for Carlingford Public School who created a koala named Atlantis.
“When you look the Koala in the eyes you are confronted with the view of our Earth. This flows into a waterfall as water is essential for life on Earth. From the water grows our strong trees representing life on land and this links to the back legs showing the oceans and life below water; the land and water are linking. The contrast of the sunset and starry night creates a feeling of planet Earth travelling through space. This heightens the fact that our planet is precious – there is no Planet B! Our artwork aims to highlight how special and unique our planet is and how we must all work to save our amazing home!”
180 Year 6 students from Carlingford connected with fellow KK participants Gol Gol Public School to learn about the Murray River and take inspiration from this for Atlantis.
Watch Carlingford West Public School learning journey here
From the Murray River our KK schools turned their attention further north when Emu Plains Public School created Big Barry to spotlight coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef. Big Barry is a riot of painted paper collage, as bright and vibrant as a healthy reef.
“Most of the reef is bright, colourful and full of diverse species living in this habitat. This represents both the past before the seas had an increase in temperatures and the future, of what we hope to preserve and keep if we make the right changes today. A small portion of the reef is pale, white and brown to represent the bleached coral.”
Portals on Big Barry give the viewer a deeper insight into this water story: one portal shows trees that absorb excess carbon dioxide, another shows deforestation and just below Barry’s heart is a portal showing a light bulb, a direct reference to energy consumption.
“Students have learned that small actions of theirs can have a domino effect for our planet. It matters if they leave the lights on all day. It matters if they make a conscious effort to turn it off. It matters if we cut down trees. It matters if they plant more trees and shrubs in their own backyard.”
Caragabal Public School, between Wagga and Parkes, looked out their own back door and chose to look at water in another way – the lack of it. Their community has been affected by hard drought in recent years and so the students created a koala named Dusty Paddocks and researched drought sustainable farming practices.
Dusty Paddocks features a weathered hat with 3D agricultural machinery and a brown shirt coated with pot fragments to represent parched earth. Both the hat and shirt were donated by local farmers. The shirt overlies a beautiful blue koala and opens at the front to reveal a Superman suit, because these kids can save the planet.
“Dusty Paddocks was designed by kids who were just coming out of an incredibly harsh three-year drought. These students were able to put all their pain and stress of farming in drought into their designs to make something that was truly authentic and cathartic for them. The students’ names are each written on a claw of the koala to show their ownership. It is about the hope for a better future for their land and their families.”
Watch Caragabal Public School on Behind the News
Being the only school to look solely at renewable energy makes Gardener’s Road Public School unique in the 2020 KK competition and their koala Windston shows off the sun and the wind, representing both solar and wind power.
“The artwork includes three dimensional structures, representative of Gardeners Road Public School, solar panels and wind turbines (students found solar panels to be one of the most easily accessible energy sources within Australia, even in a built-up, suburban areas like the city of Sydney) and symbolises the connections and partnerships formed between diverse communities, including rural farming areas and inner-city areas.”
As part of their journey into energy use they initiated “Unplugged” where the entire school turned off electricity for an hour. This in turn encouraged students and their families to be more conscious of their energy consumption, or as one student commented:
“I have learnt so much about energy, you could almost call me Einstein. We have spread so much awareness, so hopefully more people will be interested in making changes too.”
Students created their own TV channel to raise awareness about energy efficiency and promote life changing habits
Our next post will share with you the impact of the bushfires on our young changemakers
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