a Sustainable Future
A National Conference for Secondary Students
University of Melbourne
2nd - 6th July 2002
shaping tomorrow today association inc
Profiles of organisers
can we create a sustainable future for all of us? We believe
that this can only be achieved by a strong partnership between the leaders
of today and the young leaders of tomorrow.
planning to mount an national residential conference for senior secondary
students 'Creating a Sustainable Future". We believe this unique
event will fire the imagination of the students and lead to ongoing, constructive
practical environmental projects in the participating schools and beyond.
is a critical issue that many Government, business and community organisations
are beginning to recognise. Our project is intended to complement
the current range of Government and community environmental programs -
in effect give these programs extra human resources and heighten their
are aware that your organisation is also committed to sustainability objectives
and believe your participation and support will create excellent synergies
for all participants.
extensive experience with schools, community organisations, tertiary institutions
and the business sector. But far more importantly for this project, we
have a passionate commitment to empowering the next generation to make
the changes essential to ensure a sustainable future.
material describes our project objectives in more detail and offers an
extensive range of opportunities for your organisation's involvement.
Please contact us to discuss this project and answer any queries you may
have. We look forward to working with you on Creating a Sustainable Future.
Schools for Sustainable Future
Brotherhood of St Laurence
Australian Catholic University
1) Project Overview.- What the project is about.
2) Project Objectives What is in it for you?
3) Expression of Interest form.
4) Video: Flight against Poverty. A summary of the video record of a previous
Conference (Video Available)
A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
AN ACTION ORIENTATED
CONFERENCE FOR SENIOR SECONDARY STUDENTS
no other time could it be more clear that all sectors of our global community
must pull together to ensure that our planet with its limited resources
can continue to sustain life. And yet, we tend to be fragmented and
in competition with one another. Businesses compete with one another for
bigger and bigger profits, and individuals demand more and more consumer
goods and energy and land, with little thought of the impact of their
greed on the ecosystems on which they are, in fact, utterly dependent.
a sense, this competition is reflected in our schools.
do our students from the three school systems come together to establish
initiatives to help solve some of the problems that society faces? For
most, their only experience of meeting students from other schools is
to out-run, out-debate and out-kick their 'opponents', and the only human
problems they are ever asked to solve are how to convince their school/parents
to let them wear something, do something or go somewhere! In doing so,
we are denying our students the chance to dare to dream of and bring about
a better future, to invest their youth and energy and enthusiasm and ideals
and talents in worthwhile, constructive projects and to really know that
they CAN make a difference.
are planning an international residential conference in July 2002
for Senior Secondary students from rural and metropolitan schools from
across Australia and overseas.
five day conference, will culminate in a presentation where the students
will use art, writing, public speaking, music and drama to present their
findings and views to an audience of business, government and community
students will research and examine a range of environmental issues
with the aid of a range of experts in the field, such as environmental
research scientists, and then establish ongoing initiatives that will
help to address some of the problems they have identified.
the first day all the participants inspire and empower one another,
establishing action groups in which they use their particular talents
to express their views, and support each other as they work towards development
and implementation of their projects.
and after the Conference students will be encouraged and assisted
to develop implement and promote environmental projects in their schools
and local communities.
Objectives for "Creating a Sustainable Future"
students involved as organisers or participants the project will
a unique way to encourage interested students to become active in
tackling environmental issues at a local level.
leadership opportunities to a group of secondary students which will
encourage them to become committed to environmental issues
a practical environmental focus for senior secondary students over
an extended period of time.
opportunities to examine career opportunities at businesses and organisations
cross school support for students who want to initiate environment
activities in their school.
For schools with
participating students the project will
sustainability issues in their school community.
opportunities to trial sustainable technology projects and practices.
attract business and government support for local environment projects.
students to develop environmental projects with a view to presentation
and fundraising at the Conference.
sponsors and participants the project will
your staff with the energy of youth.
community recognition as key players in developing community awareness
and action on sustainability issues.
opportunities to present a business perspectives on problems and potential
solutions for sustainability issues.
students to examine career opportunities in environmental businesses.
trials and promotions of particular environmental technologies in
a demand for sustainable products and services
involvement in local school communities as a practical supporter of
Government Environment organisations & Local Councils the project
on an ongoing basis, the level of debate and local action about sustainability
issues. This would then increase local action on issues like Landcare,
Water Watch Habitat protection etc.
students to examine career opportunities with organisations committed
to addressing environmental issues
an ongoing environment which convinces key figures in the community
to commit to environmentally sustainable practices.
with the developing of local environment projects which may be currently
organised by Government or local environment groups.
schools to see issues of sustainability as an important part of education
and school practice.
a structure for student led environmental activity that can be replicated
in other schools
YES we would like to know more about
a Gold Sponsor for the Project ($10,000 +)
Being a Silver Sponsor . ($5,000 )
Being a Bronze sponsor. ($2000)
Supporting environmental projects in individual schools
environmental projects in selected schools
participating students for the Conference
available for presentations or participation in the Conference
other forms of support (Please detail below)
we would like to be part of Creating a Sustainable Future
Please contact us to discuss how our organisation can help.
Fax or Mail or Email to: Creating a Sustainable Future
c/o. Joseph Natoli SFSF C/- Oakleigh sth PS Riley St Oakleigh
Sth 3162 Fax 9579-6153
_______________________ Post Code _______
Telephone ____________ Fax _____________ Email __________
SHAPING TOMORROW TODAY ASSOCIATION INC (STTA)
video provides a glimpse into a very unique conference, ' Poverty -
Some More Than Others!' held in 1996, the UN Year of the Eradication
of Poverty. It was unique in many ways. Run by a committee of students
from rural and metropolitan Victoria, in partnership with a small number
of community leaders and teachers, this was no ordinary talk-fest! Whilst
they heard inspiring speakers, participants also had round-table discussions
with experts in the field and assisted at places such as the Sacred
Heart Mission, St Kilda. In addition they wrote music, created works
of art, wrote poetry, stories or journal articles or a booklet of contacts
and practical ways in which to act, or wrote and performed a play or
a piece of creative movement, tapping in to their diverse talents to
inspire and empower one another at their Final Celebration.
Over 110 senior secondary students from all three school systems, from
all States and the Northern Territory, from a very diverse range of
background experiences, took up residence at Ormond College, the University
of Melbourne, for this five day event. Even though the video may leave
the impression that the students were on a natural 'high' after this
experience, it did not end there, as many conferences can! For many,
it was the turning point of their lives, leading to profound changes
within themselves and also, for some, very different career paths. Many
exciting, ongoing, worthwhile initiatives were established in their
schools and communities by the students themselves and many enduring
friendships began. This conference won the inaugural Barry Wood Award
for Social Justice.
Over 40 hours of footage was taped at the conference, and from this
Albert Street Productions selected 28 minutes for an ABC documentary.
It has been screened several times on ABC National Television.
The video begins with our Great Melbourne Tram Ride. We hired a tram
to show some of Melbourne to all our interstate and country Victoria
guests, who arrived at various times the night before our Melbourne
participants. Next is a glimpse into a piece of Street Theatre, performed
by students of Sacred Heart College - Kyneton - at the Conference Opening,
held in a university lecture theatre. The actors began seated in the
aisles, with a speaker presenting a 'typical' speech on poverty. They
then carried her off whilst she was still speaking, and came down to
the stage with their placards 'protesting' about poverty. As their Finale,
they asked everyone to construct a paper dart on which they wrote what
they thought they could do about poverty. On the final count of three,
the darts were thrown. Later they were displayed on a board for everyone
to read. This was the origin of the video title "Flight against
Poverty". The rest of the video need no further explanation - just
observe what these wonderful young people did!
Profiles of Organisers
Sharwood Joseph Natoli Caroline
Basil Varghese Schools
for a Sustainable Future
taught Chemistry, Science and Mathematics in all three school systems
and has written a number of textbooks and other teachers' resources
as well as conducted workshops in her subject areas. One of her Chemistry
texts was the joint winner of the 2000 Australian Award for Excellence
in Educational Publishing in the category of single title in secondary
texts. In her texts there is a great emphasis on the relevance of Chemistry
to industry, everyday living and the environment, with many case studies
and stories to help make Chemistry more 'alive' to the students. To
conduct this research, Jenny has travelled extensively, including visiting
many mines, the steel and copper industries in Port Kembla, sewage treatment
plants, petrochemical plants and so on, observing processes and interviewing
chemical engineers and other staff.
However, Jenny's interests extend well beyond her specialty teaching
areas. She is very active in student leadership, social justice and
community involvement. In partnership with community leaders, teachers
and a team of young people from several schools, including rural schools,
she has convened several national residential and day conferences for
young people on global issues such as poverty, racism and refugees.
These have led to a number of exciting initiatives being set up by many
of the participants, such as a home for homeless young people next door
to a Brisbane school they were attending. "Flight against Poverty",
a documentary of one of these conferences, has been shown a number of
times on ABC national television. The Conferences have also won a number
of Awards, including Queen's Trust Awards and the inaugural Barry Wood
Award for Social Justice.
Jenny has also organised many cross-curriculum theme days, programmes
for gifted children including literary weekends and Future Problem Solving,
and community and schools-in-industry projects. Some of her students
have represented Australia in the International Finals of Future Problem
Solving. As well, for many years Jenny has worked in partnership with
the Victorian Association for Girls' Secondary Schools to convene a
number of student-led leadership conferences for girls.
Natoli has had extensive experience working experience in education,
business and community groups. Over an 18 year career with the Education
Department he taught History, Geography Politics, and Social Studies
He also developed and produced curriculum materials as an Educational
After leaving the Department Joseph followed his interest in environment
issues through development of an energy conservation business, Smart
Energy. Comprehensive Energy Audits, advice and assistance with implementing
energy saving technologies resulted in improved business operations
and savings of up to 40% in energy costs for Smart Energy clients. Clients
ranged from hotels, schools, small and medium businesses to manufacturers
and large sporting organisations.
In the mid 90's Joseph developed Worming into the Community, an innovative
environmental education program (see SFSF profile). This paved the way
for working with schools, Councils and community groups in a comprehensive
program aimed at encouraging the use of worm farms to recycle organic
waste. To date over 70 schools have taken part in the program.
With the success of Worming into the Community Joseph developed the
Schools for a Sustainable Future project. This was intended to provide
a larger framework which would promote, recognise and support schools
and businesses taking practical action on environmental issues.
Caroline currently lectures in science and environmental education at
the Australian Catholic University, St. Patrick's campus. She is married
to Aidan, a South African, and they have two children Graham (19) and
Alice (14), as well as two dogs and several chooks.
Caroline was born in England and even as a young child was happier in
the countryside than the city. She studied chemistry and then plant
pathology at London University before joining her parents in South Africa,
where her first position was as a scientist in the Department of Agriculture.
It was here that she began to understand the way in which we humans
treat the natural world, by using pesticides and herbicides to try to
force nature to do our bidding. Disillusioned, Caroline left agriculture
and trained as a secondary general science and chemistry teacher. She
taught in a Black school and through her students learned the harsh
lessons of institutionalised racism under apartheid.
Caroline has since taught in a number of schools in South Africa, England
and Australia. She maintains an interest in active learning through
her involvement in the Project for Enhancing Effective Learning (PEEL),
as well as gender issues in science. Her interest in the environment
has also continued to flourish, nourished through travel in Africa,
Europe and South America.
In the late 1980s Caroline became involved in permaculture, a design
system for creating sustainable human settlement which aims to care
for the natural world as well as people. In 1992 Caroline and Aidan
bought a 5-acre block in the Dandenong Ranges. They designed the property
using permaculture principles, and today it is a productive certified
organic farm. Produce from the farm supplies the family with much of
its food requirements, as well as contributing to a local farmer's market
and food co-ops. The farm is used as an educational centre to teach
permaculture and organic farming to school and adult groups, and continues
to teach Caroline how little we really understand about the natural
world and our relationship to it.
In 2000 Caroline received her PhD, in which she examined personal empowerment
through learning permaculture. She is committed to education for a sustainable
future, and believes that we have to make some serious choices about
the way we live. It is clear that we have done immense harm to the earth's
natural systems that provide us with food, clean air and water. We need
to renew our relationship with the earth as well as engage in wise and
sensible planning if we are to live in a future worth having, and it
is everyone's business to stop borrowing from the future. Young people
are immensely interested in the environment, and to discuss these difficult
and often confronting issues with them honestly and productively is
the way to empower them to understand and make the tough choices we
are all faced with.
Basil Varghese as Education Co-Ordinator for the Brotherhood of St Laurence
has been a key figure in challenging and changing teachers' attitudes,
curriculum responses and the education communities attitude to poverty.
He has presented keynote addresses at teacher and subject associations,
conferences, workshops, and strategic planning and consultations seminars.
Particular highlights have included:
with seven disadvantaged school communities engaging them with their
principals and teachers in the Elizabeth area (South Aust.),
into Koorie curriculum in Catholic and State schools in Victoria and
South Australia and helping to run a national leadership course with
the National Schools Network.
engagement with the business community, local communities, church, unions,
schools and tertiary groups is a key and ongoing plank in the Brotherhood's
work of involving and partnering community. .Highlights of this role have
National Conference on Poverty held at Ormond College for Yrs. 11
and 12. This was filmed by the A.B.C. and shown nationally -titled
Flight Into Poverty. (see Jenny Sharwood profile and Flight against
in Compass with Bishop Challen on the A.B.C.
the B.S.L. at "People First" National Catholic Conference
on Social Justice.
as a keynote speaker and ran workshops for the South Aust. United
Trades and Labour Council's Summer School.
to the Aboriginal Reconciliation Convention.
Basil also works
with a wide range of Government and Educational Agencies. These include
in Bachelor of Education and in Bachelor of Community Development
and Co-planner of many initiatives associated with the Institute for
Youth, Education and Community(IYEC) which is integral to the Key
Research Area, Social Diversity and Community Wellbeing at Victoria
with various IYEC projects
with FASST (Families and School Support Team), funded as one of
he pilot prevention of youth homelessness projects by the Commonwealth
Department of Family and Community Services (planning day facilitator)
Drug Education Project, funded by the Department of Education (Victoria)
(member of Advisory Committee)
friend of NYERNA Bachelor of Education program offered in Echuca
and lead role in recent Brotherhood community theatre projects which
have involved and showcased the talent of people otherwise marginalised
.Two recent examples of this wonderfully empowering work are Planning
in community theatre "The Torch" and "All my Love
with National Campaign Against Poverty (NCAP)
Basil N Varghese
Brotherhood of St. Laurence
67 Brunswick St
Fitzroy VIC 3065
Ph: 03 9483 1329 Fax: 03 9417 2691
for A Sustainable Future
The Schools for
a Sustainable Future project has been operating since 1996. It was founded
to address a critical issue for schools and the broader community "How
can school communities be encouraged, recognised and sustained in their
efforts to educate for a sustainable future." The practical fact
for most schools is that environmental programs and policies are viewed
as peripheries to their main task. Consequently these activities are
hard to maintain and easy to discard.
SFSF was founded to address this issue. Since 1996 we have developed
a range of strategies activities and partnerships to support, promote
and financially assist schools to educate our children in how to create
a sustainable future. These have included:
of an attractive prominent billboard which promotes the school as
a School for a Sustainable Future, and outlines the activities undertaken
as part of that commitment.
on the billboard of local sponsors who are supporting the school's
environmental projects. The billboard also recognises the contribution
sponsors are making to sustainability through their "environmentally
friendly" operations and products.
of participating schools in the local media.
annual Presentation Day event which highlights the efforts of participating
schools, and recognises the sponsors assisting the projects
of Synergy Newsletter which promotes the schools and community groups
which are part of the SFSF Network.
workshops and professional development course for teachers developing
environmental programs in schools.
of www.sfsf.com website which brings together the experiences of schools
and supporters of SFSF.
The current strategy
of SFSF revolves around three interrelated projects
of Hands on Learnscapes program as a way of encouraging schools to
implement systematic redevelopment of school grounds for environmental
and other curriculum programs
of the SFSF EcoNewsletter project in schools throughout Australia.
This project encourages each school to produce an Annual environmental
newsletter which highlights their particular environmental achievements
and brings the issue of sustainability to local communities. It is
intended to promote the work of the diverse range of environmental
organisations that currently offer curriculum ideas for schools.
and promoter of the Creating a Sustainable Future Conference for senior
secondary in July 2002. Objectives of this Conference are outline
in detailed in this document.
question of global sustainability is the critical issue for our society.
The role of SFSF has been to create a synergy between the schools and
the wider community to put sustainable ideals into action.