The MGC Sustainability Collective is to be congratulated on being awarded a special commendation prize in the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Awards 2011. This is a great effort and provides acknowledgement of the wonderful work undertaken by this group. Andrew Vance and students Melissa Arsov and Miriam Dinapoli attended the presentation evening at the Grand Hyatt and accepted the award on behalf of the College. This was after collecting the first prize at the City of Yarra Excellence in Sustainability Schools Award.
Pedal Powered Moonlight Cinema
The Sustainability Collective was also recently featured in the World Environment Day edition of ‘The Age’. Their creative energy awareness project, “the world’s first pedal-powered moonlight cinema”, provided entertainment as well as a fun way of educating the community about renewable energy.
World Environment Day
http://www.unep.org/wed" title="World Environment Day 2012">
http://www.unep.org/wed/infomaterials/downloads/banners/SQUARE_WED-BANNER.jpg" width="336" height="280" border="0">
To celebrate World Environment Day, Melbourne Girls’ College hosted a highly successful Environment Expo on the weekend, featuring Rod Quantock as MC, Climate Scientist David Karoly (IPPC/Melb Uni) and Yarra Energy Foundation CEO Alex Fearnside. This event was well attended and provided a great opportunity for the community to be involved in an interactive public forum and to hear guest speakers. Congratulations to the MGC Sustainability Collective for the organisation of such a wonderful event. Special thanks to Andrew Vance for his energy and efforts in driving this.
Resource Smart Schools Awards
Melbourne Girls’ College has cleaned up once again at the 2011 Resource Smart Schools Awards!
After a hugely successful year for the Environment team at MGC, the College has been recognised once again at a special award ceremony held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground hosted by Sustainability Victoria and the Department of Education. I would like to acknowledge the commitment and dedication of Andrew Vance who leads this area at MGC.
These awards recognise the tireless work carried out by a number of individuals who have contributed greatly to the environment at MGC through the Sustainability Collective and Student Environment team. Fourteen students, along with Mr Vance and Mr Peter Vadiveloo (school councillor and member of the Sustainability Collective) attended the ceremony.
Our students made four appearances on stage, three times to accept awards and another time to pedal the electricity to make two espresso coffees for the CEO of Sustainability Victoria and the Master of Ceremonies for the awards. Incidentally, it took 10 minutes to pedal the required energy to run a coffee machine as Emma Sinclair and Ming Li demonstrated their expert barista skills to make a skinny latte and full flat, carbon neutral cappuccino. Ironically, we didn’t take out the Waste-wise award despite “clearing out” the Energy, Biodiversity and Community Partnership award categories. The only other category to elude our community is the water wise category.
2011 saw the permanent installation of our pedal generators, which have been used so much by students and facility users in the gym foyer, that they have been temporally removed to be modified to better handle the relentless pedalling from the community! We also welcomed several significant guests to the College to speak about sustainability issues, with Professor David Karolly and Rod Quantock attending a community climate awareness event on World Environment Day in June, Dr Jane Goodall speaking about her 50 years in primate conservation and Federal MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt, attending the school twice to speak about pricing pollution and to launch our pedal generators along with the City of Yarra Mayor Cr Alison Clarke.
Due to the overwhelming success of the 2011 pedal powered Moonlight Cinema, we are planning to host another cinema event on the 24th of February 2012. MGC will again team up with the team at the Sustainable Living festival and are now planning the finer details. If you would like to be involved with this, or any other sustainability related project at MGC, then please consider coming along to a Sustainability Collective meeting. The group is open to all members of the wider school community and meets monthly at the school after hours. We value diversity and appreciate that success comes when many individuals come together and collaborate. The next meeting will take place in the Information centre on Thursday the 24th of November 5.30pm-7.30pm. For more details please contact Mr Andrew Vance, Sustainability Coordinator:
About the Sustainability Collective
The MGC Sustainability Collective is a group made up of parents, students, staff and wider community members. Its key objective is to achieve the best environmental outcomes for the school and the students at the college.
The group is a new initiative which works within the frame work of the National Sustainable Schools program. It aims to build connections between students and parents and relevant community members. It specifically invites parents and community to come into the school and make a positive contribution to the learning environment of MGC students.
The group meets monthly and is made up of MGC staff, students, parents, school councillors and community members. New members are always welcome.
Sustainability Collective Meetings
Meets monthly on the 3rd Wednesday of each month 6pm - 8pm at the school Lyceum
For more information, contact Mr Andrew Vance-
Collective members take a break at the Rewrite the Future Climate Conversations event on the 9th October 2010
What does the collective do?
The MGC Sustainability committee acts as a major advisor and support group to the MGC student environment team. It provided guidance for the School environment policy, which was launched by Governor David de Kretser at the 2009 world 350 day celebration.
Sustainability Collective Projects
The Collective have assisted our students run many great projects and initiatives including:
The Annual Student Environment Conference
The annual Student Environment Conference open to all youth passionate about the environment from schools across Melbourne
National Schools Tree Day
Year 7 students plant indigenous plants along the Yarra River on National Schools Tree Day at MGC
A Resource Smart School
2010 Winners of Community Partnership & Energy Smart School of the year
Winners of the 2010 Community Partnership and Energy Smart school of the year. 2009 rubbish free lunch challenge ( for our nude food initiative) and the 2009 AussiVic Waste wise school of the year (Secondary category)
2010 Winners of Northern Metropolitan Region Excellence in Science & Mathematics Awards
Winners of the 2010 Northern Metropolitan Region Excellence in Science and Mathematics Awards for a permanent pedal power generator project
Hosting of 350 day awareness raising event
In addition, the MGC Sustainability Collective was proud to host a 350 day awareness raising event on the 23rd of October 2009 to inform the school and wider community about the dangers of exceeding 350ppm CO2 levels in the atmosphere . Activities included:
Climate Awareness Concert
Climate awareness concert including comedy show ‘Bugger the Polar Bears’ by Rod Quantock, community groups pedalling for power on the Future Spark trailer, including Governor de Kretser. (4384.9 Watt hours of pure, clean HUMAN powered energy was generated throughout the day.)
Emma Lewis, Ruby Albury, Anne Garrow, Judy Crowe, Mrs de Kretser and Governor de Kretser on the Future Spark pedal generators. 23rd October 2009
Yarra River Interpretative walks with Ian Penrose from Yarra River Keepers
school and community bands who performed on a pedal powered PA!
giant 350 human sign spectacularly created with Kayaks on the Yarra (see below).
A creative and skilled student environmental leadership team that any school would be proud of with unprecedented levels of participation and school student-led initiatives. Many of these outstanding students will become future environmental leaders and advocates in their professions and communities.
The creation of a new MGC Sustainability Policy.
Through collaboration with the school council, the sustainability collective has written, submitted and gained approval of a new Sustainability Policy for the college. The Governor of Victoria, Professor David de Kretser launched the new policy on the 23rd October 2010. This policy is designed to further reduce the school’s environmental footprint through a comprehensive set of targets and initiatives.
Achieved a Resource Smart School of the Year Award (Waste category)
Developed a joint project with Future Spark, an accredited "Resource Smart – AuSSI Vic" business to install permanent renewable energy pedal generators in schools.
Sustainability Collective partner- Richmond Rotary has provided academic and travel scholarships to MGC students for Powershift and River/Coastal conferences.
Sustainability Collective partner- Leader Community Newspaper has promoted and communicated environmental awareness and the achievements of the College, through their local community newspaper.
Encouraged participation and awareness within the MGC and wider Yarra Community of sustainability issues
An active and networked community and parent group that supports the school and students and enriches the life of the school and community.
Dr. Jane is coming to Australia
Dr. Jane Goodall is coming to Australia. Her last visit was in 2008 so don’t miss this rare opportunity to meet one of the worlds more influential women!
2011 marks a monumental milestone for the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) and its founder, Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE. Fifty years ago, Goodall, who is today a world-renowned primatologist, conservationist and UN Messenger of Peace, first set foot on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, in what is now Tanzania’s Gombe National Park. This year Dr. Jane is also celebrating the 20th anniversary of her Global Youth program, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots. The Roots & Shoots program is about making positive change happen—for our communities, for animals and for the environment. With hundreds of thousands of young people in more than 120 countries, the Roots & Shoots network connects youth of all ages who share a desire to create a better world.
As the newest member of the JGI Roots n Shoots Communities, Melbourne Girls’ College has been given the honour of hosting Dr Goodall’s only Melbourne public lecture! This will take place on Saturday the 11th of June, from 10.45am -12.00pm in the lyceum building. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children/concession and all proceeds go to the Jane Goodall Institute. Tickets are only available on-line at www.trybooking.com/pna and are strictly limited to 300.
The MGCSC is giving the chance for 5 lucky students to personally meet Dr Goodall and to win a double pass to this event. Simply write in 100 words or less detailing ‘why you would like to meet Dr Goodall and why Roots & Shoots, is important now more than ever’. Entries must be emailed to Mr. Vance (
) with the subject line “Dr Goodall at MGC- Your name and form” by Thursday the 26th of May.