About E Week

President’s Welcome

A big welcome to all those interested in the 2018 Mornington Peninsula Schools Environment Week.

This event now moves into its 34th year with an ongoing focus to build on schoolchildren’s interest in sustainability.

We invite you to become involved in this year’s program that takes place at The Briars in Mount Martha from 19 – 22 March 2018. The broad range of topics and sessions provided are designed to complement school-based learning.  This popular event will showcase various presentations on various environmental topics plus activities from a broad range of presenters.

Thank you to all our sponsors including Mornington Peninsula Shire, community groups, local industry, volunteers and supporters.

Do take a look at our program and register interest before 5 March 2018.

See you then…

Ian Stevenson

President

Guiding Principles

Education

  • Reflect and support the needs of schools to build environmental knowledge and skills
  • Provide a broad range of activities that engage, inform and inspire students and promote active dialogue about sustainable practices in the environment

 

Community

  • Develop positive relationships between students and the broader community that support our vision
  • Develop in students an awareness and appreciation of the cultural heritage of the indigenous people of the area.

 

Environment

  • Inspire students and school communities to take actions that support a sustainable environment

 

Health and Well Being

  • Promote health and well being through connection to the natural environment and sustainable practices
  • Develop a connection with other species and provide opportunities for children to engage with a variety of living things.

 

Organisation

  • Schools must remain the foundation of the organisation.
  • The committee will liaise with Mornington Peninsula Shire to ensure that E Week aims align with the Shire’s strategic plan

History

In 1983 The Mornington Shire sent a letter to organisations asking if they had any ideas for activities to go with the Free Tree issue. Local principal Bob Brady submitted an idea for hands on activities involving Primary School children from various schools on the Peninsula. The idea was accepted and the first Environment Week was planned. Principal Howard Reade was the first president and Bob Brady the secretary and driving force. In May 1983 the first Environment Week was held at the Parks and Gardens depot in Pine Avenue Mornington. 500 children participated during that week and there were 12-15 activities. These included plant propagating, art activities, nature trails and music and were run by local nurseries, government groups and local community groups. Reduce, Reuse and recycle was their catch cry. Marquees and tents were begged and borrowed from many local sources and had to be pitched by the organising committee. Garden expert Kevin Heinze opened the week.

The following year 2000 children attended and many more activities were added. There was a great feeling of cooperation with the Shire, Parks and Gardens, local businesses, schools and community groups coming together to provide a memorable and unique experience for the children from Mornington Peninsula schools. One of the more memorable activities was Operation Seedlift where the Shire cannon was fired and hundreds of balloons with seeds attached were released. Some of these finished up in faraway places like Queensland and Darwin.

Later, Environment Week moved to The Briars. In the early days it was held at the top of the hill near Josephine’s Restaurant but after some wild winds blew the marquees down it was moved down the hill to its current location.

There are many familiar names that were associated with those early days and some continue to be involved today including Mornington Peninsula Shire, Woolworths, Oasis Nursery (formerly Woodland Nursery), Hillview Quarries, Andrew Wegener Wildlife and Bunnings. The police were also involved over many years. At the Pine Avenue location they set up a Bike Ed traffic school in a former sewerage tank there. Without the tremendous support from Mornington Peninsula Shire, The Briars,  local businesses, the E Week committee and the many volunteers from schools and community groups, Mornington Peninsula Schools Environment Week would not be able to now boast that it has been operating for over 30 years.

Types of Programs

Environment Week” aims to promote awareness and care of the environment and complements primary school programs linked to environmental science, recycling and sustainability. It caters for Kindergarten through to Year 6 students.

There will be five programs available in 2018: Expo Paddock, Wetlands/Woodlands Habitat, Indigenous Connection to Country, Homestead Heritage and Sustainable Living

Activities and interactive displays are set in marquees in the Expo Paddock. Children are organised into groups of 5 with a teacher or parent supervisor, and can visit activities according to their particular interests; horticulture, water conservation, marine studies, ecology, native fauna and flora, as well as community interest programs such as CFA and friends groups.

Students from Years 1-6 can also participate in one of the four Briars Programs – Wetlands/Woodlands Habitat and Animals, Indigenous Connection to Country or Homestead Heritage program. Years 3-6 may access our Sustainable Living Program. These Briars programs are more structured and the components are of a longer duration to allow a more in-depth examination of the issues with children rotating around activities in the two hour program. Activities focusing on specific issues include habitat health, history of the Briars homestead and gardens, indigenous culture and knowledge of the environment, conservation of animals and plants, sustainability, renewable energy and waste.

Photos

The Expo Paddock engages children in many hands on activities

Sponsors and Volunteers

Environment Week has been running for many years and this would not have been possible without the support of many companies and organisations. To enable us to bring the best programs and exhibits to you and still make it affordable to all students we rely on our sponsors’ fantastic support. Some companies set up and man activities, some give financial assistance and others do both. We would like to especially thank our major sponsor Mornington Peninsula Shire and our Gold Sponsors Bluescope, Esso Australia & BHP Billiton Petroleum, Bendigo Bank, Hillview Quarries and the Grand Hotel. We would also like to mention the wonderful assistance that we have received from Bunnings and Woolworths.

 

Thanks also to our wonderful volunteer organisations who have given their time to share their knowledge and passion:

  • Friends of the Hooded Plover
  • CFA Mount Martha
  • Fishcare Mornington Peninsula and Westernport
  • Landcare
  • Birdlife Australia
  • Animalia
  • Friends of Tootgarook Swamp
  • SPIFFA (Southern Peninsula Flora and Fauna Association
  • BERG (Balcombe Estuary Reserves Group)

Thanks to our caterers Mount Martha Rotary

Thanks to Mount Eliza Lions for their Traffic Management