Save our species

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21 May 2019

Students from St Peter’s School, Sunshine South West with Dr Jane Goodall.Students from St Peter’s School, Sunshine South West, were selected by Zoos Victoria for a special event with legendary environmental advocate Dr Jane Goodall.

The Jane Goodall Institute and the Roots & Shoots organisation brought Dr Goodall to Australia for her Rewind the Future speaking tour. One of her Melbourne engagements was to share her story, her hopes for the future and a call to action with a small audience of Roots & Shoots students and representatives from the Zoos Victoria Fighting Extinction School Program.

St Peter’s School has been a Zoos Victoria Fighting Extinction School for the past four years. This partnership involves the teachers and students participating in both webinars and excursions to the Melbourne Zoo to understand the concept of conservation awareness and action. Through the Save Our Species (SOS) project, students investigate the plight of endangered species and choose to be the voice for a particular species to raise awareness of their plight. Our senior students run an SOS Awareness Expo for our whole school community and then a selection of students are chosen to present their expo stall at the Zoos Victoria School Showcase, where they interact and learn with other partnership schools.

We were fortunate to be asked to bring five students to share their learning about the plight of orangutans and present an expo stall about the labelling of palm oil products. The students also included their cookbook and sample recipes to share with Dr Jane. This was an incredibly inspiring once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we are so very appreciative of our wonderful partnership with Zoos Victoria and all that we learn from being involved with the organisation. We are especially grateful to Genevieve Johnson from Zoos Victoria for selecting St Peter’s as a representative for this special event.

‘I found Dr Jane’s mantra of Together We Can, Together We Will very inspirational because it reminds us that when we say we can do things, we need to remember it’s about committing to actually doing them.’ Tara-Leigh

‘I liked Dr Jane’s analogy of the jigsaw puzzle when she told us that “if each of us does our own little bit of the puzzle, then together we will complete the mission”.’ Ivan

‘I thought when Dr Jane left to go to Africa as a young woman it was very powerful because girls didn’t have the opportunity like men did back then. She encouraged girls to think about science and conservation and said we should follow our dreams.’ Arsema

‘I loved when one of the participants said that “we aren’t taking the earth from our ancestors but borrowing it from our children”, and Jane replied “no, actually we are stealing it from our children, because borrowing you give it back and we aren’t giving it back”.’ Lily

Sandy Skehan,
Learning and Teaching Leader, St Peter’s School, Sunshine South West.