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Title: Sponsorship of 07 NSW Youth River Health Conference, Inverell
Authors: CRDc
Keywords: education
primary schools
river health
natural resource management
environmental project day
environmental sustainability
extension and adoption of research
best management practices
Environmental management systems (EMS)
water reliability
Issue Date: 30-Jun-2008
Publisher: CRDC
Series/Report no.: ;01CRDC008
Abstract: Over 200 primary and secondary students from across New South Wales converged on Inverell, in North East New South Wales on 19th and 20th November for the 2007 NSW Youth River Health Conference. The students came together to showcase the presentations they had spent up to 6 months preparing on issues that concern them about New South Wales’ coasts, rivers, creeks and waterways. They also took part in a day of on the ground activities to put into practice their knowledge of natural resource management with Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA managing this day. Volunteers from around Inverell assisted as group leaders for the environmental project day, and many of our steering committee assisted as Workshop chairs for the student presentations on the Monday. The kids also had an opportunity to quiz an expert panel on the topic “How Can Schools encourage their community to be more environmentally sustainable?” with speakers Kirk Coningham –Communications Director, Murray Darling Basin Commission, Hon. Rick Colless – Council Whip, NSW Legislative Assembly, Liz Blair – Environmental Education Officer, Border Rivers Gwydir CMA and Kelvin Brown – Aboriginal Advisory Committee, Border Rivers Gwydir CMA -This expert panel was facilitated by Arron Wood the conference MC and allowed students the opportunity to asks questions as wide ranging as how to get sponsorship to run their school’s own river health conferences, the effects of climate change, politics and the environment and also local Northern NSW Aboriginal environmental practices. The 2007 NSW Youth River Health Conference is about a lasting commitment to our youth and the sustainable use of the environment and the industries it supports. Adults took a back seat at the event as the Year 5 to 11 kids taught each other about an area of interest or issue relevant to New South Wales environment, and learn from each other about the most effective ways of dealing with these problems. This Conference and the lead up months of preparation provided students with skills in natural resource management, public speaking and the ability to communicate ideas in many different forms. Students worked with mentors in the months leading up to the event to develop their 40 minute presentations in a range of formats such as singing, acting, quizzes, art, PowerPoint, films and venue audits! The kids chose a variety of poignant issues to highlight at the event including: • Biodiversity • Endangered Animals in Northern NSW • The importance of the Gwydir Catchment • Water Supply – consumption and wastage in the household • River Health (Macintyre River) • Water Auditing in the Conference venue! • Bats in Tamworth • Platypus sightings in Inverell • Copeton Dam The 2007 NSW Youth River Health Conference was proudly supported by The Australian Government. Additional financial support came from: The Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority, Murray Darling Basin Commission, The Inverell Shire Council and The Cotton Research and Development Corporation. The environmental project day was run by the Border Rivers Gwydir Catchment Management Authority – through in kind support. Assistance with the Environmental Project Day was provided by Mitre 10 Inverell, as well as volunteers from Inglewood Landcare and Waterwatch NSW. In Kind catering sponsorship was provided by the conference venue – the Inverell RSM Club. 15 Volunteers from the Inverell region provided fantastic support throughout the conference. All event sponsors were involved in some capacity in the lead up to the conference event and supporting the participants in their preparation. 90% of participants responding to the evaluation loved the NSW Youth River Health Conference and 88% of them loved the Kids Teaching Kids concept as a way of learning! As well as this 74% found the hands-on Environmental Project Day component of the conference informative and a fun way to learn about the environment. The entertainment proved an enjoyable element for inclusion throughout the conference and an opportunity for many students to showcase their performing abilities. A number of teachers suggested the conference be run every year, with almost all looking to participate in future conferences!
Appears in Collections:2008 Final Reports

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