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Projects for Waste

Partnership to Change the World

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018
Ismail meet Hon Julie Bishop , Minister for Foreign Affairs at UWA Engineering Faculty.

Ismail meet Hon Julie Bishop , Minister for Foreign Affairs at UWA Engineering Faculty.

Ismail, a volunteer from a small NGO in Dompu, Sumbawa, just spent two weeks learning about waste management with his friends from Millennium Kids Inc.

“I learnt so much while I was in Perth. I met people with innovative ideas about how to manage plastic waste. I visited waste management facilities and saw how different communities in Perth manage their household waste. I met innovators like GreenBatch who are trying to create a new plastic economy. I met kids designing new products to reduce plastic consumption. I did a beach clean up and completed a survey to Help Tangaroa Blue learn more about the plastic that finds its way to the ocean. I’ll be able to take these ideas back to my town of Dompu and implement them with my team at Yayasan WE SAVE. “ Ismail said.

The partnership between Ismail and his friends began through a chance meeting in Cottesloe between a local Indonesian surfer, Mukhlis Lakey and Catrina Luz Aniere, CEO of Millennium Kids. The two met over a coffee and Mukhlis talked about his concern for the beaches in Sumbawa and the need for an education program around plastic pollution. The coffee resulted in what is now a four-year collaboration between young people in Western Australia and on the island.

In 2017 Millennium Kids was successful in receiving a grant to support the ResourceNOTrubbish project through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Australia – Indonesia Institute. The funding allowed ten Indonesians from the island to come to Western Australia to share ideas about waste management and plastic waste pollution.

During the visit Ismail had the chance to report on the partnership to Hon Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs, along with fellow Millennium Kids Thea Kurniawan and Zahra Aisya, from University of Western Australia. During the meet at the Engineering Faculty the young people shared ideas about waste innovation and our responsibility to manage the problems we create.

“ Yayasan We SAVE have an innovative program where young people collect plastic bottles and cups and trade them for English lessons, bags of rice and other staple goods. ‘ No one need be poor in the community. We can learn from each other, share ideas and ensure we work together to tackle with growing plastic pollution problem. “ Catrina-Luz Aniere said.

The young people of Yayasan We SAVE are building a waste recycling and innovation centre to educate the local people about plastic pollution and trade plastic waste, stemming the tide of waste from the forest to the sea. UWA Engineering Alumni have been supporting the project by joining the Millennium Kids fieldtrip on a tour of the Dompu region, providing expertise in building design and planning for the facility.

For more information about how you can help this project get off the ground please contact Millennium Kids Inc at




Bek’s Bricks – TBC

Monday, February 8th, 2016
Each time it rains more waste is washed up onto the local beaches at Lakey Peak.

Each time it rains more waste is washed up onto the local beaches at Lakey Peak.

The lead team, John and Jeremy.

The lead team, John and Jeremy.

So many opportunities for change. Now the UN Development Goals have been announced it is time to get to work. With Millennium Kids 20th Birthday Celebrations coming up kids have set the challenge – one thousand projects in 2016.

So let’s introduce you all to Bek’s Bricks – Project 3.  Today’s initial meeting with Project Team 3, John and Jeremy, Year 10 students from Wesley College, was based around  innovation and technology and how young people could explore waste. The big question on the table was: can we  convert plastic waste to something useful?

The two students will tackle the issue researching the waste problem at Lakey Peak, Sumbawa and look at alternative scenarios. John and Jeremy listened to Bek’s story of waste on the local surf beaches, his efforts to get local kids to help clean up and the constant battle with more waste. Keen to ensure this isn’t simply an education program the team will look at how waste can be better managed on the island. They will work with Bek, a local surfer at Lakey Peak to find out whether the waste can be made into bricks or some other useful resource. Stay tuned for updates.


Kids have had enough!

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016
Kids with their bags of waste from the beach!

Kids with their bags of waste from the beach!


Kids fill the three wheeler each week with waste from the local beaches.

Kids at Lakey Peak , Sumbawa, Indonesia have had enough of the waste on their beaches. Every weekend they join Bek, a local father and surfer, to clean up the beaches in their village. Bek met with Millennium Kids (MK) several years ago after being introduced to Cat, the CEO of MK, by her local hairdresser in Cottesloe. A strange world indeed, where hairdressers, surfers and a leader of kids meet over coffee to discuss cleaning up the world. Well, that is the life of a Millennium Kid!

Bek went home to his island and the rest is history. He championed the kids who were all too keen to get their project underway. He championed the international surfers and started a program of regular beach clean ups. His surfer mates chipped in some $ so he could get the waste off the beaches and start a removal program.

Bek and the kids know that cleaning up is only one part of the answer. They need a waste education program in all schools and in the community. They also need a waste management program on the island. Through The Willy Wagtail Project, a new Millennium Kids Inc initiative, Perth kids will make bags from clean waste and sell them to raise funds to help create innovative solutions to the waste problems on the island.




Friday, December 18th, 2015


Kids clean up for fun!

Kids clean up for fun!

Thanks to Akayla and her friends the beach is much cleaner!

Thanks to Akayla and her friends the beach is much cleaner!

A group of local Marmion children decided to take action last week and clean up Sorrento Beach.

Akayla Fairclough, aged seven years, felt there was too much rubbish on the beach and decided to have a Keep Australia Beautiful beach clean-up. Inviting all the students in her class, some close friends, and family they collected over eight large garbage bags of rubbish.

Some of the strangest items collected by the team included a broken beach umbrella, a baby’s dummy and a pair of underpants. Some other items including cigarette butts and cigarette lighters, fishing line and fibreglass are dangerous to wildlife if swallowed.

Akayla wanted to clean up the rubbish on the beach because she knew it would help save wildlife. “We need to make sure that if we see a person littering we should pick the rubbish up and tell them not to litter. When we have a picnic on the beach, at the park or on a boat we should make sure that all of our rubbish is put in the bin or taken home”.

Akayla is a Millennium Kid and has decided to hold a beach clean-up every year. She hopes she has collected enough rubbish to help the local wildlife. To find out more about more about how Millennium Kids Incorporated empowers young people to protect the environment visit

Young Entrepreneur Targets Plastic

Monday, June 29th, 2015
Shay tells his story to a crowd at Vic Park Soup.

Shay tells his story to a crowd at Vic Park Soup.

Did you know that plastic bags are the number one killer of sea turtles? And I’m not just talking about green sea turtles, or leather back sea turtles. I’m talking about all of the sea turtles world wide. Now, turtles love eating jelly-fish and so when they see a plastic bag floating about in the water, they think it’s a jelly-fish and they try to eat it. This is a major problem, and because of barbs in the turtles throat,designed to keep jelly-fish down when they sting the insides, they cant regurgitate the plastic bags. Because of this, the turtles get very sick and they will soon die, and when the turtles decompose the plastic bag doesn’t and so it just gets released back into the ocean to kill another sea turtle or one of the 100s of 1000s of species of sea bird or creature that mistakes plastic for food.

I want to do something about this. I am going to get unbleached calico bags and stencil on an image of a turtle, a jellyfish, and a plastic bag to raise awareness for the turtles being killed by plastic bags. I recently did a Vic Park Soup talk where the prize pool was $750, but someone put a $50 note into my voting jar so I got $800. I will be doing a workshop on the first week of July as part of Plastic Free July, teaching people how to stencil images onto bags so that they can make there own turtle bags. I will also be selling the bags at Victoria Park Farmer’s Market every Sunday of July.


With the help of the Millennium Kids –

Shay's design creating awareness about turtles and the plastic bag issue.

Shay’s design creating awareness about turtles and the plastic bag issue.

The Willy Wagtail Project I want to take this one step further and not just look at what the bags are made of. I want to also look at who is making the bags, where they are making them and what conditions those people are living in. How much do you think it costs to get a young indonesion girl out of slavery and into her own business making and selling these bags to us? … it only actually costs $250 to get a girl out of slavery and into business. This just goes to show you can do so much with so little if you want to support me, there are a couple of things that you can do.

The first one is you could attend the workshop on the first weekend of July  and the second one is that you could come to my stall at the Victoria Park Farmer’s Markets and purchase one of the bags for $3 each or 2 for $5.


Many thanks for your help. Shay – Millennium Kids Member


A World Without Waste

Thursday, March 12th, 2015
Bella helped lead the group of project planners.

Bella helped lead the group of project planners.

What did the kids discover at the Discovering our River Forum in 2014?  

That is a pretty interesting question. They discovered waste and lots of it. A team of kids ran a workshop down at the Swan River ,Minim Cove, in Mosman Park and did a clean up. They found fishing line, dog poop, plastic bottles, chip packets, broken glass, straws, plastic cups, old clothes, old thongs and cigarette butts – thousands of them. They did a survey of the rubbish they found and sorted it. Amy from Earthcarer’s helped them collate their data and send it in to Tangaroa Blue.

They reported their finding to Council, the Centre for Water Research, UWA and the Swan River Trust, but they wanted to do something more.

At the next planning meeting in the Western Suburbs a team of kids planned what they were going to do next. They applied for a Waste Authority grant and were successful. Their idea was to make 5 short films about waste and how it affected the river and waterways.  The Grove Community Centre helped them out with a free venue and they organised to get some ideas from visiting artist Claudia Cristiani , who was doing an artist in residence program with REmida in North Perth. Ideas percolated and the end result was  A World Without Waste Fashion Parade and a short  film telling of their concerns for the ocean.

Check out their film and give them some feedback A World Without Waste

The film will be show at the ERM Foundation meeting in March and Millennium Kids will be showing the film at their river forums in 2015. The Centre for Water Research will also showcase the film on the RMSO site.

Want a cute kitten photo? Not today!

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Want photos of cute kittens ? Not today!

Young people care about lots of important issues and one of them is waste! Some young people are even prepared to give up their Saturday to find out more .

City of Rockingham Youth Advisory Council members did.  Tired of negative stories and photos of kittens  young people from  the YAC team  joined Millennium Kids to talk about something they care about. The team were joined by Jess, the film maker who was on hand to help them film the day.

BRIEF: To make a short 3 minute film suitable for youth events showcasing  the consequences of not disposing of waste appropriately.

WHAT THEY FOUND OUT: After finding  a plastic drink bottle smack bang  in the Council carpark the team decided to look at the choices they could make- bin it,  leave it to end up in a drain or waterway , reuse it, or recycle it.

Choice 1 – Bin It: With the plastic drink bottle in hand the team jumped on the bus and headed to the Millar’s Road Landfill site and took a first hand look at all the waste that ends up there. Right on cue the team saw heaps of plastic bottles that could have been recycled if people had put them in the recycle bin. What a waste! With much discussion the YAC members gave instructions to Jess to jump off the bus and film the offending items.

Choice 2 – Leave it to end up in the drain or waterway: Back on the bus the team headed to the beach to check out the waste that ends up in the ocean. Several team members took the lead in deciding what to film and spoke to camera about the issues they discovered. After one hour of rubbish collection they sorted and surveyed the waste for Tangaroa Blue. With over 400 waste items collected in just under an hour the team started talking about how they could reduce waste at their events.

Sorting items found on the beach.

Sorting items found on the beach.

Choice 3 – Reuse it: With a fresh water tap on site at the beach the team opted to promote the “reuse” message and filmed refilling the bottle and reusing it.

Choice 4 – Recycle It: The team discussed what should go in the yellow bin and filmed one of the young people doing the right thing – plonk into the recycle bin went the plastic bottle.

After the clean up the team tallied their results and sent their data to Tangaroa Blue at  a citizen science project with the community helping collect data about the waste on our beaches.

When the film is edited it will be used by young people to promote A World Without Waste messages.

A thank you message from  the WA Coordinator of Tangaroa Blue

“If all we ever do is clean beaches, that is all we will ever do. That is why Tangaroa Blue encourages beach clean up volunteers to collect data on what they find during their clean ups by filling in a datasheet and submitting it to the Australian Marine Debris Database. The more data in the database the better an idea we have about the state of our oceans and beaches right around Australia. The data enables us to look at where the rubbish is coming from, whether it is left behind by beach users or washing up from the sea. Tracing items back to their source and looking for ways to stop them entering the marine environment in the first place is a big part of Tangaroa Blue’s direction when it comes to mitigating marine debris.

Don't WASTE our future - a youth message from City of Rockingham YAC.

Don’t WASTE our future – a youth message from City of Rockingham YAC.

Thank you for your great work Rockingham YAC and Millennium Kids “

Renee Mouritz

Let’s Pitch – A Social Enterprise in the Making

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Let me introduce you to Thea. She has been a Millennium Kid since she was 10. Imagine it – a 10 year old discovering an environmental problem in her community–researching the impact on the environment and finding a solution. There are thousands of Millennium Kids like Thea working together as problem solvers, project managers and brand designers to create a plan that implements their solution. They have facts to support them.

–       deforestation, climate change

–       75 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean

–       that in Australia alone 1 billion paper coffee cups end up in landfill each year

–       and that we are part of the problem!

Thea , Catrina, CEO of Millennium Kids and the Principal of St Hildas Junior School (2013) discuss ideas about waste reduction.

Thea , Catrina, CEO of Millennium Kids and the Principal of St Hildas Junior School (2013) discuss ideas about waste reduction.

They pitch their ideas and a few of them get their projects up with support from government, corporates and grants. That is what Millennium Kids has been doing for the last 16 years – empowering kids to make change, but with budget cuts and grant restraints it is time to build a sustainable revenue model, an eco entrepreneurship stream to fund Millennium Kids Inc.

Thea, now a chemical engineering student at UWA will work with Millennium Kids – to launch an eco enterprise arm “The Willy Wagtail Project, a brand that supports the goals of Millennium Kids Inc. An enterprise that says “ come follow me – let’s change the world”. She will lead a team of young people to design saleable, useful products that will:

–       reduce waste to landfill,

–       create awareness of the long term waste implications

–       and raise capital to fund additional youth led projects

–       building resilient young leaders with an “ I can do” approach

Millennium Kids Inc, CEO. Catrina-Luz Aniere has received a bursary from the School for Social Entrepreneurship and is pulling together a team of enthusiastic, innovative young people to be the think tank behind the project. If you have a skill you could share or are interested in finding out more about this project email

A World Without Waste Workshop

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Kids are over waste in our oceans and waterways. After discovering a range of waste items on the river foreshore in Mosman Park a team of kids decided to get the message out into the community that rubbish does not belong in our waterways. They have put together a waste workshop and fashion parade concept and have been meeting regularly to prepare for the big day.

Claudia Cristiani, an Argentinian artist, has inspired them with her installation “Connections”   –  the culmination of a four week artist in residence program at REmida in Northbridge. Claudia used resources from REmida to create the installation. The Millennium Kids team visited the centre to look at the reuse resources available and met then with Claudia to talk about their project.

On the weekend Claudia met with India and Annique at the opening of her exhibition. They talked about her work and planned to reassemble the installation at the fashion parade the kids have planned. It will form the backdrop for the kids event.

Why not join the Millennium Kids at The Grove Community Centre on 22 and 23 November to help create a message that we can all work together to create a world without waste! For more information register your interest


Cost:$50.00 for materials and lunch.



Yay for Jack – his idea going strong!

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014
Kids survey butts around the beaches

Kids survey butts around the beaches

Case Study – Enduring Project at Exmouth – A Message from a Mentor

Hi, I am Cathy Levett, a teacher and MK Facilitator . I used to teach in Exmouth and spent many months working with my students on Sustainability Education programs. I now work with Millennium Kids (MK) in Perth ,but on a recent visit to Exmouth I noticed something really exciting. I went into the Mylering Visitor Centre in Cape Range National Park. Sitting on the counter were film canisters with a MK sticker on them. I was excited to see them because they were the outcome of a workshop run at Exmouth District High School when I was there in 2005. MK were running a training program with 24 young leaders funded by Alcoa of Australia. After the training team finished their workshops they call came to my school to put their leadership skills into action. They asked the students what they liked and didn’t like about their community. One of the students – Jack Rumble didn’t like people dropping their cigarette butts on the ground. He came up with the idea to reuse film canisters so toursits could put their butts in them and dispose of them responsibly. Jack put the idea to his classmates and they came up with the idea to create a logo and slogan for a sticker to put on the canisters. It was decided it would become our class project. The project was supported by the local conservation group, Cape Conservation. Our class spent weeks designing the canister sticker and we finally agreed on a turtle. We were thrilled when the canisters were produced and placed in the Visitors Centre in Cape Range National Park. The fact that they continue to produce these and promote Jack’s idea and the team work of the whole class is just what MK is about.

An additional observation made me very happy. On Each visit to Exmouth MK would collect cigarette butts at key places in the area including the Lighthouse tourist precinct. We would include the butt count in our report to the shire, DEC, (now the Department of Parks and Wildlife )and Cape Conservation Group. On my recent visit I looked for butts at the lighthouse and found none. I can only conclude that the message about careful disposal of butts is getting through or the kids ideas of regular clean ups is happening. Whichever way, I was so happy to be a part of this small behavior change project.

If you have an MK story to tell please let us know. We’d love to share updates on how MK has influenced behavior change in the community. Please email