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Kids on Country – From the CEO’s Desk

April 3rd, 2017
Sharing the Kids on Country book with parents.

Sharing the Kids on Country book with parents.

 

What happens when you bring together indigenous elders, kids and scientists on country in a citizen science program?

Since 2008 Millennium Kids has been working with young people in the Great Western Woodland. Using the Millennium Kids inquiry methodology young people have been visiting the woodland alongside scientists and elders showcasing cultural knowledge through citizen science applications.

In the program kids are allowed to explore the woodland and discover areas of interest. These areas of interest form the basis of program planning and development with Millennium Kids creating a youth led process. Through the program kids learn life skills that can be used in the school setting and in the workplace.

In 2014, Millennium Kids secured funding for a group of young people from Coolgardie , based on their desire to learn more about the woodland, with a particular emphasis on traditional culture and protection of a threatened bird, the malleefowl. With support from local mining companies and a Wyemando Bequest Millennium Kids worked with young people and elders to develop Kids on Country, with 30 young people in the Coolgardie area. Over a series of weekend programs young people explored various sites in the woodland, learnt how to monitor local malleefowl for Birdlife Australia, produced a book and a film of their activities and hosted an international citizen science field trip, sharing their knowledge with other young people from Indonesia and Malaysia.

I will be presenting the findings of this program at the Environmental Practitioners Workshop on 26 May 2017.

For more information check out the link here:

https://www.eianz.org/events/event/2017-environmental-practitioners-workshop-sharing-experiences-in-environmental-practice

Millennium Kids Inc

Catrina-Luz Aniere

Sharing the Kids on Country book with parents.

Sharing the Kids on Country book with parents.

 

 

MK African Adventure & Beyond!

September 14th, 2016
Ntshidi Middle School, where we donated sports equipment and funds for a food farm.

Ntshidi Middle School, where we donated sports equipment and funds for a food farm.

It’s been six long years since I journeyed with Millennium Kids Inc to South Africa but what I experienced and learnt over that short trip has shaped myself and my thinking forever. At the time I was a naïve private school educated boy who’s closest experience to anything I was about to encounter would have been briskly passing through the streets of Jakarta some six years before that. I thought I knew what I was to come upon. I had seen it on television or heard first time encounters from my mother’s experiences, but I guess the sheer shock of witnessing it firsthand made me stand up and realise how much I took for granted, even the simple things we are gifted with here in Australia.

Arriving in Johannesburg Airport, which had just been refurbished for the upcoming World Cup, was designed to hide the flocks of tourists that were soon to arrive in the country from 95% of its surrounding areas. After barely a 10 minute drive we started to see the real South Africa, incredibly rich areas with 10 metre walls and electric fences, juxtaposed against shantytowns that housed the majority of the population. We continued our drive for another eight hours to arrive in the town of Mafikeng where we would stay for the majority of our trip. Mafikeng was situated on the Molopo River and its beautiful surrounds, however many of its inhabitants were impoverished- families of 4, 5, 6 all squashed in a one room mudflat house. It was mind-blowing to see poverty on this scale and this was just the beginning.

A typical rural house in North West Province

A typical rural house in North West Province

The river was littered and polluted with waste. It was where people would come down to wash clothes and complete day-to-day tasks. The schools generally had one to two rooms where 80-100 students were taught at once. What really shocked me was the positive demeanour that was carried by so many people throughout Mafikeng. I had become accustomed to my creature comforts back home in Western Australia; these people had never known anything else and were generally happier than your average teenager. It felt unjust! Why did I deserve my way of life when the resources I used day to day were capable of assisting 20+ children here? Everywhere we went they sang, danced and just showed sheer enthusiasm with the resources we were giving to their communities. It was a very humbling experienced that made me realise how much we take for granted and how we all should be doingour bit to ensure that everyone possible gets an equal opportunity in this world we live in.

John Taylor (23)

*MK UPDATE*

6 years on I am still involved in Millennium Kids, working in the office helping with the logistics of the upcoming MK20 UNConference to be held in October 2016.

 

 

Solar Energy for a Brighter Future

September 9th, 2016

Pitch for the Planet, a Millennium Kids One Thousand Actions for the Planet project, brought together 100 people to the City of South Perth last week to listen to Kids ideas for the future.  These were no ordinary Kids. All of them wanted to make a positive impact on the planet. With 20 teams of Kids with ideas for change pitching to the community. Kids got feedback on their change making projects from teachers, business people, environmental scientists and engineers.  Kids took on board the stretchy questions to get them thinking about taking their projects from concept to reality.

With ideas flowing 5 Kids pitched for prize money totaling $500.00.

One team was a group of children who attend Belmont City College. Anne, Pauline, Hans, Giacamo and Tristan pitched the idea for their school to become a ‘Low Carbon School’ by installing solar panels and switching off lights in unattended rooms to reduce the amount of  carbon created.

The group based their pitch around the major benefits the solar panels would provide to the school.

“Solar energy is renewable, sustainable and doesn’t run out. The solar require little maintenance and are silent producers of energy” said the group. They understand their idea will not come cheaply and are looking towards the students, teachers and local community to get involved and put some dollars towards getting this project up and running. “As years pass, we can gradually add a few panels on buildings where electricity usage is too high.  Switching to solar panels may be costly, but it still saves more money in the long run. This money can be used to buy more solar panels”.

Students met with local MP Glenys Godfrey to share their ideas for the future. They didn’t win the Pitch night but they are determined to make their project a reality.

Quote Glenys Godfrey.

FACT FILE

  • Belmont City College is part of environmental organisation Millennium Kids Inc working with Simply Carbon on the Low Carbon Schools Program to reduce carbon in local schools. .
  • To find out more about more about how Millennium Kids Inc. empowers young people to protect the environment visit millenniumkids.com.au

Kids On Country

August 26th, 2016
The kids learnt who to record Malleefowl sightings for Birdlife Australia.

The kids learnt who to record Malleefowl sightings for Birdlife Australia.

Thanks to a Wyemando Bequest Coolgardie kids have been able to get out of town and explore the Great Western Woodland alongside elders and scientists over a 12 month period. The team of young people have had a series of training days in the local park learning about fire management, planning a bush trip and how to monitor local wildlife. Several excursions took the kids and adults to  explore Rowles Lagoon, Burra Rock and several lesser known sites around town, to find about about local biodiversity, explore their cultural heritage and learn some science skills.

Betty Logan and MK Trainee check out an active Malleefowl nest.

Betty Logan and MK Trainee check out an active Malleefowl nest.

Using binoculars, GPS and iPads the kids, alongside scientists Wayne and Simon,  recorded local biodiversity in the area. They heard stories of the Malleefowl from Aunty Alison and found out about the impact of cats and foxes on the native animal populations. The kids  learnt how to GPS significant sites and record the information for Birdlife Australia. More importantly they reconnected with the Ngadju language and helped write a book about their adventures.

Kid painted the sites they visited and recorded the stories of the area.

Kid painted the sites they visited and recorded the stories of the area.

 

Local Youth Coordinator, Nathan Dimer, said ” It is important for these kids to reconnect with their country. They need to develop a sense of who they are and how they can keep their culture alive.”

The kids plan to lead a tour series for the public with their newfound knowledge. The book will be available for sale on line and funds raised will be used to help cover costs for further adventures.

 

 

MK20 UNconference for Futures Thinkers

August 5th, 2016
Since 1996 kids have been having a say about their world and doing something about it! Join us now and help celebrate our birthday.

Since 1996 kids have been having a say about their world and doing something about it! Join us now and help celebrate our birthday.

ABOUT THE MK20 UNCONFERENCE FOR FUTURES THINKERS

One hundred young people from the Asia Pacific region will attend a three day MK20 UNconference in Western Australia, taking part in futures thinking workshops with Dr Anita Sykes-Kelleher, from Designer Futures, and Interim Chair of Millennium Kids Inc, and Catrina –Luz Aniere, CEO Millennium Kids Inc.

Participants will visit best practice sustainability sites; explore the UN Sustainable Development Goals, exploring Futures Thinking – this is needed to understand how we can influence the future and help create the better world envisaged by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Participants will meet social entrepreneurs working in the sustainability space, and co design future projects.

Participants will share their projects reports, along with ideas for future collaboration between schools, NGOs and corporates. They will leave the UNconference armed with ideas and enthusiasm to tackle sustainable change in their local, regional and international communities.

Day One: Introduction, meet and greet, youth reports and creative thinking games.

Day Two: Site visits to leading best practice sustainability sites.

Day Three: Co design workshops, developing on line collaboration tools and Gala Dinner.

Participants will present their findings to local and State Government representatives at the end of the UNconference.

Dates: 3rd, 4th, 5th October 2016

Venue: Point Walter Recreation Centre, 1 Stock Road, Bicton, Western Australia

In 1996 185 young people came together to start the first youth led environmental conference int he world, in WA.

In 1996, 185 young people came together from around the world to start the first youth led environmental conference in the world, in WA. in 2016 we celebrate 20 years of youth voice and action.

Fore more information email catrina@millenniumkids.com.au for a MK20 UNconference Pack.

This event is sponsored and supported by Australian Centre for foresight, City of Fremantle and the generous donations from the public through StartSomeGood crowdfunding.

The Black Swan Project

July 20th, 2016

Hello readers my name is Emma, I am a Millennium Kid.

IMG_4190

Rowena Keall Walsh, artist and river lover, checks out Emma’s work at the exhibition.

I participated in the Discovering Our River Forum at the Swan River in 2015, where I learnt about our Black Swans and their struggle to find safe places to breed and lay their eggs. This workshop led to my idea of building up sedge numbers around rivers with Black Swan populations so that the Black Swans have more safe places to breed and reproduce.

Black Swans are birds which are easily frightened and once startled near their nest they will not return there. The added problem is that they do not give birth too many cygnets (baby Black Swans) making it vital they do not leave their nests before the cygnets hatch.

My project journey began by making a massive poster and PowerPoint which had information about the Black Swans and my project. I then went to ‘Vanishing Point’  Cullity Art Gallery at UWA and raised seventy dollars towards my project plan. The money I raised was matched by the City of South Perth and the overall amount went towards the reed planting day at McDougall Park, Como.

Emma planet some of the sedges.

Emma planted some of the sedges on the day .

On the 19th July planting day we went to the park and planted a great number of reeds around the river bank. We then had a delicious morning tea and did some bird watching. Our day ended after a sausage sizzle and some painting under the trees. It’s great having the satisfaction of helping our native fauna  – the Black Swans and  turtles, at the lake  by planting reeds, such a little thing which can help our native animals.

Thank you to everyone who helped me with my project.

 

 

Background: On the 19th of July Millennium Kids Sustainability Ambassadors and City of South Perth Joined forces to plant 330 advanced sedges at Neil Mc Dougal Lake. The Project was funded by the “20 Million Tree Program” (National Landcare Program) which aims to plant 20 million plants by 2020 through engaging the community and supporting environmental conservation.
Neil Mc Dougal Lake is an important habitat for many bird species as well as being home to the Long Necked Turtle. The planting around the edges of the lake will increase habitat for the Black Swans and Oblong Turtle as well as improve water quality.
It was an excellent day with about 20 people attending and helping plant and install bird netting. Planting was followed by some bird watching with some XX species spotted on the island and around the park. We finished up with a BBQ and some games before the rain came watering in our new plants, giving them a great start.

Its great to be involved in the community – why not join Millennium Kids and make a difference to the Environment

Lance Holt Rocks the Planet

May 4th, 2016
Can school's reduce their carbon footprint ? A project in partnership with Simply Carbon and Millennium Kids Inc

Can schools reduce their carbon footprint ? A project in partnership with Simply Carbon and Millennium Kids Inc

One Thousand Actions for the Planet started with a bang on Monday.

Forty kids from Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 at Lance Holt Primary in the City of Fremantle, put their heads together to design a low carbon life. The project is supported by City of Fremantle through a FreoMatch program which sees local groups pitch for funding support that helps grow partnerships around the One Planet Principles. 

Sharing ideas about what ‘low carbon’ means was quite an eye opener. Kids discussed global warming, the pollution that creates the warming and one 9 year old drew a pretty amazing system’s diagram on the whiteboard.

” The earth warms up because the carbon can’t get out.”

The students were taking part in the first Low Carbon School’s workshops with Millennium Kids. The Simply Carbon team were there as mentors. Kids discussed ideas, formed teams and came up with a range of suggestions for change at their school. The four themes were WASTE, WATER, TRANSPORT AND ENERGY.

Several boys went straight to the bin. They checked out the contents and estimated 75% of the waste was actually recyclable.

” We have become lazy”, one boy said.

They discussed landfill and the methane that is a product of green waste and other waste begin dumped at the sites.

They spent the next hour designing a project plan to create a solution. Kathy, a Simply Carbon Mentor, asked a few questions about data and measuring change during the Speed Mentoring session at the end of the day.

“How will you know your project is a success?” She asked. The boys quickly worked out they needed to compare monthly bills, set some targets, inspire their fellow classmates and teachers and run a campaign for change.

Fourteen projects in all were developed on the day. The students will spend the next term undertaking their project and delivering a report to the Millennium Kids – Simply Carbon Team.

The students will join 20 other schools in the Perth metropolitan area undertaking projects.

To help make the children’s project ideas become a reality please consider chipping in some funding at One Thousand Actions for the Planet.  

The teams watch Saving Heironymous to get inspired about grass roots change.

The teams watch Saving Heironymous to get inspired about grass roots change.

Stay tuned for more updates.

 

YPP – Youth Voice and Action

February 11th, 2016

Young people across the Perth metropolitan area had a say about the things that concerned them through the Youth Partnership Project in 2015. They thought there were opportunities for change, so they wrote a series of recommendations covering a range of issues in their community. Public Transport was important to them. ” We use it to get to places”, said Warren. ” It can be intimidating to travel on your own, ” said another. The Youth Partnership Project event brought together over 100 young voices. Together they wrote a map for the future, one that other young people could take up and use to help create positive change. The Recommendations were presented to various sectors of government and non government agencies in in an effort to influence policy with youth suggesting ways to work with young people to make positive change.

The team celebrate their film launch at Sevenoaks Senior College.

The team celebrate their film launch at Sevenoaks Senior College.

The Public Transport Authority were keen to support the Recommendations through The Right Track Program. The Public Transport Authority saw an opportunity to create new ways of thinking around engaging with young people. Millennium Kids was contracted to work with young people to take on some of the opportunites for change.

A group of young people from across the metropolitan area were engaged as the project management team. Several Transit Officers were keen to be involved. ” Kids use public transport. We are there to keep them safe,” said Roi who works as a Transit Officer.  Periscope Pictures were engaged as the film crew and the youth voice process began. The team focussed on the issues that were important to them:

  • safety on the trains
  • mutual respect

“Transit Officers need some sort of training to make innocent people feel safe instead of targeted. More mutual respect, ” said one participant.

“Ensure transit guards are approachable, respectful and understanding, including having training on engaging effectively with young people and people of diverse cultural backgrounds.” Lots of young people had a say about public transport, but more importantly they were able to use their voice to help create a film to educate other young people about their rights and responsibilities on the public transport system.

“We need to  build better relationships and mutual respect between people who work on the trains and people who use the trains and buses. We need to work with the people who watch out for  the the kids on the train lines. The story goes both ways, ” said Gavin, Youth Mentor from Fairbridge WA Inc.

The end result is a short film that can be used by schools and youth organisations to showcase positive train behaviour.

 

 

 

 

Bek’s Bricks – TBC

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.

Cat MK CEO

Kids have had enough!

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

Kids with their bags of waste from the beach!

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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.