Millennium Kids have climate change and reducing our collective carbon footprint on our agenda. We have met with politicians, undertaken behaviour change projects and spoken up about the future we would like to see.

In 2020 we have been discussing an exciting opportunity to work with Emeritus Professor, Janette Hartz-Karp, on the world’s first Citizens’ Assembly for young people.

We would  love to invite you to a workshop with Janette Hartz-Karp and the Millennium Kids team to see what this means on:

 Sunday 16th February from 11.00am – 12.30pm.

Through the Citizens Assembly we’d bring together a diverse range of young people,

10-18 years,  to deliberate over what a changing climate means and how we can create a plan of action and deliver the plan to government and stakeholders.

A Citizens’ Assembly is a highly effective method of applying deliberative democracy. They consist of gathering a highly diverse group of people to examine broad policy objectives and propose local solutions for climate change mitigation.

Volunteers and Facilitators Needed:

If we are to make this happen we would require a dedicated team to make this four day, youth led event work. We have several challenging tasks ahead that must be met for the event to be completely legitimate. These include determining a sampling method to randomly select a group of school-aged children, procuring experts to speak on climate-related topics, and ensuring that ample decision-makers are present on the concluding day.

Do you want to be a part of the action?  If so, please join our discussion this Sunday.

Please email info@millenniumkids.com.au if you would like to attend the session and get further details of the workshop program.  

There’s no denying it, it’s pretty challenging to be a kid these days. With the onslaught of social media and its distractions, temptations and tendency to overstimulate young brains, as well as peer and school pressure, it’s no wonder that our children are showing early signs of stress and stress-related challenges.

There’s an increase in both parents needing, or choosing, to work full time which often means young children start daycare earlier, resulting in increases in anxiety (separation anxiety) and stress. And there’s the issues of home stress – divorce, financial, work. Children absorb the stress of their parents and adults around them and bring it into the classroom and the playground.

Beth Borowsky, Founder of The Karma Class, educator, adult and kids yoga teacher and teacher trainer

believes that introducing kids to Yoga, Breath and Mindfulness from an early age, gives them tools – Life tools – to manage stress and challenging emotions. “These life tools build resilience and teach children how to use mindful breath, movement and mindfulness to return to a place of calm.”

Here she shares some ideas on how to help your children find their calm.

Deep Breathing

Mindful breathing or focusing on one’s breath helps to quickly alleviate stress, reduce anxiety and bring the body and mind into quiet balance.

All of our body’s functions, from digestion to creative thought, are influenced by the amount of oxygen we take in. Our breath is the only system in our body that we can consciously control. This is why it’s magical! When we cultivate conscious (and longer) inhale breaths, we increase the oxygen in our blood stream, which helps to alleviate tired muscles and brains. When we extend our exhales, we immediately switch on the relaxation response which instantly helps us to feel calmer.

The next time your child is in a reactive state, invite them to lie quietly on their backs and take some deep, slow belly breaths.

Yoga

Yoga is a cost effective and fun way to bring children into their bodies, while cultivating strength and flexibility. When children have healthy body awareness, they feel more confident – both physically and

mentally – which encourages greater self esteem. Yoga also builds a better posture which is vitally important given how much time children spend hunched over desks and devices.

Mindfulness Activities

One of the most beautiful gifts we can give children today is the experience of being quiet, in both body and mind. By offering short experiences of quiet time and relaxation – through visualisations, mindfulness exercises, mindful walks, calming music – they begin to experience, and reap the benefits of, the practice of mindfulness and the beauty of being quiet inside. They learn wonderful tools to draw from when they feel stressed, anxious or upset.

Here are some ideas:

  • Read them a guided visualization

  • Go on a silent mindful walk

  • Colour in a mandala while listening to a soothing instrumental piece of music

Find Community

Belonging to a community goes a long way in helping children to feel good about themselves.

Millennium Kids, offers a range of tools and training programs using a ‘Skills for Life” process where children engage in sustainability projects which require team work, critical thinking and creativity.

In an age where children are bombarded with media, technology and instant gratification, gifting them with opportunities to slow down and be quiet is vital for their mental and emotional health and wellbeing.  It’s easier than you think, and the rewards are priceless!

Beth Borowsky holds a Masters in early childhood education, is a yoga teacher and teacher trainer.  She is the founder of www.thekarmaclass.com.au and her workshop – A Calmer Classroom –  teaches teachers how to bring calm into their classroom – inspired techniques that start in the classroom and last a lifetime.

Photo Courtesy: Rae Fallon

The Millennium Kids ‘Kids on Country’ revegetation project in Coolgardie took a huge leap forward this week, with the site now ripped for planting. This was made possible by the very generous contribution of time and machinery by Roadtech Civil and Construction. The Narrogin based crew were in Coolgardie installing a new road train assembly area on the edge of town. One of MK’s local supporters, Sara, noticed the machines in town, and knowing we were struggling to get equipment for this next critical phase of our kids project, approached them to see if they would help.

We have never struck such agreeable contractors that were so easy to get along with or so generous! Once we had our permits in hand from the Shire and the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, (who control a small reserve on part of the site), we called Roadtech and they were on our site the next day.

The Roadtech machine worked on the contour to maximise catchment of water, and minimise any erosion of the site. Murdoch University Work Placement student, Lalu Harly, had a very quick introduction to the Great Western Woodlands, the Kids on Country project, and some of the basics of revegetation when he came out to help with the site contour pegging.

Now the site is ripped we have to wait for the rains to give the soil a good soaking before we can plant. The seed collected by the local kids is in the nursery growing, and we can now allocate a planting date for winter. There is lots of enthusiasm from Millennium Kids in Perth and beyond to travel up and help the local kids plant.

Again, a big thanks to Carl Dunlop, Chiky Gidgup, our operator Keith Greenshields, and the rest of the crew at Roadtech, and Francesa Lefante, Town Planner for the Shire of Coolgardie. Community support at its best!

This Kids on Country project is supported by a State NRM Program Community Stewardship Grant and IGO Limited.

Wayne O’Sullivan, MK Citizen Science Project Manager

 

Before Christmas the Millennium Kids Youth Board met with the Commissioner for Young People to talk about their projects. The Commissioner gives a voice to young people and shares their views with the Premier, Mark McGowan and other stakeholders.

All kids got an opportunity to share their projects, some kids brought art work or pictures of their work and some talked.

I showed the Commissioner my Green Lab project video. My project video shows why I think drainage basins are great places for people and animals and can make cities green and cool. He liked my video, you can watch it below.

 

We met at his office in Subiaco and we had lots of yummy food, such as corn chips, cheese, apples, watermelon, carrot sticks and cookies. Millennium kids thinks waste free food is really important and we were really happy that all the food was not in packaging and that it was all so delicious.

Aelwen, Youth Board Member

 

 

#1000actionsfortheplanet

#lifeonland

There have been a lot of things happening in my little revegetation area lately. The entire first quadrant has been cleared of weeds and the tube stock planted there has taken off. Natural regeneration and an old seed bank are playing a vital role as well. With the ground left open and devoid of weeds, the existing native seeds have had a chance to sprout, and at the moment there is probably twice as much natural regeneration as there is planted tube stock. Already I’ve recorded native species, that have previously been absent moving in, such as bridal sundews, branching fringed lilies and splendid fairy wrens.

A pair of Bronzewings also found it a safe place to raise their young, whom are now fully fledged. A strange species of case moth, that I haven’t seen before, was feasting off a thriving honey bush. By the next day it had dragged its pyramid shaped home of sticks and silk to another nearby honey bush, so as not to exhaust its food supply. A wise principle that we should all follow, as taught in the caterpillars’ own, particular style.

The Prickly Moses Wattle has just finished seeding and already many of the released seeds are sprouting, forming a light carpet of spiny green. In amongst them, Wallaby, Kangaroo and Lemon Scented grasses prevail, rejoicing in the space created after the removal of the non-native Rye grass and Velvet grass. Several butterfly and moth species are laying their eggs on these grasses, and brushing past them on hot days sends moths pouring out from them, bumbling into each other and the ground, then flying to nearby clumps of grass where they won’t get rudely interrupted from their mid-day siesta. All in all, it’s a busy time for the residents of the revegetation as well as the carers!

Written by Youth Board Member Charles

Green Lab is a Millennium Kids program to protect, monitor and increase canopy in the Perth metropolitan area. Charles, a MK Youth Board member, initiated his own project, joined Millennium Kids and is now supported in his project endeavours by Cathy Levett, a MK Mentor, and by the Shire of Mundaring with provision of seedlings.

For more information about how to get your own Green Lab initiative up and running in your area email info@milleniumkids.com.au

 

Yes, it official – our Kids love trees and as part of #1000actionsfortheplanet they developed Green Lab so to all our tree buddies and collaborators we are so excited to announce that Millennium Kids has been successful in receiving a State National Resource Management NRM Community Stewardship Grant for Green Lab.

” Green Lab project enables young people to address concerns for their future through revegetation and long-term protection of natural areas. Our survey of over 500 young people identified climate change, and the loss of tree canopy as major environmental problems facing future generations. This is a youth led STEAM initiative, planned, undertaken and monitored by schools, community groups and LGA’s. Through it, young people will realise their vision for a connected canopy across Perth that creates a cooler climate, while providing habitat for native flora and fauna, and green spaces for people.”

The grant is for $308, 804. This will help us work with our partners and friends to support young people in their vision for a cooler, greener city.

We visited Coolbinia Primary School with Simon Millman, local MP, students and teachers to celebrate the first official Green Lab Biome – Coolbinia Primary School Bushland.

We’ll be keeping you updated regularly with Green Lab stories over the next three years!

Each year Millennium Kids holds an UNconference where the kids get to decide what they do, this year Aelwen gave us her highlights.

Day one of the Millennium Kids 23rd UNconference was held at Bold Park. I set up my market place stall. I was showcasing my sump vegetation project to increase urban tree canopy in Vic Park and to provide habitat for species such as the red tail black cockatoos and Carnaby cockatoos.

Other stalls showcased waste projects, learning about biodiversity through art, inventions to clean up waste in the ocean and information about the environment.

We sat in a big circle and we said hello to each other in different languages, I was excited to hear Arabic being spoken as well Noongar and many other languages.

We went on a bush walk led by Millennium Kids member Patrick and mentor Wayne. Patrick knows a lot about birds! Unfortunately we didn’t see many that day. We did see a dead lizard which was really sad, we think it was run over by a bike. Patrick talked about how to make Banksia beer and Wayne talked about different habitats.

We also went to the Regional Resource Recovery Centre and saw what happens to the FOGO (food organics garden organics) bins. I was surprised that it wasn’t super smelly. We also saw lots of bin chickens. I also learnt that lots of people put dirty nappies in the recycling, this is really disappointing that more people don’t know they can’t be recycled.

The other group went to the Calcutta Tip shop. They were given $50.00 to create a waste innovation project. They only seen $12.oo. They bought a basket and 20 coffee mugs. They are going to use them at the Salty X Markets in Trigg. People can take a free cup to reduce waste.

We also played games and created some of our own. We also ate chocolate, it was lots of fun.

Day two of the Millennium Kids UNconference was held at Piney Lakes. This was my favourite day!

We met some people from Native ARC Inc., they brought in Nick the tawny frog mouth(named after Nick Fury), Tommy the oblong turtle and some bobtail lizards called Bill and Bob(that were both girls), there was also a python and some joeys. They had towels so the animals wouldn’t poop all over the floor.

We also met Steve Heron Author, author of the book Maximus. He taught us about descriptive writing, he was really funny and I think I will be a better writer after his insights. I have already started reading Maximus and it is really good.

We also met with Green World Revolution and I learnt about how good micro-greens are for me. My little baby greens have already sprouted, I can’t wait to eat them.

We also had the Disco on that night, it was awesome!

There was a really cool band, limbo, lots of yummy food and dancing. It was organised by Ebonie to raise money for the Coolgardie kids on country program. Ebonie raised over $1000 with special thanks to the Minister for Environment Stephen Dawson for his donation.

Thanks Bull Creek Lions Club Inc for helping access Piney Lakes Environmental Education Centre. It was the perfect venue.

Day three of the UNconference was held at All Saints’ College WA. We talked about waste solutions and made a prosthetic leg with Curtin Engineers Without Borders out of a plunger, a sponge a shoe, a pole, a pipe and some rope and duct tape. I also learnt that health care in Cambodia is not as accessible as in Australia.

We talked to the The Field Trip in Victoria, they are a bit like Millennium kids and are looking at how to built an igloo out of old milk cartons for the homeless and piggy banks, also made out of milk cartons. They must drink a lot of milk. They were really nice.

We also had the serious business of electing the Youth Board and the adult Council so we can continue to have fun, care for the environment and eat chocolate. I was really excited that I was accepted onto the Youth Board for a second year. We have 15 kids on the Youth Board.

By Aelwen Youth Board Member

With not one but 3 finalists, Millennium Kids wants to say a huge congrats to all the MK teams and individuals recognised for their youth leadership in the WA Youth Awards 2019, The Youth Futures Innovation for a Sustainable Future category.

Edulis, a futures thinking edible cutlery solution to plastic waste,  Kids on Country, a youth led citizen science initiative in Coolgardie and Jacob Cassey, project manager for the new MK website,  were all recognised for their contributions to a sustainable future.

Super big congrats to Jacob for winning the award celebrating your role in project managing the development of our new website and online portal. Well deserved. Thanks to Lotterywest and Waste Authority of Western Australia for funding our website and to Media on Mars for the technical skills to help Jacob realise his vision.

I recently had the privilege of accompanying the Kids on Country on their trip to the Burra Rock Conservation Park. I live in Perth and have been hearing about the Kids on Country program for a long time and it sounded so cool. The young indigenous people in Coolgardie have identified that they weren’t spending enough time on country and have made plans to change that. The Kids have their say on what they want to do, where they want to go and what changes they want to work towards in their community.

I carpooled with Cat and Wayne to Coolgardie where we went straight to see Nanny Betty. She welcomed us into the neighbourhood and gave us tea and we spent time with her dogs. Then we went around to the families, reminded them about the trip to Burra Rock and gave them information packs about the trip.

The following day the kids met in the park, piled on the bus and went out on country. We were joined by locals, visitors from Bunbury and the Police for a Spring Into Parks picnic. It was a really fun day of swimming, exploring and learning on country. We couldn’t have a barbecue because it was too hot so we had chicken, cheese and salad rolls and fruit under the shade of a tree.

While we were staying in Coolgardie we camped in the bush and ate waste free meals cooked over a fire. After the trip to Burra Rock, we met up with some lovely people from Kalgoorlie that we hope to work with on future Kids on Country trips.

The Kids on Country program has a bit of a fan club amongst the Millennium Kids that live in Perth, so much so that Ebonie recently held a fundraiser disco and raised over $1000 for the program. Go Ebonie!

Thanks to everyone that supported the disco, we could support four young women from Coolgardie to travel to Perth to attend the WA Youth Awards. yes, the Kid son Country team were Finalists. I was lucky enough to meet these girls, Dolly, Tamara, Krystal and Jasmin in Coolgardie. The passion that they have for the program and for their community is evident.

Occasionally, other members of Millennium Kids are asked to accompany the Kids on Country and share a certain skill set with them based on skills that the kids have expressed interest in learning. I was asked to come along and bring my ukulele and share some of my knowledge in environmental science with the kids. It was an honour to spend time with such a lovely group of young people in such a special place.

Thanks to the WA Parks Foundation for supporting this Kids on Country program through Spring Into Parks. This partnership gave us  a fabulous opportunity to take the kids on country with visitors who hadn’t been to the Park before. This gives our team an opportunity to share their knowledge and take guests on country to connect with beauty of the Great Western Woodland.

My name is Bella Poll and I want you to pitch your ideas for a waste free world.

I was recently elected Service Captain for 2020, which I am really excited about! I definitely think that Millennium Kids made a big an impact on me and I have continued my passion for environmental sustainability.

My school is aiming towards becoming a waste free accredited school next year and we’d love some of the Millennium Kids to share their Waste Free Movement ideas to help students understand the impact of waste.

I recently helped some younger PLC students from the Art Club make clay pots which we sold at a Silent Auction at the school on Open Garden Day, raising $260.00. We would love to donate the money to Millennium Kids for one of the Waste Free Movement youth led projects.

If you have a Waste Free Movement project pitch your proposal to MK by 2ndDecember 2019 and  $260 could be yours to kickstart your project.

Use the project link https://www.millenniumkids.com.au/get-involved/join-millennium-kids/membership-application/