At the recent Western Australian HASS teachers conference, My Future My Voice, Millennium Kids were lucky enough to be able to deliver the keynote speech on the Saturday of the program. We followed an excellent Welcome to Country from a HASS teacher Dylan Collard.

Catrina Aniere, CEO and former teacher, led the keynote speech. She spoke about her experience in a classroom and different strategies used to engage children with the curriculum. She described taking children out on country to learn about the land in Port Hedland and taking children down to the river in South Perth.

Cat went on to tell the story of the beginnings of Millennium Kids. Some of Cats’ students were selected to attend a UN youth conference and when they got back to Australia they decided that they wanted to run their own conference – a conference run for kids by kids. It was the first conference of its kind and was the beginning of Kids Helping Kids, a group that later developed into Millennium Kids.

Some of the Millennium Kids  talked about their projects. Ebonie spoke about her fundraiser disco for Kids on Country. It’s going to be a super fun event in October to raise money for a fantastic cause – taking indigenous children out on country their local elders to build life skills and care for their land.

Patrick spoke about his project where he is painting native birds. He intends to create a poster or a calendar to inform people about the value of planting native species in your own garden and how it can be used to attract and retain native birds.

Charles spoke about his revegetation project on an area near his house. He described some of the most interesting plants that he had found and the processes that he was taking to care for his patch such as manually weeding the area.

Ebonie, Patrick and Charles all described the processes that they went through to pitch their project, acquire funding and the work that they have done on their project until now.

I had the opportunity to speak about my project – Youth Challenges on the Environment 2019I have compiled a document of issues that Millennium Kids have identified and suggestions that they have come up with. I’ve presented the ideas in the form of draft policies, and presented them to Stephen Dawson, our environment minister at the Millennium Kids website launch this year. I was motivated by the sheer volume of ideas created in the workshops with Millennium Kids. Each project undertaken by a young person focuses on one or two issues so I wanted to make sure that youth voices were heard regarding all the issues that they care about.

It was humbling to be asked to speak about our projects at a teacher’s conference. The way that Millennium Kids operates is different to conventional classroom. Kids make the decisions, we choose what to learn and explore and what projects to work on. Cathy, one of our Council members, explained the role that mentors have within Millennium Kids. This gave the audience a sense of how our organisation operates. She described the artist that has helped Patrick develop his artwork, the lawyer that helped to edit my policies and how she herself had mentored children that wanted to do projects on turtles.

We got a great response from the conference and had many people approach us at the market afterwards to ask questions about our projects and our workshops, buy our merchandise and offer their help as mentors. We look forward to working with the HASS community in our endeavours!

 

Written by MK Rachel

Thanks a million Fred Africa, Producer and Presenter, for community TV program,The Couch, for contacting Millennium Kids about the possibility of a monthly segment on their tv show.

Patrick, MK Youth Board member,  put his hand up straight away and joined me on The Couch for our first session. We talked about #1000actionsfortheplanet and how everyone could make changes to their lifestyle to help the planet.

Patrick talked up his passion for birds and his calendar project.

If you are interested in appearing on the program with other Millennium Kids email me at catrina@millenniumkids.com.au with your project idea.

Cat MK CEO

Embracing The Environment: Education And Socialisation For Homeschoolers

By Guest Writer Jennifer Collin

In Australia alone, over 30,000 children are homeschooling. Public education is often a hotly debated topic, polarizing parents and politicians on the issues of education quality, curriculum, and content. Some parents want to tailor the topics or pace of the classroom; others are committed to protecting their children from bullying, and encourage them to collaborate with people of all different religions, races and ideologies to promote a more peaceful planet. Organizations are popping up all over, like Millenium Kids, a project dedicated to enabling children to become empowered in tackling issues like education, environmentalism, and sustainability on a community level. Whatever their reason for homeschooling, socialization remains a real challenge, and some parents feel helpless in addressing this issue. Parents can meet socialization and education goals simultaneously by collaborating with other homeschoolers to work on a cause like the environment.

Connect With Your Homeschool Community On A Common Cause

When the classroom size is limited to one or two children, it can be challenging to teach kids the “soft skills” that they would otherwise learn when attending a traditional public school. As their parent and teacher, it is critical to create a curriculum that fosters learning while not sacrificing socialisation with similar-aged peers. One way to do this is to reach out to other homeschoolers in your local area. Create a Facebook group or host a meetup with like-minded families to familiarise yourself and your homeschoolers with the community. Many parents and homeschoolers support an important and educational cause like the environment to connect with the community and teach children about science, climate, and collaboration. Going on camping trips or group excursions to parks and nature centres fosters socialisation while creating an opportunity to teach children about nature, the environment, biology, climate, and earth science.

Get Involved And Get Creative 

Home-schooled children could choose to focus on environmental groups, for example, and participate in activities like camping, park clean ups, and conservation events. Getting the kids involved in planning these activities is sure to enhance the experience and increase the likelihood that your child will be enthusiastic about participating. Plan a camping trip with your child, and reach out to other local homeschoolers to invite other kids. Before the outing, invite others to a meet and greet, where you can get to know other parents and children. Get creative, and have the kids work on a D.I.Y. project to use on the trip, or create informational flashcards about the plants and animals they may encounter. Take the time to teach the kids about the importance of cleaning up their camping spaces and respecting wildlife. This meetup not only provides an opportunity to chat logistics, but also is a great way to get the kids excited about the upcoming social gathering and drive home the educational aspects of the event.

Encouraging your child to get involved in a cause with other homeschoolers is is a great way to ensure that your child is socialising with their peers and forming critical bonds and friendships, despite being homeschooled. Reach out to organizations that encourage creative collaboration with youth, like Millennium Kids. Keep an open mind, and be sure to source advice from your homeschooling community to overcome any challenges you may face in creating your child’s curriculum or managing your relationship with the child as both teacher and parent. By remaining involved with your community and relying on a bit of creative thinking, you can successfully homeschool your child and avoid any major socialisation challenges. Focusing on a cause like the environment, and involving your community in this cause is a perfect way to encourage socialisation and education simultaneously, as well as having a positive impact on the environment.

 

If you are keen on setting up a Homeschool Green lab with Millennium Kids Inc please email info@millenniumkids.com.au

CLIMATE CHANGE

#1000actionsfortheplanet #climateaction

Introducing Taylah, our newest MK member!

Our MK friend, Joy, saw Taylah’s illustration on Facebook and thought MK would be the prefect place to give her a shout out.
What inspired you to draw your illustration?
The thing that inspired me to create the illustration was that people enjoy all of their items, their easily packaged food and cosmetics, and their electricity. They do know somewhat what goes into the creation of these things, but prefer to turn a blind eye. Pollution is an ongoing issue that will continue to get worse if you don’t choose to see it.
What is your favourite place in the natural world?
I absolutely love the few untouched forests of the world. I like to visit the stumps of old growth trees that were cut down and imagine what it was like in its former glory. The pristine beauty of forests is amazing. The wildlife, and the crisp thick trees work together to make a beautiful landscape.
If you were Ruler of the World what would  be the first three new environmental laws that you would bring in?
Rule 1:
If I was the ruler of the world my first rule would be to find a renewable and sustainable energy source. Air pollution has a big impact, and I believe if we stop using fossil fuels such as coal, and turn to something more sustainable such as solar, wind, methane gas energy the world would be a better place.
Rule 2:
My second rule would be to ban micro plastic, and single use plastics. Single use plastics use fossils fuels extracted from the earth, that take millions of years to form, to produce something that will be used once, then is thrown away. It will then continue to torment the environment for another couple of hundred years. It just seems pointless. Micro plastics, such as some “biodegradable” plastics, break down into tiny microscopic pieces of plastic, which gets into our own waterways, and sea life ingest it, and we end up ingesting it ourselves.
Rule 3:
My last but not least rule would be to ban, not immediately, cars that run on fossil fuels. Gases are being released into the atmosphere all hours of the day, and it is contributing to global warming. Global warming is an issue that needs addressing. The polar ice caps are melting, the polar bears will have nowhere to go, and once the ice is melted, where will it go? Lots of land will be covered, and with the population growing this is not beneficial.

PEACE AND LIFESTYLE

#1000actionsfortheplanet #partnershipsforthegoals

Minda and I are from a small island, Sumbawa, in Indonesia. We came to Perth on 10th April and we will stay with Millennium Kids organisation for 12 days of workshops, site visits and environmental experiences.

This is our story.

Minda and I departed from Perth towards Coolgardie town on 13th April with Wayne and Catrina from Millennium Kids Inc. It took 7 hours of driving but we had one night camping in the great beautiful green Great Western Woodland.

We climbed to the to the top of McDermid Rock and saw a beautiful view of the Woodland and we saw various species of beautiful birds. We camped overnight and the next morning we continued our trip to mother of the Goldfields, Coolgardie via Norseman and Kalgoorlie.

In the afternoon we arrived to the small, quiet, beautiful town Coolgardie and we visited Aunty Betty, who is an elder and local government Councilor. Aunty Betty is amazing indigenous woman, she is very nice to us and hosted us very well with a cup of tea and told us lots of information about Ngadju people, which is one of the indigenous people in the area. After we had a beautiful information exchange with Aunty Betty we went to the local park where all the kids and families were hanging out and we set up the barbecue for a sausage sizzle.

While we were cooking the food we also invited the Ngadju kids around the park to come join us for food and Minda and I were excited because that was our first time to meet them. We greeted and introduced each other with those indigenous kids. Seriously it was so much fun even though they were a bit shy at the first time we met, but by the time we left they were showing themselves – they are nice kids to talk with. Minda and I were telling them the main propose that we came from Indonesia to visit their town just because we want to see something different from Perth city. They told us that they wanted to take us for a guided eco-tour around Coolgardie town for the next day. They showed us there Kids on Country book and talked about the plants and animals. We looked at bus medicine planet and learnt the names.

From their character and also their spirit it was clear they were very friendly and I can say that they are actually gorgeous.

Next morning after we had a good night sleep and pretty good breakfast by Mr Wayne we picked the kids up in they showed us the woodland surrounding the town. While we were driving around the town we picked more kids up from each house. The kids took us to the first place where they told us the story of crow and the eagle. They told us the story about it perfectly, actually they were a bit nervous to be the speaker but it was great. I picked up some of the indigenous spirit values through the story they told.

Not only that, we visited Burra Rock, another historical place outside Coolgardie. It took about one hour to get there from the town. When we got there the kids took me up in the rock face. They showed me the dam, and the place where a pig farmer once lived. They took me to the rock pools on the rock and the kids told me that those water spots had been managed by the elders a long time ago as water was a precious resource for them.

They also showed me a beautiful small reptile. It was a lizard. The lizard was really fast and so hard for me to get close and I think impossible for me to catch. Those kids told us that actually Ngadju people love to catch and eat that lizard long ago, to help them survive in the dry woodland. And my first question to them was “ How did they catch the lizard? As you know they are so fast. And seriously they answered that Ngadju people made up the rock piles and when the lizard get in to the pile and they collapsed the piles, and of course it will hit the lizard underneath. That was the way they caught it. They said. What amazing information.

Well time ran so fast and it made me hungry and a bit thirsty. The kids brought me down to the base camp. When I got down to the base camp I was so exited to see the girls that came along with us were preparing the food for lunch. All of them took a hand in this job and helped each other to serve the food – chopping the salad vegetables, cooking the sausages and slicing the bread. Kids are amazing! I can’t believe they can arrange everything perfectly. Actually those kids really made my day, more than my expectation.

We went back to the town after we had an awesome lunch together. We stopped on the way back, we checked out some pools full of water. We saw tadpoles and snails. We dropped the kids back to their houses and we said goodbye as we had become good friend.

What I got for myself – I can learn something from them! It was an amazing to experience these kids telling me their stories on country.

Authors: Minda and Adi are Yaysan We SAVE members from the Millennium Kids collaboration project in Dompu, Sumbawa

 

WASTE

#1000actionsfortheplanet #responsibleconsumptionandproduction

It was so great to see you again today at the UWA Envirofest with your Waste Free Movement stall. I am so impressed and thrilled that Millennium Kids is still alive!
Like I mentioned today, I was a Millennium Kid through the Penrhos school program when I was in year 5 (so 10 years old). That program and the other sustainability activities we did in that class taught me how important it is to look after the Earth and inspired me from an early age to be more sustainably minded! I now love spreading the word about healthy, eco-friendly living through my work at Urban Revolution Australia and am studying mechanical engineering at Curtin University with the dream of working in the renewable energy industry. I am also living a very low-waste lifestyle (the dream is to be completely zero waste!) and eat completely plant-based.
I love my eco-friendly lifestyle and am really passionate about it. I really do believe that those programs and activities as a kid inspired this love for the Earth in me so THANK YOU for keeping Millennium Kids going and inspiring even more kids!
Happy to chat any time.
Kind regards,
Dana

Join the Movement!

The Waste Free Movement project is funded by the State Government through the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Account, and administered by the Waste Authority.

ANIMALS

#1000actionsfortheplanet #lifeonland

Nathan sent us his story:

Nathan did some research on Oblong turtles after a Green Lab workshop with Millennium Kids.

“Oblong turtles live in Perth and throughout the south-west of Western Australia. They are also known as western long necked turtles or snake necked turtles. They are different from most turtles as their shell is not round. Oblong turtles are dark brown to black, with a paler under shell. These carnivores feed on anything small enough to seize and swallow, such as fish, tadpole, crustaceans, insects and carrion. They hunt by ambush, using the long neck to strike in a snakelike manner while gaping the mouth to suck in prey.”

See reference below.

A lot of them live in Perth at Lake Douglas. Oblong turtles like to lay their eggs in sandy patches along the lake. One problem is there are No sandy patches at Lake Douglas!

Without sandy patches for breeding this endangered species cannot survive. There are a few sandy patches but not enough to support an entire population of these amazing creatures. We can help this by making more sandy patches. But for that we will need a lot of sand. This may cost a lot, but we can try getting it for free at a place such as Soils aint Soils, which is a big soil company. Then our school team and Millennium Kids could use the sand and make some sandy patches.

Maybe if we could do that then oblong turtles are saved!

Check out more Oblong turtle facts here Backyard Buddies

Nathan, Year 4

Editor’s Note: Nathan is taking part in a Green Lab workshop series at his school. He wrote to Millennium Kids to see if he could get help for his project idea. Millennium Kids will explore this issue with Nathan and we will see what we can do to help the local Oblong turtle population.

WATER

#1000actionsfortheplanet #lifebelowwater

Can we please put clean water in Lake Tonduit because, if we don’t the fertilizer will make the algae grow and then that causes algal blooms. Algal blooms are a threat to fish and humans. The reason this is a threat to humans is because a person might catch a fish in Lake Tonduit or the river that is poisoned by the algal blooms and then he might eat it and then he’ll get poisoned too.

But worst of all Millennium Kids figured out that Lake Tonduit leads to Lake Douglas and Lake Douglas leads to the Swan River so when Lake Tonduit gets contaminated, all the other lakes get contaminated as well and we won’t get to swim, row or eat the fish in the area, and we will have to wake up to horrible black and mucky water on a beautiful day.

Blake, Year 4

 WASTE

#1000actionsfortheplanet #responsibleproductionandconsumption.

Hi my name is Toby.

I like going to the beach.

I like to clean up.

I like the stickers on the bins at the beach in Busselton.

I went home and made a sticker for our bin.

Please put your waste in the right bin.

Join the Movement!

The Waste Free Movement project is funded by the State Government through the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Account, and administered by the Waste Authority.

PEACE AND LIFESTYLE

#1000actionsfortheplanet #partnershipsforthegoals

Two schools and a visit to a native animal rehabilitation centre! Well we expected to be volunteering at the One Thousand Actions for the Planet workshops but we didn’t expect the visit to the native animal centre. We spent a cool day with Cat, CEO of MK, learning about the One Thousand Actions for the Planet workshops at Rossmoyne Primary School and John Tonkin College. Kids had a lot to say about their world and how they could help make change. The aim of the program is to get kids thinking about local, regional and global issues and then make a plan to create a change making program. These projects will be registered on the new MK website and link to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

In between school visits we had a picnic by Bibra Lake, waste free of course, and we dropped by the native animal rehabilitation centre because kids care about our wildlife. It was so cool meeting the dingoes and seeing how MK works.

If you want to volunteer with Millennium Kids email info@millenniumkids.com.au – there is always something interesting going on.