Hi! My name is Alexandra, I am 18 years old and I have a passion for the sustainability of our planet, specifically food waste. The mission of my project “The Planet Project” is to save valuable organic ‘waste’ from going to landfill.

My project started many years ago, but I officially named it this year. During this time I came to realise the amount of food that ends up in landfill, including the coffee grounds that I and others can use on their gardens, a high valuable nitrogen source. I wondered why this was so?

I started occasionally collecting coffee grounds from cafes to use in my worm farm, the worms loved them, plus it was free! I later got a job at a café and realised just how much is going to landfill, I figured that someone will do something about this, but a few years past and no-one did. This year I started a commercial cookery course at TAFE and I couldn’t believe my eyes with the amount of organics that get thrown away by just one class in one lesson. I couldn’t let it pass so I do what any mad gardener/environmentalist would do, I brought my composting bucket in, and took them home. My worm farms filled up quickly, so I used the money I made from selling worm castings (as organic garden fertiliser) and the compost worms to buy some more. At that point I realised I was creating the solution that I thought someone else would solve. Currently I am continually improving my system to take more ‘waste’ and convert them through worm farming effectively to a soil improver.
This is just the start of my project, I hope to one day be able to take all the organics from my community and return these valuable nutrients back to the soil.

I have purchased more worm farms I now have 9.

Guday, my name is Charles

My big question is:

How can we, as a community, restore our local bushland to the biodiverse wonderland it was?

I run a Friends Of Swan View Heritage Trail and we care for a large stretch of bush behind my house. We remove weeds by hand, so as not to disturb and damage our indispensable flora and fauna with synthetic chemicals. We then replant the area with a bounty of local native plants. I have taken groups on tours through my reveg to show them what we’re doing. I report on my findings and activities to MK every month. Cathy levett is my mentor, and without her I would have drowned in paperwork and official organisational business by now.

Let me know what you are doing to care for nature near your back door. We’d love to hear from you. Please email info@millenniumkids.com.au with your photo and story.

Green Lab is a Millennium Kids Citizen Science program, funded by the Western Australian Government’s State Natural Resource Management Program and supported by Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and Trillion Trees.

I have just returned from my awesome holiday in the Galapagos Islands and I want you to know that all MK bird lovers were in my thoughts as I was introduced to new bird species every day. I thought that you might be interested in a snapshot of what I saw and one or two photos.

On our first day we went to a little island just off Isla San Cristobal where Frigatebirds are nesting. The males put on an amazing display of puffing up their bright red throat. There were plenty of chicks to be seen. Blue-footed Boobies also inhabit the island and we were treated to a display of the mating ritual as our guide commentated. Brown pelicans were also added to my list as we returned to San Cristobal.  From then on I saw new birds everyday including cormorants, shearwaters, storm petrels, penguins, ducks, flamingos and more. I bought a little book to help me remember them all and because I know you will want me to be more specific with the ID.

Please tell me about your latest bird sightings. Visit a local wetland or park and see if you can ID some local birds. We’d love to share your findings on the MK website to inspire others to get out an about and learn about our beautiful birds.

Cathy Levett

MK Mentor

Last Friday, Millennium Kids hosted the City of Canning Changing Your World Youth Conference. We facilitated 75 young people from 8 schools and community groups sharing their ideas for a better future.

We started the morning with a beautiful welcome to country from Freda Ogilvie before we launched into brainstorming the things that young people like in their community, the things that they don’t like and the things that they want to change, linking them to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Throughout the day, the ideas for community change were developed into actionable projects in between exciting breakout sessions. One such session was an inspiring story about using snake handling to create social change, another was a series of workshops including activating space by building cubbies, birdwatching and creating an artwork to share our ideas about tress. During the day a wonderful local indigenous artist, Seantelle Walsh, listened to the young people and  transformed the visions of their future into a beautiful mural.

At the close of the day, kids pitched their ideas for change to the room, and a group from Bannister Creek Primary School, with plans to put solar panels on bus stops, was awarded a $500 grant.

The MK Youth Board members then took the mural and presented it at the adult conference to the CEO of City of Canning and spoke about the key community issues identified at the youth conference.

We cannot wait to see the kids ideas implemented.

Thanks to the City of Canning for the opportunity to listen to the kids.

By Rachel

Hi my name is Steph! I am a current University of Western Australia  student studying my Masters in Environmental and Agricultural Biotechnology. In high school, I began educating myself on the current state of our planet, and the mountain of issues that face it and its diverse collection of incredible inhabitants. As a result, I have dedicated countless hours of my personal time volunteering with local beach clean-ups, planting native trees, attending climate strikes, and helping conserve our native flora and fauna in any way that I can. This summer specifically, I spent a week on a remote island, disconnected from running water and electricity, in order to monitor Flat-back turtle populations in response to a changing climate!

My passion for the planet has guided my study choices at university. During my undergraduate degree, I pursued a double major in Chemistry and Conservation Biology. The two appear at surface, separate, however; Chemistry provided the fundamental understanding of the unique array of chemicals and compounds that encompass our planet and consequently the intricate relationships they influence. With the pursuit of my Masters I hope to learn about, and contribute to; creating sustainable, practical and affordable technological solutions for our present day environmental issues.

I am so excited to do my McCusker Centre for Citizenship Internship with Millennium Kids to further explore the different avenues of creating a sustainable future. I am especially excited to work with an organisation that highlights and prioritises the views and ideas of the younger generation, as we are inevitably the ones that will be facing all the future effects!

 

 

Saturday 22 February 2020

At the South Perth Sounds Concert on the South Perth foreshore we played an educational rubbish game where people put their rubbish in one of the two bins which were comingled recycling and general waste. If you put your rubbish in the right bin you would get a reward which was a piece of chocolate.

The game went well because the public enjoyed it and the waste went in the right bin. There were MK people at most of the bins in groups of two or three. There were food vans, a water refill station for people to refill their bottles and an awesome puppet numbat which was moved by volunteers from the crowd.

We did an audit on the food vans which had mostly bio -packaging but there were no composting bins on the foreshore, so all the packaging had to go into the bin.

And Eskimo Joe was great,too.

There were lots of people having a picnic and having a good time while loving the music.

Thanks to the City of South Perth for helping us get our message out.

By Phoenix Tedesco Scarfone Millennium Kids Board Member 2020

 

 

The CSBP Coastal Connections Challenge (CCCC) steering committee consists of local youth leaders who work in partnership with CSBP, Perth NRM, Millennium Kids, City of Kwinana and the City of Rockingham to design a two day youth led forum for up to 100 young people to get together to Conserve, Grow and Inspire. They have been working on this project since October 2019 and have recently regrouped for weekly planning and action delivery in the lead up to the event in late March 2020.

On the 30 January the CCCC steering committee undertook a tour of various locations and hands on activities in order to better understand the issues facing Rockingham/Kwinana coastal areas, marine life and marine life. The first stop was to CSBP situated in the heavy industrial area of Kwinana where youth leaders met with a scientist and an environmental officer to understand the nature of chemicals handled and manufactured at this plant and how they treat the waste water that is used in the manufacturing process. The team discussed the issues of feral cats and foxes predating local wildlife and how they could work with the community to solve this problem.

Following this the tour continued to Wells Park, Kwinana Beach where the youth leaders conducted an activity with the Perth NRM to audit waste, followed by some lunch and a planning session at the Cockburn Wetland Environmental Centre.

The tour was rounded out with a visit to Native ARC, a native animal and wildlife rehabilitation facility where youth leaders learnt about the impacts of industry, humans and other animals on native wildlife.

The CSPB Coastal Connections Challenge is will be held in Rockingham over two days: Friday 27 & Saturday 28 March 2020.

If you’re aged between 10 and 24 and consider yourself a bit of an eco-warrior or simply curious and think you’re up for the Coastal Connections Challenge, please head to the website to find our more information and to register your team: https://www.perthnrm.com/support/coastal-connection-challenge

For further information, contact Project Leader: Kath Broderick, e: kathleen.broderick@perthnrm.com or m: 0499 104 377.

Thanks for the article and photos AP.

 

 

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