In November last year, Pacific was chosen as one of 20 schools across Australia to engage students in creating a sustainable development plan for Australia to 2050. The Young Australians’ Plan for the Planet was developed and promoted as a pilot global plan, designed to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This exciting opportunity was initiated by Questacon, Inspiring Australia, Future Earth (Australia), Foundation for Young Australians, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Canberra, the Australian National University (ANU), University of New South Wales (UNSW), University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and other supporting organisations to promote sustainable development in Australia and globally. The hope was that this process might then be replicated across the world over the next three years to see youth across the world engaged in the achievement of the UN SDGs.
Each of the 20 schools represented a zone across Australia and were expected to work in conjunction with local universities to develop a plan for their Eco Zone to 2030. Students were expected to draw on their understanding of science, business and geography and their passion for local, regional and global sustainability. Pacific represented the South East Zone of Queensland and worked through until June of this year to develop their plan. In June and July of this year, schools then worked to combine the zone plans to produce the national Young Australians’ Plan for the Planet, which was presented in Canberra earlier this month.
As part of science week this year, two students from each of the schools were then sponsored to go to Canberra with accompanying staff to participate in a range of amazing experiences as highlighted later in the newsletter. This global pilot program has been a unique learning opportunity for young people as it has enabled them to experience firsthand the collaborative power of local, regional, national and global cooperation and creativity.
It is heartening to see the imaginative and creative capacities of young people being given a voice in this important area. We thank and commend the students for their participation and commitment to this important co-curricular activity. We thank Mr Wes Warner for initiating and leading this experience over the past 12 months and Mrs Tina Cox for accompanying Mr Warner and the students to Canberra last week.