Sustainability is based on a simple principle: everything
that we need for our survival and well-being depends,
either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.
Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under
which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony,
fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of
present and future generations. I have been fortunate to
take over the reins of Sustainability Co-ordinator fromMs
Grinham, who must be acknowledged for her hard work
and commitment to making Ruyton a more sustainable
This year’s School Sustainability Captain, Shimona Lai, is
to be commended on her inspired leadership of Students
for Sustainability and her enthusiastic promotion of
environmental issues to the whole School.
Climate change and its potential solutions continue to
occupy a substantial space in political and social debates.
Many of the new activities introduced in 2012 have focused
on promoting actions where students can make a palpable
difference, including participation in awareness raising and
activism campaigns both within and outside the School.
The Senior School Students for Sustainability (SFS) group
continued its Open Meeting Policy which enabled all
girls who are passionate about the environment to be
involved. In the Junior School, the Green Team, with
its representatives from Prep to Grade 6, continued
to brainstorm ideas about making their School more
Ruyton won the Resource Smart SchoolsWaste School of
the Year 2011.
Ruyton showed its commitment to Earth Hour in March
by turning off all electrical appliances. Students and staff
were entertained during lunch in Hiscock court with
acoustic performances by some very talented girls.
We continued to upgrade our recycling systems, with
the introduction of more co-mingled recycling bins and
worm farms across the School. In Term 1 students from
each form created beautifully-decorated paper-recycling
bins by paper collaging old milk crates using unwanted
magazine pictures. I would like to thank the Art
Department for their support and assistance with these
projects. Through the efforts of the Junior School Year 5s
and the SFS, hundreds of litres of recyclables and many
kilograms of organic waste were diverted from landfill.
Empty printing cartridges and computer consumables
were recycled through Close the Loop, along with old
mobile phones which supported the Melbourne Zoo’s
environment programmes.
OnWednesday 25 July, Ruyton held its annual Rubbish
Free Lunch Challenge. A 41% reduction in rubbish was
achieved with the net rubbish collected decreasing from
kg to 34kg. This demonstrates how simple things
like packing lunches in reusable containers can make a
significant positive difference.
This year’s National Tree Day focused on the care and
renewal of local natural places, native plants and animals.
On a crisp Sunday morning in July students and teachers
gathered at Back Creek in Camberwell enthusiastically
giving their time to plant 1500 trees.
The Future Spark Trailer created much excitement as
students from the Junior and Senior schools rode the
trailer’s 12 bicycles to generate electricity. Upon seeing the
effort needed to power everyday household appliances,
girls were encouraged to conserve precious energy – at
home and at School.
In August 10 members of SFS attended the annual
Melbourne Girls’ College RePowering Conference. The day
was based around the education of Climate change and
what the younger generation can do to push actions for a
more sustainable country.
The Junior School continued to support the TravelSmart
philosophy, conducting regular Walk-to-School days and
operating theWalking School Buses.
Ruyton has been offered a funded place to complete the
Water Module of the Resource Smart Schools programme
to gain our third star.
In October Ruyton hosted students from Siena,
Genazzano, Scotch and MLC for the Boroondara Cluster
Day. The theme of the day was RePowering. Students
were given the opportunity to engage with experts from
Beyond Zero Emissions and Climarte and then presented
with the challenge of producing short videos advocating
the need for Renewable Energy. Many thanks to Ms Katie
Tribe for helping to organise a very successful day.
has been a busy and productive year for Sustainability
here at Ruyton, and the students and staff involved in
creating and supporting all these projects can be proud of
their achievements.
When enough people do enough things, however small they
are, then change takes place’.
Howard Zinn
Ms Nicole Volkmann,
Co-ordinator of Sustainability
Annual Report 2012