Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  23 / 30 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 23 / 30 Next Page
Page Background


‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed

citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that

ever has.’

Margaret Mead

Climate change and its potential solutions continue to

occupy a substantial space in political and social debates.

The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental

Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in November 2014 has

warned that, if left unchecked, climate change will increase

the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts

for people and ecosystems. The Secretary-General, Ban

Ki-moon, urged worldwide action in light of its stark

finding, saying that ‘

even if emissions stopped tomorrow,

we will be living with climate change for some time

to come


Student leadership of Sustainability within the School

remains a keystone of our approach, and this year’s

Sustainability Captain, Zoe Rachcoff, is to be commended

on her leadership of Students for Sustainability and her

enthusiastic promotion of environmental issues to the

whole School.

During 2014 we have focused on promoting actions that

students can identify making a difference, including

participation in awareness raising and activism campaigns

both within and outside the School. Key Achievements in

2014 include:

• The Senior School Students for Sustainability (SFS) group

continued its ‘Open Meeting’ Policy that 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


• Earth Hour once again swept around the world on

Saturday 29 March as over 1.2 billion people from 152

countries switched off their lights to celebrate and signal

their care for the planet. Ruyton showed its commitment

by holding its own Earth Hour the day before and turned

off all electrical appliances. Some very talented girls

entertained students and staff during lunch in Royce

Theatre with acoustic performances.

• On the same evening the Melbourne Environmental

Schools Initiative (MESI) held its inaugural Earth concert

at Melbourne High School. MESI was formed in 2013 by a

group of committed students from schools across

Melbourne. Over 10 acts from different schools

performed on the night, including three Ruyton

musicians, alongside three headline acts: Declan Sykes,

Angie McMahon and BigWords. The night was a huge

success, with an estimated 250 people (and Panda)

attending, and raising $1000 that was sent to the Save

the Reef campaign.

• World Environment Day was celebrated with a guest

speaker, former Sustainability Captain, Tessa Faulks,

speaking about the importance of each person taking

action to make a difference and a candle-lit acoustic

concert in Royce theatre. Girls were encouraged to make

it a Nude-Food day.

• 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 to offer

their time to plant 1500 trees.

• We have continued to upgrade our recycling systems.

Hundreds of kilograms of recyclables and 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.

• The Sponsor aWorm Campaign during Term 3 promoted

the importance of correctly using the worm farms and

reducing the amount of food being put into landfill. Over

170 worms were sponsored.

We have enjoyed another busy and productive year for

Sustainability and I thank everyone who has participated in

our events. The students and staff involved in creating and

supporting all these projects can be proud of their


Ms Nicole Volkmann,

Sustainability Co-ordinator

Annual Report 2014