OzGREEN’s program 'A Healthy River is a Happy River' at the Bello Winter Music Festival was very successful which kicked off with a wonderful presentation by two of our local YLTW ambassadors, Ellen and Katie. They presented a comprehensive talk on their experience of attending MyRiver Bello, Youth Leading the World and the subsequent “Festival of our Future” they were involved in organising.
They presented the results of the MyRiver water testing:
80% of the sites tested along Bellinger River had:
The message from these youth leaders is “Come on Bello we can all do something about this”
This was followed by a sad and alarming presentation by Dr Ricky Spencer. Ricky is leading the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle revival program.
The most significant points to come out of this presentation is that Bellinger River Snapping Turtle is not like other turtles in the following ways:
We have 17 healthy turtles in the captive breading program with ONLY 7 BREEDING FEMALES standing between extinction and survival of this species. However because they are currently in hibernation everyone is hopeful that more will be found once they wake up.
The question now is just how important to our community is the river because unless we act accordingly there simply is going to be an ongoing decline of the Bellinger River.
Bellinger Snapping Turtles are to be found in mid-eastern New South Wales, throughout the Bellinger River catchment.
The pale yellow bands on each side of their head are characteristic of this particular species. They can also be identified by their marbled light patron with a greenish-blue tinge and the absence of a central groove on their carapace. These turtles also have distinct barbels on their chin. The scientific name, gorges, was given in honour of Australian herpetologist Arthur Georges.
Bellinger Snapping Turtles are predominately carnivorous but are known to consume vegetation to lesser extent. They can grow to 21cm in length and up to 16cm in width. Their clutches, laid between October and December, consist of 10 to 15 oblong white hard - shelled eggs. Hatchlings normally emerge after around 70 days.
An as yet unidentified, rapidly spreading disease, which affects turtles of all ages, currently poses the greatest threat to this species. This disease causes blindness, which in turn reduces the turtles ability to forage. Tragically this has resulted in a 100% mortality for those animals affected.
And its all to do with the 'Bellingen Shire Learning Alliance'
The Bellingen Shire Learning Alliance is a Shire wide alliance working collectively and independently to create a culture of lifelong learning for sustainability and ecological balance.
• To create a strong platform for the gathering and sharing of resources and skills.
• To develop into a recognised leader in education and action for sustainability.
• To foster the emergence and growth of a green economy
• To encourage and build an emotional home for change-makers.
The exciting part of this alliance for OzGREEN is that we are moving our office into “the Stables’ (or Bello Sustainability Centre) which is a co-working social enterprise and innovation space shared with the fifteen other Bellingen sustainability organisations involved.
We expect to have moved in to our new office space by mid August. Contact numbers, emails and postal address will remain the same and we will inform you all when we have settled in.
We are very excited and suggest you watch this space for brave new projects to come via OzGREENs association with BSLA.
BSLA have recently launched a fundraiser on chuffed.org to help the alliance create "the Stables" a home for the BSLA. The dream is that it become an edible building and centre of excellence for both the teaching and practice of Sustainability.
https://chuffed.org/project/bellingen-sustainability-centre if you would like to donate to help get this dream a reality.
OzGREEN congratulates Jodi Lennox who recently graduated from the School of Social Entrepreneurs (pictured).
As a result of this Jodi has established an amazing business plan, which incorporates OzGREENs Award winning Sustainbility in Action Process, and has lead to her project receiving a highly successful grant from Westpac. Jodi is now set to kick off her first ProjectGIRL programs in Alice Springs.
Watch this space for more on ProjectGIRL.
Judy Charnaud has just sent through her most recent Newsletter from OzGREEN's East Timor project. It has lots of interesting information on Judy's recent hard work promoting and fundraising for East Timor in Sydney. Always a thoroughly interesting read - Newsletter June 2015
Qualifications: BA Hons (International Relations)
Currently studying: MA Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development
Current Role: Policy Advisor, Senator Christine Milne
OzGREEN helped me to connect the dots between myself, my impact on the world, and the planet. I grew up in Tasmania, bushwalking with my parents, so I was always appreciative of nature and wild places. However, OzGREEN made me aware of our individual and collective impacts on the planet, and sparked an understanding about how this is political and important. Through OzGREEN I realised the importance of making my life count by focusing my attention and contributing my skills to protecting the planet. It also influenced my choice of study as I connected the dots between politics and activism. OzGREEN was hugely influential on me and helped me to realise what I could do to contribute. I made really important connections with people, gained a sense of the scale of change required on both a local and global scale, and the need to act at a number of different levels. Thank you to all the wonderful people that I met through OzGREEN - so grateful for their contributions.
Project GIRL is partnering with OzGREEN to address and reduce the inequity that girls experience in their lives.
Project GIRL builds confident, capable, connected girls that have the skills and motivation to build positive healthy lives for themselves and tackle the issues they face in their lives with a community of support around them. For more information see our Project Girl Flyer here or visit www.projectgirl.com.au
NEXT TRAINING DATE: 23-24th June - Muswellbrook, Hunter Valley, NSW
Contact Sue Lennox on (02) 6655 2180 for more information on future training dates. Note that all workshops available for real time live on-line participation and some scholarships available. Facilitator Training Program - more information
(Select "Friends of the Ganges" (which is the name of our India/South Asia Project) from the drop down selection menu under Enter Details box)
This is a copy of an email we received overnight from the Foundation in Nepal giving us an update and pleading for our help.
"Greetings from the Foundation in Nepal.
I'm sending few disturbing pictures, from the devastated villages hit by recent earthquake in Nepal, along with few of our relief aid pictures..."
Judy Charnaud who for the last 14 years has been running the Environmental Action Plan project in Oecusse, Timor Leste has just completed a SEMP Report (School Environmental Management Plan) for Balgowlah Heights Public School. Environmental education has been discussed, written about and implemented in various forms in schools throughout NSW for some years (Environmental Education Curriculum Statement K-12, 1989 and Environmental Education Policy for Schools 2001). The adoption of environmental education as a comprehensive whole school policy is not new but is now mandatory for all government schools, K – Year 12, in NSW. What is a SEMP Report here.