Students take the lead on college's sustainability measures

Thursday, 30 Sep 2021

‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’. 

A famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi, and a guiding principle for students at Bishop Druitt College, as they drive positive change in environmental sustainability, on campus and in the community. 

“Bishop Druitt College encourages our students to speak up about what is important to them, and we aim to incorporate these values and initiatives into the way the college operates,” said BDC principal, Nick Johnstone. 

“Today’s generation of students have demonstrated that they are concerned with making a difference in the world. And our emerging leaders have prioritised making a positive impact on climate change and the environment.” 

On campus, initiatives include plastic and waste free events, recycling and composting programs, landcare management and regeneration at the neighbouring Newports Creek, the habitat of the endangered Giant Barred Frog. 

Students engaged in bush regeneration and indigenous land management clearing introduced and weed flora in the nearby Newports Creek.

BDC also encourages action and advocacy in the local community, and students participate annually in Clean Up Australia Day, and tree maintenance programs at Bongil Bongil National Park. Recently, BDC partnered with Prosper Coffs Environmental Trust on the Seabin Project, which captures marine litter in the Coffs Harbour Marina. 

Bishop Druitt College students raised more than $5200 to partner with Prosper Coffs Foundation Trust and bring the Seabin Project to the Coffs Harbour Marina, and remove and measure waste captured weekly.
BDC students participating in the Clean Up Australia campaign.
The BDC Environment Group has been instrumental in waste reduction strategies at the school, and advocating for change at the Coffs Climate Rally in May 2021.

BDC has also implemented a number of key initiatives in their business operations to strive for ‘Zero Co2’ by reducing power, paper and carbon emissions, and the installation of solar panel technology. Environmental management is part of the learning curriculum - students manage a kitchen garden which provides produce for the campus community, and the college offers purpose-designed programs in bush regeneration and indigenous land management. 

“Sustainability is important for our students, and Bishop Druitt College has a long-standing commitment to environmental service and education locally,” said Mr Johnstone. “We are proud to be recognised in our community as a finalist in the 2021 Coffs Coast Business Awards - Excellence in Sustainability category.  

“All of these initiatives are important for shaping how we do business, and our student leadership programs continue to give our students the opportunity to be a part of these decisions. 

“We are immensely proud of what our students and the college have achieved so far, and what we have planned for a sustainable future,” said Mr Johnstone.  

Composting program

In Week 2 Term 4 2021, BDC primary students implemented a composting program for their classrooms, as part of BDC's commitment to sustainability and environmental care. Here, environment and adventure captains, Willow McNeil and Daniel Clark launch the exciting new composting program for their peers: