NEST SUMMIT 2022
Nossal’s Environmental Sustainability Team held its annual environmental summit on Tuesday 16 August, whilst it was on a smaller scale than previous years, it was exciting to see so many students eager to participate. We were also fortunate enough to be joined by students from Macrob, some travelling from as far as Hobsons Bay council from the western suburbs!
The theme of this year's summit revolved around the question:
"Why do we need to be more aware of the impact food waste has on our environment, and what are the steps that we can take to reduce its current and future impacts?”
We were joined by presenters including Abbie Lane, the environmental education officer from the City of Casey, as well as Mandy Roberston from the Dolphin Research Institute in Mornington who held engaging presentations and workshops to aid our learning.
Overall, it was a very successful event and I appreciate the effort everyone out into making this happen!
NEST Leader and Summit Co-ordinator
Nossal's First Native Garden
NEST is excited to share the amazing news of Nossal’s first native garden. The beautiful garden, which is situated near the Building A carpark, is a fantastic space for students to sit with friends and destress, while also enjoying the sensory elements of the garden and appreciate the natural beauty of Australia and Casey (Boonwurrung/Bunurong).
If you’ve been following the progress of this project, you might recall that this has been in the works since the end of 2020. It first started when NEST was lucky enough to receive at $4000 grant from Casey Council. From there, we carefully selected one of many incredible designs from creative minded students. Ultimately, we chose the design of Jessica Zong (0S8) which paid recognition to many Indigenous symbols and designs:
I interviewed Wally Cashion, an Indigenous Australian, who, on behalf of Clyde Level Crossing Removal team, generously helped us construct the seat in the garden’s centre, and prepared all the landscaping and the planting.
“The spears represent a hunting tool. These tools were used back in the time, when my ancestors walked this land. So, those tools would come to this meeting area…the tribes would meet and they would talk about what foods were gathered around this area and the equipment they used to catch those animals or food”
We figured that the meeting symbol was a beautiful reflection of the native garden’s purpose. What better way to have a calming space to gather with others and “meet”, while no doubt relaxing to the otherwise constant stress-induced brain of a Nossal student?
In addition to the meeting symbol, as displayed through the particular placement of the white stone edging that stems from each side of the circle seat, the spears which represent the hunting tools used by Indigenous tribes became our ‘archway’ (which students varnished!) and when the flowers bloom in spring, the plants in the boomerang shape will be red and dark on either side, with a bright centre (rocks arranged and painted by students), representing the Indigenous flag.
Such a detailed design was extremely hard to execute. When I first picked up the project in 2021, it was thought that the garden would be completed by June in that same year. However, a combination of Covid lockdowns along with the little knowledge I had with garden-making, it was hard to even start!
But after countless meetings with students, Ms Ooi, Jason, Mr Page, experts we thought could help, and hundreds of emails, we had an idea of how we were going to bring our vision to life: first, we needed materials.
With the help of Jason Bell and Ms Ooi, we placed frequent orders with Fountain Gate Bunnings who also kindly offered us an additional $500 to help us with our purchases.
Then, Sharnice Moreno from Clyde Level Crossing Removal team reached out to us and, with their expertise in construction and easy access to equipment that was from just up the road, they put all the materials together, including cutting the timber and building the seat, supplying the rocks, as well as preparing the landscape, in which they later planted the seedlings and placed down the edgings and mulch.
Ms Moreno explained:
“…working with local schools, being able to do sort of this engagement, it’s really important for these big projects and to kind of have a positive image.”
“It’s so nice to finally get out there, face to face engagement, be able to do these events and pop ups and just talk to people.”
The Clyde Level Crossing Removal team has had other various projects including an art display with St Margaret’s Berwick Grammar, as well as the Community Fun Day. We could not be more appreciative to be the centre of one of their projects!
And so, the native garden was finally completed around July 2022, showcasing the various native plants:
Myoporum parvifolium purpurea
It is an absolute pleasure to see this garden go from small, scribbled designs on OneNote to a real space to visit at Nossal. It would not have been possible without some serious help, and I thank all of Green Team, fellow leader Rasna Preman, Ms Ooi, and Jason Bell, for their commitment and guidance, as well as Sharnice Moreno, Wally Cashion, including the entire Clyde Level Crossing Removal team for their generosity and hard work. I also thank Fountain Gate Bunnings, and of course, City of Casey for providing us this opportunity in the first place. I hope students will enjoy this space for many years to come.
NEST (Green Team) (Here are some more photos 😊.)