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Students embrace EcoMarines and eco-careers

A wealth of environmental expertise was on show in Townsville to inspire the next generation in their future careers.

The EcoMarines Foundation’s ‘Wave + Check’ events brought together students from primary and secondary schools across Townsville this week to celebrate eco-activities they’ve implemented through the year under EcoMarines programs, and to explore the possibilities ahead for their future life paths.

Students heard from Port of Townsville’s Elaine Glen, North Queensland Conservation Council‘s Crystal Falknau, Amelia Chaplain from Townsville City Council’s Waste, Water and Environment team, Shakira Todd from Wildlife Surrounds, Diana Condylas from Plastic Free Townsville, Jess Grimm from James Cook University, and Tara Harrold from Good Work Career Consulting.

No topic was untouched as panellists spoke about managing burnout, the overwhelm of working to solve the world’s big environmental problems, and what they each saw as the critical challenges facing their fields.

“I’m just a stubborn optimist,” Elaine, Manager for Climate and Environment at the Port of Townsville, told students.

“I know — I can feel it in my heart — that we will do what we need to save our precious planet. That belief is what takes me to work every day.”

Students in turn inspired local leaders with their showcase of activities delivered through the year, including revegetation, soil regeneration, waterway clean-ups, litter data projects, and recycled fashion events.

The EcoMarines program is free to any school interested in participating and sees students nominated as ‘Ecomarines Ambassadors’. With the support of the EcoMarines Foundation, Ambassadors are given free training, events, resources, and support to deliver activities with their schools and community.

More than 400,000 students have been engaged by the EcoMarines program since its inception, and more than 15 schools across Townsville are already involved as it grows its footprint in our region, including Belgian Gardens State School, William Ross State High School, St Benedicts Catholic School, and Oonoonba State School.

“The kids who get involved are passionate about the environment and are inspiring their friends and families to put meaningful projects into action,” says EcoMarines Growth and Education Program Coordinator, Lucinda Sheehan.

“We look forward to sharing more healthy waterways learning with EcoMarines Ambassadors in Townsville,” says our Executive Officer, Kara-Mae Coulter-Atkins. “And to seeing this network of young action-orientated people make real change for the Dry Tropics, and the world.”

Interested in EcoMarines at your school? Contact Lucinda Sheehan, Program Coordinator.