A scorcher of a day on the Thursday, and so much cooler on the Friday. Two days, two workshops and our Melbourne Region Ambassadors came up winners on both days.
This was the Melbourne Ambassadors final workshop for 2017. We split it over the two days because we wanted the Ambassadors from each school in this large region to have a meaningful and wonderful experience.
No matter what the weather, there were smiles all round at the workshops at Jacks Beach, Crib Point. Ambassadors rotated between four activities, each running for 40 minutes. Activity 1 was an Indigenous presentation from Lionel Lauch. He spoke of traditional Indigenous culture and heritage, sharing his amazing knowledge of the land in which we live and the incredible resources we have around us.
Either Jess or myself (Ellen Nougher) carried out Activity 2. This was based on the species of frogs commonly found in the Melbourne region. Melbourne Water has created a volunteer-run community monitoring program called the Frog Census. We used this to play the sounds of common species of frogs to the Ambassadors. Whilst we have a large number of frog species that are in secure populations, a number of species are vulnerable or endangered. The reasons for this were outlined throughout the activity, including some of the ways our Ambassadors can help certain frog species to increase in population size. Ambassadors also got a laugh out the 'froggy friend' matching game which was carried out by Ambassadors finding partners based on their "frog call" (film canisters with different objects inside).
Activity 3 was a 'walk and talk' session run by Hannah from Naturelinks. She covered native species, pests, feral animals and some of these that are common to the Warringine Park. Ambassadors got to look at bones and skeletons of different animals and explore some of the tracks and signs of certain animals.
The final Activity was a weeding session run by Gerard from Warringine Park, and the Green Army. Here Ambassadors got their hands dirty - clearing out some of the introduced species of plant and weeds that can take over our native species.
To end the workshops for our Ambassadors -a barbeque! Everyone was treated to a sausage sizzle to mark the end of another successful year of 'i sea, i care' workshops. After this, awards were given to those who have gone above and beyond throughout the year.
Well done to the Ambassadors of the Year for 2017 - Lilli Dabbs (Kunyung PS) and Ruth Littler (Bonbeach PS). Fundraiser Schools of the Year - Emerald PS and Park Ridge PS, and for Outstanding Contribution in 2017 - Tarryn Dalton (Somers PS) and Chris O'Neill (Dromana PS).
To our Ambassadors, thank you for always smiling, having such a caring nature and always putting in 100%. To our presenters, teachers and helping parents - everything you do is always appreciated and it wouldn't be possible without you. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.
Written by Ellen Nougher, DRI intern from Monash University, Masters of Teaching