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Care for Creation
Environmental sustainability is an integral part of our Catholic faith, curriculum and a strategic priority. We continue to unlock the Pope's Encyclical Laudato si' (On Care For Our Common Home.) Pope Francis says that to care for Our Common Home is an essential part of our faith. Many of our schools are actively working in environmental education, sustainable living practices, development of their school grounds, the creational environment prayer and liturgy practices and the many social justice practices, such as the enhancement of Indigenous cultures and service of the poor.
Pope Francis calls us to a spirituality of love and respect for all creation in the one community of life on earth. Most of all he is full of hope that we can meet this urgent challenge to the future of 'Our Common Home'.
One of the environmental initiatives at Townsville Catholic Education is the Environmental Awareness Advisory Committee who meet each term and work towards supporting environmental education for schools and parishes throughout the Townsville Diocese. This dedicated committee includes staff from a range of schools who plan and coordinate specific events such as Eco-Warriors. They support schools with curriculum advice and promotion of sustainable practices.
The Gumburu Environmental Education Centre is located in the World Heritage Listed Paluma rainforest, approximately 90 minutes drive north of the city of Townsville. The centre is owned and operated by the Townsville Catholic Education Office and was originally established to accommodate school and Church groups for retreats and environmental education. Visit the Gumburu Environmental Education Centre website for further information.
Townsville Catholic Education's Solar Project is a major step towards a 100% renewable energy future for our schools. The third stage of the project commenced at the end of 2020, which will see over 4,000kWs of solar panels and 7,000kWs of Tesla battery storage installed across the Diocese. This project has allowed our Catholic schools to include practical real-life examples of renewable energy generation to be included in students' curriculum. Students are learning about our collective responsibility to care for creation through sustainable projects and battery storage. They are seeing firsthand how the decisions we make today have an impact on the future.
Sustainable Townsville promotes, supports and encourages projects and initiatives from local businesses, individuals and organisations.
Each year, Townsville Catholic Education awards a school with the Sustainability Award, which celebrates the initiatives schools have implemented to support sustainability.
The winner of the 2020 Sustainability Award is: St Benedict's Catholic School, Shaw.
St Benedict's Catholic School demonstrated their commitment to sustainability and environmental practices through their deeply considered environmental plan. Sustainable practices are evident in the curriculum focused on eProjects (environmental projects) for each year level. The school demonstrated a commitment to staff and student engagement in the management of grounds and resources. Their commitment to environmentally friendly practices to enhance the soil quality of their oval, and integrating religious education and contemplative practice in the school commitment to ecological vocation through professional development, is to be commended.