Seqwater’s inaugural Water for Life community grants program has helped a group of senior high school students embark on the environmental adventure of a lifetime.
The 30 students were hand-picked from schools across Queensland to take part in the 2016 Bunya to the Bay Eco Adventure.
The biennial event, organised by the Stanley River Environmental Educational Centre, challenged students to journey hundreds of kilometres from the Bunya Forests of the South Burnett to the mouth of the Brisbane River – often travelling by bicycle or canoe.
Centre principal Andrew Travis said the adventure took the form of a sectional relay, which was divided into three week-long segments.
“Throughout the journey, the students learned about environmental sustainability by taking part in a range of activities, including water quality testing, plant and weed assessment, and land management studies,” Mr Travis said.
“Indigenous perspectives were an integral part of the learning throughout the journey, with students given the opportunity to learn firsthand from Indigenous elders.”
(From L-R) Jinibara Elder Uncle Ken Murphy with Jagera Elder Uncle Sam Watson, Cathy Watson, Wakka Wakka Elder Aunty Vera Sullivan, Stanley River Environmental Education Centre Principal Andrew Travis and Ben Gall from Australian Heritage Specialists who all took part in the 2016 Bunya to the Bay Eco Adventure.
To support this year’s Bunya to the Bay program, Seqwater awarded $10,000 to the Stanley River Environmental Education Centre through its Water for life community grants.
Seqwater Acting Chief Executive Officer Jim Pruss said a total of $86,000 in grants had been allocated to 12 not-for-profit or organisations to fund programs that increased public water education and involved people in caring for their waterways.
“The Bunya to the Bay program is a great initiative and a wonderful learning experience for the students involved,” Mr Pruss said.
“At the end of the journey, the students assumed the title of River Ambassadors, having learned about the importance of caring for our waterways to keep them healthy.
“Seqwater is committed to water for life and that means, among other things, creating partnerships to support a sustainable water future for generations to come.”
One of the Bunya to Bay River Ambassadors, Charlie said the “amazing” program had provided a unique insight into the health of South East Queensland’s waterways.
“The Brisbane River, which is referred to by the traditional owners as Maiwar, is a beautiful part of Queensland and we must work towards protecting it,” Charlie said.
“We can all do our part and be mindful about what runs in the river.
“For thousands of years, generations of Indigenous people used the river and kept it well managed. We have to continue to do the same.”
About 30 students from various school across Queensland took part in this year’s Bunya to the Bay Eco Adventure.