Published on: 13 June 2024

Over the weekend, people around the globe recognised World Oceans Day, designated by the United Nations to be marked annually on 8 June. World Oceans Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of how we all benefit from the ocean and reflect on our responsibility to use its resources sustainably and protect our fragile marine ecosystems.

Throughout their time at Christ Church, students learn about, protect, and connect with, our beautiful oceans. There are a multitude of ways they can do this in both Preparatory and Senior School. For example, Year 10 and 11 Environment and Community (ENCOMM) Cadets spend their Friday afternoons helping to preserve our coastline with Cottesloe Coastcare, getting stuck into weeding plants such as sea spinach, dune onion weed, gazanias and agave, clearing areas for planting, seeding, and mulching.

Marine science and biology students study the underwater ecosystems (often diving in themselves), with visits to Rottnest Island, AQWA, beaches around Perth, DPIRD Fisheries education facility at Hillarys Marina, and overseas SCUBA tours to support their classroom learning. In the area of co-curricular activities, our surfers develop a deep respect and affinity with the water. This is shared by our Surf Life Saving Cadets, who undertake significant training and education on our beaches to provide the community with ocean safety and rescue. In other subjects, students are given the opportunity to learn about and discuss related topics such as climate change, through activities such as the Model UN – an academic simulation of the United Nations where students are assigned a country to act as their delegate and attempt to solve real-world issues with the policies and perspectives of their assigned country.

By offering these opportunities, we aim to empower students to adopt sustainable practices and act towards the protection of marine ecosystems and the environment. Senior Science Teacher and Assistant Head of Queenslea House Tom Shalders spoke about the importance of educating young people about the ocean.

“Through our Marine Science program, students gain a deeper understanding of the critical role our marine environments play in regulating the climate, supporting industry, and ensuring the sustainability of our planet, its resources, and its species. We aim to empower students to adopt sustainable practices and act towards the protection of marine ecosystems and the environment,” he commented.