The Kreative Koalas program uses art and multimedia as a vehicle to inspire a younger generation to investigate and reflect on global sustainability issues and act at a local level.
This program aims to help students be aware of the impact of their choices, empowered to make informed decisions and inspired to act to create the future they want to see.
Our world today is full of increasingly complex global issues like rising inequality, climate change, sustainability of resources and a rapidly changing economy, just to name a few.
If we are to reverse the damage that has been done, and ensure a sustainable future is secured for future generations, we need to act now.
At present, Australia is facing one of the highest species extinction rates in the world, as well as experiencing increased pressures on biodiversity and natural resources due to land clearing, development, climate change and land-use pressures, In September 2015, World Leaders committed to the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. The 17 goals to achieve sustainability on a global scale by 2030 aim to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and to fix climate change.
We all have a role to play in helping Australia reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal targets.
The Global Goals offer the opportunity for a “win:win” for Australia: by promoting more sustainable development we can improve the quality of life and opportunity here in Australia while also promoting prosperity in the many developing countries.
Whilst Australia has no difficulty in reaching several the Global Goal targets, we face major challenges in meeting the Global Goals relating to sustainable energy (goal 7), sustainable consumption and production (goal 12), and climate change (goal 13).
The Kreative Koalas program provides the opportunity for students to be part of a team that welcomes their ideas and solutions and empowers them to act on these challenges at a local level as individuals, as a community and as the future decision makers for the planet.
Globally, it has been estimated that young people are 1.6 times more likely than older adults to become entrepreneurs, have higher literacy rates, and are more networked than the wider global population.
To realise these Global Goals there is overwhelming encouragement to engage communities and youth around the world to act on one or more of these Global Goals in whatever capacity they can. The United Nations is encouraging people and organisations already working towards these Global Goals to work with youth and community and empower them to act.
Our work with young people has shown them to be ambitious, creative, have a strong social conscience and capable of solving tomorrow’s problems today.
The program provides an innovative vehicle to nurture and support the next generation of young people who want the tools to rethink the world and create a more sustainable future.
In 2017, a successful urban school pilot was rolled out with the support of Intrepid Landcare and the NSW Government in the Illawarra and Hawkesbury regions of NSW.
In 2018, we worked with Landcare Facilitators in rural and regional NSW to develop a model that can be packaged up and offered to students living and going to school in even the most remote areas of our beautiful country.
In 2019 we partnered with local and state government, business and community organisations to take the program to five schools in Penrith, Western Sydney and ten schools in the Hunter region of NSW.