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Students buoyed by beach visit


Students from St Augustine’s Parish School at Salisbury headed to the beach last month – some for the first time in their lives – to learn from local residents about the coastal habitat and the importance of ‘caring for our common home’.

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The excursion saw Year 5 students walking through the Tennyson sand dunes, learning how they were formed and the interrelationship between the wind, sand, natural vegetation, ocean and living creatures.

A handful of volunteers from the local area then introduced the group to a native ‘bee hotel’. Unique to the dunes, the ‘hotel’ gave the children the chance to safely compare native bees to imported bees.

To finish the day the students ‘gloved up’ and used tongs to pick up rubbish along the beach.

St Augustine’s APRIM Rachele Tullio said the visit was a great success, adding that with many families at the school from lower socio-economic and refugee backgrounds it was the first time some students had been given the opportunity to go to the beach.

“Some of our children have not had much exposure to the beaches, much less the Tennyson dunes, so there was an enormous sense of excitement for them,” she said.

“Children naturally have a great curiosity about the environment, especially about how creatures survive and thrive in different habitats. The experience of seeing this first-hand further served to highlight why we must all heed Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, which has ‘care of the common home’ as its cornerstone.

Laudato Si’ is an important teaching compass as it directs our hearts and minds to learning about God’s creation and how to care for it.”

The visit to Tennyson followed a workshop at St Augustine’s which was conducted by Robyn Ravalico, a member of the Adelaide Coastal Communities Alliance. Formed 12 months ago, the alliance comprises groups that are committed to looking after the coastal habitat.

Mrs Ravalico was also a guest speaker at a recent forum addressing sand management of Adelaide’s beaches, which was hosted in the Henley Beach parish.

“Forming the alliance has been a real journey in education and getting people together who want to look after our wonderful beaches,” she said.

“The knowledge, skills and work of these groups are directly aligned to care for our common home and many of the Laudato Si’ quotes by Pope Francis are reflective of the work of these coastal care groups.”


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