Uni stages expo, encourages Central Highlands residents to 'think green'
Published on 25 May, 2012
Residents of the Central Highlands Region were challenged to 'think green' at the recent CQUniversity Emerald Earth Day Celebrations.
CQUniversity Emerald was the coordinator of the event in partnership with the local Science Centre and Central Highlands Regional Resources Use Planning (CHRRUP).
The major attraction at the three-day celebration was the appearance of ABC Radio Capricornia Gardening Talkback host Tom Wyatt and gardener/environmentalist Don Burke from Burke's Backyard TV fame.
The project was funded through the Queensland Government's Building Rural Communities Fund - Blueprint for the Bush.
Earth Day coordinator Councillor Gai Sypher, who is the CQUniversity Operations and Projects Manager Emerald, said the celebration's mission was "to empower individuals to make a positive difference to the future sustainability of our planet with particular focus on the home, industry and the waterways".
As a lead-up to the event, the local primary schools were invited to participate in the Earth Day Art Competition. The art competition coordinator, Jessie Phelan from CQUniversity Emerald said the competitions "encouraged the students to think about what actions they could take to ensure that their environment stayed the same for future generations to come". This resulted in over 400 entries from all five primary schools within the Emerald area.
The three-day event commenced on Thursday May 17 with Tom Wyatt coming out to the local Mitre 10 Gardening Centre, answering gardening questions from members of the local community and visiting the Duaringa community garden. In addition, the Emerald Regional Library had its Children's Story Time, which featured an environmental theme.
Friday May 18 saw the arrival of Don Burke into Emerald. That night featured a community barbecue, located at the back of the Emerald Regional Library, which was sponsored by Rio Tinto Kestrel Coal. The focus of the night was to launch the Community Garden and to encourage the crowd of over 200 people to get involved. The crowd was entertained by the Emerald State High School‘s Jazz ensemble, The Swing Doctors. Ms Sypher said that she was extremely impressed with the number of people in attendance and the overall success on the night.
To conclude the three-day event, the Earth Day Expo was held at the Emerald Showgrounds on Saturday May 19. The day included exhibitors from a range of organisations including Eco Smart Solar, Friends of the Sapphire Wetlands, and CQUniversity lecturer Teresa Sander representing the Green Hospital initiative. Don Burke also addressed the crowd and awarded the prizes, donated by the CQUniversity Safety and Environment Directorate.