Officer kids clean up for a cause

Students Paige and Sienna enjoying the workshop. Photos: SUPPLIED

On Monday 8 May, Officer Primary School Grade 5 and 6 students traded the classroom for the outdoors to tackle plastic pollution with award-winning Australian charity, Take 3 for the Sea (Take 3).

Students participated in a hands-on workshop funded by AVID Property Group (AVID), who have worked in partnership with Take 3 for four years, to spread the important message of ocean conservation.

AVID Victoria project director Danny Boubli said the business is proud to support the delivery of these educational workshops to schools at a local level as part of its national partnership with Take 3.

“Our Hillstowe community has supported many initiatives in Officer over the past four years,” said Mr Boubli.

“Hillstowe is adjacent to Officer Primary School so it is fantastic to work alongside our close neighbour in delivering a sustainability program through this workshop and access to online learning resources.

“Take 3 deliver such a significant message, and it is our pleasure to help spread the word and educate the next generation about the importance of protecting our planet.

“Although we aren’t near the ocean here in Officer, it is important to remember rubbish from urban areas can still make its way into our waterways and ultimately, the sea.”

During the workshop, students embraced their new roles as ‘Sea Rangers’ collecting more than 7kg and over 1000 pieces of plastic rubbish, conducting a waste audit, and creating an action plan to help reduce plastic waste at home and at school.

Many of the students found rubbish hidden in plain sight under bushes, behind buildings and along fence lines.

Officer Primary School Teaching and Learning Leader, Julian De Zilva, said the 48 students in attendance had been looking forward to the event for weeks.

“All the students thoroughly enjoyed learning from these external educators and joining forces to be a part of the solution,” said Mr De Zilva.

“Creating awareness around the impacts of plastic pollution from a young age is crucial, it helps children understand the consequences of plastic waste on the environment and gives them the opportunity to begin affecting positive change.”

Mr De Zilva said as a small school they have to be very strategic when considering extra-curricular activities and the financial commitments for families.

“Outside funding provides additional opportunities for the school, we are extremely grateful for AVID’s sponsorship as it allows us to deliver this fantastic program to our students,” said Mr De Zilva.

Mr De Zilva said the school is eager to continue the program and utilise Take 3 resources moving forward.

Take 3 for the Sea Educator Abbey Jacob said Take 3 isn’t just about protecting the world’s oceans.

“If you look around, Victoria is home to some beautiful parks and bushlands, we can all take small steps to protect these local icons from plastic pollution,” said Ms Jacob.

Take 3 is an award-winning Australian charity on a mission to rid the oceans of plastic pollution.

Their message is to Take 3 pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway or anywhere, and you have made a difference.

For more information on AVID’s work with Take 3 visit