19 May 2008: First year education students at Australian Catholic University's (ACU) Brisbane Campus (McAuley at Banyo) have completed a Bush Regeneration project supporting sustainability in areas across north Brisbane.
The community service program provides the opportunity for future teachers to contribute to the sustainability of the natural environment by studying forest ecology of degraded bushland and working with local Bushcare regeneration groups across the Brisbane City and Moreton Bay Shire councils.
ACU Education lecturer and project coordinator Dr Barbara Odgers was delighted with the dedication of the students to the science unit which is based on first-hand experience in the environment.
“After initially performing testing on water quality at the Nudgee waterholes, and then designing a catchment management plan for these areas from their results, the students were required to contact the Bushcare groups themselves, and to organise their own involvement,” said Dr Odgers.
“This work is incredible important as the main cause of degradation is disturbance of the natural vegetation areas which leads to weed invasion and soil erosion. Most Bushcare groups in the Brisbane area spend their time pulling out environmental weeds that take over natural habitats and alter the ecology of the area, meaning that the native animals no longer have food sources in those areas”, she said.
“It has been a fantastic exercise for a group of young people who will be the educators of tomorrow to learn first hand about the sustainability of our natural environment”, said Dr Odgers.
Australian Catholic University (ACU) – established as Australia’s only Catholic, national, publicly funded university – is open to all. The University empowers its students and staff with a strong sense of social responsibility and concern for the moral and ethical dimensions of their study and their professional and personal lives.