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MDBA International River Health Conference

By: Parrys Raines, Category: Science, Date: 21 Oct 2009

I attended the MDBA International River Health Conference in Canberra from Sunday the 18th of October to Tuesday the 20th.

Students from around Australia and New Zealand came to participate and learn about the environment.

These conferences are run on the philosophy of ‘Kids teaching Kids’, all workshops are run by school groups. The workshops and presentations have taken some schools close to a year to prepare. The workshops ranged from schools building wetlands, electronic environment games, Black Bream on Kangaroo Island, population growth, recycling, frogs and climate change.

We also had a day at the botanic gardens where we built bird boxes, planted trees, designing clay tiles for the gardens, making seed clay balls, plant propagation and indigenous cultural activities.

On Monday there was an expert panel discussion and the topic was: Climate change; what can young people do to make a difference?

The panel consisted of two team captains who were comedians Claire Hooper and Josh Thomas. The host was Arron Wood the Director and Conference Convenor. Panellists included Senator Christine Milne Deputy Leader, the Australian Greens, Senator Nick Xenophon Independent Senator for South Australia, Mr Tim Costello CEO of World Vision, Linh Do National Director Change & Switch and Professor Gary Jones CEO eWater CRC.

Also that morning Dan Adams gave a speech about why he founded ‘Make Poverty History’ and Youth Decide. His speech was so passionate about trying to stop poverty. His story was amazing.

I gave a speech at the official conference dinner along with Mr Tim Costello. I spoke about how climate change will affect children in developing countries and Mr Costello’s speech that followed mine was about the same subject. Mr Costello also spoke about the role World Vision plays in helping developing countries.

Overall children’s understanding of the environment and current issues were outstanding. The workshops, plays, activities, singing, dancing and presentations were of high quality. The best part of this conference was that the workshops were taught by kids.

Remember “Habits made today will help life tomorrow”