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Mother of Good Counsel School

There was such great enthusiasm from the children. When we walked in the school gates we were met by three boys who were dressed up for the occasion with tie dye t-shirts, ready for a bit of spraying painting

We began with a presentation talking about urban pollution, and its implications on marine life, giving the children an opportunity to share their knowledge as well. We had some children who were so excited to answer our questions that they could barely keep still! 

After our presentation we were ready to start drain stencilling. With each child spraying one part at a time, we had a industry line going. Each student ready to spray was geared up, chose either the text stencil or an animal stencil, and then most exciting of all choosing the colour they were going to use. White is always the base colour, then yellow, red, orange, blue or aqua. 

It was so great to peel back the stencil, once it had been sprayed and see the faces of the students light up in awe of the work that had been done. There was a wonderful sense of achievement. All of us clapping our hands and cheering at the power of the message upon grey pavemet. The enthusiasm and the sheer effort, care and responsibility put in, even when it came to cleaning the dirt and chalk off the drains. 

Smithfield State High School

At school the students of Smithfield State High School had been learning about recycling and waste, so it was a great opportunity to be able to tie this into their school learning, reinforcing that their actions can make a difference

We made sure we put on all our safety gear first – goggles, face masks and gloves. Swapping and exchanging gloves that were too small or too big, left hand from right hand, and everyone wanted one of those “bad-ass-looking” face masks too. The Marine Response Team then presented to the students – “Did you know there is more than 18,000 pieces of plastic in each square kilometre of ocean.”

With aqua as the favourite colour we saw aqua fish, turtles, octopi, and starfish.  Students from other classes peered in on the work that was being done, with calls of encouragement and good work. This filled the students with a sense of pride and ownership as they were educating and spreading the message to their peers.

Cleaning Up Our Oceans by Terri (STEM Coordinator)

As part of our commitment, at Smithfield State High School, to creating sustainable global tropical futures, and to being a Reef Guardian School, year 8 students last term were able to follow through on their Science studies by having a member of the Cairns and Far North Environment Centre (CAFNEC) visit the school to talk about the harmful effects of plastics in our environment and how to minimise the problem.  Students were then able to take part in a drain stencilling program around the school where they participated in spray painting images next to drains to remind students not to litter because ground litter gets washed into the oceans through our drain systems.
Students enjoyed being proactive in helping to address a major issue and helping to remind everyone to keep our school, and our environment beautiful and litter free.

Trinity Bay State High School

Working alongside Police Citizens Youth Club and 3MPride, the Marine Response Team facilitated a workshop with students of Trinity Bay State High School, as part of an Art Competition to design new stencil to be used during the upcoming on-ground stencilling events in Manoora, Manunda and Mooroobool.  Creating stencils was difficult but all the students helped one another to figure out the best way to draw the stencil. The initial image had to be worked upon over and over again. 

With coloured paints the students gave the stencil designs a quick test run.  Our second workshop at Trinity Bay State High School was filled with exuberant attitude and sass. The first half of the session was spent with the students finalising their drain stencil designs. During this time CAFNEC’s filmmaker Kate, worked with the students to develop a promotion video for the Drain Stencil Project.  After the designs were completed, and the practised stencils had been cut out. We grabbed our spray painting gear and headed out to the basketball court. The school had given the students the opportunity to use the stencils, and impart the message to the other students by spray painting on one of the exterior walls. 

Cairns West State School

We had a group of students from year 2 and year 6. We were able to have the older students help teach the younger students how to stencil a drain and also have them discuss with the younger students the issues that the Great Barrier Reef faces because of pollution.

The students had a wonderful time, each of them ready to do another drain, and be chosen to spray paint! We could see how proud they all were of their work.

Here is what the students had to say:

“Stop littering!

If you walk around CWSS you might have noticed some pretty colours on the ground, they are not just pretty!

CAFNEC’s Aisha from the volunteer Marine Response Team came to our school for the Drain Stencil Project. (Thanks to Ms Lou!) They offered this activity to our students who have been learning about pollution, recycling and the impact that littering has on our beautiful Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and its marine animals such as the loggerhead sea turtle.

The stencilled messages says, ‘This drains to the Great Barrier Reef’ and is located around our drains to raise awareness that all rubbish thrown on the ground will lead to the GBR. The message is clear: ‘Throw your rubbish in the bin!’ (…and the school will look nicer too!)

We hope you got it! From 2Y and 6T”

St Michael’s School

Julia, one of our Marine Response Team volunteers, had been working alongside the Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) staff and students from St Michael’s School to help us bring to them the Drain Stencil Project. As part of a university assignment Julia has been trying to make St Michael’s a Reef Guardian school, introducing sustainable principles, and increasing the school’s awareness of local environmental issues. Through her commitment and relationship with the school the Drain Stencil Project came to the OSHC students.

The students from OSHC were very eager to stencil the drains around their school. They understood the implications that rubbish had on the marine environment, and they were always asking questions about it. A caring group of students who showed great respect and responsibility in the activity. They recognised the importance of where the stencils should be placed within the school, and how it would impact on other students and create further discussions during recess and lunch.

Edge Hill State School

With a group of 30 year 4 students, we had a lot of work on our hands but we managed to successfully stencil 6 drains around the school.

The students were chosen in groups of 4 to stencil each drain. Each person having a go at spraying something different. It was a great way to finish of the term, and to conclude their learning and understanding on the topic of the environment and sustainability.




Hours spent stencilling

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