Students helping to construct nesting boxes for finches

Students get down to earth in the Kimberley

The Rio Tinto Earth Assist program engages students in a state-wide program focused on practical conservation, environmental awareness and sustainability. The program is run by Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) in conjunction with the Department of Education, the Department of Parks and Wildlife and Rio Tinto.

In May 2017, Rio Tinto Earth Assist visited the Kimberley on a regional tour, visiting schools in Broome, Derby, Wyndham, Purnululu and Dawul and Wananami Remote Community Schools. Over 260 students were engaged in nature-based learning experiences, undertaking activities such as frog pond creation, learning about compost and marine debris surveys.

In Broome, science students from Broome Senior High School visited the Broome Bird Observatory to learn from the warden, Nigel Jackett, about the significance of migratory bird species using Roebuck Bay and the potential future impact of climate change and urban development. Students helped to construct nesting boxes for finches and learnt about native species commonly found around Broome (pictured above).

Maggie McNeil, Earth Assist Program Coordinator says, “It was an incredibly rewarding experience to visit these schools in remote Western Australia and share with the students the importance of the unique environment that they live in. The Kimberley has such a high level of conservation value and it is essential that those living there understand its importance.”

Maggie particularly enjoyed visiting Dawul Remote Community Schools where the students learnt about impacts of rubbish to the environment, and how it might impact local fauna including lizards, turtles and birds.

Students learn about the impact of rubbish to the environment

Students learn about the impact of rubbish to the environment

Rio Tinto Earth Assist works with primary schools and high schools throughout WA to engage students in environmental conservation activities that align with the WA Curriculum and Cross Curriculum Priorities, with projects occurring during term time and the school holidays.

To find out more or to get involved, please email [email protected] or call (08) 9335 2777.