The participation of Junior School Donvale students in the planting of the Centenary Tree and the opening of the Solar array provided valuable learning opportunities for the students. This included connecting with the School’s history and learning about the legacy of Junior School Donvale by honouring Mr Ken Lyall and Mr Ralph Shinkfield, who were key figures in setting up Camp Toonallook. Junior School Donvale has honoured these two people through their House system, so it is fitting then that Donvale students should be the ones to honour their legacy at Toonallook by planting the Centenary Tree. This historical context helped them develop a sense of pride and appreciation for their school's heritage.
Furthermore, the Centenary Tree and the solar array remind the students about their role in preserving the environment and embracing sustainable practices. This hands-on experience allowed them to understand the importance of renewable energy and its impact on reducing carbon emissions. It also gave them a tangible example of how individuals and communities can contribute to a sustainable future. These visual representations of environmental consciousness can inspire and reinforce the students' commitment to sustainability in their daily lives.
The new solar array at Toonallook shows Carey's commitment to a sustainable future: the 25kw system has already offset 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide! In combination with the Centenary Tree, we could expect to sequester a great deal more carbon in the coming years.
The Centenary Tree is a native Eucalyptus Melliodora, a yellow box eucalypt. Its name roughly translates to mean sweet/honey smelling, as it is a tree known for nectar and therefore bee productivity. Bees are essential for a healthy environment and the sustainability of our planet, so the tree symbolises the importance of taking responsibility for the future and making choices that prioritise the planet’s wellbeing.
The event supported and complemented the students’ overall learning objectives and fostered a deeper understanding of the School’s centenary theme: honouring the past and embracing the future.