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Charles Weston Student Parliament branches out into Tree Day project

31 Jul 2020

National Tree Day has been a key focus for the Charles Weston School Parliament in Term 3.

The Parliament worked hard in the lead up to National Tree Day, conducting an audit of all the trees across the school and assessed the cost of plantings. They also looked at losses as a result of plant death due to environment factors or vandalism and the importance of budgets and funding.

In addition, they researched their school’s namesake – horticulturalist Charles Weston who pioneered the greening of Canberra – and his important contribution to Canberra via the first plantation forest on Mount Stromlo. He ensured the planting of nearly 1.2 million trees between 1921 and 1924.

The students took Minister Berry via the school’s GROW garden. The plants in this garden connect to the school’s house teams and values;

Growth Mindset                               Respect                                Organisation                      Wellbeing

The GROW values were established with the community in the school’s first year of operation and reflect the growing community and the local environment, including the impact of Charles Weston and renewal after the fires.

When deciding on the most appropriate tree to plant to commemorate this year’s tree day, the students chose a Japanese Elm due to its drought tolerance, future size and shade, and connection to the school’s Japanese program.

On Tuesday, the Minister for Education, Yvette Berry visited the school to assist in planting the Japanese Elm. She also provided the Student Parliament with the unique experience of lining up with a fellow Minister to face questions from the media.

Local Federal MP, David Smith, the member for Bean also made a visit to the School last week to present new flags. He was impressed with the students’ curiosity about how to dispose of old flags in an eco-friendly way and is returning to assist students to form their ideas in a letter to the Prime Minister next week.

Parliament is indeed alive and well at Charles Weston. Our community is in safe hands with these diligent, thoughtful and now practiced leaders.

Charles Weston Student Parliament branches out into Tree Day project
Photo: L to R:Deputy PM Evan, Environment Ministers Moses and Ally, PM Elise and Minister Berry