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Drawn by our vision for fullness of life, EREA stands ready to respond to Pope Francis’ urgent call to come together to care for our common home by launching the Sustainability at EREA initiative.

 

 

As a way of deepening our already radical Gospel response to care for all life, we are inviting all schools across our network to co-create a movement that will pave the way for our return to our one common home – this path will be the essence of Sustainability at EREA. In creating and walking this path, we will be guided by the wisdom of Laudato si’; in doing so we will be living out the core of our mission, something reflected in the following words of Pope Francis:

 

“...a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice...so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” (49)

 

As we set out on our journey to return home, it is our intent that the path we walk is paved by an emerging ecological consciousness that readies hearts and minds for new expressions of wholeness. The seeds for such a movement have already been planted, now through this national initiative, we are ready to come together and evolve into what it means to be a national community in mission.


The Sustainability at EREA Initiative

Inspired by the call within Laudato si’, the EREA Board initiated the emergence of the EREA Sustainability Committee in late 2015.  Throughout 2016, this committee was able to discern some Guiding Principles and a Statement of Purpose, as outlined in the EREA Sustainability Committee Position Summary.

With this thinking in place, the EREA Sustainability Committee was ready to invite the participation of schools and at the beginning of 2017, released the Sustainability at EREA Announcement Letter. As a launch to this initiative, schools across the EREA Network were invited to participate in the Sustainability at EREA Storytelling Campaign and to come together for Setting out for Home: A National Gathering for Sustainability.


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Guiding Principles

Facilitate an ecological conversion (new ways of thinking , seeing and living) so that an ecological consciousness can emerge to support our efforts in caring for our home (sustainability).

Participation - we come together across the network to shift hearts and minds and co-create our response.

Integral Ecology - "a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice ...so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor." (49, Laudato si').

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Purpose of the Initiative

As a response to the call of Laudato si’, this initiative seeks to invite the EREA Network and its constituent schools into the possibility of a cultural transformation, whereby an ecological conversion of heart and mind can take place. EREA recognises that this intent provides an opportunity to act out of and for an intergenerational solidarity, where the education of young people provides a rich platform for nurturing the legacy of a more hope‐filled planet.



Embedding Ecological Sustainability across EREA - Where we are and where we want to go

We wanted to begin by getting a feel for where we are at with respect to our understandings and practices around Ecological Sustainability – with this scan, we hope to be able to set out a course for our return home. The scope and intent of this initiative is captured in our Sustainability at EREA Narrative Poster.



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Some reflections from An Invitation to Dialogue - Shaping a Response to Laudato si' - November 2016

Love will well up within in response to all that is threatened – all that lives – not continuing the anthropocentric view – a transformation of how we relate and see.

Educators will have found/processes which implemented lead to action for the good of the whole – whole system.

That our schools would become genuinely conversant with the core vision of Laudato Si’ – that we could become sustainable schools.

The primacy of Earth as source of all life as we know it will be/is at the forefront of educational vision and practice.

 


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The voice of the EREA Sustainability Committee and the Director's of Regional Support

What excites me is that the EREA Board are concerned to take up the challenge of Laudato Si' and infuse its teaching into staffs and students. This is a huge challenge but one that we cannot ignore for the sake of our own comfort. IF IT IS TO BE IT IS UP TO ME. Now that we have set our hand to the plough we have to do what we can for this opportunity will not come again in our lifetime. Right now, environmental literacy is the most important literacy our students will need into the future.

Read further reflections at The Voice of the EREA Sustainability Committee and Directors of Regional Support.


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“Setting out for Home” - A National Gathering for Sustainability and National Principal's Conference

Principals from across the EREA Network joined with delegates from schools in Canberra from May 31 to June 1 2017 – to look back on our absence from our common home; to perceive the emerging horizon of our return; and to co-create a path that might enable us to get there – together

A copy of the brochure, along with emerging insights and reflections from this critical gathering have been captured in the documents below:

Brochure EREA National Principals Conference and National Gathering for Sustainability 2017

Responses to Professor Tim Flannery

Emerging Strategies for Sustainability

Reflection from Etaoin Donavan Director of Service Learning St Laurences College

The Wisdom of our Delegates - Pioneers of Sustainability at EREA

Final Session Principals' Conference responses


The Sustainability at EREA Initiative Storytelling Campaign

To launch the Sustainability at EREA Initiative, schools across the EREA Network were invited to participate in a storytelling campaign as a way of recognising current practices and getting a feel for what we already know. Some of these stories are featured below:


Sustainability at EREA Aquinas College - Youtube

Aquinas College

Laced with humour, students and staff share some of the many ways in which Aquinas College is caring for its beautiful surroundings.
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Sustainability at EREA IMCH - Youtube

IMCH

Smile at the wonder and delight of our youngest students of Indooroopilly Montessori Children's House as they share their journey of learning how to look after our one precious planet.
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Sustainability at EREA St Laurences College Faith in Action - Youtube

St Laurences College

Find out about the way in which the young people of St Laurence's in Brisbane are enjoying and benefiting from the integration of Laudato si' across the curriculum.
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Sustainability at EREA Rostrevor College Ecological Sustainability - Youtube

Rostrevor College

Rostrevor College is embarking upon a whole school approach to ecological sustainability, as Principal Damian Messer explains.
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Sustainability at EREA Gregory Terrace - Youtube

Gregory Terrace

Inspired by their encounter with the outdoors, young men of Gregory Terrace are finding out about 'true nature'.
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Sustainability at EREA Tim Flannery - Youtube

Tim Flannery

Professor Tim Flannery opens up about a Laudato si inspired response to caring for our planet in this interview with Luke Edwards, EREA Identity and Liberating Education.
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Sustainability at EREA Tony Arnel Globe - Youtube

Tony Arnel

The Chair of the EREA Sustainability Committee, Mr Tony Arnel, welcomes delegates to the National Gathering for Sustainability, June 2017.
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Sustainability at EREA ST Joseph's Geelong - Youtube

St Joseph’s Geelong

A vast array of sustainability practices are providing the young men of St Joseph's College Geelong with an education that brings care for our common home alive.
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Amrose Treacy College - Alex Davies

Ambrose Treacy College - Combining nature with a 21st Century Campus

Ambrose Treacy College is in a unique situation compared to fellow EREA schools. As a new College, with a rapidly developing campus and population, construction and development is the norm, not the exception. This fact, combined with a long and narrow campus along the Western outreaches of the Brisbane River, means that 21st Century education is rapidly integrating with flora and fauna that has existed for thousands of years. Inevitably, this has sometimes meant that the environment has changed more quickly than plants and animals could often adapt. Causalities seemed inevitable!

Enter Year 9 student Alexander Davies. Born with an infectious intrigue for the environment, Alex swiftly inspired a committee of wildlife warriors – comprising staff and students - who got their hands dirty to ensure all possible species were preserved and protected.

Read more ->

Sustainability at EREA - Resources

Our efforts at coming together to care for our common home require all of us to participate. As we embark upon this journey together, please engage with the resources provided.