Mid Lachlan Landcare and the Age of Fishes Museum: a great partnership in the development of young people

Mid Lachlan Landcare (MLL) and the Age of Fishes museum (AOF) recognised and celebrated a partnership with teacher Steve Lans, the young people he works with, and Bede Polding College by holding a small presentation ceremony during his visit to Canowindra recently.

In May 2002, Steve Lans brought a group of 12 students from Bede Polding College (near Windsor NSW) to Canowindra to visit the AOF and to do MLL’s Salinity and Erosion Tour. Since that first visit, Steve has brought 15 groups made up of 371 participants. We also know that at least five other school groups have visited the district on his recommendation.

Over this time, Steve has gained the respect and admiration of AOF and MLL staff. He is a very skilled, professional educator, and groups he has brought have always showed open, inquiring minds, and demonstrate a high level of engagement and communication. Steve is a great advocate of practical applied scientific learning. He has managed to overcome many obstacles to make these visits happen and has always exhibited positive energy. Steve is also committed to getting the best for his students and from his students. He shows everyone respect and he certainly has ours.

Andrew Wooldridge, a key driver in MLL’s education program said “We have noticed Steve has had a very positive influence on many lives. I have met several of Steve’s former Bede Polding students when they were attending the University of Canberra or the Australian National University. They all go out of their way to tell me how Steve and the course he runs has impacted on them, their study choices, their career choices and their life choices”.

“MLL had the unique opportunity to host one of Steve’s former Bede Polding students Ashleigh Zarlengha, for professional development as part of her university course last year. Ashleigh did many different tasks with MLL and the Department of Primary Industries during that time but she was very keen to be able to be a presenter on the Bede Polding Earth and Environmental Science Landcare Tour – a tour she had done herself as a HSC student with Steve several years before. Mid Lachlan Landcare staff shared the great experience with Steve of standing in a paddock and watching Ashleigh deliver high quality scientific content to Bede Polding College students“.

It has been a busy time over the last two months for MLL with visits and field-based study tours from St Andrews Cathedral School, Scots College Sydney, Shellharbour Anglican School, Bede Polding College and MacKillop College ACT. Our staff and representatives from partner organisations deliver tailored content that may include sustainable and regenerative farming systems, food processing businesses, climate change and adaptation, soil and water management,  biodiversity, geology, soil influence on land use, and sustainable living.

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