World Responsible Tourism Day, 7th November 2012, at Crystal Creek Meadows in Kangaroo Valley NSW, will involve local school children learning about environmental connectivity through Aboriginal cultural systems.
Research confirms that individuals who have pro-environmental values also hold a strong connectivity to nature, and are frequently positive thinkers. Therefore to stimulate society change towards a better world, methods need to be found to build connectivity to nature which in turn can influence pro-environmental social practice and behaviour.
This World Responsible Tourism Day activity involves Aboriginal culture, practice activities and creative thinking by students, while spending the day at Crystal Creek Meadows.
As preparation, oral history research of Aboriginal belief systems was conducted and members of the local Aboriginal community were approached to discuss appropriate ways to apply the belief systems from a Non-Indigenous perspective.
This year Crystal Creek Meadows will conduct an experiment to determine if elements of traditional environmental care can be transferred to school children and successfully build pro-environmental values through connection. The activity will include Julie Freeman and Bernie McLeod from the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community and Jane Gripper (local school teacher) providing an integrated experience. Children will be provided work books which they will use over a period of the year to record their projects and observations. A film of the day's activities will record the events and act as stimulus for the children at school through the year.
At the end of World Responsible Tourism Day the children will reflect upon the activities and create a story, picture or wildlife habitat which will then form exhibits at Jing Jo (a local restaurant which sources food locally and has its own vegetable garden). The community and visitors to the restaurant will be invited to select a 'People's Choice' winner. This encourages the patrons to learn about both connectivity and Aboriginal environmental care systems. Both Julie Freeman and Bernie McLeod will also select winners as a 'Judges Award' . All children will receive a locally made prize.
If you would like to attend this WRTD event and participate please contact Christopher Warren Tel: 02 4465 1408
To help make the world a better place Crystal Creek Meadows is conducting a pro-environmental education programme during 2012-13 that involves our guests, community and local schools. Our aim is provide alternative choices for our guests, information and advice for our community, and experiments for the school children. Importantly, we aim to share our findings to help other tourism providers introduce pro-environmental choices and help communities become more self sufficient.
All these activities are being planned and measured to determine the effectiveness of providing increased environmental education with practical advice on how to make practice change.