The Students Using Sustainable Strategies (SUSS) Forum was held from 26–28 May for the fourth year at Linnaues Estate, Broken Head, with overwhelming success. 

Enthusiastic students and teachers from 15 high schools across the region spent two days and nights sharing their skills and ideas on environmental issues and sustainability. 

The result was a lot of excitement and students buzzing and bursting with ideas and actions to take back to their schools and communities.

A student from Mullumbimby High, Mia Robertson, said: “The forum was fun, a great opportunity and I was proud to be a part of it. I can’t wait to come back next year and tell everyone how I have changed the world.”

Andrew Turbill, a climate change facilitator with the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, informed the students on the latest in climate change science. 

Whilst the forecast was not overwhelmingly positive, Andrew left the students with a great sense of hope in their role as ‘leaders of change’ within their communities.

Forum co-ordinator Tash Morton said: “The feedback from the event has been fantastic. The students and teachers are very inspired to make changes in their schools.

“Events like this are critical for youth who care about the environment. It gives them a chance to meet other like-minded students, feel supported and encouraged by the organisations involved and to develop skills in environmental actions such as awareness raising and auditing waste and water, which they can implement in their schools and lives.”

The SUSS Forum is a partnership project between the North East Waste Forum (on behalf of member councils Ballina Shire, Byron Shire, Clarence Valley, Richmond Valley and Tweed Shire), Linnaeus Estate, DECCW National Parks and Wildlife Division, Rous Water, Southern Cross University, Dorroughby Environmental Education Centre and Environmental Encounters. 

Additional sponsors for this year’s event included Northern Rivers Group Environmental Educators, Northern Inland Regional Waste, Lismore Shire Council, EnviTE, Kyogle Tidy Towns and Tim Fitzroy Consulting.

Funding is currently being sought to hold future SUSS Forums. Any enquiries to Tash Morton, SUSS Forum Coordinator on  tash@evolveducation.com

PICTURE: Mullumbimby High School students at the SUSS Forum.