National Magazine of the Lutheran Church of Australia

Lessons of creation

May 2016

by Heidi Rose

When it comes to caring for God’s creation, it seems some of the youngest members of our LCA community can teach the rest of us a lesson or two. As they learn, students in many parts of the Lutheran Education Australia system are working to protect and preserve our environment as a unique, delicate and precious, God-given gift. Here is just a sample of their stories.

Faith Lutheran College, Plainland Qld 

Waterwise award for Faith College

Faith Lutheran College, Plainland, in South East Queensland, has been crowned the winner of the Best Waterwise Garden category in the Lockyer Valley Regional Council’s Garden Competition.

Showcasing the work of groundsmen Nigel Klinge, Anton Lehmann and Darren Jamieson and project manager Tom Kenny, the college was able to display drought resistance initiatives to ensure its grounds remain green in spite of consistently dry weather conditions.

Faith also took out second place in the Schools and Childcare section of the awards.

The college uses recycled water and run-off from drains and dams, along with plants that require little watering or maintenance as part of its commitment to environmental sustainability.

Darren Jamieson says ‘staying abreast of the latest innovations in gardening, and researching the best plants to use in our soil conditions and that are native to the area, help to make the grounds that much easier to care for and maintain’. ‘It is lovely to see our students sitting under our beautiful shady trees and on our lawns, knowing that we have grown these ourselves during tough weather conditions’, he said.

Heidi Rose is the marketing and publicity coordinator for Faith Lutheran College, Plainland, Queensland.

Tanunda Lutheran Early Learning Centre, Tanunda SA

Bush wisdom changes lives

The children who attend Tanunda Lutheran Early Learning Centre (ELC) in SA’s Barossa Valley may be only pre-school age but they already are gaining knowledge to last a lifetime.

The ELC, which is a part of Tanunda Lutheran School, has the ultimate outdoor classroom within its site and Director Marie Hage says it is changing young lives. What was once just vacant land bordering the North Para River is now a bush block full of life, learning and play opportunities.

About a hectare in size, the block is located at the back of the joint property and has been revegetated by the ELC team, with the support of parents, friends, government grants, local service groups and businesses.

Along with a focus on sustainability and care for God’s creation woven through the curriculum, Marie says visiting the bush block at least twice a week has a huge effect on students.

‘We find that it affects the children cognitively, socially and spiritually and it promotes deep thinking’, she says of the bush block, which is shared with the primary school. ‘Every area of curriculum can be addressed in that bush block and many children blossom in that environment.’