28 September 2023

Students’ business prize hat trick focused on environment, making a difference

Hume Anglican Grammar students have won a business award for their proposal. Picture: supplied.

Jenan Taylor

2 September 2022

Students at an Anglican college have won their third business award, this time with an environmental proposal that has a social justice theme.

The Hume Anglican Grammar students’ plan to solve the problem of waste in the community won an entrepreneurial award in the city of Hume recently.

The school’s third business award in a row, this year’s project was about being able to make a difference to a number of communities, according to English teacher Shirley Kutin.

Ms Kutin said judges had told her that they were concerned about the growing issue of hard rubbish and that they were particularly interested in the students’ ideas about how to engage populations to be more aware of the problem.

She said the plan had been tabled by the Hume City Council who wanted to adapt parts of it in their waste reduction strategy.

The ideas had also attracted interest from business groups, and from researchers from a university in the United States, Ms Kutin said.

Sarah, one of six students from Years 8, 9 and 10 who participated on the challenge said it had involved finding a way to help multiple, underprivileged communities in the local area with a sustainable and affordable way to reduce waste.

Read more: St Paul’s recycling program a way of building relationships

Fellow participant Nathan said in coming up with their solution, they had considered the impact on the community in terms of the way people felt about their surroundings, the adverse effects of pollution on peoples’ health, and whether things that get thrown away could be put to better use.

They had then identified small issues in the City of Hume and looked at the statistics, and from there were able to work out how they were all linked, he said.

“The main connection was that people were dumping rubbish that could have been used for something else. They could have had a second chance. We thought there were low-income families that could have benefited from that,” Nathan said.

Ms Kutin said the students had had a short time frame in which to meet the challenge.

“They were presented with the problem on a Monday. And then by Friday, they had to present their pitch to the Hume City Council,” Ms Kutin said.

Sarah said they had had to keep up with their schoolwork and find a way to meet up with each other to complete the project.

But being able to deliver their proposal on time had been the biggest challenge of all, she said.

“We had to be able to delegate around different people and work with their strengths, whether it was maths or report writing, and so that was how we were able to meet the deadlines,” Sarah said.

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