Padbury Clean-up Australia Day

On Sunday 4th of March 2007, a group of 30 dedicated Padbury Senior High school students and five staff members ventured down to the Swan River to participate in a Clean-up Australia Day event with a difference.

As part of Padbury's marine science program, these students have been trained by some their teachers to SCUBA dive, so these students were on an important mission to clean up the underwater environment. The Coombe Reserve in Mosman Park was selected as the clean up site as this is where many of the students were originally trained to dive. Students ventured into the marine environment in small groups, armed with catchbags and gloves to hunt down rubbish that had invaded the river. Many weird and wonderful objects were found including two boat ladders and a car axle complete with wheels. As an extra incentive, coloured battons were hidden on the bottom and students who found these battons received a prize.

Upon surfacing students were greeted by news crews and photographers capturing some stunning images and footage of the event. The event ended around noon with a sausage sizzle and prize presentations. Year 10 students who participated in the event gained credit towards their mandatory community service, which all year 10 students in Western Australian school must undertake as of this year.

For many Padbury SHS students this event was just a warm up for the exciting underwater adventures to come. This year students will be taking part in dive expeditions to Busselton, The Abrolhos Islands, Exmouth and Vanuatu. They will also participate in local reef dives, Rottnest dives and AQWA shark dives. Throughout the year another 40-50 students will be trained as PADI open water divers and many of our 100 plus divers within the school will be increasing their qualifications to Advanced open water or even Rescue diver status. These dive camps and excursions are of great benefit to students as they allow students to be immersed in the marine environment and develop a concrete understanding of some of the concepts learnt in marine studies classes.

I would like to thank teachers Mark Lehmann, John Sherriffs, Daniel Felton and Micheal Mann for assisting with the event, and, Perth Diving Academy, Mindarie Dive and Cape Dive for donating prizes. Without these people, and the support of parents, the event could not have been the success that it was. We look forward to an even bigger and brighter event next year!

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