Skip to content

Caring for the Environment

Promoting ecological conversion and environmental sustainability

At St Patrick's, our students and staff take an active role in being stewards of creation and 'caring for our common home’.

Inspired by Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical, Laudato Si’, our school community understands that we have to respond to the environmental challenges of the 21st century with creative and thoughtful planning, education and concrete actions that can make a difference to the health of our planet, all people and all creatures.

Our commitment to being responsible members of Planet Earth is evident in our classroom learning and teaching, the prayer and liturgical life of our school, our resource and grounds management, and whole school planning for community initiatives that contribute to the betterment of our environment and our relationships with one another.

Our St Patrick's school community is involved in a range of initiatives that empower our students to support the ongoing care of creation through:
  • School-wide use of our permaculture garden, The Living Classroom, which has dozens of established fruit trees, a four-season vegetable garden, seating circle and composting bay
  • Student Garden Club
  • Curriculum integration of environmental awareness and sustainability
  • Participation in environmental action and awareness initiatives ('Green Days') – including Clean Up Australia Day, Earth Hour, Earth Day, World Environment Day, Tree Day and National Recycling Week
  • School-wide expectation of ‘nude food’ (waste-free food) on a daily basis
  • Waste management system that includes recycling and composting
  • Worm farming and composting of all organic waste
  • Eco-friendly infrastructure – including solar panels, water tanks, LED lighting and sensor lighting
  • A focus on green ethical catering where possible
  • Staff environmental coordinator
  • Staff professional development to support student and school environmental learning and action
  • Celebration of the ‘World Day of Prayer of the Care of Creation’ and the ‘Season of Creation’
  • Active members of the Wollongong Environment Network

Our school also has a School Environment Management Plan (SEMP) which identifies and plans for our key environmental actions and projects. These include:

  • Updating the school’s vision and mission statement to include and/or reference sustainability principles and ecological conversion
  • Planning for the sustainability and continuity of The Living Classroom
  • Encouraging further staff ownership and responsibility in promoting and supporting the school’s ecological conversion journey
  • Continuing our school community's ecological conversion journey through staff formation in eco theology and eco spirituality
  • Whole school engagement with the Laudato Si’ action platform – the seven-year journey towards addressing seven Laudato Si’ goals

For more information, visit the CEDoW Wollongong Environment Network