Sustainability leadership will define this generation

News News & events

20 Nov 2018

Six students awarded scholarships to attend the Blumine Island/Oruawairua Restoration programme this month have found an excellent opportunity to develop their sustainability leadership skills - and first year radio broadcasting student Matthew Pledger will make sure the world knows about it.

Matthew will make a radio documentary about the programme, in which Ara students facilitate a group of secondary school students to stay on Blumine Island/Oruawairua in the Marlborough Sounds for a week to learn about sustainability issues such as predator eradication.

New Zealand Broadcasting School student Matthew Pledger is passionate about learning how to meet the sustainability challenges that lie ahead for his generation.

“Sustainability is what will define our generation, and it is leaders that are needed for sustainability to be implemented on a widespread scale,” Matthew says. “I aspire to be part of a generation that values the environment and understands how to use it sustainably across all facets of life.”

The Untouched World Foundation offers scholarships for student leaders to facilitate a range of sustainability education programmes such as Water Wise in Canterbury and Blumine Island/Oruawairua Restoration in the Marlborough Sounds, in association with organisations such as the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Environment Canterbury.

“The trip is an incredible opportunity for not only personal growth but to gain a greater understanding of sustainability. Blumine Island is a predator free sanctuary and as part of the trip we will be assisting DOC with initiatives to get the island back to a thriving habitat for New Zealand wildlife.”

The students drive up the east coast to Marlborough Sounds on 29 November. Matthew will be joined by two Sustainability and Outdoor Education students Briar Inwood and Monica Bean, along with Abigail Charmichael from Art & Design, Megan Van Tongeren from Applied Science and Maori language and culture student Claudia Hillyer. Blumine Island/Oruawairua is in Queen Charlotte Sound some 22km from Picton and accessible by water taxi from Picton.

(from left) Megan Van Tongeren, Claudia Hillyer and Abigail Carmichael share the Blumine Island Restoration project at Ara’s recent Green Campus day.