Updated: Nov 11, 2021
We hope you are all doing well and enjoying some peaceful moments in the winter sunshine.
We are trying something new this month...
The core team have been working away at various aspects of the school initiative and we decided that we need to start bringing you, as a potential parent/educator/community member, along for the ride as we co-create Green Mountain School together.
So, this will be the first of more regular updates from us to keep you informed of our progress, celebrate our wins and stay connected to you as we build a community around our school. Questions, comments and cheers of support are all very welcome - please feel free to reach out at any stage.
Want to receive our updates straight to your inbox? Go here to register your interest.
So, without further ado! Here’s what we have been up to in the last few months. To read more, please scroll on down below.
WHAT HAVE WE BEEN UP TO?
Consulting with local Aboriginal Land Councils
Expanding our core team with community building, pedagogy, educational leadership and financial knowledge
Secured a $2,500 donation from Shoalhaven City Council
Conversations with council and community groups about potential sites.
WALKING + WORKING TOGETHER | Consulting with local Aboriginal Land Councils
Over the last few months, we’ve had a yarn or two with both the Nowra and Jerrinja Local Area Land Council about our vision for Green Mountain School.
Last week we followed this up with a formal request for:
Permission from Traditional Custodians to open our school within the area (between the Shoalhaven and Crookhaven Rivers, the escarpment and the sea)
Feedback on suitable or unsuitable Country on which to host a school
Feedback on the current name of our school
The Green Mountain School name is inspired by the majestic Cullinghutti (Coolangatta) mountain which can be seen from all the villages in our desired catchment area. As Cullinghutti is also a very special and sacred mountain to our First Nation peoples we have asked for their guidance on the name and for possible suggestions for a name that may be more appropriate. It’s important to us that we walk with and beside our Traditional Custodians from the very inception of our school and we look forward to building a reciprocal and harmonious relationship together.
COLLABORATION | Expanding our teams
On the 26th June, we held a small in-person community gathering where we updated all present with the journey of Green Mountain School so far, the obstacles we need to overcome and our next steps moving forward. Following this meeting we gratefully welcomed into the team two new team members with experience in finance/accounting and education. This brings the core team to a total of 6.
Our wisdom council has also grown to include three young people who share their youth perspective. We are still searching for someone to hold our ‘First Nation seat’ and people with legal/business compliance and marketing/communication knowledge.
We continue to meet new partners. A few weeks ago, we ‘zoomed’ with 8 education researchers and a principal of a like-school who will continue to offer their knowledge and skills as mentors on our journey. We also had offers of support from some Shoalhaven City Councillors, as a result of our recent presentation.
Would you be interested in getting involved somehow?
GRATITUDE | Donation from Shoalhaven City Council
We are very pleased to report that the Shoalhaven City Council granted us $2,500 from their donations budget to help us meet our expenses and continue with our initiative. Councillor Kaye Gartner put forward the Notice of Motion and spoke on our behalf with great support. To our delight, a majority of councillors spoke in favour of diversity within the education sector of the Shoalhaven, including those who voted against the motion, with the overall consensus being that Shoalhaven City Council will support our initiative once registration and accreditation are successful.
You can hear our deputation at 9.10 on the video, and the counsellors share their response at 37min https://cdn.interstream-media.com/.../shoa.../sho-210727.mp4
or read this article in the South Coast Register.
ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP | Exploring options for a school site.
We continue to search for our initial site. We were in ongoing negotiations with a community group in Bomaderry but have had to put these aside, for now. We are pursuing conversations with private landowners in Cambewarra and meeting with other groups who own buildings in the area. We are looking to lease a space about 2000sqm or ½ acre (minimum). It could be open space or have some buildings on it already, preferably with some established trees and green space. Schools can be built in most zones under a State Significant DA.
Does a place you know of spring to mind?
SELF BELIEF | What are we focusing on next?
Securing a school site.
Developing a fundraising strategy to meet costs associated with our DA.
Defining the curriculum and pedagogy that will form the foundation of our school.
Developing a marketing strategy to expand our message.
Reviewing our governance structure and inviting in new board members.
Continuing community building with key stakeholders.
Do any of these steps interest you? Email us to get involved.
CURIOSITY | Upcoming events
Our in person community event planned for July was postponed due to the current Covid restrictions. We look forward to the time when we can reschedule this event and meet you all in person!
In the meantime, we welcome your questions, interest, suggestions and feedback at any time. What do you most want to know or hear about from us?
That’s it for now. We’ll be in touch next month with another update.
Until then, travel well,
From the Green Mountain School Working Group.
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