Corowa student takes on Canberra

By Adrienne Hartnett

Federal Environment Minister and local MP Sussan Ley welcomed Corowa Public School student, Portia Johnston, to Canberra earlier this month for the country’s inaugural National Plastics Summit.

Eleven-year-old Portia was one of 22 school students among 200 representatives from local and global businesses, state and local government, and industry and community sectors setting the tone for the future of plastic waste management in Australia.  

Portia had the opportunity to meet with the Prime Minister before being invited to the Museum of Australian Democracy  to meet the Governor General and Her Excellency Mrs Hurley. The students discussed their plastic concerns and contributed ideas at the House of Representatives. 

After hearing from other students, politicians and community members, Portia told The Free Press that she wanted to make a difference at Corowa Public School and in her community by continuing with their school recycling efforts.

“We put our scraps in our worm farm, we have recycling bins in our classrooms and we have a waste free playground. This means that if we bring plastic packaging in our lunch box then we take it home.”

Minister Ley congratulated the students for their ongoing commitment to reducing the environmental impacts of waste plastics.

 “It was fantastic to see and to hear students get involved and show true leadership in this area. They sent a message of hope along with the conviction that we can and should make a difference,” Ms Ley said.