By Willunga Environment Centre Inc.
(Non government organisation)
The Willunga Environment Centre is a not-for-profit organisation that aims “to encourage and support the community to achieve environmental, social and economic sustainability in the Willunga Basin and surrounding areas.”
Project implemented: 20 January 2014
To make a positive environmental difference and prove how capable young people are.
Volunteering Strategy for SA focus area: 1, 2
UN Sustainable Development Goal: 4, 13, 15
Why this project is important
YACCA creates a forum where young people can connect to environmental projects in a way that allows them to learn about environmental issues, make a positive contributions, and create a sense of worth and importance. By empowering young people with skills, YACCA works to ensure that young people grow up with a sense of connection to their natural environment.
Key steps to make it happen
Running out of the Willunga Environment Centre, the group was started in 2014 due to an apparent need for environmental education and participation from students in the high school age gap.
YACCA was built with the intention to be not only for young people but run by young people.
The group is led by a team of volunteers led by award winning local conservation activist Saskia Gerhardy. Saskia now employed by the centre has been pivotal to the program’s success and brought many innovating ideas and programs.
As YACCA members gain experience, they take on a leadership role and teach newer members.
YACCA creates an outlet where young people can connect to environmental projects in a meaningful way: young people learn about environmental issues both locally and globally and have the tools and opportunities to make an impact in their community. By empowering our young people with these skills and opportunities, the program is not only instilling positive environmental habits but also ensuring that young people grow up with a sense of connection to their natural environment. In addition it provides them with much-needed experience to complete study and be workplace-ready.
Impact to date
- Program has been running for seven years
- YACCA members involved in a whole range environmental activities including tree planting events, Reefwatch surveys, monitoring native fauna, flora surveys, creation of community gardens, improving creek lines, propagation and camps.
- Created partnerships with stakeholders including Trees for Life, Landcare, The Onkaparinga Council, The Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board, landholders and ‘Friends Of’ groups.
- Enjoyed regional and national recognition for its work including winning the 2018 SA Landcare Young Achiever Award, the Onkaparinga Youth Award for Community Engagement, and highly commended at the 2021 National Landcare Awards.
- Delivered presentations about engaging youth in environmental activities at the Landcare Conference, the World Environment Fair, the Nature of SA summit and the Australian Association of Environmental Educators.
- Worked collaboratively with local Kaurna members to create a book on the culture, history, and biology of the Aldinga Washpool.
Landscapes SA Hills and Fleurieu Board
About Volunteering SA&NT
Established in 1995 the Willunga Environment Centre is a thriving centre for community to access up to the minute information on Natural Resources, including topics such as recycling, weed management, biodiversity and conservation and land management. The centre also offers a broad range of brochures, resources and equipment, as well as providing workshops and public forums. WEC operates as a tourist information centre.
The Centre is one of eight Natural Resource Centres/ Environment Centres funded by Landscapes SA Hills and Fleurieu Board and Greener Adelaide. The centre is staffed by volunteers and a part time Manager.
The Centre supports local action groups and individuals creating a difference, including Willunga Hillsface Landcare Group, Trees for Life, Bush for Life, Friends of Willunga Basin, Friends of Aldinga Scrub, Lets South, Willunga Basin Walking Trail , Time for Life, Folk of all trades, and work closely with Onkapringa Council.
t: 8556 4188 e: firstname.lastname@example.org