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The Power of Art to Heal – Action for Agriculture

This post shines a spotlight on SDG 3 and how The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas can improve the health of our students and our selves

The United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) underpin our Action4Agriculture (A4A) school programs and our values. In schools students are tasked with identifying a goal they want to achieve

 

The problem they have to solve or the barrier they need to overcome to achieve their goal

We then invite them to design and deliver a community behavior change program to make it happen

 

In past years popular SDGs chosen by schools have been:

  • SDG 2 – Zero Hunger
  • SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 – Climate Action
  • SDG 14 – Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 – Life on Land

In 2021 The Henry Lawson High School in Grenfell, NSW, became the first school to incorporate SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-being, as their theme to guide their Archibull Prize entry. Teacher Jillian Reidy explains their progress to date:

“Our vision for our 2021 Archie was to focus on well-being and use the cow to be a public artwork to express well-being words provided by the community and well-being initiatives within the school. Well-being initiatives include the design of a well-being haven for students, and a colour run that was designed but which we have not been able to run due to COVID restrictions. We have also initiated another public art project working with the council which will explore well-being. Funding has been applied for and we are hoping to have it completed mid 2022.”

Watch Jillian talk about how the school was inspired to go on their journey here

Living with a pandemic has forced us all to re-evaluate our own health and well-being and to develop strategies to increase resilience. In the Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) Annual Statistical Report 2018 resilience in adolescents was found to be higher when they had a strong sense of belonging at school and had friends they could trust and communicate with about problems. The Henry Lawson High School is proactive on this strengthening of resilience.

Similarly, in primary schools it has been important to build resilience, especially in school communities where the pandemic came hot on the heels of devastating bushfires in 2019-2020. To support these schools St Vincent de Paul’s (Vinnies)  Bushfire Recovery and Community Development Program provided funding to deliver Kreative Koalas into five schools.

The Vinnies Program has three major areas of focus – future preparedness and building resilience, community cohesion, and environmental regeneration and sustainability. “Vinnies views Kreative Koalas as aligning with all three, but particularly the resilience building and environmental sustainability,” John Fenech, the manager of Community Development Bushfire Recovery at St Vincent de Paul Society of NSW says.

The Australian Government recently created a Student Wellbeing Hub, which incorporates Beyond Blue’s report on resilience in children aged 0-12. This resource is available to teachers who can use further resources within Kreative Koalas to create targeted resilience interventions for their students in need.

When we take time to reflect we realise SDG 3 affects not only our students and teachers but all of us. Our good health and well-being underpins all we do in our lives, just as the SDG underpins the work of Action4Agriculture.

Read how more of our Archibull Prize schools are building resilience here

Apply to participate in The Archibull Prize 2022 here 

Apply to participate in Kreative Koalas 2022 here 

#sustainability #environmental #resilience #pandemic #bushfirerecovery

 




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