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On Thursday the 4th of September, our Year 9 class took a trip to Torquay for the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) Forum. We arrived at the Grant pavilion building next to Surf Coast Secondary College. This excursion was a fun and informative experience. We started off getting a talk from Hilary who was basically the leader of our GORCC excursions and was the one who taught us all about the environment and what is really going on in our surroundings.

We gave our respects to the Wadawurrang people’s land with a little ceremonial welcoming by walking by the fire. Our class was then put into groups, which were mixed with a group of students from other schools, and we went and did three activities such as learning about Fisheries Victoria, making a stop motion movie about climate change and doing a goose chase around the outsides of the building. I was given a lot of information and I had a very good time, as I’m sure many other students did.

Morning tea was excellent, they had a variety of cakes and treats as-well as fruit and I’m sure everyone’s favourite was the chocolate brownie as some kids did take a few too many. Lunch was the same and was very filling; we were all well fed and happy. Mary-Lou and Carl introduced our video that our class made about our experiment with GORCC; everyone had a little laugh as we did with the other student’s presentations. There was a talk by a local called Shannon who talked about her life experiences with marine work which was really interesting and made me think about what I am going to do in the future and how I can help out with the environment.

My favourite part of the day was when Xavier Morello came into the room with big black boxes filled with a variety of animals from cute and cuddly to some scaring kids out of their seats.

Xavier, another local owns Wildlife Exposure. It is an organisation that educates the public on the characteristics of certain animals mainly indigenous to Australia and how important it is to provide habitat and what they need to survive. He does this by bringing his animals in from his captive bred zoo and showing young kids and adults what we can do to help these animals. There were snakes, squirrel gliders and possums, frogs, owls and even an alligator. Carl and I were able to hold a snake and it was an unforgettable experience. Thursday was full of laughs; fun but also had that incorporation of education and knowledge. Year 8 students should be excited for when their GORCC Forum day comes because you might even get to hold a snake.

By Heather Behan


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