21 April, 2021
For the first time since COVID-19 restricted travel, an ADRA Connections Go Local trip took place from April 12-20. The Go Local trip saw year 12 and recently graduated students from Prescott College Southern in South Australia visit Kangaroo Island to help with bushfire recovery efforts.
From December 2019, bushfire ripped through the island, burning nearly 50% of the land. Though the fire was declared safe on 6 February 2020, recovery efforts are still taking place across the island and the community will continue to heal for years to come.
The students spent their time on Kangaroo Island helping local farmers and residents with tasks like replacing burned fencing, weeding and general garden maintenance.
Altogether, the students removed 32,000 blue gum seedlings.
“It’s been good pulling up blue gum seedlings because we have learned that they are an endemic species,” says Kadmiel. “By pulling them up, we are helping the environment be able to recover from the bushfires better in the future.”
Over a year has passed since the bushfires ravaged the island, but the impact on the people and the land is still tangible. But the resilience of the locals was a key takeaway for the students.
“It’s been inspiring to hear about the people who lost their homes and livestock, and how they have had to overcome the challenges they faced,” says Dylan.
The Go Local Connections trip left an impact of serving in their backyard
Prescott College Southern teacher Joel Slade says, “It is crazy how doing something so small can have such a big impact on others.”