THE fight to reinstate government funding to the Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre, which is visited by schools from the eastern suburbs, will be taken to State Parliament with a petition being circulated by the WA Gould League.
Opposition Education spokeswoman Donna Faragher, who will present the petition in the Legislative Council, said the Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre delivered invaluable environmental education experiences to students along with professional development opportunities for teachers.
“The government is cutting funding of $165,000 which supports one teacher and one administration assistant,’’ she said.
“It’s penny pinching in the extreme.’’
The centre, which was visited by Guildford Primary School and Guildford Grammar School in the past 12 months, delivers hands-on environmental education programs to more than 6000 students from across WA.
A major component is ancient science where contemporary science and traditional Aboriginal culture are explored.
“For more than 30 years, the wildlife centre has supported thousands of school students and their teachers to learn more about their environment, sustainability, Aboriginal culture and history and it should be supported.
“The fact is without government funding and without the continued relationship with the Department of Education, this amazing centre will struggle.”
WA Gould League president Professor Kevin Kenneally said the partnership between the Department of Education and the WA Gould League, operating from Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre, was a unique exemplar model of effective out-sourcing of specialist service provision by the department.
“I find it hard to reconcile that the government has continued to overlook the education programs conducted at the Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre that directly support the department’s STEM initiatives – particularly in the science area, while at the same time providing in the State budget for $3.4 million over 2018-19 to 2021-22 to expand their STEM Strategy,” he said.
A copy of the petition can be downloaded from http://www.wagouldleague.com.au