School Visit

Ivan and his brother Glenn had a great morning at Hunter Valley Grammar School East Maitland talking to years 7, 8 and 9. Earlier in the term Ivan had spoken to the junior classes and with so much interest from the younger students Vanessa Dean Head of House decided she could not let the opportunity pass for the older children to hear the “broken ocean story”. It is very important for students to realise they are the future and how they treat the environment is going to be of the utmost importance if they are to have a future at all. The broken ocean story highlights where things have gone wrong out on the open ocean with over fishing, plastic pollution and a general mismanagement of the worlds oceans. Sadly, generally there is an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude to the ocean and everything that lives in it. This attitude has to be changed and what better place to start than with the younger generations.

Ivan MacFadyen teaches a student of Hunter Valley Grammer School about Sea Survival

Ivan MacFadyen teaches a student of Hunter Valley Grammer School about Sea Survival

There was a fun side to the presentation with young Damian being our model for the day demonstrating the heavy weather sailing clothes and the life saving harness, a very important part of sailing on the high seas. (see photo)

After taking the children  from Melbourne, Japan, America, Vanuatu and home to Newcastle on board the racing yacht Funnelweb through an interactive powerpoint presention we  then finished with a discussion about how the NSW marine parks need our protection. The current NSW government announced an amnesty on fishing in the “no take” zones. These no take zones are only 4% of the whole of the NSW coastline. If fishing is allowed in these areas the fear is, with no where to safely breed eventually we may lose whole species of different unique marine life.  We handed out nature conservation council NSW postcards, already addressed and stamped, for those children wishing to support our fight to save our national parks of the sea.