WODONGA Primary School students spent part of their day on Thursday collecting some special stamps – big ones at that.
Students in year one spent time learning about several species native to the Great Barrier Reef, at the behest of Australia Post’s ‘Reef Safari’ series of stamps, which have been released to coincide with the third International Year of the Reef.
The International Year of the Reef is a campaign by the International Coral Reef Initiative, and combined with the ‘Reef Safari’ stamps, aims to examine how the Great Barrier Reef is being preserved.
Students at Wodonga Primary learned about five of the Reef’s most iconic species of sea creatures – the Grey Reef Shark, Green Sea Turtle, Nautilus, Olive Sea Snake and Emperor Angelfish.
It was a double whammy, covering information about the reef as well as the hobby of stamp collecting – coincidentally, it is also Stamp Collecting Month.
“The hobby of stamp collecting is something that people of all ages can enjoy and Stamp Collecting Month is an excellent opportunity for us to share it with the Wodonga community,” Wodonga Post Office postal officer Kylie Harvey said.
“This visit to Wodonga Primary School gives us the chance to introduce the hobby to a whole new generation and teach the children about the importance of preserving the Great Barrier Reef.”
The education campaign is seen as crucial in efforts to tackle the devastating conditions facing the Australian icon.
Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Director of the Global Change Institute and Professor of Marine Science at the University of Queensland, reinforced the need for climate action as well as the importance of educating the community about the threats.
“Urgent protection is needed to save the reef, or Australia and the world risk losing a global treasure that provides enormous economic, social, and environmental benefits to hundreds of millions of people,” he said.
“Time and time again, we are seeing devastating impacts on coral reefs when sea temperatures warm even for short periods.
“If average global temperatures increase by 1.5 degrees above the pre-industrial period – a point just decades away – many scientists think that most coral reefs will become unviable.
“We must put the brakes on climate change for the sake of coral reefs.”
The Great Barrier Reef was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1981, and is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
The ‘Reef Safari’ stamps are currently on sale at Australia Post shops.