Gad’s Hill’s Gap Year students are working with the school’s 3-16 year-old students to support wildlife affected by the Australian bushfires.
The three 18-year-olds from Canberra took part in a special community assembly, close to Australia Day and hosted by the Heads of Junior School, to help raise awareness of the estimated 1.25 billion animals killed or injured in the ongoing widespread fires.
Together, they described how dark and hazy the skies in their hometowns looked before travelling to the UK earlier this month. The trio went on to talk about how 30% of the entire koala population in the mid-north coast of New South Wales have perished or are in danger.
The Gad’s children were saddened to learn that many koalas who escaped the fires by hiding in tall trees, now had burned paws from climbing down and were dangerously dehydrated.
Gad’s Junior School Heads reassured the captive young audience that the wild animals were being cared for by mobile veterinarians and that vegetables were being dropped from helicopters to avoid starvation, before explaining how they could help too.
Many of Gad’s classes have become WWF Koala Protectors to aid the response, recovery and restoration of koalas and their habitats.
A whole school cake sale took place to celebrate Australia Day, with all proceeds going to WWF Australia Bushfire Appeal.
The assembly ended on a positive note, with a report on how money raised will help provide new homes for wildlife, with the planting of 10,000 trees after the fire clears and the set-up of emergency funds to care for injured animals.
Each year, Gad’s Hill welcomes three Australian Gap Year students to live at work at the school.