The EarthCare Centre was built by volunteers including students, staff and local community members. It is a demonstration site for sustainable living that promotes practical measures that everyone can take to be responsible Earth citizens, to protect our planet and preserve its natural resources for the generations to come. Since 1994 the EarthCare Centre has continually provided opportunities to learn and apply methods for growing and maintaining organic food gardens, sustainable building, using alternative technologies and designing better ways of living.
The EarthCare Centre has been an inspiration to countless students of the university as well as members of the wider community. It offers a variety of fieldtrips, seminars, workshops, primary school excursions, and it is also valued as a research site for studies of community-led sustainable agriculture. Each semester hundreds of pre-service teachers in the unit Education for Sustainability are amazed at how their visit to the EarthCare Centre helps to crystallise their understanding of sustainability education and inspires them to step up to the important challenge of promoting sustainability in their future roles as teachers.
Given the crucial role the EarthCare Centre plays in promoting sustainability education, it is baffling that the university could have decided to shut down the site. Its work is clearly pivotal in enabling the university to show ‘best practice’ as a leading partner in the Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development. Rather than being forced to close, the EarthCare Centre should be valued as a considerable asset to the university which far outweighs any assumed financial obligation to the university.