Marine ecology staff have raised $4000 toward a new primary school in the Solomon Islands.
Each year School of Science takes a marine ecology tropical field trip to Vavanga village on Kolombangara Island.
Leader Dr Armagan Sabetian says senior academics decided to help the village primary school which was dilapidated and poorly resourced.
In 2019 they raised $2000 for a computer and printer, and $4000 this year to go towards the building costs of a new village school.
“Often university field papers to exotic tropical locations are situated on holiday resorts away from the indigenous people. AUT is unique in that we have developed a course in a village setting to expose our students to Pacific Island life and people, in addition to the beautiful marine and terrestrial ecosystems.”
Dr Sabetian says staff wanted to show their ongoing commitment to the community by supporting the educational aspirations of their young people.
“During down time, we often hangout with students and staff from the primary school talking about the field trip and doing other initiatives such as beach clean ups. My students in the past have often donated stationary to the primary school, while others have donated clothing, sports, and diving gear.”