In Fred’s footsteps

TWO Hobart students have received Fred Hollows Humanity Awards.

Both in grade six, Sophie Bury, of Princes Street Primary School, and Bridie McCaffery, of Sacred Heart College, were recognised for their efforts in reducing waste in their schools.

Bridie was recognised for running a soft plastics initiative at her school for the past two years.

She continually gives her own time to educate other students.

“When I was in grade five I had an idea that I could collect all of the soft plastic material from each classroom to be recycled,” Bridie said.

“Once a week I collect it all in a big bag and take it to Coles to be recycled into outdoor furniture.”

Bridie said winning the award was a surprise.

“When I found out I felt proud, excited and thrilled – it was a great honour that I did not expect,” she said.

Bridie hopes to become an environmental lawyer or run her own eco-business in the future.

Sophie was recognised for her commitment to the environment as the joint-initiator of her school’s plastic-wise program and the ‘Save the Wombats’ project.

Sophie decided to form the Save the Wombats group with five of her school friends after being concerned about wombats suffering from mange.

“One weekend we went to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary to learn more about the wombats and this horrible disease,” Sophie said.

“We decided we wanted to help the wildlife carers who were helping the wombats, so we collected used milk, bottle caps and ice-cream containers.

“These materials are used to make special doorways at the entrance to the wombats’ burrows, which tip a special substance onto the wombats to help cure them of mange.”

Sophie said winning the award was an important achievement for her.

“I feel really happy to get this amazing award, not only because it’s remembering what Fred did, but because it’s an award about who I am as a person,” she said.

“I think it’s really important that we acknowledge and recognise people who are kind and compassionate.

“There are a lot of awards when you’re at school that you can win, such as sports and academics awards, but for me, winning this award is the most important out of them all.”

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Jacquie Petrusma said the award recognised wonderful acts of generosity and kindness.

“We need more young people like these to help make Tasmania, Australia and the world a brighter place for everyone,” she said.

Caption: Grade six students Sophie Bury, pictured left, and Bridie McCaffery, pictured right, with founding director of the Fred Hollows Foundation Gabi Hollows and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Jacquie Petrusma.

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