SCHOOL students from across the Mornington Peninsula have used art and imagination to demonstrate their engagement with the wonders of the underwater environment.
The Mornington Peninsula Schools Art Competition, run by the Save Flinders Pier group with the support of the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and Mornington Regional Art Gallery, drew almost 300 artworks of all genres.
The competition was the brainchild of the SFP group as a way of bringing wider attention to the importance of the marine environment, and to encourage young people to engage with the underwater world.
One of the key organisers, retired teacher and Flinders resident Trish Hurley, said the competition’s theme, Caring for our environment, included above and below the ocean and the built environment on Port Phillip and Western Port bays – places of historical significance as well as offering enjoyment.
She said the impetus for the competition was the announcement by state government that 180 metres of the timber section of Flinders pier would be demolished due to deterioration of the pylons and subsequent safety concerns.
“As soon as we started receiving the submissions, we knew the schools and the students had enjoyed the challenge and really put their hearts into their pieces,” she said.
“The works are simply beautiful, all so different but all displaying how the kids relate to the underwater world that they know.”
Cross-curriculum activities included scientific exploration of the flora and fauna, historical aspects of the natural and built environments, recreation on the bays, commercial fishing and ways the community benefits from living in proximity to a coastline and how to care for it.
SFP member and public relations specialist Mary Iles said the project proved that young people were engaged in caring for the underwater environments around them.