Students clean up poetry competition
FOUNDER and chairman of Clean Up Australia, Ian Kiernan, has praised Coolangatta Special School Farm students for rising above their disability and showing they're the best in the country.
The students, aged between 5 and 18 years, beat almost 1000 entries in Clean Up Australia's national poster and poetry competition, part of the annual Schools' Clean Up Day.
They entered a poem demonstrating the importance of cleaning up the environment, adopting Clean Up Australia day's 2005 theme 'Put Rubbish Away for Good'.
Mr Kiernan, who judged the competition, visited the farm at Currumbin Creek last week with Chris Hope, the Queensland sales manager for Sabco which provides prizes and sponsors the Kids Clean Up Kit for schools, to present the school with a Playstation 2 and Dell desktop computer valued at over $3000 for winning the competition.
The students, Mr Kiernan said, had written a poem which captured the essence of Clean Up Australia Day and touched on some very important environmental issues.
"The school is absolutely fantastic ? the staff are so dedicated and so caring, getting the very best out of the kids," he said.
"When I was young, kids like these would have been institutionalised or locked up as some sort of freaks but they are beautiful human be- ings and the teachers get the best out of them by nurturing and loving them.
"They're taught skills such as driving tractors ... and they would make very good drivers as they're so dedicated ? they thrive when given the opportunity to do a job, more so than people who are not disabled.
"Queensland should be proud of them ? I told them they have risen above their disability and shown they're the best in the country, which made me quite proud.
The students' poem, presented on recycled paper, Mr Kiernan said, was a clear winner as it demonstrated in a fun way "that we can easily put rubbish away for good by recycling and reusing".