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REmida’s touch turns waste to gold

WASTE from Western Australian industry is being put to good use at the recently launched REmida Creative Reuse Centre in Carine.The centre has started taking school and community group memberships this week. REmida links the business, arts and education communities through a unique initiative that promotes environmental sustainability through the re-use of salvageable materials.The centre, which takes its name from the Italian translation of King Midas, whose touch turned every-thing to gold, collects the leftover scraps of industrial waste, including timber off-cuts, leather, nuts and bolts, rubber, metals and buttons.An initiative of the staff and parents at the Bold Park Community School, REmida is funded by annual membership fees from user groups such as schools, which pay to access materials and attend workshops. Based in the old Carine TAFE campus library, the centre has also received a $125,000 grant from Lotterywest for the next two years and has so far accepted donations from 100 businesses. Industry groups and businesses support REmida by supplying materials, volunteers to work in the centre to sort and display materials, and artists, who offer their time and expertise, holding work shops and developing creative projects, often in exchange for access to the materials.REmida coordinator Elissa McAuliffe said the idea for the project came from the international organisation devoted to the ‘Reggio Emilia Approach’ to social constructivist education teaching philosophy, which has its roots in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and has been adopted at the Bold Park School.“We want to encourage people to have a positive attitude towards sustainability. We believe that sustainability means being creative and clever about the way we do things, about working together, finding solutions and having some fun along the way,” Ms McAuliffe said. Malleefowl appealTHE endangered malleefowl is the subject of an appeal coordinated by the University of WA to local businesses.Earlier this year, Albany based PhD student Jessica van der Waag approached the Community Conservation Trust with an idea to raise much-needed funds for research into the dispersal of malleefowl chicks.As much of the malleefowl’s habitat in WA has been cleared for agriculture, many populations have become isolated in small bush remnants that dot these farms. The movement of the young birds between these remnants is essential for the populations to continue. “This research will help us identify and develop management tools that can be used to maximise the chance of chicks surviving and moving between remnants,” Ms van der Waag said. The research involves collecting and hatching eggs, fitting the young malleefowl chicks with radio transmitters and releasing them into small bush remnants, Ms van der Waag said. The chicks are then radio-tracked in order to learn more about where they go, what they do, and how many survive, she said.Businesses are being urged to support the project, by making donations to sponsor individual radio transmitters, which cost $500 each. Donors will be kept up date on the progress of their transmitter with regular reports on the chicks, their development, behaviour and movements, and an overall tracking history of their transmitter.Donations of other amounts are also encouraged, with anything over $2 being tax-deductible through the trust, she said.

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