Costa visits the Coast

Costa Georgiadis from ABC's Gardening Australia was hosted by Tin Can Bay Fishing club members - his aunt, Debbie, and uncle, Jim George

Costa Georgiadis from ABC’s Gardening Australia was hosted by Tin Can Bay Fishing club members – his aunt, Debbie, and uncle, Jim George

…and wants to delete a word from school

After raising a impressive $1700 for Tin Can Bay Sailability at a morning tea in Cooloola Cove, Costa Georgiadis of ABC’s Gardening Australia entertained a crowd at Rainbow Beach State School.

Most students were unsure of what to expect. Many had heard their parents talk about him, but had no idea what he looked like or what his claim to fame was. But his visit, which lasted for a couple of hours, is something that they will never forget.

Costa told the kids they were lucky, and to never feel disadvantaged because they went to a small school, because they had nature all around them.

“You know more on this most special part of the world, so close to the ocean and reef. It’s critical – you have to look after it.”

He made the kids laugh with his mimes of some bodily functions, but cautioned: “We don’t do that in our environment. You are reef guardians, everything you do ends up there.”

He continued, “I’m glad the bin is here,” leaning on it, then asked, “Is recycling the best we want to go for? You use it once and it is a lot of energy just to feel good about recycling.”

Costa darted about the audience, crouched to their level and told one lass for our environment to be safe when she was a great, great, great, great grandma that we need to use less plastic.

“Look at what we buy and choose – can I buy my toilet paper not wrapped in plastic? or find a company? Do I need to buy little serves, or can I buy in bulk?

“We make habits, that’s why we need big bins.”

He said it was all interrelated to the school garden and design.

“Everything we do is not about now. If we are going to think about our family, garden is one of the best places we can look at the big picture. If we don’t want plastic in the reef, can we grow a garden at home?”

He said the food scraps become compost, leftovers to soil, it feeds the plants – grows more food.

Still talking near the bin, Costa asked the kids to tell him the word our school should delete, and laughed when Guy quickly suggested homework should be the word of choice.

(Costa said life presents wonderful opportunities – and it is all about timing. “That was absolute timing perfection, Guy!”)

The word was rubbish. Costa says, there is no such thing, they are just materials that have a different use now. He suggested a different title: ‘resource recovery receptacle’.

Children were given the opportunity for question time, and one of the most interesting was “How did you end up working in gardens?”

Costa told everyone about his grandfather’s wonderful garden, and introduced Jim George from Tin Can Bay Fishing Club, who was hosting his visit to the Cooloola Coast.

“That was his father,” he said, and spoke of how his grandfather provided for his family, and the love of his garden inspired a young Costa.

Chappy Ronnie Timperon, co-ordinator of the garden, said his message will be remembered for a long time.

“The most amazing part of the visit came as Costa wandered among the 3D garden designs proudly displayed by students from Mr Mileson’s Grade 3 /4 (Funlantis) class,” said Ronnie.

“As Costa looked at each design, his genuine interest in children, and passion for gardens and landscaping, shone through as he questioned them on their creation and the different elements of their design.”

Five designs were awarded by local experts, but after Costa’s visit, every ‘Funlantan’ was left feeling as though their design was a winner and something they should be very proud of.

Trudy Leigo of ABC Wide Bay made the journey from Bundaberg to cover Costa’s visit to the school and her story and interviews with Costa, Jasmin White and Rose Vicic can be heard on:

Principal Micheal Grogan said it was a wonderful way to start the term, and thanked Costa, Chappy Ronnie, students and guests, the Tin Can Bay Fishing Club for organising the visit, and the P&C for supplying cupcakes and coffee.

Now the new garden area will be transformed, combining the most popular and achievable ideas from the winning designs – including a windmill, aquaponics, sundial, cubbyhouse, seating and a pizza oven.

If any retired builders or handymen would like to donate a few hours to make the students’ dreams become a reality, please contact Chappy Ronnie on 0413 135 867.

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