Eco Voice Q & A: Lily Everest, Head of Education, BBC Earth Experience.

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Lily Everest, Head of Education, BBC Earth Experience.

Background

Lily Everest is the Head of Education at BBC Earth Experience. She is responsible for managing a robust education program which includes school visits, sustainability workshops, education resources and partnerships. Prior to this role, Lily coordinated education initiatives across major theatrical productions including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Melbourne Season) and Mary Poppins (Australian Tour). Lily has served on the Australian Theatre for Young People’s Youth Advisory Body. She recently completed a Masters in Arts & Cultural Management from The University of Melbourne and also holds a BA in Arts (Media & Communications) from The University of Melbourne. Lily grew up on the Mornington Peninsula and enjoys spending time away from Melbourne to reconnect with nature.

Sir David Attenborough. Photo credit: Photographer Alex Board 

To provide insights into education, Tim Langdon, publisher of Eco Voice, had the pleasure of facilitating a Q & A with Lily Everest, Head of Education, BBC Earth Experience.

Q1. As an educator, why is sustainability education so important?

I see my role as a way to encourage teachers to give school children new opportunities to be inspired. A huge focus of BBC Earth Experience and its associated education program is that small actions lead to greater change. I think as educators, teachers have influence to affect change and help create a new narrative that the next generation can aspire to, and believe is possible. We have already had teachers come through and say that this experience has created so many talking points and links to the sustainability curriculum they are already discussing back in their classrooms. Sustainability education is so important because school children are our next generation of leaders. By bringing school children to an event like BBC Earth Experience, educators can give them the opportunity see themselves as new leaders of change, and lead the way in protecting our planet.

Q2. What sustainability-focused education methods are you most passionate about? 

I think getting out of the classroom and exploring new environments and events is a key method that has positive outcomes for young people. An event like BBC Earth Experience is such a unique experience for students as they are suddenly immersed by large-scale screens and a soundscape exploring the seven continents. The experience is very different to learning in a regular classroom or viewing media on a laptop or iPad. Our on-site Sustainability Workshops also reinforce the learnings from the main experience and teach school children how small actions and changes can create wider impacts. We hope that all school children who participate in our workshops will leave as environmental champions and discuss their learnings with their families and friends to spark new conversations about caring for our planet.

Q3. Are school children interested in sustainability?

Yes! We’ve had students attend BBC Earth Experience on class excursions and then go home and rave about their experience so much that they’ve come back with their families for a second time and a third time. School children have a huge interest in animals, nature and how the world works, so naturally they are also interested in how to protect our planet. Watching school children listen to David Attenborough’s message about sustainability at the end of the experience is very special. They are completely captivated by his words and that part of the experience often prompts many questions and conversations as they head out.

Q4. How important is it to educate school children about sustainability?

The work already being done in classrooms across Australia to discuss sustainability is so important. The Australian curriculum is being updated to include more topics and key learnings about sustainability which means that this generation of school children know more than ever about the current state of the world. I think one of the wonderful things about BBC Earth Experience is that it extends upon conversations already being had in classrooms about sustainability and protecting our planet, and this message is accessible to all ages. Our hope is that the experience will inspire the next generation to continue having conversations about our planet; how to appreciate it and protect it for years to come.

Q5. What are some of the highlights as Head of Education, BBC Earth Experience?

It’s such a joy seeing school groups initially walk in to BBC Earth Experience and just gasp in astonishment at the scale of the experience. Wandering around and hearing them discuss their favourite continent and favourite animals is so special. We also hosted a group of 100+ teachers from across Victoria to an exclusive education preview event of BBC Earth Experience. It was definitely a highlight to hear how excited teachers were by the event and how they were so eager to share the experience with their classes.

Q6. What is the best way to get more school children to embrace sustainability?

Thinking outside the box and giving school children opportunities to share new experiences with their classmates that spark new conversations about sustainability. An event like BBC Earth Experience works so well as so many school children already watch David Attenborough documentaries at home with their families. Therefore, when they come to see the experience they can connect their prior knowledge of David Attenborough’s work with this brand new exciting experience that they are completely immersed in. School children will embrace sustainability by linking prior knowledge and things that they are familiar with, to new experiences that spark further conversations about caring for our planet.

Q7. How can publications, such as Eco Voice, play their part in promoting sustainability?

By educating people about all of the wonderful sustainability initiatives and events that are taking place across our communities.

ABOUT ECO VOICE

First published in 2003, Eco Voice is your go-to publication for sustainability news in Australia. Eco Voice prides itself as an independent news platform with a clear focus on sustainability, with articles coming from a diverse range of contributors – all levels of government, corporations, not-for-profits, community groups, small to medium sized businesses, universities, research organisations, together with input from international sources. Eco Voice values community, conservation and commerce. Eco Voice is a media partner of the prestigious Australian Banksia Sustainability Awards – The Peak Sustainability Awards.

BBC Earth Experience. Credit – Philip Volkers.

ABOUT BBC EARTH EXPERIENCE

From incredible creatures to sweeping landscapes, Melbourne’s BBC Earth Experience has brought the wonders of the world to Australia in an immersive audio-visual and interactive experience at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Featuring breathtaking footage from BBC Studios Natural History Units hit television documentary series Seven Worlds, One Planet, visitors will be guided through the natural world with incredible narration by David Attenborough.

Exclusive to Melbourne, tickets to the experience have been in high demand with over 100,000 tickets sold so far, and due to popular demand, the season now extended until April 28, 2024.

Surrounded by a series of giant, immersive multi-angle screens and powered by state-of-the-art technology, the experience takes visitors on an unforgettable journey through the incredible nature of seven distinct continents and unique wildlife and landscapes.

Visitors will experience a majestic 360-degree audio-visual journey as they marvel and explore iconic landscapes and connect with mesmerising wildlife on an adventure bringing environments to life.

With opportunities to explore interactive breakout zones for further inspiring insights into the earth’s unique ecosystems and creatures, visitors can dive into the depths of the sea, soar across stunning aerial landscapes, and even get close-up views of the micro lives of creepy crawlies.

The 360-degree audio-visual journey caters to those of all ages with Kids Passport activities, adult Twilight Evenings, Senior Mornings, Pram Sessions, disability-friendly Relaxed Sessions, and additional experiences available for school groups with sustainability experts.

https://bbcearthexperience.com/melbourne

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