Origami Project

Over one thousand origami butterflies carrying children’s thoughts on climate change, expressed through poetry, prose and pictures, were sent to Copenhagen from Latrobe City.

The butterflies were forwarded by Latrobe City Mayor, Cr Lisa Price, to the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Mr Yvo de Boer. The conference commenced in Copenhagen on Monday 7 December.

Children from across Victoria were invited to make a butterfly and write on them their hopes, fears, and visions for the future in the face of climate change as part of Latrobe City’s ‘Green Expectations’ community arts project exploring the community’s thoughts on climate change.  Creative Director, Alison Taylor said that the “butteflies gave the children the opportunity to participate in an international conference that will impact on their future”.

Origami butterfly kits were sent to schools across Victoria and over one thousand colourful butterflies were sent to Latrobe in response. They decorated Latrobe City Council’s headquarters windows for the recent Power On! street parade in Morwell, which was held nearby.

Cr Price said it is heartening to know that the younger members of society are aware of the climate change issue, and that they are encouraged to discuss important issues in school and express their opinions.

“The butterflies were sent to Copenhagen so that our children’s wishes could be present at these important discussions on climate change in the hope that our joy in receiving them, and our interest in their many important messages will be shared by the conference.”

Comments written by the children on the butterflies include ‘we are supposed to be a smart population but we haven’t figured out how to reverse what we have caused’; ‘your simple everyday actions can be extremely harmful to the earth - if you know what is right, do it’; ‘I have hope for the future because I think people will start saving energy because the world will have no electricity soon,’; and ‘plant more trees for more air and save the environment’.

Anne Koehn, teacher at Wandiligong Primary School, said that her students had been learning how to be environmentally friendly and that they were proud to be able to represent their school in the butterfly project.

Chandler Park Primary School teacher, Rose Lipstine, wrote that her students had discussed sustainability, the value of forests and resources, the problems of climate change, and that the children of 4/5L had really enjoyed making the butterflies.

Cr Price thanked all those schools which participated in the origami butterfly project.

“It is wonderful to know that students across Victoria are discussing climate change, and that teachers and parents are willing to provide their children with the opportunity to express their thoughts on global issues,” Cr Price said.

The UN climate conference hosted by Denmark from 7 – 18 December was planned by the UN to deliver a new climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol and its measures for combating climate change.