Sponsorship Gives Students Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

Jun 16, 2021 - Insights

The group traveled thousands of miles from their inland town to visit the Great Barrier Reef.

For many, traveling to the Great Barrier Reef is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This is also true for students in Ivanhoe, a small town in New South Wales with a population of approximately 200 people. However, Tronox helped make this trip a reality earlier this year for 25 students from Ivanhoe Central School as part of our 2021 School Partnership Program. The group, which included eight teachers and three support staff, travelled more than 3,500km (2,175 miles) to visit the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland.  

That distance is the equivalent of 37,634 Statues of Liberty or Big Bens!

The Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the seven wonders of the natural world, is the most extensive coral reef ecosystem on the globe. Covering an area of 348,000 square kilometers (134,364 square miles), it is home to more than 2,500 individual reef systems and 900 islands. 

The students visited Fraser Island and Heron Island during their excursion, exploring the natural ecosystems and learning about the marine world around them.

Ivanhoe Central School Principal Greg Edwards said the students were adventurous and brave during the trip, experiencing and appreciating the amazing interactions and opportunities. He said a highlight was visiting Lake McKenzie, where the sands are composed of pure white silica, and the water in the lake is so pure it is unsuitable for many species.

He said another highlight came during their time at Heron Island.

“The highlight for the students was the laying of eggs by a mother turtle. The turtle banked right next to my room, which gave our students a VIP seat to the beauty of nature. The excursion provided the students of Ivanhoe to immerse themselves in World Heritage areas. The ability to experience the places most people don’t get to see was life changing. The support from Tronox meant that our students got the opportunity to tour world class research facilities at the University of Queensland, the only research station actually located on a coral cay,” he said.

Tronox continues to support more than 20 schools around Australia through our Community and School Partnership Program. Ivanhoe is in the footprint of the Atlas-Campaspe project, as the proposed location for a rail siding.

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