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Seniors Studying Sustainability

​Students study Sustainability in Stanthorpe.

​Sustainability is one of the biggest issues facing rural communities in Australia. Many towns battle to keep stable services resulting in rural decline as their populations move away to the larger cities. Businesses are forced to close as the population is not large enough to support that level of service. Some communities have come up with innovative schemes to attract people to their towns in order to prevent such decline.

Senior Geography students at Stanthorpe State High School are currently investigating this issue of sustainability and whether Stanthorpe is typical of other Australian rural communities. Year 11 and 12 students will have been seen out and about around the centre of Stanthorpe surveying businesses and shoppers to collect data that they can use to evaluate the sustainability of Stanthorpe. The fieldwork occurred largely in their Geography lesson time on consecutive Wednesdays. The data from businesses will be used to produce land use maps of the Stanthorpe business district while the data from shoppers will examine the importance of shopping locally to the sustainability of Stanthorpe. Students will present and analyse this data when they produce a report as part of their assessment folio for the year.

The students were surprised about some the information they collected and had commented on how few vacant shops there were in the main street. They would like to thank the people of Stanthorpe for their cooperation and responses to the questions about this important issue for Australia’s rural communities.