October 24, 2023


St Patrick’s College. Vision and leadership.

Given that the curriculum in most school’s these days is aimed at environmental impacts, and climate solutions, it is wonderful to see schools taking an extra step to claim responsibility for its own carbon footprint. Especially as this school hails from our home town of Ballarat, nestled in the Central Highlands of Victoria.



Since January 1893 St Patrick’s College Ballarat has been a part of Ballarat’s rich history and is one of the oldest schools in the region.


Creation is a free gift from God, given equally to all. Trees are the lungs of creation so let us nurture this gift.

Michael Weadon | Pastoral Care Teacher | St Pat’s College


‘Raising fine boys to the status of great men’ is one of the college’s core missions, and with the college committing themselves to planting 120 trees with the aim to reduce the carbon footprint of their school, we feel the boys are well and truly on their way to that status with a great college behind them.


The grounds of St Patrick’s College


St Patrick’s trees (120) were planted at Axe Creek on Dja Dja Wurrung land, known as djandak. The site has a Trust for Nature covenant on it to preserve it in perpetuity. The Campaspe River runs through the site.


A sunny spring morning. Perfect for tree planting.


Due to long-term grazing, the understory had been destroyed with very little native grass, native shrubs or flowers remaining. The beautiful big old eucalypts were intact though. Close to the river they are the iconic River Red Gums and higher up away from the river it is mainly Grey Box, many of which are large and very old with numerous hollows. Three of these trees are registered scar trees.


The project, in simple terms, has been to remove the sheep, progressively eradicate the weeds and introduced grasses and plant indigenous grasses and shrubs in their place. Kangaroo grass, wallaby grass, wattle varieties, Austral indigo, various native daisies, hop bush, hakea and weeping she-oaks are some of the species that have been planted at this site.


A variety of plant species is vital to a healthy ecosystem.


The district is blessed with a wide range of wildlife, such as;  kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, echidnas, platypus, possums, a wonderful array of birds and reptiles. Some of the more interesting examples are the Tawney Frogmouth, Powerful owl, Azure Kingfisher, Spotted Pardalote, Tree Creeper and Robin Redbreast.


Thank you to everyone who contributed to this wonderful assistance we have received. It is gratefully accepted.

Bill & Jo Morrissey | Members | Axe Creek Landcare


Thank you to St Patrick’s College, Ballarat for enabling the planting of these 120 native trees in Central Victoria, the home of the River Red Gums and the iconic Tawny Frogmouth (featured image from Australian Geographic).


If you would like to know more about sponsoring community tree planting projects and how we can assist you in becoming a more sustainable school, please contact Colleen at <[email protected]>.


Writer – Lou Ridsdale


Lou a green thumb, Earth Lover, big-hearted nature freak, plus a savvy media and horticulture expert, who passionately believe that everyone can lead a more nourishing and sustainable life. Lou founded Food Is Free Inc., a unique grassroots food security platform specialising in food security education. She fell in love with trees after reading The Magic Faraway Tree as a child. You can find Lou here



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