Young Advocates, LUCA WILDSCHUT

As part of the Catholic Schools Office Virtual Academy, students from the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle are encouraged to think across disciplines to solve real world-problems in an area of interest to them. 

At the end of the year, students in the Virtual Academy present their research to a panel of education, industry, and community experts. It is a rewarding opportunity for some of the Diocese’s most highly gifted students to advocate for matters close to their heart and understand their ability to apply their critical and creative thinking skills to drive change. The academy supports extended learning for students in Years 5-8.

Here is a snapshot of Luca Wildschut's current research project:

Year 5, St Joseph's Primary School, Merewether
Tasked with developing a research project that is locally based, would improve our environment, and has the potential for realisation, Luca turned his attention towards McDonald Jones Stadium.

An avid Newcastle Knights fan, the student felt the team's home ground could benefit from a sustainability upgrade.

"The stadium is a prominent local attraction that uses a lot of energy," said the self-professed environmentalist. "With this in mind, I came up with the idea of making a stadium that I know and love a 'green' stadium."

"In my research, I have discovered many environmentally friendly methods that generate energy. One interesting fact I have learnt is that millions of people die from lung disease every year, which can be caused by air pollution. This shows me that we need to take pollution seriously, “ he said.

Luca is in the process of finalising his findings and presentation, which will include an array of visual elements he has learnt to create through participating in a Virtual Academy workshop on Photoshop.

"If you can identify a problem in the community, it is always worth thinking to see if you can make a difference.”


In 2022 the Virtual Academy presentation day will be held online via Microsoft Teams on Thursday 25 November. During the day we will acknowledge and celebrate our students and provide them with the opportunity to discuss their learning and their work with a group of very interested and knowledgeable experts. Each student’s presentation will be based on their research project completed as part of a their unit of work. 

Gifted Education is a focus for schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. To discover more about our Gifted Education program click here. 

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Lizzie Watkin

Lizzie is Team Leader Content for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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