Young Advocates, EMILY TUCKER

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 Emily Tucker's current research project:

Year 6, Corpus Christi Primary School, Waratah
Long after a Year 2 excursion to a waste management centre, her awakening that day still spurs Emily.

For her Virtual Academy project, the young advocate focuses her attention on the impacts of fast fashion on the environment and humanity.

Emily doesn't mince her words when speaking on the topic.

"There are people, including children, who work 14-hour days with sweat on their foreheads and blistered fingers only to earn under $19 a month making fast fashion," she said.

"As for the environment, fast fashion is the second-worst industry that contributes to global warming – next to the oil industry.”

The facts continue.

"Did you know that it takes 32 kilograms of CO2 to produce a pair of pants, and 2,649 litres of water to make a single t-shirt? 64 per cent of the 32 billion clothes we make end up in landfill a year," she said.

Emily's intentions in sharing these impacts are clear.

"Through my project, I hope to grow others' awareness around these issues, and ultimately bring down major brands who know better but for the sake of money aren't taking action."


In 2021 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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