School Involvement

Child Safety Policy

Please download the FOCH Child Safety Policy below. This policy will be review annually.

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Since 2010, Friends have been involved with local schools in tree planting days. The first school to be involved was Daylesford Primary School. 150 indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses were planted above the creek just north of the picnic table Since then, Daylesford Secondary College Gettin’ Dirty students and more recently the students from the Dharma school have assisted the Friends with their planting endeavours. Grants from Federal Government, the Daylesford and District Community Bank, North Central Catchment Management Authority and Hepburn Shire have enabled these events to go ahead.

Gettin’ Dirty

The Gettin’ Dirty program was initiated by Leading Senior Constable Jim Ross from Moorabool police back in 2006 when young people who seemed at risk of leaving school early were invited to take part in a community-based program which aimed to increase and develop basic skills and self-esteem, and also to develop a sense of ownership of public places by young people. The Friends have been the chosen community group to work with Year 7 and 8 students at Daylesford Secondary College and over the years they have planted over 700 trees along the corridor of Smith’s creek. Additional funding has enabled the engagement of educational programs.


Thursday October 25th Gettin’ Dirty with years 7 and 8 young chaps from DSC.  They will be planting grasses in the morning followed by a session with Hawk and Owl. Check them out at
















Friday 26th October –  a visit from the Dharma school and installation of handmade frog signs along the Smiths creel corridor. I’ve attached a photo for your interest.









Monday 5th November – In total, 200 grasses were planted by the students from the Gettin’ Dirty program.  This achievement contributes to us meeting our target of 500 grasses for the year.

Thursday 15th November – Visit from Wesley College Clunes. Our focus has been on planting the common tussock grass or Poa labillardierei and another 200 were plants be the staff and students.  We have been working with Wesley now for a couple of years.  With students being Melbourne based and attending the Clunes campus for one school term the Cornish Hill experience is very different one for them.  Plants are sourced from Matt Pywell’s wild Plants in Ballarat.  Matt has been a keen supporter of the Friends since we began working with schools.  You can always reply on him supplying plants of very high quality as well as being the right provenance for Daylesford area.





Planting grasses along the creek line.



The Wesley Crew.

Thursday 27th November – Year 9 DSC Hands on Learning ear marked for this date was cancelled due to the weather.

The remaining grasses will be planted by the Dharma school years 5 and 6 students on Friday 7th December.  And that will complete our school programs for 2018.

On March 26th 2019, Students from local primary schools will take part in a one day workshop on the Reserve called Under the Microscope.  Details to come early next year.

 Members of the public are welcome to attend these events however you must have a current Working With Children Card.

Contact Margie on 0409216252 for more information.


This year as well as planting 400 grasses on the Reserve, the students were treated to a presentation by Leigh Valley Hawk and Owl Sanctuary.  Martin Scuffins brought along a Nankeen Kestrel, a Hobby falcon, as well as a Wedge Tail Eagle.  The following week we travelled to Mount Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre, the largest feral-predator-free ecosystem in Australia, located just north of the You Yangs, near the town of Little River.  The fenced 420-hectare site protects a large number of threatened species and contains native carnivorous marsupials such as the Eastern and Spotted-tail Quoll, the critically endangered Southern Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby, and the mainland’s largest population of the now extinct (outside of our fences) Eastern Barred Bandicoots. Past and present volunteers have been instrumental in the development and maintenance of Mt Rothwell and they continue to play a major role in the sanctuary’s ability to save wildlife and survive. Being totally fenced, the property is predator-free but they do have a problem with rabbits.  During our visit, the students assisted with the installation of a rabbit-proof fence along a boundary line, securing fine wire mesh to larger mesh of the fence and attaching the wire using staple guns. Programs like these can only go ahead if we secure funding.  This year, Gettin’ Dirty was funded by Landcare Australia in partnership with Coca-Cola Foundation.

Planting the grasses
Handsome Yarrum
Installing the rabbit proof fence
The Gettin' Dirty Team


On October 18th and 25th 2016, the program was funded by Landcare Australia in partnership with RACV. The objectives of the program are for each student involved to achieve success, gain self-esteem, improve their social skills and increase their connection into the community. Its success lies with getting the students outdoors to learn hands-on skills such as plant identification and revegetation techniques.

Kids Teaching Kids

Kids Teaching Kids is an education model that uses local environmental issues as a theme for learning and such a program involving the Dharma school, Yandoit and Bullarto Primary Schools was held on Cornish Hill on Wednesday 28th October 2015. Students from Bullarto Primary school were the teachers.  Guided by Environmental educator Nicole Howie, the students ran a workshop involving water quality testing, exploring the underwater world of macroinvertebrates and studying habitat of birds commonly found on Cornish Hill. The event was funded by both North Central Catchment Management Authority and the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning.