Rise of the Eco-Warriors

Teachers and Students

Rise of the Eco-Warriors for Education

A Teacher Review Feb 18 2014

‘Rise of the Eco-Warriors’ is a rallying call for help to all those who value the life and diversity of our planet and seek to ensure its survival. An assembled collection of driven and conscientious young people from a variety of countries and backgrounds, are the chosen representatives of the Borneo rainforest and its inhabitants.

Cathy Henkel’s documentary places the viewer in the role of an ‘intelligent observer’. The viewer feels like they are zooming in through their laptop to witness the Eco-Warriors establish their roles and take on the huge task of facing off against the forces that are literally rotting our world.

Through this telescopic view, supplemented by widgets and graphics, we witness them fight against illegal gold mining, logging and the destructive force of the palm oil industry. This industry in particular pillages the Borneo rainforest and in its wake the habitats of the Orangutans and livelihoods of the human inhabitants. 

This is a story of a diverse group of young men and women, led by the courageous Doctor Willie Smits, who face physical and emotional challenges to combat the monster of modern consumerism and bring their level of commitment and activism to the world at large. They are a small group, but they are our conscience.

Henkel’s ‘Rise of the Eco-Warriors’ is a must see for not only the environmentally conscious and the students of the world, but for those who have never thought larger than their own backyard. Cathy Henkel’s call is for the ‘Eco-Warriors to assemble!’

John Carozza HOD Signature Creative Industries QACI



DeforestACTION is a global movement of youth and schools taking action to stop deforestation and create a permanent habitat for orangutans and other species that depend on forest ecosystems. The program connects youth, students and educators in collaborative learning about deforestation through the DeforestACTION virtual classroom and live webinars where students hear from guest speakers and interact with their global peers. From here, students turn their learning into action to lead fundraising and awareness-raising initiatives that highlight the causes and impact of deforestation in their communities. This work is showcased to a global audience through school action hubs and international video conferences. To date, over 18,000 students have supported conservation and animal rehabilitation efforts through DeforestACTION.

The Documentary:

Rise of the Eco-Warriors is a feature length documentary that follows the adventures of 15 young people from nine countries who spend 100 days in the jungles of Borneo. Their mission is to search for and implement solutions to the rampant destruction of the forests that is ripping apart the local Dayak communities and destroying habitat of endangered orangutans. The film explores what it takes it be an Eco-warrior, an individual willing to step up and take action to avert a global catastrophe. The core message of the film is that every individual matters, and every action, no matter how small, counts. 

From the start, a major focus of this project has been on developing an engaged audience in schools and encouraging teachers and students to promote the issues and take direct action within their social networks and communities.

Rise of the Eco-Warriors will be widely promoted through various education networks including the Australian Teachers of Media, the Geography Teachers Association, Microsoft Partners in Learning, DeforestACTION, TakingITGlobal, EduTech Australia and International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). DeforestACTION has already engaged over 1,900 schools and 60,000 students in multiple countries. An information email and survey was sent out to Australian teachers in November 2013. It included a short survey mechanism that will allow teachers to nominate their preferred way of accessing the film for their students. Screening options include:

  • Taking a group of students to see the film at your local cinema – from March 2014
  • Screening the film within your school – digital projection facilities required by the school for this option – from April 2014
  • Book the travelling Education Roadshow where the director brings the film to your school, sets up quality digital projection, screening and sound facilities and conducts a Q&A with students after the film – from May 2014
  • Purchasing the DVD to show in classrooms in 3 x 35 min chapters – from Sept 2014
  • Downloading the film from a VOD or streaming site - from Oct 2014

Key Metrics for Education
Mechanisms for measuring the impact of the education release are being developed in conjunction with a major ARC Education research project underway at QUT.  Watch this page for updates.

Global network
The global education network for the project is DeforestACTION and the Taking IT Global website - http://dfa.tigweb.org 

DeforestACTION provides an array of educational resources that help students engage in meaningful, global collaborative problem-solving by exploring the global issue of deforestation.

Study Guide
A comprehensive Study Guide for Australian schools has been produced in conjunction with ATOM (Australian Teachers of Media) that expands on the themes in the film and offers valuable project-based learning experiences and real world activities.

Australian Curriculum and educational suitability:
The project is most suitable for Junior to Senior Secondary (Years 7 – 12) The film and related activities can be adapted for use in Years 5 and 6

Links to the National Curriculum in:
-Geography 7-12
-Science 7-12
-History 10-12
-Media 7-12
-Cross curriculum priorities – Sustainability
-Cross curriculum priorities - Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
-Upper Primary Years 5 and 6 in geography, science, history and media studies

General understandings addressed in the film:
-Tackling deforestation
-Conserving endangered species
-Supporting local action
-Uses of modern technology in taking action on an environmental issues
-The importance of global connections

Online resources for students and teachers

Teaching resources and ICT Tools
http://www.arkive.org/education/teaching-resources-11 14#resourceARKiveGeographicExploringTheWorldsBiodiversity

http://environment.nationalgeographic.com.au/environment/global-warming/gw-impacts-interactive/Interactive Global warming map

Palm Oil


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