One million milestone

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Harper Wilson and his father Matt were killed when a gum tree fell on their car. The tragedy occurred when the 10-year-old student from Victoria’s Cockatoo Primary School was being driven to his Dandenong Ranges home.

Ramingining School is a sister to the primary school, a bond cemented over 20 years.

Because of shared visits by the schools, Harper was known to the Arnhem Land students.

So the death of the staunch environmentalist has been keenly felt in the Top End school.

Harper’s mother Jacinda Erich decided to memorialise her son by organising a litter collection.

“We sent a message to my Facebook friends to pick up some rubbish…and that message was sent by a colleague to her son in Portugal,” she said. “He joined me in forming Harper’s Army.”

The goal of the army is to collect one million items of waste by 24 September, Harper’s 12th birthday.

And with 1.2 million bits of trash collected, the goal has been exceeded.

Ramingining School senior teacher Samantha Ladner said Harper was “passionate about the environment and animals”.

“He was involved in many organisations that helped to create a better world, and had a firm understanding of the big issues affecting the health of the planet,” she said.

“Ramingining School added over 3000 pieces of litter to the more than 1.2 million total.

“Our staff and students worked in afternoon heat to collect as much rubbish as possible.”

Mrs Ladner said the staff and students of Ramingining School will continue to support Harper’s legacy.

“We were very receptive to the idea of picking up rubbish,” she said. “We felt this was a wonderful way to support Harper’s Army and Cockatoo Primary School.”

One million milestone
Ramingining student Jasmane collects rubbish to honour Harper Wilson.

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