Ingham Daily Press

Keeping People Connected

Eco-warriors say: ‘We can – for baby Weka’

Amy Barbi was invited by year 10 students at St Teresa's College to the launch of their recycling project

A GROUP of budding eco-warriors have started recycling cans to raise money for the late Torres Weka’s unborn child.

Students from St Teresa’s College launched their campaign ‘We can for Baby Weka’ by decorating collection bins and placing them around their campus.

Popular musician Torres worked as a residential parent at the Abergowrie school’s boarding facility.

The 27-year-old was killed in a road accident while driving home to his pregnant partner Amy Barbi on Friday 5 June.

Amy was invited to the school for the launch of the campaign.

She said: ‘I am so humbled and so grateful that they would do something like this. I can’t find the words to say how I feel’.

Students also plan to build a garden at the home Amy bought with Torres last year.

The Ingham Disability Services support worker, who is due with the couple’s child in October, broke the news that she would name their baby after his late father.

‘We’ll call him Torres Eli Weka-Barbi,’ she said. ‘I’ll call him TJ – for Torres Junior’.

The recycling project is part of a religious education programme at the Catholic school called ‘Courage to care’, which focuses on environmental and social issues in the community.

Speaking at the assembly launch, 15-year-old Jaxon Schafer said: ‘As young First Nations people, we have a responsibility to care for country.

‘We are all guests on this land. Warrgamay land. We have to respect our own cultures, and the traditional custodians of this land we all call home, by doing our bit.

‘We are honoured to have Amy here today, our big brother Torres’ partner, and their son – who will be born in October.

‘Amy, thank you for coming, and as a college, we offer you our deepest condolences for the loss of our big brother.

St Teresa’s student Jaxon Schafer (15): ‘Torres was a one-of-a-kind who shined his light on all those who were lucky enough to have known him. Each one of us is blessed to have known such a joyful soul’.

‘We know Torres would be proud of what we’re starting today’.

Previous attempts to become eco-friendly have been complicated by people mixing food scraps and other waste with recycling.

Jaxon added: ‘Our biggest challenge is stopping contamination. It only takes one person to put food or other waste in those bins, and the whole load will get dumped. Into that landfill. Destroying our land.

‘We’re not gonna let that happen.

‘Cans and bottles only in the bins. Let’s make our brother Torres proud.

‘We can – for Baby Weka’.

St Teresa’s is a boarding school that educates young Aboriginal and Islander men from communities across Queensland and the Northern Territory.

A ‘Go fund me’ page launched by the school raised $2,600 for Amy, who now has to pay the couple’s mortgage on a single income.

Anyone wishing to donate funds from their recycled cans to Amy and her baby should go to ‘Containers for change’ at 21 Challands Street in Ingham and quote the reference: C10281282

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