Recognising schools' sustainability achievements - Education Matters Magazine
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Recognising schools’ sustainability achievements

sustainability achievements

Sustainability Victoria has opened entries for its prestigious schools’ awards program, the ResourceSmart Schools Awards, calling for schools to showcase their sustainability achievements, no matter how small.

Now in their 14th year, Sustainability Victoria’s ResourceSmart Schools Awards is the largest celebration of sustainability in schools in the country recognising the efforts of students, teachers, parents and volunteers.

This year’s theme, Achieving Great Things, shines a light on the accomplishments of Victoria’s ResourceSmart Schools’ community and is a reminder that no action is too small.

“We know there is some incredible work being done in schools from waste reduction to water saving to frog bogs and kitchen gardens that’s making a difference in a multitude of ways,” said Ms Katie Pahlow, Director Community Action, Sustainability Victoria.

“The ResourceSmart Schools Awards is an opportunity to celebrate the young people and schools leading the way on sustainability and creating real impact for Victorian communities beyond the school gate.

“ResourceSmart Schools is a fantastic conduit for engaging the school community in ssustainability achievements and I’d encourage schools that aren’t part of the program to get involved.”

Over the past 15 years, the program has helped more than 1,400 schools across the state to collectively save more than $41 million on bills and reduce more than 118,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases through energy, water and waste efficiencies.

Ms Kerry McCarthy, Science Specialist at Warrnambool East Primary School, said being a ResourceSmart school has inspired the students to be more sustainable and conscious of their actions.

“Becoming a ResourceSmart school motivated us to develop a Student Sustainability Team, which has been the best thing we have done for sustainability at our school. The Student Sustainability Leaders at Warrnambool East Primary School are so proud of the work they do and the achievements they have made during the time we have been a ResourceSmart school,” said Ms McCarthy.

Every primary and secondary school registered in the ResourceSmart Schools program is eligible to enter the awards and go in the running for a range of prizes presented at a prestigious awards ceremony held at the MCG on 1 June.

Award categories:

  • Campus Infrastructure and Operations
  • Emerging School of the Year
  • Teacher of the Year (primary and secondary)
  • Student Action Team of the Year
  • Community Leadership School of the Year
  • Curriculum Leadership School of the Year
  • School Volunteer of the Year
  • ResourceSmart School of the Year

Not a ResourceSmart School? It’s not too late! Simply register here.

How to enter

Schools can get direct support to help them craft an entry at the ‘How to write an awards entry’ webinar on Wednesday 15th February from 4pm – 4.45pm. Register here.

Alternatively, if entries are submitted on the ResourceSmart Schools Awards portal by 1 March, schools can request a 15-minute meeting with an Education Team member to receive support and feedback prior to editing their final submission. Entries close 20 March 2023. For more information visit

About ResourceSmart Schools

ResourceSmart Schools is a free program offered by Sustainability Victoria that supports all Victorian schools to embed sustainability across school facilities, the curriculum and community, while reducing resource use and saving money for the school.

Schools join the program and have access to an online portal (ResourceSmart Schools online) and a ResourceSmart Schools Facilitator. As a part of the ResourceSmart Schools program the school community will learn, practice and share ways to integrate sustainability across school operations.

The ResourceSmart Schools program recognises and rewards schools through Sustainability Certification. Stars are obtained through completion of modules and meeting benchmarks for resource use and are valid for four years. Schools can progress from one Star up to five Stars and move towards becoming a Leadership School.

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