ResourceSmart Schools awarded for sustainable actions - Education Matters Magazine
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ResourceSmart Schools awarded for sustainable actions

Chewton Primary, a small country school near Castlemaine, has been named ResourceSmart School of the Year at the ResourceSmart Schools Awards held in Melbourne on 4 June.

Beach monitoring programs, kitchen gardens, outdoor classrooms, dog poop protests and YouTube channels exploring local flora and fauna, were among the many projects recognised at the ResourceSmart Schools Awards.

Two schools, St Monica’s College in Epping and Mount Lilydale Mercy College, both won two awards.

Mount Lilydale Mercy College was named Community Leadership School of the Year and sustainability teacher, Andrew Feher (left) won Secondary Teacher of the Year. Image: Sustainability Victoria

The awards are Victoria’s largest sustainability awards for schools, celebrating and shining a light on schools across the state making a positive impact on the environment.

There were 22 schools vying for an award in Victoria’s largest celebration for primary and secondary school students, teachers and school volunteers taking sustainability action, with 11 schools taking out awards at the event.

Two schools were winners in two categories: St Monica’s College in Epping took out two categories, Curriculum Leadership School of the Year (Secondary) and Student Action Team of the Year (Secondary), while Mt Lilydale Mercy College won the titles of Community Leadership School of the Year (Secondary) and Teacher of the Year (Secondary).

Chewton Primary School, which has just 87 students, was recognised with the ResourceSmart School of the Year award for its work to incorporate First Nations perspectives into the school’s sustainability focused, award-winning curriculum, and its collaboration with local groups on regeneration and waterway pollution programs.

This year, Sustainability Victoria marked 15 years of the ResourceSmart Schools Awards with the theme, ‘Legendary Legacies – what will you leave behind?’

Matt Genever, Sustainability Victoria’s CEO, said the winners had shown exemplary leadership and commitment to sustainability and were outstanding role models.

“All of the participating schools are inspirational and are leaving a wonderful legacy for future generations. I congratulate them on their success.”

ResourceSmart Schools is a free Victorian Government program delivering sustainability education to help Victorian schools minimise waste, save energy and water, promote biodiversity and act on climate change.

Since 2008, ResourceSmart Schools has reached over 1,600 Victorian schools. Participating schools have planted more than five million trees, saved over $60 million through energy, waste and water savings and avoided over 74,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases.

The winners were announced at an awards ceremony at the MCG attended by the Minister for Environment, Steve Dimopoulos.

St Patrick’s Primary School students with hand-made pencil cases. Image: Sustainability Victoria

2024 ResourceSmart School Award winners

  • ResourceSmart School of the Year: Chewton Primary School, Chewton
  • Emerging School of the Year: Wandin North Primary School, Wandin North
  • Campus Infrastructure and Operations School of the Year: St Michael’s Grammar School, St Kilda
  • School Volunteer of the Year: Port Melbourne Primary School, Port Melbourne
  • Primary Teacher of the Year: Gillian Davey, Sarah Chamings and Erin Salm, Epsom Primary School, Epsom
  • Secondary Teacher of the Year: Andrew Feher, Mt Lilydale Mercy College, Lilydale
  • Student Action Team of the Year (Primary): Castlemaine Steiner School & Kindergarten, Muckleford
  • Student Action Team of the Year (Secondary): St. Monica’s College, Epping
  • Community Leadership School of the Year (Primary): Joint winners – St Patrick’s Port Fairy, Port Fairy and Tecoma Primary School, Tecoma
  • Community Leadership School of the Year (Secondary): Mt Lilydale Mercy College, Lilydale
  • Curriculum Leadership School of the Year (Primary): Heathmont East Primary School, Heathmont East
  • Curriculum Leadership School of the Year (Secondary): St. Monica’s College, Epping
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