Victoria awards schools for outstanding sustainability initiatives - Education Matters Magazine
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Victoria awards schools for outstanding sustainability initiatives

Sustainability Victoria

The 2023 ResourceSmart Schools Awards, Victoria’s largest sustainability awards for schools, have announced this year’s finalists – in recognition of the amazing work being done by educators and students to make a positive impact on the environment.

Now in its 15th year, the prestigious Resource Smart Schools Awards are Victoria’s largest sustainability awards for schools, recognising the efforts of students, teachers, parents and volunteers.

With achievements spanning waste reduction and litter monitoring, energy and water saving and the creation of kitchen gardens and wetlands, this year’s winners of the ResourceSmart Schools Awards have demonstrated remarkable sustainability leadership.

This year’s theme was Achieving Great Things and the awards aim to shine a light on the accomplishments of Victoria’s ResourceSmart Schools’ community as a reminder that no action is too small.

Minister for Environment Ms Ingrid Stitt, attended the awards ceremony, presenting the ResourceSmart School of the Year award to Eastwood Primary School & Deaf Facility.

“This year’s Resource Smart Schools finalists have demonstrated excellence in sustainability leadership, in school activities outside the classroom, or beyond the school gate and out in the community, said Ms Stitt.

“Victoria is proud to be a world leader on climate action and we have set strong renewable energy targets that will create a more climate-resilient and prosperous future for the next generation. The leadership being shown by Victorian schools is having a real impact on meeting these targets.” -Ms Ingrid Stitt, Minister for Environment

SPOTLIGHT ON THE FINALISTS

Ten schools across the state have been recognised in the 2023 ResourceSmart Schools Awards including Eastwood Primary School & Deaf Facility and Braybrook College that each won in two different categories.

Eastwood Primary School and Deaf Facility in Ringwood East won the ResourceSmart School of the Year award and the Community Leadership School of the Year (Primary) for their work dedicating a whole term focussing on sustainability and the environment.

While Rowena Archer from Braybrook College received the award for Secondary Teacher of the Year for her work establishing a Climate Emergency program involving 500 students. Braybrook also won the Community Leadership School of the Year (Secondary) for its recycling and reuse stations for old batteries and mobile phones, as well as book exchanges.

Ten schools were selected as finalists, with Braybrook College and Eastwood Primary School & Deaf Facility each winning in two categories.

Also acknowledged at the Awards was Castlemaine Steiner School and Kindergarten, for creating a wetland and Bushfood Island to promote biodiversity, which attracted 120 bird species.

Teacher Danielle Lamport from Monbulk Primary School was recognised for creating solar pizza ovens as part of the science curriculum, introducing rubbish free lunchboxes and educating parents on package-free snacks.

Matt Genever, Sustainability Victoria’s Interim CEO said, “I applaud the students, teachers, school staff and volunteers who are achieving great things in sustainability and showing outstanding leadership. “You are all tremendous role models and I know your work will inspire other schools to take action.”

THE TEN WINNING SCHOOLS

  1. ResourceSmart School of the Year – Eastwood Primary School & Deaf Facility, Ringwood East
  2. Emerging School of the Year – Ardeer South Primary School, Sunshine West
  3. Campus Infrastructure and Operations School of the Year – Castlemaine Steiner School and Kindergarten, Muckleford
  4. School Volunteer of the Year – St Therese’s School, Essendon
  5. Primary Teacher of the Year – Ms Danielle Lamport, Monbulk Primary School, Monbulk
  6. Secondary Teacher of the Year – Ms Rowena Archer, Braybrook College, Braybrook
  7. Student Action Team of the Year (Primary) – Overnewton Anglican Community College, Keilor
  8. Student Action Team of the Year (Secondary) – Victory Lutheran College, Wodonga
  9. Community Leadership School of the Year (Primary) – Eastwood Primary School & Deaf Facility, Ringwood East
  10. Community Leadership School of the Year (Secondary) – Braybrook College, Braybrook
  11. Curriculum Leadership School of the Year (Primary) – Chewton Primary School, Chewton
  12. Curriculum Leadership School of the Year (Secondary) – Lilydale Heights College, Lilydale

ABOUT THE RESOURCESMART SCHOOL PROGRAM

The ResourceSmart Schools program supports all Victorian primary and secondary schools to embed sustainability across school facilities, community and curriculum.

Over the past 15 years, more than 1,400 schools have participated in the program, saving more than $41 million on bills, reducing more than 118,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases through energy, water and waste efficiencies, diverting 194,000 cubic metres of waste from landfill, and planting more than 5 million trees.

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.

To learn more about the awards or how to get involved, go here. 

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