2014 ResourceSmart Schools Awards

ResourceSmart Schools Awards video

ResourceSmart Schools Awards 2014

The ResourceSmart Schools Awards celebrate the passion and projects of students, teachers, schools and communities around Victoria.


Ideas + Action = Change

Winners of the ResourceSmart Schools Awards 2014 have been announced at a ceremony held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Monday 8 September 2014.

ResourceSmart School of the year winners and finalistsCongratulations to Manchester Primary School, awarded the ResourceSmart School of the Year 2014. The school was recognised for its work across a range of resource initiatives, its community outreach and the leadership shown by its students.

The School Newcomer of the Year is Commercial Road Primary School which overcame two major disasters - the impacts of the Hazelwood Mine fire and school vandalism of their eco-site including rubbish and recycling bins - to continue its exemplary work, demonstrating results in waste reduction, biodiversity improvements and awareness of the importance of water.

In the awards' new category, Early Childhood Services, joint winners were Dunkeld Kindergarten and Poowong Kindergarten. Dunkeld's Bush Kinder program, as an example, ensures children gain a better knowledge and understanding of plants and the environment. Poowong Kindergarten children, staff, parents and community embed sustainable practices into every aspect of their service, aiming to raise socially and environmentally responsible individuals.

Kayne and Natalie presentingCongratulations to all winners, finalists and entrants in 2014.

See all the exciting sustainability stories from the winners and all finalists in the ResourceSmart Schools Awards 2014 booklet!

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ResourceSmart School Awards 2014 Booklet

Biodiversity Primary - The Patch Primary School, The Patch

The Patch Primary School prides itself on the experiential, participatory and multidisciplinary approaches it takes to engage students, helping to build understanding, knowledge, responsibility and sustainability leadership. Students have developed a masterplan based on a school habitat census to protect and improve wildlife habitats. Restoration and revegetation works are key.

Biodiversity Secondary - McClelland College, Frankston

McClelland College has embraced biodiversity in a range of innovative ways - creating butterfly, indigenous and Zen gardens - and integrating them into the school curriculum.

Commencing at Year 7, McClelland College students have a role in caring for and developing the gardens they have built.  In turn, they make assessment and curriculum links back in the classroom tied directly to the hands-on work they do in the gardens.

Community Leadership Primary - East Bentleigh Primary School, Bentleigh

East Bentleigh Primary School has demonstrated significant leadership in the past year. This year's Green Team decided they would like to be more proactive with their waste-free Farmers' Market. Since coming to the market, two thirds of the store holders have changed their practice when it comes to using plastic bags - most are now waste free and have changed their practice at other markets.

Community Leadership Secondary - Melbourne Girls College, Richmond, City of Yarra

As members of the MGC Sustainability Collective, students do not only learn about education for sustainability, they model it.  Since formation of the group, the MGCSC has maintained a student focus in all activities. By working together in a community group, students, teachers and others complement each other, maintaining their reputation both as a sustainability hub and as recognised leaders.

Energy Primary - Manchester Primary School, Mooroolbark

Manchester encourages students to be leaders in reducing energy both at home and school. Students enter data and compare usage from one year to another. Teachers in other areas use this data and savings made are used to improve Manchester’s energy efficiency.  An Energy Audit was completed by the YEP (Young Environmental Protectors) team which gave Grade 5 students a starting point to develop their 'Social Enterprise' business to reduce energy use throughout school.

Waste Primary - Manchester Primary School, Mooroolbark

Manchester Primary has an innovative and commercial approach to minimising their waste. Their Grade 5 Social Enterprise, known as  ‘Paper Traders’, negotiated a deal with a recycling company for them to pay local schools for every ton of clean recycled paper.

Waste Secondary - Woorabinda Campus - Somers School Camp, Somers

The school places great emphasis on creating a tactile and genuine learning experience in sustainable practice for over 2500 Victorian students each year.  Over the past 12 months they have reduced waste to landfill by 75 per cent. As a residential school, meals are a major part of the curriculum. The introduction of five worm farms, as the cornerstone of a food waste strategy, helped to reduce food waste to landfill by 90 per cent.

Water Primary - St Louis De Montfort's Primary School, Aspendale

St Louis de Montfort Primary School was built on reclaimed swampland and lies between the wetlands behind the school and the bay at the front of the school. Consequently, the site is subject to continual flooding and the back area of the school is often not fit for use during the winter. As a result, the school developed a ten year environment and sustainability plan with a focus on the school's water journey.

Water Secondary - Warrnambool Special Development School, Warrnambool

Students of Warrnambool SDS and their families live in the Glenelg Hopkins Water Catchment area. The Environmental Action Team at Warrnambool SDS is called the WWEB Patrol - Waste, Water, Energy and Biodiversity. They entered the Caring for our Watersheds competition with an entry titled: 'Stop Organic Waste Going To Landfill' realising that people throw out their food waste into the general rubbish which goes into landfill, where it mixes with other rubbish and produces leachate which can damage waterways.

Student-led Action Team Primary - Collingwood College (Compost Ninjas), Collingwood

Collingwood College's Compost Ninja project grew out of classroom teachers prompting the students to take action and become change agents in their community through real and meaningful actions. The result? Collingwood College's Compost Ninjas (Grade 3/4) turned the unused school roof into a sustainable and productive garden that inspires others to join in.

Student-led Action Team Secondary - Melbourne Girls College (MGC Student Enviro Team), Richmond

The Enviro Team is one of several leadership teams within the school and is the most popular in terms of numbers. The MGC Enviro-representatives meet weekly to discuss environmental initiatives, run campaigns and organise events that promote sustainability.  They are members of the MGC Sustainability collective and work together with other community members to influence the community in a positive way.

Primary Teacher of the Year - Julie Wynne, St Louis de Montfort's Primary School, Aspendale

Julie’s initiatives have enabled St Louis de Montfort’s 10-year whole of school sustainability plan to become a reality. She has driven this dream from concept to a fully-designed program.  Julie has also championed the fundraising efforts - which has seen $300,000 raised to help finance a new kitchen, water treatment ponds, water tanks, aquaponics, bush tucker gardens, vegetable gardens, animal husbandry area, orchard, composting bays, worm farms, habitat gardens, outdoor learning spaces and a pizza oven.

Secondary Teacher of the Year - Kerry Archer, McClelland College, Frankston

Kerry Archer is described by her colleagues and students as 'inspirational'.  She has been Environment Coordinator since 2011 and, since then, has been instrumental in turning McClelland College thinking around in many areas of the environment. As the champion of sustainability, her enthusiasm has spread to curriculum planning, class projects and whole school events linked to sustainability.