The ResourceSmart Schools program provides practical support to schools to reduce resource use, make cost savings, integrate sustainability into the curriculum and share learnings beyond the school gate.
Since 2008 over 1400 schools have participated in the program. Together, they have:
Getting started in the ResourceSmart Schools program is easy. Schools have access to a community of sustainability experts located throughout Victoria equipped with the knowledge, skills and resources to help each school get started.
Schools are connected to sustainability networks and programs to become a more sustainable school. Any Victorian school can become a ResourceSmart School.
The first step is to register your interest. Once a school registers interest, a Regional Coordinator will make contact to provide more information on the ResourceSmart Schools program.
In 2003 Victoria and New South Wales concluded pilots that resulted in the start of the Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative (AuSSI). These pilots were co-funded by the federal and state governments. The Victorian pilot was managed by two service providers: the Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES) and the Gould League.
The success of the pilot led to the launch of AuSSI across Australia in 2005. Under AuSSI, the federal government and state and territory jurisdictions offered practical support to schools and their communities to live and work more sustainably. Initially, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) was responsible for rolling out AuSSI in Victoria.
Following the establishment of Sustainability Victoria in 2006, DEECD formed a partnership with Sustainability Victoria to deliver AuSSI under the name of ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic in 2008.
In keeping with its responsibility to develop community education on sustainability, Sustainability Victoria was keen to set up ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic as an ‘umbrella framework’ capable of encompassing the many existing environmental educational programs. In other words, schools could participate in any environmental program or initiative and receive recognition through ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic.
In 2012 DEECD and Sustainability Victoria set up local service providers and coordinators across Victoria to help schools deliver ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic .
ResourceSmart Schools was awarded the 2015 Banksia Education for Sustainability Award which recognises leadership and achievement in raising awareness of sustainability issues, and promoting change in values and behaviour in sustainability. The program was described by Banksia judges as displaying a ‘best-practice’ and ‘world-leading’ approach to sustainability education with strong evidence of its impact.