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sustainability

invest in our future

FUND

education

FUND

sustainability

education
This photo diary is dedicated to the vsion of all Australian students having abundant access to sustainability education by 2015.

contents
ABOUT AESA ................................1 ABOUT AUSSI ..............................3
WATER .....................................5 ENERGY ..................................11 BIODIVERSITY ........................15 WASTE ...................................19

FUND AUSTRALIA'S FUTURE .......23

ABOUT
We comprise organisations from the education, union, youth and environment sectors that together represent over 700,000 Australians who want a higher prioritisation of sustainability in the education system. We are achieving this by advocating for best practice education for sustainability policy to fulfil our vision of a sustainable Australia.

the Australian Education for Sustainability Alliance

Education for sustainability builds a more sustainable Australia.

Education for sustainability creates epicentres of sustainability knowledge and experience in educational institutions. As best practice sustainability values and solutions are taken home by students and shared with the broader community, we shift Australians attitudes and behaviours. Building a world-class education system can empower a country to achieve increasing levels of environmental, social and economic sustainability.

Education for sustainability is globally recognised as a high priority for education.

We are currently in the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) where sustainability education is widely accepted as a prerequisite for building a sustainable future. Yet, Australia lacks a strategy to provide high quality and integrated education for sustainability through formal education and lifelong learning.

Education for sustainability provides tools to solve environmental problems.

Australians today face unprecedented environmental challenges, including destabilisation of our climate system, water shortages and resource depletion. It has never been more important to empower Australians with an understanding of the interconnectedness of our environment, society, economic and political systems. Education for sustainability equips people with the skills and knowledge to respond to challenges, create solutions and build a more sustainable Australia.

www.educationforsustainability.org.au

ABOUT
The Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative is a partnership between Federal and State governments to deliver practical sustainability education in Australian schools.

the Australian SUSTAINABLE SCHOOLS INITIATIVE


AuSSI currently reaches 30% of Australian schools, with measurable environmental, educational, social and financial benefits. AuSSI empowers students, teachers and the local community work together to make the whole school more sustainable. AuSSI supports teachers to embed sustainability in the classroom and curriculum. AuSSI supports schools to deliver practical sustainability education in the areas of water, waste, energy and biodiversity. It does this by supporting schools to change their approach to curriculum, pedagogy, operations, infrastructure and community integration.

Making good use of the school grown produce! Unfortunately over the past two years, funding for AuSSI has been reduced to almost nothing. AESA wants the government to recognise the importance of investing in sustainability education by refunding and reinvigorating the Australian Sustainable Schools Iniative. Even a modest investment by the Government could expand AuSSI to all Australian schools by 2015-2016.

Students at a waste management centre in Sydney learning about composting and how worms make the best liquid fertiliser available.

The AuSSI Eco Bus Tour visits Merici Colleges Kitchen Garden

WATER
In a land of drought and floods, its important that young Australians understand where fresh water comes from, how to protect our waterways and practical measures for water conservation.
AuSSI has successfully delivered reductions in school water use of up to 60%. The importance of water can be incorporated into many curriculum areas including science, geography, maths, technology, the arts, horticulture, social studies and media.

Water testing in the wetlands at Bentleigh West Primary School, Melbourne

Year 10 Geography students from Camden Haven High School learning about beach erosion and dune management at Lake Cathie, NSW.
Students from Lismore, NSW, learning about water cycles and catchment ecosystems at the Slaters Creek Land Care Day.

Demonstrating visually how a truly sustainable process is self renewing and continuous. Students come together to show the power of water.

Year 6s from Derby District High collecting macro invertebrates at Munkayarra Wetland near Derby in the Kimberley Western Australia.

Birds are an indicator of the health of an ecosystem. Students are taught how to identify over 50 species on the Canning River in WA.

Elwood College students demonstrate Leadership for Sustainability via Water Watch at West Gate Park in Melbourne.

cASE-STUDY YOUNGTOWN PRIMARY, TASMANIA


Water Conservation & holistic sustainability education
Participation in the AuSSI program has seen Youngtown Primary School, in Launceston, integrate sustainable living into every facet of learning. English students learn literacy whilst writing journals about sustainability and health students are taught the importance of a balanced and natural diet by harvesting their own fruit and vegetables from the school vegetable garden. By holistically integrating sustainable education into everything that is taught, these students gain a far deeper understanding of our relationship with the natural environment, while still completing their traditional studies.
Some initiatives at Youngtown Primary that have been made possible by AuSSI include: Learning about water efficiency through drought tolerant gardening and plant lifecycles in the school hothouse. Classes about water harvesting where students use government packages to calculate roof area and measure water flow for their school catchment Water efficiency programs, which have decreased water use by 22% Students have been building swan nesting boxes in a nearby retirement village to attract bird life Encouraging students to take sustainable ideas into the broader community and teach their families at home These children will grow into adults who see sustainability not just as a specific task to be completed, but as an integral part of their everyday life. AuSSI has also helped to develop waste management, community partnerships and energy efficiency projects at Youngtown Primary.

energy
Energy is something that we all take for granted. In our busy lives, we can overlook the far reaching ramifications that our energy use has on society and the environment
By addressing energy through AuSSI, schools can benefit in many ways. They can conduct energy audits, establish procedures to minimise energy use in lighting and heating, receive support to install solar power systems & reduce their overall energy consumption.

The St Ignatius College Riverview Earth Hour breakfast held every year with environment leaders from around 25 Sydney schools.

Students show off their 10 Tonne GHG Reduction Thermometer that they created Students stand proud in front of solar panels that have been installed on one of the buildings in their school.

Preps from St Kilda Primary School in Victoria use LUX meters to measure sunlight in passive heating design at the Port Phillip EcoCentre.

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Students discuss their shopping values; price, quality, where it was made, conditions the workers produced the goods in and how much energy was used.

case-study WAKEHURST PUBLIC SCHOOL, NEW SOUTH WALES


Energy efficient learning spaces
At Wakehurst Public School, students drew on their experiences from the AuSSI program and began an investigation into perceptions of comfort in classrooms. Rather than installing air conditioners students looked into passive cooling measures which in turn foster a process of school ownership and empowerment.
Student activities to improve performance of school buildings while saving energy include: A student-led survey of teacher perceptions about comfort in the school Audits of existing buildings including insulation, orientation and shade Implementing new ways of using buildings, focusing on utilising natural ventilation measures which including education through newsletters, meetings and assemblies to ensure the whole community learned about sustainable building practices. Students maintaining a record of internal climate conditions in the school. Analysis of electricity bills and temperatures to identify long term trends ensures an ongoing awareness and improvement. These simple actions, brought about through participation in AuSSI. ensure that teachers, students and parents are continuously educated about how to use buildings in the most energy efficient manner.

Students working hard to generate enough energy to operate a power drill - alternative energy for the future, Earth Day Expo WA.

BIODIVERSITY
Given Australia has one of the highest rates of species extinction in the world, it is essential that students are taught about biodiversity and understand how they are connected to this broad web of life.
Addressing biodiversity through AuSSI can help schools to learn more about their natural surroundings and local native species, and to take action to improve the health of their school grounds and community spaces.

Identifying sea creatures, seaweed and shells are all part of understanding the marine environment in Western Australia.

Students from Corio, VIC, processing Indigenous seed for propagation

Bushranger Cadets at Derby District High School with Kimberley Toad Busters Ben Scott-Virtue measuring and sexing Cane Toads they caught the evening before south of Kununurra.

Mac Robertson students survey flora and fauna at the Ngargee Tree, a local Aboriginal Heritage site

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Threatened species are monitored through a trapping program. Children learn what baits are used and how to process the data collected.

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Year 10 students do bush regeneration on their school grounds

Western Australian students at the Earth Day Expo learn about the importance of reptiles in the eco system.

case-study Mataranka Primary, NORTHERN TERRITORY


Frogs, Forestry and Biodiversity
At Mataranka Primary School, 106km from Katherine, life on the land is challenging and students are very interested in environmental and economic sustainability. Guided by the AuSSI program, students have been working on these biodiversity projects:
Establishing a forestry plot of 1200 trees. As part of this, students identify species, develop a watering system and collect key data on tree growth Maintaining a bush food garden containing local indigenous plants Publication of a book about the five indigenous seasons of the year and when different bush foods are available Maintaining an exotic fruit orchard, utilising natural pest deterrents Establishing a pond and fernery that have attracted five species of frog. Students study weed management in the frog habitat and complete an annual frog audit that supports operations of the Parks and Wildlife Service in the Northern Territory. As members of remote communities, the information and ideas that Mataranka students take home will have a huge impact on the areas in which they live.

WASTE
Waste is at the core of our relationship with the environment. It is important to be aware of the amount we produce and to understood that we should always recycle rather then dispose of it in landfill.
Many AuSSI schools implement a waste management program, identifying where waste comes from, where it goes and how individuals can make a difference to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Students learn to create new objects from rubbish at the Earth Day Expo in Western Australia.

Students observe what happens when rubbish is sent to the tip that should have been recycled. Red Hill Facility Education Centre in Western Australia.

Year 9 Bushranger Cadets from Derby District High School standing next to the Fishing Line Recovery Bins that they helped installed at the Derby Jetty.

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Beaumaris Primary School students visit Joosts Greenhouse Restaurant with Cool Australia. Joost explains how it is possible to run a completely waste free restaurant

case-study bulimba state School, queensland


Waste Reduction
The AuSSI program has seen many projects introduced at Bulimba State School. One project is to minimise the amount of waste going to landfill by recycling and reusing wherever possible.
Bulimba networks with 6 other schools to collect used batteries for recycling. Students have collected over 1.6 tonnes of batteries which will stop them going to landfill and minimise the environmental impact of the acid and heavy metals inside. Vegetation trimmings are collected and composted. Worm farms have been established to process food and other biodegradable wastes E-waste has been reduced by collecting printer cartridges and old computers so that they can be recycled By moving to an electronic newsletter system, the school saves more than 2000 A4 sheets per week Bulimba is an award winning school and shares its knowledge of sustainability by conducting tours and hosting a sustainable expo with other schools. By sharing the knowledge that they have learned through the AuSSI program with other schools, Bulimba is helping to grow the program and embed this important sustainability information within the wider community.

Students take part in Action against waste

fund Australia's Future!


Across Australia, there are hundreds of stories like these. AuSSI is telling the story of schools embedding sustainability into their classrooms, schools and local communities. But, we know there are even more schools that are not involved in the AuSSI program than those that are. These schools are missing out on learning about the sustainable future that we need to create. We want to see AuSSI in all schools by 2015-16. This will require increased national coordination and ten million dollars of investment per year from the Federal Government, with matching funds from states. Its time to get behind the next generation of leaders for a sustainable Australia, by increasing funding for the AuSSI program today!
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