The Australian Government is recognising Reef Guardian Schools across Queensland for positive, on-ground environmental actions in their schools and communities to help protect the Great Barrier Reef.
Each year five schools receive $1000 from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, rewarding their environmental projects over the past year.
Ten Reef Guardian Schools also receive $500 Ripples of Change grants as seed funding for new environmental initiatives in their local area.
Schools received these awards for their outstanding commitment to a sustainable future for the Reef.
It’s a privilege to be able to recognise Reef Guardian School students and teachers who are committed to helping protect their local environment and the Great Barrier Reef.
Reef Guardian School students are the future custodians of the Reef and it is important to support their efforts in caring for their environment and promoting real change in their communities.
Students are actively involved in activities including tree planting, recycling, energy efficiency, community environmental projects, sustainable farming for school canteens and local waterway rehabilitation.
The Reef is facing challenges and all actions — big or small — are vital to the Reef’s future.
Among the award winners is St Joseph’s School in Bundaberg which has been assisting rangers at the well-known Mon Repos turtle nesting site. The school’s “Cut the glow” campaign during turtle nesting season educates visitors on responsible beach practices around one of Australia’s most important nesting sites.
The other schools receiving the award are Hermit Park State School in Townsville, Bulimba State School in Brisbane, Marian State School in Mackay and Gordonvale State School in Cairns.
The ten Reef Guardian Schools are Calen District State College, Wonga Beach State School, Moore Park State School, Kepnock State High School, Sarina State High School, Belgian Gardens State School, Proserpine State High School, Boyne Island EEC, Weir State School and St Anthony’s Catholic College.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Reef Guardian Schools program includes 310 schools and more than 126,000 students across Queensland.
It encourages students to be active community leaders in environmental sustainability and encourages schools to commit to a better future for the Great Barrier Reef.
Through this environmental education program, each school undertakes a variety of activities aimed at improving the Reef’s health and resilience.
A full list of winners and further information about the Reef Guardian Schools program is available at www.gbrmpa.gov.au.