Blog Header: School Sustainability Festival 2019

Kids become teachers at Victoria's longest-running School Sustainability Festival

The Port Phillip EcoCentre has teamed up with Bayside City Council, City of Port Phillip, Victorian Government and Kids Teaching Kids for the 14th annual School Sustainability Festival, held in St Kilda Town Hall on Thursday 5th September, 2019. The day's theme 'Bay Leadership' showcased how daily actions from waste management to garden design can directly link to and improve Bay Health.

School Sustainability Festival 2019
Photo Credit: Gold and Grit Photography

Over 190 students from 13 schools came together for a powerful day of workshops, sustainability awards, and fun, all focused on Port Phillip Bay health. Students had the opportunity to lead workshops about sustainability initiatives they are pioneering in their schools, allowing students to learn from their peers.

Workshops included Beaumaris Primary School demonstrating how to make beeswax wrap, Melbourne Girls School presenting on revegetating their school using indigenous Murnong daisies, Rowville Secondary College sharing how they constructed a Port Jackson shark enclosure in partnership with Reptile Encounters, and Albert Park Primary School running a workshop on their native bug hotels. In total, 12 schools ran workshops for their peers with the goal of upskilling students on improving Bay health through their schools. 

St Joan of Arc students present a workshop on recycled scarecrows
St Joan of Arc students present a workshop on recycled scarecrows.

The School Sustainability Festival concluded at the Port Phillip EcoCentre with workshops run by the EcoCentre and Festival partners Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots and Reptile Encounters, followed by a feast harved by students from the EcoCentre's community garden and a concert performance from the Climate Change Choir of St Columba's Primary School, Elwood.

Children competing in a litter relay
Students competing in a litter relay during the School Sustainability Festival. Photo Credit: Gold and Grit Photography.

Schools were presented awards and prizes at St Kilda Town Hall to celebrate their achievements in advocating for sustainable schools. "The Festival is always a highlight of our year," said School Sustainability Festival Coordinator, Deb Punton. "The energy is electric and it's a great opportunity to celebrate what local schools are achieving."

Award recipients:

  • Albert Park Primary School: Pollinator Award
  • Beaumaris Primary School: War on Waste Award
  • Bialik College: Biodiversity Award
  • Gardenvale Primary School: DIY Sustainability Award
  • Mac.Robertson Girls' High School: Sustainability Leadership Award
  • Melbourne Girls School: Indigenous & Community Award
  • Middle Park Primary School: Sustainable Cities Award
  • Rowville Secondary College: Baykeeper Award
  • Sandringham East Primary School: Pollinator Award
  • St Columba's Primary School: Green Thumb Award
  • St Joan of Art School: Green Thumb Award
  • St Kilda Park Primary School: Beginning Your Journey Award
  • St Kilda Primary School: War on Waste Award
      DELWP Logo

The 2019 School Sustainability Festival was proudly sponsored by the City of Port Phillip and Bayside City Council. This project was funded with support of the Victorian Government through the Port Phillip Bay Fund.

Thank you to our generous sponsors: Australian Conservation Foundation; Astor Theatre; Back2Bikes; Biome; Bunnings, Port Melbourne; Classic Cinemas; Elwood Natural Health and Wellbeing Clinic; Glo Health Food Shop; Going Green Solutions; Kids Teaching Kids; LEAF Elwood; Lush Chadstone; Lush Southland; Moonraker Dolphin Swims; My Solar Direct; Organika Hair; Penhalluriack's Building Supplies; Polywood Outdoors; Reptile Encounters; Roots and Shoots; South East Water; South Melbourne Market; South Pacific Health Club, St Kilda Sea Baths; The Grumpy Swimmer book shop; The Source Bulk Foods; Westgate Biodiversity: Bili Nursery and Landcare.

Header image: Students from St Columba's Primary School presenting a workshop on worms. Photo Credit: Gold and Grit Photography.

Boon Wurrung Foundation Logo The EcoCentre acknowledges the Kulin Nations, including the Yalukut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung language group, traditional owners of the land on which we are located. We pay respects to their Elders past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Elder members of our multicultural community.