Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Reef Guardian Schools rewarded for their efforts

Media release
11 November 2011

Ten Queensland Reef Guardian Schools will be rewarded for their commitment to keeping the Great Barrier Reef healthy through environmental initiatives undertaken in the past year.

Environment Minister Tony Burke said each winning school would receive a grant of $1000 to continue their good work as part of the Reef Guardian Schools program.

“The Reef Guardian Schools Program provides students, teachers and their communities with the opportunity to develop sustainability initiatives aimed at protecting their local environment and the Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Burke said.

“The work undertaken this year, not only by the winners but all 279 schools and over 110 000 students involved in the program, has been truly remarkable.

“Outstanding initiatives we saw by the winning schools included the development of a sustainable design document to guide capital and maintenance work and the distribution of a leaflet with over one thousand day-to-day activities to lessen the school's carbon footprint.

“Other schools dramatically reduced their waste, energy and water use and shared these initiatives with their families, broader community and other Reef Guardian Schools.

“The funding grants will assist the winning schools to further their on-ground projects and implement exciting initiatives in the coming year.

“Congratulations to all the schools receiving these awards and the teachers, parents and broader school communities who play such a vital part in assisting our students to be true guardians of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.”

Reef Guardian Schools are located throughout the Great Barrier Reef catchment and each undertakes a variety of activities aimed at ultimately improving the Reef’s health and resilience. Through these activities students learn about the connections between the land and the Reef and the role they can play in looking after it.

All Reef Guardian Schools manage their own resources (energy, waste, water and biodiversity), and educate their friends, families and communities about the difference we can all make by ‘working together today for a healthier Reef tomorrow’. The Reef Guardian Schools program is an education initiative of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

The winning schools are:

  • Holy Spirit School, Townsville - Reef Guardian Champions Award
  • Bundaberg Christian College - Sea Stars Award
  • Kin Kora State School - Waste Watchers Award
  • Bartle Frere State School - Water Warriors Award
  • Southern Cross Catholic  School, Townsville - Learning Legends Award
  • Townsville South State School, Townsville - Action and Adventures Award
  • The Hall State School - Community Connection Award
  • Ignatius Park College, Townsville - Habitat Heroes Award
  • Hayman Island State School - R-Amp it Down Award
  • Gordonvale State High School, Cairns - Bright Sparks Award

Further information on the Reef Guardian Schools Annual Awards is available at www.gbrmpa.gov.au .