Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Ripples of environmental change to flow across Queensland schools

Media release
13 February 2013

Twenty Reef Guardian Schools from across Queensland will receive a boost to help their students make positive environmental changes in their community and the Great Barrier Reef.

Environment Minister Tony Burke today announced the successful recipients of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Ripples of Change Awards which support school projects that create awareness, understanding and appreciation of the Reef and its ecosystems.

“The Great Barrier Reef is one of the iconic environmental assets in Australia,” Mr Burke said.

“By encouraging school students and young people to be involved in its protection and care we are helping to ensure its conservation into the future.

“The Great Barrier Reef faces a number of challenges such as climate change and we all have a role to ensure this natural wonder is protected for the future.

“Schools across Queensland have put in some great applications for projects to help protect the reef.

“Today marks the first presentation day of this award, with Lockhart River State School in Cape York receiving support.

“The school will use the funds to build on the success of their famous Chilli Beach Clean-up Day and hold a Chilli Beach Celebration Day.

“In 2012 more than 95 tonnes of rubbish was collected and removed from Chilli Beach in a joint effort with the local community. The funding will enable the school to purchase gloves, hats, sunscreen and water bottles for students to use as well as provide refreshments and transport on the day.

“It’s a great of example of the amazing work schools and communities can do together to help improve their local environment and the health of the Great Barrier Reef.”

Each award winning school would receive a $500 funding boost to deliver educational environmental stewardship projects in 2013.Schools receive their Ripples of Change award funding early in term one to allow teachers to implement their project during the school year.

Currently 293 schools with more than 114,900 students and 7280 teachers take part in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Reef Guardian Schools program.

All Reef Guardian Schools manage their energy, waste, water and biodiversity and educate their communities about the importance of working together today for a healthier Reef tomorrow.

A full list of Ripples of Change Award school winners is available on the GBRMPA website at www.gbrmpa.gov.au .