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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Federal Environment Minister
Margaret Reid
ACT Liberal Senator

28 August 2001


A cartoon character called Ollie is the latest teaching tool to spread the word on environmental sustainability in schools at home and overseas.

Ollie features in a new interactive and educational CD-ROM, Ollie Saves the Planet aimed at five to 13 year olds.

The Federal Government has contributed $65,000 through the Natural Heritage Trust towards the production of Ollie Saves the Planet, which will be distributed to every primary school in Australia.

With the assistance of Austrade, Ollie is set to break into overseas markets and will make his debut in the United States in Seattle next month at the largest recycling conference in the world. Ollie will soon be exported to schools in the United Kingdom, United States, Saudia Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Japan.

Mawson Primary School in Canberra - which has an active recycling program - sampled the CD ROM at a launch by the Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill and Senator for the ACT Margaret Reid today.

Ollie Saves the Planet is the sequel to the very successful CD-ROM Ollie Recycles, which has been adopted into the curricula in all primary schools in Victoria and is used widely in the United Kingdom.

The CD-ROM is produced by Australian-based Sustain Ability International and uses characters to encourage users to reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink their actions in relation to waste, water, energy, air and biodiversity.

"Achieving sustainable development is everybody's responsibility, and the Federal Government has been working with schools, community groups, business and state and local governments to achieve this goal," Senator Hill said.

"Ollie Saves the Planet will show children, their families, teachers and the local community how they rely on a healthy environment for all the products and services they use and how their decisions and actions affect the environment.

"The CD-ROM contains practical steps that every Australian can take in their daily lives to help achieve the goal of sustainable development.

"By funding the production of the CD-ROM, the Federal Government is advancing the aims of its National Action Plan for Environmental Education."

Staff and students at Mawson Primary School recycle paper and aluminium cans and use a worm farm to turn food scraps into compost for the school gardens. The school will also use recycled materials to establish a new courtyard garden.

"Mawson Primary School are to be congratulated on their efforts to incorporate a recycling plan into their daily school life," Said Senator Reid.

"More schools and students should be encouraged to recycle, and it is hoped that through Ollie they may find their motivation," she said.

The CD-ROM is to be completed by December. Sustain Ability International is also developing an interactive web page and a series of workshops to assist teachers use the program.

More information about the National Action Plan for Environment Education can be found at:

28 August 2001

Contact: Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill's office) 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364
Lisa McDonald (Senator Reid's Office) 6277 3320 or 0409 446 864.

Print quality images of the event (jpg format) can be emailed upon request, contact:

Commonwealth of Australia