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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

9 September 2005

Aussie kids hands on for our habitat

Environmental champions at Mirboo North Primary School in Victoria and Coleambally Central School in New South Wales are this year’s national Hands on for Habitat Award winners.

Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, announced the winners at a special ceremony at Melbourne Zoo today.

The Hands on for Habitat Awards programme is a partnership between the Australian Government and Cadbury® Yowie®. It encourages primary school students to learn how they can help protect our unique animals and plants.

Senator Campbell congratulated all schools that entered and urged them to keep up the good work in caring for native species.

“Some 50 species of Australian animals and more than 60 species of Australian plants are already extinct, so we have to do everything we can to prevent any more losses,” he said.

“Over the past five years tens of thousands of students have participated in Hands on for Habitat, learning how they can make a difference to the environment and having some fun along the way.

“This year almost 4000 children sent in some 230 class entries, so it was another tough competition. Well done to Mirboo North Primary and Coleambally Central School on their outstanding habitat projects.”

The awards invite class groups to create artworks of a threatened species and submit them with research work about the species’ habitat.

Year 2 from Victoria’s Mirboo North Primary took out the National Lower Primary category with bright illustrations of the endangered Baw Baw Frog. Year 3/4 from Coleambally Central School won the National Upper Primary category with a collage of the Plains-wanderer bird and the Glossy Black-Cockatoo.

National winners receive prizes including $4000 for an environmental makeover and a digital camera. State winners receive a $200 gift voucher for native plants. All winners receive a framed National Threatened Species Day poster featuring their artwork and Cadbury® Yowie® gifts.

Senator Campbell said the $4000 could be used for a range of activities to conserve local habitat.

“Last year’s National Upper Primary winner, Queensland’s Wellers Hill State School, worked with a local Bushcare group to replant a school entrance near bushland. Other winners have removed weeds, cleaned up school grounds and created native gardens to attract birds,” he said.

“As we mark National Threatened Species Day and Biodiversity Month we must remember that extinction is forever. Let’s keep working to make sure our animals and plants have a safe future.”

A full list of winners is attached. For more information and to request free National Threatened Species Day posters and stickers featuring the winning entries, visit or contact the Department of the Environment and Heritage Community Information Unit on free-call 1800 803 772.

Media contacts:
Senator Campbell - Renae Stoikos(02) 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Winners of the 2005 Hands on for Habitat Awards
National Winners
Lower Primary Mirboo North Primary School (VIC) 2 Vivid paintings of Baw Baw frog
Upper Primary Coleambally Central School (NSW) 3/4 Huge collage of Plains-wanderer and Glossy Black-Cockatoo habitat
State Winners
QLD: Lower Primary Bundaberg South State School 3 Group collages of mammals such as the Ghost Bat and Humpback Whale
QLD: Upper Primary St Joseph’s School (Beenleigh) 4/5 Bright paintings of species such as the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly
NSW: Lower Primary Grays Point Public School 1-3 Collage on local habitats and species such as the Red-crowned Toadlet
NSW: Upper Primary Illaroo Road Primary School 6 Models of the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frog
ACT: Lower Primary Hughes Primary School 2 Drawings of “Threatened Species of Australia’s Coasts and Oceans”
ACT: Upper Primary Miles Franklin Primary School (Evatt) 5/6 Drawings of the endangered Tuggeranong Lignum plant
VIC: Lower Primary Yarra Valley Grammar School Prep Collage on the habitats around Mullum Mullum Creek
VIC: Upper Primary The Basin Primary School 3/4 Crayon illustrations of the majestic Powerful Owl
TAS: Lower Primary Franklin Primary School 3/4 Illustrations and a quiz on the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle
TAS: Upper Primary Molesworth Primary School 5/6 Illustrations of state species such as the Giant Freshwater Crayfish.
SA: Lower Primary St Joseph’s School (Renmark) 2/3 Malleefowl paintings/drawings
SA: Upper Primary Napperby Primary School 5-7 Creative “Save our Species” puzzle
WA: Lower Primary Currambine Primary School 2/3 Striking paintings of the Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo
WA: Upper Primary Parkerville Primary School 4/5 Illustrations of WA species such as the Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby.
Highly commended individual entries: featured on 2005 National Threatened Species Day stickers
  • Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat by Eliza Marlow, Year 3, Palm Beach State School (QLD)
  • Green Turtle by Landon Philp, Year 6, Wonga Beach State School (QLD)
  • Green and Golden Bell Frog by Aime-Lee Foy, Year 5, Thornton Public School (NSW)
  • Ptunnara Brown Butterfly by Hannah Spurr, Year 2, Brooklyn Primary School (TAS)
  • Greater Bilby by Indea Jones, Year 5, Bremer Bay Primary School (WA)
  • Western Pygmy-possum by Year 2, Riverside Primary School (Mandurah WA)


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