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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Senator the Hon Jan Mc Lucas
Senator for Queensland

Schools awarded for Great Barrier Reef Commitment

Media release
17 November 2009

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Environment Minister Peter Garrett and Senator for Queensland Jan McLucas today recognised the important work of two local schools to protect and improve the health of the Great Barrier Reef through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) Reef Guardian Schools Program.

The schools – Townsville State High School and Stuart State School – will each receive $1000 for future on-ground school activities.

“Through the GBRMPA Reef Guardian Schools Program Queensland schools are working to protect the Great Barrier Reef and improve its outlook and these awards acknowledge the hard work schools have undertaken over the last 12 months,” Mr Garrett said.

"Our Great Barrier Reef is a national treasure and it is fantastic to recognise future generations who are working towards protecting this great Australian icon," he said.

"With the Reef at a crossroads it is has never been more important than now to focus on activities that keep the Reef strong.”

Senator McLucas said the schools demonstrated an inspiring and outstanding commitment to safeguarding the Reef and improving its resilience.

“Townsville State High School has been awarded the ‘r-Amp It Down’ Award for their great work in reducing their ecological footprint through the use of solar and wind technology while Stuart State School will receive the Water Warriors Award for their excellent creek restoration and water conservation work.

“These excellent programs provide training for students about the importance of protecting the health of local waterways that flow into the Reef lagoon as well as the enormous potential of renewable energy in reducing our carbon footprint, especially in the face of dangerous climate change which poses such a significant threat to the Reef.

"The Reef Guardian Schools Program leads the way in focusing young Australians on what they can do to protect the Reef.

"To be able to withstand the threats the Reef currently faces, activities that focus on ways we can reduce human pressures and ensure the Reef remains as healthy as possible is a priority.”

Throughout the year Reef Guardian Schools have initiated and delivered a number of innovative activities and programs all focused on protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

"I congratulate all schools involved in the Reef Guardian Program for their outstanding commitment to the Reef," Mr Garrett said.

"It is a pleasure to be able to recognise students, teachers and the local communities making a difference to the future of the Reef."

The Reef Guardian Schools Program is an education initiative of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. In its seventh year, this education program sees more than 60 000 students across 194 Queensland schools committed to the protection and conservation of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.

Details of successful projects for each school

Stuart State School Townsville Drain stencilling, water conservation throughout the school as well as education programs to support water conservation. Adoption as well as ongoing maintenance and restoration of nearby Stuart Creek, teaching others and sharing knowledge about their part in the catchment processes.
Townsville State High School Townsville Energy conservation in classrooms as well as renewable energy such as solar pyramid and wind turbine as power generation. Sustainability showcasing every 2 years as well as regular energy auditing and further energy production via solar panels that provide energy to the grid. Learning takes place in physics as well as junior science around energy.
Commonwealth of Australia