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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray

6 September 2002

Newcastle School a Winner in the Hands on for Habitat Awards 2002


"I am very pleased to announce that Newcastle's Holy Family School has won $2,500 for a conservation project as a runner-up in this year's Hands on for Habitat Awards 2002," Dr Sharman Stone, the Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, said in Melbourne today.

The 2002 Awards were presented today by Dr Stone in a special ceremony at Melbourne Zoo. The winner of the Hands on for Habitat Awards 2002 was Tasmania's Strahan Primary School.

The entry from the Holy Family Primary School's Year 6 was placed as a runner up along with the entry from South Johnstone State Primary, in Queensland.

"The excellent entry from the Holy Family Primary School focused on the threatened Lilly Pilly plant and its local habitat in Newcastle. The students worked very hard on their entry, which included a series of beautiful scientific drawings, photographs of the work they are doing to propagate the species, and a detailed analysis of the species and its habitat. Much of their work was also presented on an attractive collage poster," Dr Stone said.

"The annual Hands on for Habitat Awards 2002 are a partnership between the Howard Government's $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust and Cadbury Yowie to offer primary school children an opportunity to help Australia's threatened species.

"The Awards competition invites school children aged 6-12 years old to research their favourite threatened species, answer questions and draw their chosen species in its native habitat, combining fun and creativity with education and environmental awareness. The prize money may be used for a range of conservation activities, such as planting native vegetation around the school to ensure animals and birds have a home now and into the future.

"The $2,500 the Holy Family Primary School has won as a runner-up will be used for a project that helps to protect habitat within the school or local community. The class has many suggestions about how they may use their prize money including expanding the Lilly Pilly propagation program, or increasing its Greenfleet project to reduce car pollution and plant more trees.

"The School will also receive a digital camera, which staff and students can use to record their environment education activities, along with gift packs from Cadbury Yowie.

"More than 300 species of Australia's native animals and over 1180 species of native plants are at risk of disappearing forever if we don't continue to work hard to save them. One of the biggest threats to our native species is loss of habitat - in many regions less than 20 per cent of the native bush remains.

"I congratulate the students from Holy Family School for their outstanding effort and encourage all New South Wales Primary Schools to think about ways they help save our native species ."

For more information on the Hands on for Habitat Awards or for a free National Threatened Species Day information kit, call Environment Australia's Community Information Unit on 1800 803 772 or visit the website at: www.ea.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/information/ts-day

Contact:
Simon Frost 0419 495 468

Commonwealth of Australia