Schools Outreach

South Burnett Regional Council School Waste Education Outreach

Client: South Burnett Regional Council

In April 2015, EnviroCom Australia coordinated and delivered an Education Outreach program to schools on behalf of South Burnett Regional Council (SBRC). For many schools, this is the first year a waste education program has been offered and delivered in their region. The program was well received by local schools with fifteen presentations being delivered at seven different schools over the four days of the program.

EnviroCom coordinated all aspects of the program as well as delivering the in-class presentations. The presentation program was customised to support the available regional services and focused on waste minimisation and organics recycling and included: Nature’s Recyclers (Composting and Worm Farming), Litter and the Environment and Think Food Rethink Waste.

Follow up activity sheets were also provided for each lesson type as a means of consolidating student knowledge. Based on the response from schools and the positive feedback received from participating teachers, the school outreach program will be continuing in the 2015/16 financial year.

Western Downs Regional Council Early Learning Years Outreach and Professional Development Workshop

Client: Western Downs Regional Council

In February 2015, EnviroCom Australia coordinated and delivered the second round of Early Learning Years Waste Education presentations on behalf of Western Downs Regional Council.  Twelve of the region’s Early Learning Centres (ELCs) engaged in the free waste education program covering presentations on waste and recycling, composting and worm farming, and litter. These presentations supported the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia as well as assisting centres in meeting and/or exceeding aspects of their National Quality Standards. Feedback received from centre staff who participated in the program indicated that the children and staff now have more motivation and knowledge to reduce waste and recycle correctly.

In addition to the presentations, EnviroCom staff also facilitated, for the first time, a Professional Development Sustainability Workshop for Early Years Educators.  24 staff members attended the evening workshop.  The workshop provided the participants with education and training to encourage waste management and minimisation practices within their centres.  All Centres that attended the PD workshop were provided with a free copy of EnviroCom’s Early Years Learning Resource Kit.   The Early Years Learning Resource Kit provides ELCs with separate, but integrated, education tools and resources allowing them to independently identify opportunities to minimise waste as part of centre operations, while at the same time delivering complementary, engaging and relevant education to the children in their care.  Feedback received from the workshop participants suggested the PD workshop was very informative and the Early Years Learning Resource Kit provided staff with the tools and ideas to improve their current waste management practices.

Early Childhood Waste Education Outreach 2014

Client: Southern Downs Regional Council

On behalf of Southern Downs Regional Council, EnviroCom Australia coordinated and delivered a four day Waste Education Outreach designed specifically for the Early Childhood Sector.

The Waste Education Outreach program aligned directly with learning outcomes in the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia, and was designed to assist centres in meeting and/or exceeding aspects of their National Quality Standards. EnviroCom was responsible for coordinating all aspects of the program, from the development of promotional materials through to managing bookings and liaising with centre directors and staff.

Group presentations on waste, recycling and related topics were offered to all centres in the region, allowing children the opportunity to discover and understand everyday issues associated with waste production and disposal. Children explored the benefits of adopting more sustainable waste management practices through reducing, reusing and recycling at home and in their centres.

The specifically targeted program for Early Childhood Centres was greatly appreciated by the participants.  Excellent feedback was received and the Centres indicated that they were better positioned to continue to work towards minimising the waste produced on a daily basis.

Kids In Action Conference

Kids Teaching Kids 2012

Kids Teaching Kids 2012

2011, 2012 & 2013

EnviroCom has been involved with the Sunshine Coast Council’s Kids In Action Conference for several years. The event provides an opportunity for Sunshine Coast youth to develop skills, capabilities and confidence in taking action and building leadership around environmental issues. It builds on the Kids Teaching Kids model, in engaging and supporting local schools to address a local environmental issue, through curriculum inquiry and strategic teacher resourcing and training in effective environmental education.

EnviroCom has assisted as a member of the steering committee, a mentor for schools developing workshops, a facilitator for the event’s waste management plan enacted by a team of students and as a workshop group leader. EnviroCom is proud to be part of this event that joins hundreds of students and teachers from across the region, sharing their experiences and learnings to help save the Coast’s spectacular local environment. For further information on the Kids In Action Conferences, check out the Sunshine Coast Council website:
http://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/sitePage.cfm?code=kids-in-action

Bioregion Education Module Development and Pilot Study

In 2011, Moreton Bay Regional Council engaged EnviroCom to develop a Bioregion Education Module for self-implementation by schools of the region. The resource seeks to facilitate schools in conducting on-site assessments of their biodiversity values, in developing informed action plans for enhancing biodiversity, and in implementing practice and behaviour change, contributing positively to the integrity of the regional ecosystem (RE) and bioregion.

EnviroCom was further commissioned by the Moreton Bay Regional Council to conduct a Pilot Study of the resource, to determine the:

  • demand for such a ‘biodiversity’ resource,
  • level of implementation support required/expected by schools,
  • appropriateness of module content/tools,
  • opportunities/barriers to integrating and implementing the resource, and
  • the resources’ ability to facilitate positive environmental outcomes and apply feedback loops transferring vital information back to Council.

Pilot Study schools reported a rewarding, authentic, successful experience with the resource. Rich connections between the resource and existing curriculum outcomes were identified, and it was deemed appropriate, user friendly, versatile and adaptable. Schools reported improved confidence and capacity from staff and students with regard to biodiversity and in the attitudes and priorities afforded biodiversity at their school. A Biodiversity Enhancement Action Plan has been developed for each school, steering and focusing their long-term, prioritised, locally specific, practice and behaviour change.

Waste Minimisation Assistance Program for Schools

Liverpool City Council engaged EnviroCom to assist students and staff at local schools to implement a recycling program and reduce overall waste volumes as part of their School Environmental Management Plan (SEMP).

The SEMP is a comprehensive, staged program which includes a baseline audit of the schools waste streams, (undertaken by students), analysis and reporting of the findings and the development of a whole-of-school Waste Minimisation Action Plan (WMAP). Experienced EnviroCom educators assist schools in designing and undertaking baseline data gathering and developing a targeted and practical Action Plan, as well as providing education services that places waste minimisation in a broader environmental context.

The SEMP development process is positive, comprehensive and proactive; combining education with action. EnviroCom has assisted 16 Liverpool schools to successfully complete their SEMP, with another 8 schools currently engaged.

Think Food – Rethink Waste

Every year, Australian households throw away over 4 million tonnes of food, equivalent to 178 kg per person.  Food waste impacts greatly on the environment in a number of different ways and the increasing levels of food waste currently being generated are not sustainable.

EnviroCom, on behalf of Logan City Council, have developed an education program entitled Think Food – Rethink Waste.  This program is one element of Logan City Council’s popular Watch Out Waste education program.  Think Food – Rethink Waste is designed to change people’s attitude towards food waste by educating students, teachers and the community about the social, economic and environmental impacts of food waste and the simple steps every individual can take to reduce this impact.

The program targets schools and community groups through an interactive, facilitator-led workshop and accompanying PowerPoint presentation.  EnviroCom have also produced a series of complementary resources: a Think Food -Rethink Waste Teachers’ Resource booklet and a Think Food – Rethink Waste factsheet.

The Think Food – Rethink Waste factsheet is available for download from Logan City Council’s website.

Southern Downs Regional Council School Outreach Program 2012

Client:
Southern Downs Regional Council
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EnviroCom was responsible for the co-ordination and delivery of Southern Downs Regional Council’s School Outreach Program 2012.  The School Outreach is a targeted Waste Education Program focused on engaging and educating school students and teachers and promoting more sustainable practices throughout the region’s schools. This year the program was conducted over one week from the 4th– 8th June, in order to coincide with World Environment Day.

EnviroCom was responsible for co-ordinating all aspects of the program, from the development and implementation of education resources and promotional materials through to managing bookings and liaising with school administration bodies.  The face-to-face element of the program involved the delivery of in-class presentations, on a variety of waste related themes, undertaken by EnviroCom educators.

Wipe Out Waste Program

EnviroCom coordinated the Gold Coast City Council Wipe Out Waste (WOW) Program since its inception in May 2000 until October 2011. EnviroCom was responsible for program development and delivery to the school sector and facilitation of community events, including waste minimisation skills workshops. The program, delivered using purpose built mobile education facilities, has consistently engaged more than 30,000 students each year since 2003.

Other aspects of the program include:

  • Redevelopment of lessons to incorporate the changing nature of waste management on the Gold Coast (i.e. extraction of methane from landfills; 2020 Vision on Waste strategy)
  • Initiation of the Wipe Out Waste Challenge, engaging schools in practical waste minimisation initiatives
  • Initiation of an annual poster competition and calendar
  • Design and development of the Wipe Out Waste story book series
  • Design and fit out of mobile education facilities

The Wipe Out Waste Program was a finalist in the Banksia Environmental Awards for Leadership in Environmental Communications in 2003.

Waste Education and Development of an Education Strategy

A targeted waste education strategy and communication plan, designed to maximise resident participation in new kerbside waste services was developed on behalf of the Burdekin Shire Council.  Initiatives associated with the strategy included, development and distribution of information kits to all residents; targeted classroom presentations and associated school resources; coordination of competitions; development and implementation of newspaper and radio advertising; design and production of public place displays for events, customer service centres and libraries and the development of web support resources. On the ground activities included outreach programs delivered by EnviroCom educators in schools and at community events.