Award winning partnership, Sunshine Coast Council’s Kids in Action Program
Winners of the 2020 Queensland Reconciliation Awards Partnership Category.
Sunshine Coast Council’s 2019 Kids in Action program has been recognised for the role it played in building deeper connections between the Jinibara and Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi First Nations people and the region’s children, by winning the Queensland Reconciliation Award partnership. 2019 was the International Year of Indigenous Languages, which encouraged the program to deepen the connections with the Sunshine Coast First Nations communities.
Local Traditional Custodians guided students as they learnt about their iconic species and began their journey towards becoming passionate custodians of Country. In total, 257 students, 24 schools, 145 teachers/adults, 19 First Nations mentors, 7 youth leaders and 23 volunteers attended five events throughout the year.
EnviroCom has been involved in the Kids In Action Program for many years and has coordinated the program for the 3 years (2017-2019) for Sunshine Coast Council . EnviroCom would like to congratulate the Sunshine Coast Council, the Jinibara and Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi First Nations people, the students and teachers and all the amazing volunteers and community groups who joined together to create this very special program. Thank you for your passion, your energy and your incredible support. The Sunshine Coast Council Kids in Action program truly is an award winning partnership.
For highlights of the final event – KIA conference – please view https://youtu.be/wkpw7ar8Ljc
Kids in Action on the Sunshine Coast
- Sunshine Coast Council
Since 2006, Sunshine Coast Council have held the Kids in Action Program on the Sunshine Coast. Kids in Action (KIA) is an environmental education program aimed at increasing environmental literacy and inspiring environmental stewardship. Sunshine Coast Council has engaged EnviroCom Australia to deliver the Kids in Action Program since 2017.
In 2018 the Kids in Action theme ‘Changing Climates – Changing Lives’ focused on the implications of climate change both locally and across the globe. The theme asks students to consider how humans and other species are adapting to climate-related changes and what the opportunities are to build resilience and inspire positive change.
The 2018 program saw 277 students from 23 different schools, 110 adults and 27 community groups participate throughout the year. The first event of the program was the KIA Environmental Projects Day, held at Point Cartwright Reserve in April. The day involved 8 interactive environmental activities designed to inspire the students to think creatively about how they could approach the KIA theme and connect the students with local mentors to assist on their journey.
With the assistance of the KIA team and local mentors, schools busily began creating and developing their workshop, main stage presentation or interactive display to share with other schools at the Kids Teaching Kids Conference in September. The conference saw 16 workshops, 6 main stage presentations and 7 interactive displays including topics such as ‘Love Your Food!’, ‘Be Fashion Conscious!’, ‘Trees have feelings too!’ and ‘#EarthRights’. Main stage presentations were delivered from 6 schools and involved ‘The Clean Water Rap’, ‘Consequences’ and ‘Re-bag! Changing Bags, Changing Lives’. Kids in Action 2018 successfully wrapped up in October with the KIA Roadshow event where 4 schools set up their interactive displays for 4 days at Kawana Shopping World to engage the broader community.
The KIA Program is highly successful, but don’t just take our word for it, checkout the videos on Council’s website to see what the students and other participants thought about their experience with the Kids in Action Program.
Pledge Campaign encouraging Central West residents to feed their FOGO bin
To increase the use of the kerbside Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) service in Bathurst, Forbes, Orange and Parkes, EnviroCom launched the Pledge Campaign on behalf of NetWaste in mid-2018. The campaign asks residents to “take the pledge” to put all their food waste in the FOGO bin rather than in the household garbage bin.
The majority of households in the four LGAs have a FOGO bin that accepts food waste, as well as garden waste and disposable paper. After collection, this material is composted locally to produce nutrient rich organic fertilisers helping to divert this valuable resource away from landfill
The ‘We’re doing it…are you?’ Pledge Campaign aims to increase awareness that all food waste should be placed in the green-lidded FOGO bin and establish this as a social norm. Those who make a pledge receive a pledge campaign bin sticker for the front of their FOGO bin, a factsheet with a range of helpful hints and tips, and are placed on a mailing list to receive regular FOGO related updates from EnviroCom.
Residents are encouraged to make their pledge at frequent public place displays held by EnviroCom staff or can pledge online via the NetWaste website. The campaign has been supported by an extensive media package including TV, radio, social media and newspaper advertisements, and has received media coverage of its own!
Over 750 pledges were received as the campaign garnered significant momentum during its first year, becomingly increasingly recognisable across the region. EnviroCom and NetWaste will build on this during a second year of the program, continuing to motivate households in the Central West to use their FOGO bins and keep food waste out of local landfills.
EnviroCom Australia at the NSW Premier’s Awards
- Orange City Council
Staff from EnviroCom NSW attended the 2018 Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Public Service, having been nominated for their collaborative work with Orange City Council in the “Keeping Our Environment Clean” category.
The Orange City Council Waste Diversion Education Strategy 2016-2021 was recognised for its holistic and long-term approach to maximising waste diversion and supporting sustainable waste and resource behaviours through education and engagement. The Strategy aims to assist the Orange LGA to meet or exceed several of the targets set in the NSW EPA’s Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2014-21, including increasing the waste diverted from landfill to 75%.
The awards night was held at Sydney Town Hall on November 7th 2018 and was attended by EnviroCom’s Regional Manager, Donald Munro and Orange-based consultant Chris Dart, alongside Wayne Davis from Orange City Council. The Strategy was initially developed by EnviroCom General Manager Paula Harrison and overseen by Rachel McIntyre. While the team were not the overall winners of the Premier’s Awards on the night, the nomination was acknowledgement of the team’s strategic approach to achieving long term waste diversion in the Orange City Council region.
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
- Sunshine Coast Council
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:
Bioregion Education Module Development and Pilot Study
- Moreton Bay Regional Council
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
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.