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Wooragee Primary School finalist for state sustainability awards

27 September 2017

Wooragee Primary School immediate past Principal, Christine Varker, has been shortlisted for the Teacher of the Year Primary award. The prestigious award, part of the ResourceSmart Schools Awards, recognises Christine’s passion and commitment to creating a sustainable school and community at Wooragee. Mrs Varker was at Wooragee for 7 ½ years and during that time she has been instrumental in setting up a school that focuses on sustainable living and caring for our environment.

Christine has engaged her students and educated them on how to proactively care for our environment. Under her guidance students have been encouraged to take ownership of their role in caring for the environment; she has taught them strategies to reduce waste, reduce water usage and to reduce energy.

The ResourceSmart Schools program inspires students and their schools to take action on sustainability and climate change, while providing new learning opportunities. As a small school with just 14 students, Wooragee Primary School certainly is inspiring. The school’s commitment to sustainability can be seen as soon as you enter the front gate where you are greeted by their sign declaring that they are a 3 Star Sustainable School.

Since commencing the program, the school has saved $4,401 and stopped 24,582 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. A great achievement for such a small school.

Linda Anania, ResourceSmart Facilitator from the North East Waste and Resource Recovery Group was justifiably proud of the achievement. “What strikes me about this school is the great sustainable practices embedded in the school, the curriculum, the children, the staff and the parents and the huge number of volunteers who so willingly work with them all.  Chris has developed this, and has left a great legacy for the Wooragee Community, which I am confident will continue to grow and be strong for many years to come. ”

The school also received the Hume Region Primary School of the Year award earlier in the year; for their fantastic community involvement and the advances they have made on their ResourceSmart journey. This really is a well-deserved accolade.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said that “To be named a finalist or winner in the ResourceSmart Schools Awards 2017, is a tribute to the hard work of the school communities across Victoria.” Christine is an outstanding candidate. The actions she has taken have embedded sustainability into the school culture and curriculum. Christine has now passed the baton on to Alicia Odewahn, knowing the school is in an excellent position to continue improving sustainability outcomes for students, the local area and the whole environment.

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the IMAX Melbourne Museum on 16 October.

For more information contact Alice Russell (p) 5832 4868 or (e) resourcesmart@gvwater.vic.gov.au