Meet the bear who deep dives

Continuing our series on the Champions Schools who nailed the 2017 pilot of Kreative Koalas

Today’s blog post features Diver from Keira High School who won the Fair Food Forager Award for Best Kreative Koala Call to Action. Visit the Hall of Fame here

Keira Koala.jpg

Keira High School’s koala is personified as a diver. It is clothed in a wetsuit, complete with scuba diving tanks and a mask. The wetsuit is a tight fit, symbolic of how the Koala is trapped amongst a myriad of rubbish. Wollongong is a coastal city and the students Koala design reflects the impact of rubbish in their community. They incorporated a mixture of plastics (e.g. scrap fishing wire) with their Koala to represent the natural world and express the suffering of our coastal environment as a result of our actions. The Koala’s marine theme is juxtaposed with the rubbish representative of human impact.

The second part of the Kreative Koalas program was to design a community project.

Keira High School’s Sustainability Ambassador Daniel Simpson talks about Keira High School’s community project 

Like the other schools the Kreative Koalas program has had a domino effect with Keira High School students becoming more environmentally aware within themselves and within the wider community. This has led to exciting outcomes and future plans.

“This was one of the first environmental initiatives taken up by Keira High’s student body. In the future, we aim to promote sustainable practices in a way that will have a lasting impact on our school community. This will become an ongoing project that will continue to run at Keira, and we plan to do bigger and better things as we become more experienced with the Kreative Koalas program.”  Liz Price Lead Teacher Keira High School

Keira High school

Well done Keira High School looking forward to reconnecting in 2018 and catching up on your waste management call to action success

Interesting facts

Koalas aren’t bears.  Visit here to learn more


Meet Sam the bear with a (re) purpose

Continuing our stories on The Bears on a Mission  meet Sam the Bear with a (Re) Purpose

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Created by the clever team at Gwynneville Public School Sam won the Sharon Bird MP Award for Best Kreative Koala Artwork.

The school also picked up the The Gareth Ward MP Award for Best Animation with this phenomenal video highlight the scary stats on clothing waste and merits of up-cycling

Students in years 4 and 5 work on The Kreative Koala Project. Their focus was on “ Waste”  and how we could  make a difference by reducing the amount  of rubbish on a personal level,  a School  level and  at a Community level.

They aim of their artwork is to engage and promote discussions about our stewardship of our landscapes and waterways 


The base shows the up-cycling projects the student created to show how we can reuse or recycle products that we aren’t using anymore

The plinth the koala has four milk crates. Three are filled with rubbish from our beach clean- up, from our school clean up and from the packaging from when our koala arrived. The fourth is our target for our next clean- up which is zero waste.

For the community project part of the program  the students organised a playground clean up . They found that even though they had bins out, there was still a lot of rubbish being dropped onto the ground or was blowing out of the bins. In their community they  went to North Wollongong Beach and partook in a beach clean-up. They found from a distance the beach looked quite clean but on a closer inspection they soon saw that there was a lot of rubbish hidden in the bushes and under the sand. It was easy to see the large bits and discovered  large amounts of small pieces of plastic and cigarette butts.

Gwynneville Public School Kreative Koalas (1).jpg

Well done to the Champion team from Gwynneville Public School who also took out the Greater Sydney Landcare Network Award for GRAND CHAMPION KREATIVE KOALA

and dont forget to check out what their Sustainability Ambassadors had to say

Interesting facts

Koalas aren’t bears Visit here to learn more

Meet the bears on a mission

2017 saw the roll out of the Kreative Koalas pilot in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Hawkesbury regions. It was just a little 5 school pilot that kicked big goals. All it needs now is a politician working with the schools to champion an overhaul of NSW Government policy on waste management in schools.

2018 will see more schools pilot the program in rural NSW starting with a partnership between the NSW Government ( Family and Community Services and Office of Environment and Heritage) Landcare and Southern Tablelands Arts as well as local businesses and community groups in the wider Goulburn catchment.

Over the next week we are going to profile each of the 5 schools in the 2017 program starting with Hawkesbury High School

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Hawkesbury High School won the secondary school ” Sharon Bird MP Best Kreative Koala Artwork Award’

It is a beautiful piece of art with an equally beautiful story

Hawkesbury HS (1)

Hawkesbury Habitat project “B n B n B” – Bird, Bee and Bat Backpackers hotel


Hawkesbury High School is located at Freemans Reach on the North West outer fringe of Sydney in a semi-rural agricultural area with rich natural resources and diverse native habitat.

Teaching about sustainable agriculture practices and living sustainably is included in the Australian Curriculum. The school has an established agriculture area with courses in animal husbandry and crop production taught as part of the curriculum.

Over the last two years the school has been working with Hawkesbury High School P&C, teachers, students and community members to revamp the agriculture area with an injection of time, positive energy and money

The big idea

Students wanted to spread the word that

Our native animals and plants are necessary for a healthy ecosystem. Working together we can make a difference to protect habitat and improve sustainability.

The UN Sustainable Development Goal they focused on was “Life on the Land” with the aim to increase awareness with a plan to protect native habitat at the school and educate about bush regeneration and agricultural sustainability.

Their Big Idea was “Everyone needs Habitat” and the vision was to help Humans be more aware of their use of resources, the impact we have upon nature and how we can  be more sustainable.

The Challenge

Birds, Bees, Bats and Koalas are becoming endangered with the destruction of local Cumberland Forest in the Hawkesbury region to make way for human habitat. The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has listed the Cumberland Plain Woodland as a critically endangered ecological community due to the widespread land clearing for housing and agriculture. With a focus on the other creatures who need habitat their represents some key ideas:

  • Koalas – No tree no me!
  • Birds – need forage plants, flowers, nesting sites
  • Bees – we built a native bee hotel to encourage plant pollination for food production
  • Bats – we built homes for the microbats who need homes too!

There are two significant silcrete Aboriginal tool sites located at the rear of the school in the bush block. These are heritage listed with the National Parks and Wildlife Service. (NPWS #45-5-2493)  The site also has some especially rare terrestrial orchids which were an important food for Aboriginal people. A painted ribbon of small dots on the Koala symbolises Aboriginal heritage to our school site and the important food source of native bee bush honey.

What they did beyond their artwork

Construction students with their teacher to build the Koala stand, the bat boxes and also reclad the greenhouse, new pathways concreted. Community members have worked with us to clean up the area and replace the shade cloth.


A bush tucker garden will also be planted on the site. When established, the Bush Tucker area will be used to teach students and the community about traditional Aboriginal foods used by the original inhabitants of the site. A sensory garden will be planted to help attract birds and create nesting places.

Congratulations to all the students and teachers at Hawkesbury High School. Great outcomes for people and the planet

Interesting facts

Koalas arent bears Visit here to learn more


Applications for the 2018 MerinoLink Conference “Hour of Power” are open now

Events like this make me wish I was under 30 again

MerinoLink embraces ideas and technology from past, present and future research and trials to assist in moving the Sheep and Wool industry forward in a profitable and practical way.

The 2018 MerinoLink Annual Conference will be held on Wednesday 20th June at the Mercure Hotel, Goulburn, NSW. The Field Day will be held on Thursday 21st June at “Ravenswood”, Cavan Station, Yass, NSWAs part of the Conference, to further exemplify MerinoLink’s strategy to encourage the involvement of young people in the Sheep and Wool Industry, one session of the Conference program will be dedicated to showcasing young people in the industry.

_2017 AWI Wool YFC .jpg There is no shortage of exciting young people in wool 

What is the “Hour of Power”?

The “Hour of Power” will be a fast-paced, informative session presented by a range of young researchers, scholars and innovators from across Australia. University students will have the opportunity to present their research projects and findings directly to members of the industry that their research could benefit. Previous Peter Westblade Scholarship scholars will be invited to highlight the experiences they gained through the scholarship and how it has helped them in pursuing their career. Lastly, the “Hour of Power” will also include other young innovators who are having an impact in the industry, to share their experiences and highlight how they are making a difference.

Each presenter will be allotted a 3 to 5 minute time slot in which they have to communicate their message in a succinct yet comprehensive manner. This will be followed by opportunities to network and create potential mentoring partnerships with conference attendees. Each “Hour of Power” speaker will be partnered with a mentor who will assist in making network connections during the conference.

For more information Click Here

Application Criteria

  • Aged 18 to 30
  • Honours, Masters or PhD students undertaking research topics relevant to the Sheep and Wool Industry                 and/or
  • Someone who has made an impact within the Sheep and Wool Industry, is passionate about the industry and sees a career within the industry