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

Hawkesbury Koala.jpg

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


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