Saturday, December 13, 2008

Changing Times

As you may have heard there have been some changes in the Education Department that will affect the way that Learning for Sustainability will take place in the NT. The new structure of the department means that there will not be a designated officer in this position. Learning for Sustainability is however still high on the agenda and support for schools and external agencies will continue to be provided through a broad range of strategies

The main contact with regard to all Learning for Sustainability initiatives in Central Australia will be Karen Loto
phone:- (08) 8951 7017

Teachers wanting support with curriculum planning, writing and implementing their Sustainability Education Management Plan (SEMP) or planning for learning at the Alice Springs Desert Park can contact Karen.

There will also still be support for schools involved in all aspects of the Sustainable Schools Initiative, including the Energy Smart Schools, Water Wise Schools, Alice Solar Schools, Re-thinking Waste in Schools, Schools Environmental Tracking System (SETS) and Creating Arid Zone Gardens. Karen will be able to tell you who to contact for each of these.

The Alice Springs Desert Park will remain free to all NT schools and the staff there will be happy to support you with logistical planning for your visit.

For professionals outside of education developing resources for schools there is now a Materials Development team in place. The Education Department will also continue to provide Professional Learning opportunities for non teachers that find themselves running activities and learning experiences for kids. Again contact Karen Loto for more information.

As for me, I am heading overseas for a while to study Strategies for Creative Social Change at Schumacher College and also to learn more about Transition Towns and the Transition Culture.

As I have become accustomed to using this blog as archive of inspiring resources and ideas I have set up my own Learning for Sustainability blog. This has really been set up for my own use, a place to keep all the interesting things I find and experience, but you may find some of it interesting too. There is a permanent link to Emma's New Blog in the "Blogs You Might Like" section.

And finally...


Thanks to everyone that I have had the pleasure to work with over the last four and a half years. It really has been an amazing experience, I have thoroughly loved my work in this position.

Emma Bliss

Contact Emma

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nuclear Waste Dump Senate Inquiry

The Federal Government is conducting a Senate Inquiry into the future of the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act (CRWMA).
This undemocratic piece of legislation allows a federal nuclear waste dump to be forced on the Territory.
Despite a clear election promise from the ALP to repeal this act, almost a year later, this has not been followed through.
Four areas are still under assessment due to the CRWMA - Mt Everard, Fishers Ridge, Harts Range and Muckaty.

Public hearings start in Alice Springs on Monday November 17.
We need a strong turnout from the local community to show there is continued opposition to this proposal.
Tell the federal government - Don't dump on the Territory!

Monday November 17
12pm, Crowne Plaza Lawns
Speakers include people from affected areas and local organisations.

Public hearing times:
Monday November 17, 1pm - 5pm
Tuesday November 18, 8am - 11am
Crowne Plaza Ballroom AB
Everyone is welcome to attend.

Please pass this message on to all of your family, friends and networks.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Book by Janis Birkeland
A heralding work of how a positive and innovative design agenda for the built environment, underlined by an uncompromising valuation of ecology and nature's services, can mobilize our efforts in becoming native to the planet. This is a wonderful book that should be on the desk of every architect and planner. It shows how our decisions about the built environment can be a positive contribution to shaping a sustainable future.


Your Home is a suite of consumer and technical guide materials and tools developed to encourage the design, construction or renovation of homes to be comfortable, healthy and more environmentally sustainable.
The Your Home Technical Manual gives you the information you need to design and build a more comfortable home that is less expensive to run while more environmentally friendly. Written by designers and builders, for designers and builders, it is the definitive tool for creating a home that is enjoyable to live in, cost effective and environmentally sensitive.
The Technical Manual contains over 60 individual fact sheets full of environmentally sustainable solutions for designing and building your home.

Inquiry based learning for sustainability

An inquiry-based learning approach to sustainability.
The sustainability focused units contained in this series encourage students to become actively involved in their world. Based on problem-based and inquiry-based learning pedagogy, the units of work are student-focused, promote active and deep learning, and motivate students to want to learn more about, and help them develop a sense of moral ownership for the natural environment.
Each unit contains detailed teacher information on planning and implementing the unit of work, and supporting reproducible student worksheets. It is hoped that by presenting this instructional model to teachers in a clear and sequenced way, they will go on to plan and build further problem-based and inquiry-based units of work with a sustainability focus.


NEiTA (National Excellence in Teaching Awards) and the Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) have announced the names of the 60 Australian teachers to receive recognition through NEiTA’s inaugural 2008 ASG Inspirational Teacher State and Territory Awards.
The recognised inspirational teachers work across the spectrum of education sectors from early childhood to secondary schooling, teaching students with varied learning needs, and in specialised subject areas.


Nominations close 1 Dec 08

UNEP invites nominations from individuals who have made a significant contribution globally, regionally and beyond, to the protection and sustainable management of the environment and natural resources. They may be Presidents, politicians, economists, scientists or philosophers or perhaps musicians, artists, actors, religious or civic figures operating on the global, national or local stage. They may be community leaders, business leaders or youth leaders who are triggering a transformation aimed at bringing forward tomorrow's world today by turning their societies into beacons of fundamental and sustainable change. Whomever and wherever they are UNEP wants to know and looks forward to award the brightest and the best as a 2009 Champion of the Earth.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Join Kath & Kim in the fight for our natural Aussie icons

What do a footballer, a cook and two foxy ladies from Fountain Lakes have in common? All are speaking out for Australia’s iconic places at risk of disappearing unless Australia provides stronger action on climate change over coming months.

The Australian Conservation Foundation has launched a new report and website ‘Who on Earth Cares about our special Australian places?’ highlighting ten of Australia’s top natural icons at serious risk from climate change.

Visit to find out which of our favourite places are threatened from climate change, and send a postcard to our leaders from your special place calling from greater leadership and stronger action to save these icons while we still have the chance.

You’ll be in good company – many of Australia’s best known faces from stage, screen and stadium are also speaking out for their favourite Australian places, from our world-class wine regions and Kakadu’s wetlands to the Great Barrier Reef and our beaches.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Re-Think : Review : Reflect : Renew

A small group of Central Australian teachers came together today to review and reflect upon their experiences with the Re-Thinking Waste in Schools Challenge of 2008

During 2008 the teachers lead their schools though a broad range of initiatives including reducing water use, recycling, composting, worm farming, growing food, the Wearable Arts exhibition, a sustainability musical and much much more.

You can read individual school stories on the Re-Thinking Waste Wikispace (Bradshaw, Braitling, Living Waters)

After this period of reflection, teachers began to think about their plans for next year. Sam Latz from Alice Solar City and Roger Chapman from Water Wise Schools. Both Bradshaw and Braitling will be part of the Energy Smart Schools Program next year, with targets to reduce their energy consumption.

All schools involved in the Re-Thinking Waste Challenge in the NT are part of the AuSSI-NT, a group of schools working to become more sustainable - part of the national Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative

If you are interested to find out more about becoming an NT Sustainable School contact the project officer on 8951 8718

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Central Australian Frog Watch

Parks and Wildlife NT are offering a free slide show in the creek at Simpsons Gap to celebrate the Year of the Frog. The slideshow will be followed by a guided spotlighting tour to view the astonishing amphibians of desert.

The event will run for 3 nights, on the 9th, 11th and 15th Nov from 7-9pm.
Bring your own chair or rug and wear appropriate clothing.

Bookings are ESSENTIAL
Call Michael Barritt on 89518247 or email him at to secure your place.

KWATYE Exhibition Opening - Olive Pink Botanic Garden

Kwatye is the Arrernte word for water or rain and is the theme of an exhibition of large works on canvas.

Irrkerlantye Artists
have painted a series of works telling a wide range of stories about water. The artists celebrate soakages and storms, rockholes, rivers and rainbows.

The exhibition opens at Olive Pink Botanic Garden on Friday 7th November and 5.30 pm and runs through to 23rd Nov.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Garnaut Climate Change Review

The Garnaut Climate Change Review presented its Final Report to the Prime Minister of Australia and the eight states and territories on 30 September 2008.

The Review was an independent study conducted by economist Professor Ross Garnaut, commissioned by Australia's Commonwealth, state and territory governments in 2007.

Although the Review is now complete, the Garnaut Climate Change Review web site will be available as an ongoing resource where you will find all materials released by the Review, including reports, papers and transcripts from public addresses. Submissions to the Review are also available.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Grants for Handing Down Knowledge

The Indigenous Ecological Knowledge Program (IEK) now has funding available for projects that support younger people learning about how to look after country properly from Elders and other knowledge holders.

Grants are available until late 2009.

The themes and purpose of the project must clearly be:

* time spent in the presence of senior knowledge holders
* learning and observing traditional custodianship and respect for the land
* nurturing an enthusiasm for cultural and natural resource management practice in the younger generation while undertaking relevant on-country activities
* developing an understanding of the complex traditional relationships between land and the people, providing a clearer understanding of traditional land management

This program services people living in the Central Land Council areas.

Contact Project officer, Nikki Brannigan: Tel: (08) 8950 5005

Central Land Council
Handing Down Knowledge Program
Supported by funding provided by the Australian and Northern Territory Governments

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Native Plant Sale

Greening Australia' Native Plant Sale is taking place on Saturday 11th October 9am-12noon.

The sale takes place at the GA nursery which is located on the Charles Darwin University Campus - enter via entrance 2 on Grevillea Drive.

The nursery is also open for sales every Thursday, 9am-4pm.

For more info call 8953 2882

Monday, September 22, 2008

On Borrowed Time Learning Resource

The On Borrowed Time Learning Resource is a selection of classroom resources designed to explore key biodiversity issues. The resource includes four inquiry-based teaching and learning units and two interactives. This resource can be used in conjunction with, or separately from, the book On Borrowed Time.

You can register to receive a copy of the Learning Resource for your school by visiting

Clean Up the World

Clean Up the World is a global campaign that inspires communities to clean up, fix up and conserve the environment. Held in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme, it mobilises an estimated 35 million people across 120 countries.

Want to join Clean Up the World and help save the environment? Get involved and put your community on the global environmental map. Find out how by visiting Clean Up the World

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bradshaw Sustainable Schools Musical

Last night I was lucky to attend my first ever Sustainable Schools Musical at Bradshaw Primary School in Alice Springs.

Bradshaw have been part of the AuSSI-NT (Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative of the Northern Territory) since we began our Pilot in 2005. Having already achieved some great WaterWise initiatives, which included creating a Public Service Announcement earlier in their Sustainable Schools journey, this years focus has been on Re-Thinking Waste.

The musical was fantastic example of what you can achieve with a whole school approach. Every class was involved and the messages to the community loud and clear. Songs about how the "Dirt made my lunch", Composting, reducing-reusing-recycling, saving water and using solar energy along with many, many more were carefully woven together in a way that told the story of the students learning journey. Also part of the treat was to see those fantastic costumes of the Technology Trio, made from 'old technologies' like video tape, floppy discs and CD's. These stunning costumes made Bradshaw School the Alice Desert Festival overall winners in the 2008 Wearable Arts The fantastic setting in the Waterwise grounds, beautiful weather and the family atomosphere made for a great night out. Thanks Bradshaw!

If you are interested to know more about becoming part of AuSSI-NT contact Emma Bliss 8951 8718 if you are in Central Australia or Louise Fogg 8999 3712 if you are in the top end.

World Carfree Day - Mon Sept 22nd

Just a little reminder that Monday is World Carfee Day

Every September 22, people from around the world get together in the streets, intersections, and neighbourhood blocks to remind the world that we don't have to accept our car-dominated society.

take the Carfree Challeng and walk or ride to work or school on Monday. You never know, you might enjoy it so much you'll want to do it on Tuesday too

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Alice YouthLEAD

The multi-award winning OzGREEN program YouthLEAD will run October 10-12 in Alice Springs.

YouthLEAD is an innovative environmental/social action and leadership training program designed to give young people the skills, motivation and opportunities to lead the way to a sustainable future in their own communities & beyond.

There is an information meeting for interested participants, parents, teachers & community stakeholders on Wednesday September 10th at 4pm at the Department of the Chief Minister 1st floor Gretorex Buliding Cnr Parsons and Bath Streets. Please RSVP to Kathryn McCabe ( with your name & contact details.

Kathryn will also be available on Thursday September 11th for meetings & further talks (eg to universities, schools or organisations), please contact Kathryn if you think you may be interested in learning more or helping to make this program a big success in your area in some way.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Have your say on the Carbon Reduction Scheme - Submissions due 10th September

Minister Wong's Green Paper: Submissions due September 10

On July 16, Minister Wong released her Green Paper that made proposals for a 'Carbon Reduction Scheme' that would cover about 1,000 facilities that are jointly responsible for 75 percent of Australia’s emissions. Submissions on the Green Paper are required by September 10, 2008

Recent increases in domestic power and water charges

The prices going up maybe just the motivation that you need to think about ways to reduce your own consumption.

Electricity usage rate was 15.01 cents/kwh, and is now 15.52 cents.
Fixed daily charge increased from 29.59 cents to 30.60 cents.
Water usage rate increased from 72.46 cents per kilolitre to 79.7 cents

Why not challenge yourself to make some small adjustments so that your bills don't go up? You already know how you could do this, so go on - I dare you!

Personal Greenhouse Gas Emissions Calculator

Ben Rose, a climate change consultant from Western Australia, has created a comprehensive greenhouse gas calculator which includes all emission types (and even embodied energy) from air travel, waste, grocery shopping etc. You can download the calculator from

Bushfoods and Wildfoods of Central Australia on the menu

It is on again! Now in its 4th year, the Bushfoods/Wildfoods Recipe competition heats will be held on Saturday 30th August, 6th & 13 Sept at Afghan Traders. The final is at The Desert Lantern, CDU, on the last Saturday of Alice Desert Festival 08. The Festival is delighted to be hosting culinary icon, restaurateur extraordinaire and food author Stephanie Alexander as our special guest judge at the final. Application forms can be picked up from Red Hot Arts or Afghan Traders, or downloaded from the websites below.

The Bushfoods/Wildfoods Culinary Challenge is also in full swing with six restaurants so far taking part in the task of creating special festival dishes with wattleseed and another desert product. More information: or

Sustainable House Day, Saturday September 13th, 11am-4pm

Sustainable House Day shows the benefits of energy efficiency and sustainable living. A national event organised by the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society. Houses: 3 Giles St, 12 Priest St. Cost $5, free for ANZSES members.

Dig out your pics for a backyard blitz

The local 783 ABC radio’s garden competition has joined forces with the DesertSMART challenge, giving us 4 categories. Garden for Wildlife has also offered lots of support for the Wildlife Garden category. The ABC category is “Alice’s most needy garden”.

By being part of the Gardens Challenge, you'll have the opportunity to access $1000 to make your garden an example of best practice, DesertSmart irrigation. We're looking for a variety of gardens and households passionate about water conservation. Want to find out more? Email Claire:
Download the application form from the Desert Knowledge Australia COOLmob website. Application forms are due Friday, September 12th. Successful gardens will be announced at the Sustainability Fair on September 20th.

Solar Oven Bakeoff

Get your ovens ready and start creating recipes for the second annual Bakeoff on September 20th at Olive Pink Botanic Gardens. All categories are for novices and expert alike. They include: Best homemade oven, Food (overall winner), Bush Foods, Savoury, and Sweet plus a Kid's prize. Culinary icon, restaurateur extraordinaire and food author Stephanie Alexander will be our special guest judge.

Click here to Download poster. or Download entry forms. Or just come along on the day for a look and maybe a taste! Cooking begins at 10am, judging at 3pm, and there’s heaps of other activities all day as part of the Sustainability and Desert Garden Fair.
The Solar Oven Bakeoff is organised by Desert Knowledge Australia COOLmob and is part of the Alice Desert Festival.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Project

The aim of the Kitchen Garden National Pilot Program is to pleasurably engage and encourage primary school students in Years 3-6 in growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing delicious and healthy food in the belief that such skills are essential to the development of life-long joyful and healthy eating habits. The program will see the Federal Government provide funding to up to 190 government schools with primary enrolments to create gardens and build home style kitchen classrooms.

As the first step, the Government is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from schools which would like to participate in the program. The information collected from these EOIs will be used to determine the timing and number of grants in each State and Territory. It is expected that these grants will open from 13 October 2008, and then again mid-year in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Schools who are interested in applying for a grant are strongly urged to submit an EOI so that an accurate idea of interest is gauged across the different states. (The EOI is a brief six question online form which needs to be submitted by the School Principal.)

Applications are also open for seven Demonstration Schools - one for each capital city in every State and Territory (except Victoria where many schools already act as successful models of the Program).

The Expressions of Interest online form and the Demonstration School application are both available now from the website:

For more information, please contact the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation on 03 8415 1993.

5th World Environmental Education Congress

The 5th World Environmental Education Congress invites participants from all continents to attend and to share their views and experiences. The event will be held at the Palais des Congrès/Montreal Convention Center, Quebec, Canada from May 10 to 14, 2009.

Visit the congress website at

Launch of ProSPER.Net

Promotion of Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research(ProSPER.Net)is a network of leading higher education institutions in Asia and the Pacific that have committed to work together to integrate Sustainable Development (SD)into postgraduate courses and curricula. Member institutions involved have strong education and research programmes in sustainable development and related fields.

The network was formally launched on 21 June 2008, in Sapporo, Japan, Currently, sixteen universities from Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea and Thailand are members of ProSPER.Net, in addition to two regional universities in Asia and the Pacific.

ProSPER.Net is an effort of UNU-IAS to bring about understanding and delivery of ESD and SD at the postgraduate level. The creation of the network and implementation of joint activities are currently supported by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment. The Australian Government Department of the Environment, Heritage, Water and the Arts (DEWHA), in conjunction with ARIES, has also been involved in supporting the development of the network.

Membership of ProSPER.Net is limited to higher education institutions located in the Asia-Pacific region that offer postgraduate education and research in sustainable development and in education for sustainable development related fields. Currently RMIT is the only Australian institution involved but there is interest in increasing Australian participation.

For more information on membership and activities see or contact:

Mario Tabucannon
Visiting Professor, UNU-IAS; Professor, AIT Bangkok or

Nami Akimoto
Programme Assistant
EfSD Programme, UNU-IAS

Friday, July 18, 2008

AAEE Conference and Art Exhibition in Second Life

Alice Solar City commercial program launched

The Alice Solar City Commercial Services Program was officially launched (link to this media release on website) on 30 May, and over 25 businesses have expressed their interest in getting involved. Did you know that the non-domestic sector consumes over 50% of Alice Springs’ power? The call for applications for large businesses to access Alice Solar City incentives was announced on 10 July (link to this media release on website). Large businesses are those that use over 160 megawatt hours (MWh) per year. Businesses who are interested can check their powerbill to see if they qualify to apply for subsidies of up to $25,000, or for more innovative projects consideration will be given to provide up to $50,000. Applications close August 22nd, however there will be a second round offered early in 2009 if businesses are not ready.

Alice Solar City will also support Schools that are applying for the Federal Government Grant of up to $50,000 per school in the National Solar Schools Program. More information about this coming soon.

The residential program is proving to be extremely popular with over 300 residents already signed up to receive a variety of services and financial incentives. A substantial number of residents have also expressed interest to install a rooftop solar PV system, however there are still a significant number of the 225 PV systems available. If you would like to find out more about Solar PV, other incentives or to sign up to Alice Solar City just drop into the Smart Living Centre at 82 Todd Street (next to Bojangles) or call 8950 4350.

Greywater bucketing is now OK in the NT!

Manual bucketing onto lawn and garden areas using water from the bathroom or laundry, or temporary use of a hose manually fitted to a washing machine outlet hose, is permitted subject to the advice found here. However, permanent greywater diversion systems still need NT Health Dept approval as explained here. The health department website has a page on onsite wastewater management, with lists of approved greywater diversion devises .
• Avoid contact with greywater before eating or drinking
• Prevent children from playing on greywater irrigated areas until dry
• Use washing products with low salt, phosphorus and boron
• Remember greywater is often alkaline and not good for acid loving plants
• Avoid using kitchen greywater
• Store for more than 24 hours
• Allow it to pond
• Use if people in the family have diarrhea or are vomiting
• Use kitchen greywater

Home Water Audits

Want to save water and combat climate change? Book a home water audit from DKA COOLmob. Audits cost only $10 and take about an hour. Your auditor may even bring some free water saving items such as a shower timer. You can also find out about the NT government’s $500 plumbing rebate. To book. ring 8952 0299

Making Solar Ovens out of old hot water systems

Making Solar Ovens out of old hot water systems – Saturday August 23rd
Learn to make and cook in your own solar oven out of recycled and new materials, including bits from old solar hot water systems.

Steve Sawyer, winner of last year’s solar oven bakeoff, is conducting the workshop at Red Hot Arts on making a box cooker. Materials provided. Places are limited to a maximum of ten.

RSVP by August 19th to Kat, 8952 0299 or

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Social networking site for environmental professionals

Earth Newswire is a professional network and news website driven by people interested in environmental science, ecology and conservation. The site includes member-generated pages, event notices, discussion forums, and photos and videos.

New Education for Sustainability Online Journal

London South Bank University (UK) has launched Indicator, a new online journal focusing on education for sustainability. The journal is freely accessible, and downloadable content will be archived to build a valuable resource over time.

I have added a permanent link to Indicator from this blog in the links section so you can always find it by returning here.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Keep Australia Beautiful Week 2008

Keep Australia Beautiful Week 2008 runs from Monday 25 – Sunday 31 August.

You can help tackle climate change and protect our natural resources by participating in the Score Points for the Environment Challenge during Keep Australia Beautiful Week 2008.

For more information see the flyer. Register on the KAB website.

Solar Oven Bakeoff

Now is the time to start thinking about entering the Solar Oven Bakeoff

Steve Sawyer, winner of last year’s Solar Oven Bakeoff, is preparing to hand over the Green Spoon trophy to the next solar chef. This could be a great challenge for students, especially those in the middle years.

Get your ovens ready and start creating recipes for the 2008 Bakeoff on September 20th at Olive Pink Botanic Gardens. The judge is rumoured to be a very well known cookbook author.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Climate Change Workshop

On the morning of Monday 30th June the Central Australian Research Network based at CDU in Alice will host the first of two scenario-building workshops on Central Australian Climate Change.

The workshops are part of the CDU's School of Environmental Research's program to develop regional models of climate change.

This month's workshop in Alice will be facilitated by Professor Stephen Garnett and will be used to develop an initial trial set of scenarios to be re-analysed later this year.

We would like the workshop to be attended by people, not just with
an understanding of the way the landscape in central Australia is
lived in and used, but also the imagination to envisage a future
thirty years hence.

For more information, or to register your interest in participating please email

My Environmental Education Evaluation Resource Assistant

A new web-based tool to assist environmental educators in conducting programme evaluations has been created by Dr. Michaela Zint of the University of Michigan (USA).

My Environmental Education Evaluation Resource Assistant provides guidance on all aspects of evaluating an education programme.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

2020 Summit Report

Just in case you haven't heard, the final report of the 2020 Summit is now available online

2020 Summit Final Report

Friday, June 13, 2008

Carbon Free Youth Conference

In early July, 9th - 12th, the Australian Association for Environmental Education is holding is biennial conference in Darwin.

An important part of this conference is the Youth conference that is being coordinated by Alicia Curtis through Millennium Kids Inc.

The goal is to have as many young people from the NT participate as possible.

The conference is open to 10-25 year olds and will be the first Carbon Free Youth Conference in Australia

Instead of 100 young people flying to Darwin for the conference, there will be activities in locations across Australia for young people to participate in and then connect in with state youth representatives in Darwin via video link.

For more information, please contact
Alicia Curtis – AAEE MK Youth Conference Coordinator
M: 0413 565 338

Find out more

Friday, May 30, 2008

Students of Sustainability 2008

Students of Sustainability (SoS) is a five day conference for anyone interested in creating a more ecologically and socially sustainable world.

SoS '08 will be held at the University of Newcastle from the 5th to the 9th of July, with camping close by. Students, community and Indigenous activists, academics, public intellectuals, environmental educators, social change agents of all stripes and from all over Australia will come and participate in a range of educational, practical and participatory forums and workshops. SoS is about imparting the inspiration, tools, motivation and education required for participants to inspire and educate others when they return to their own communities.

The conference includes
- Workshops on environmental and social justice issues
- Planning for a sustainable future
- skills and planning sessions for taking real action
- High Schools Day (Monday 7th July)
- Community Day - Linking the local to the global

Serviced campsites provided

The conference will take place at the University of Newcastle from 5th-9th July.

For more information check out the website

The conference will be followed by the Camp for Climate Action, which is also being held in Newcastle from 10th to 15th July

World Environment Day Movie

The Arid Lands Environment Centre is hosting a film night at The Lane on World Environment Day, Thursday 5th June.

The film, The Future of Food will start at 8pm and will be followed by DJ's

Cost is $5/$10

Wear warm clothes

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Muster up your old mobiles

The mobile muster program recycles old mobile phones. Over 90% of materials in phones can be recycled. There are 3 drop off locations in Alice Springs; Cartridge World, Telstra and XLcom. In Tennant Creek, you can take them to town council. You can even post your phone free of charge. Information on your nearest drop off point and the free mailing labels can be downloaded from the mobile muster website.

Materials in mobile phones that can be recycled include: nickel, cobalt, cadmium, gold, silver and plastic. One tonne of mobile phone circuit boards can yield the same amount of precious metals as 110 tonnes of gold ore, 123 tonnes of silver bearing ore and 11 tonnes of copper sulphide ore.

Launch of carbon calculator / Environment day library display May 31st

The Alice Springs carbon calculator will be launched on Saturday, May 31st at the Alice Springs library. Come along between 9am to 1pm and give it a go.

Representatives from ALEC and Alice Solar City will be there too.

The display celebrates World Environment Day (June 5th).

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Learning to Change - Changing to Learn

This is a great video entitled "Learning to Change - Changing to Learn" which looks at learning for the 21st Century. It describes our present situation as 'the death of education, but the dawn of learning' which could be a very exiting place to be - if we can get there in time!

For some reason the sound is not in sync with the picture on this version - if you are accessing this from somewhere where YouTube is accessible, you might like to go to the YouTube version

k-12 Online Conference 2008

The K-12 Online Conference invites participation from educators around the world interested in innovative ways Web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used to improve learning. This FREE conference is run by volunteers and open to everyone. The 2008 conference theme is “Amplifying Possibilities”. This year’s conference begins with a pre-conference keynote the week of October 13, 2008. The following two weeks, October 20-24 and October 27-31, forty presentations will be posted online to the conference blog (this website) for participants to download and view. Live Events in the form of three “Fireside Chats” and a culminating “When Night Falls” event will be announced. Everyone is encouraged to participate in both live events during the conference as well as asynchronous conversations. More information about podcast channels and conference web feeds is available!

8 ways to reuse a 2 litre drink botle

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


The Global Footprint Network is pleased to announce a new Ecological Footprint Calculator!

Currently they have calculators available for the U.S. and Australia, with more countries being added all the time.


The Initial Report from the 2020 Summit to the Prime Minister, sets out thekey results of discussion by 1000 Australians over the weekend of 19 & 20April in

ENERGY AND EQUITY - Preparing Households for Climate Change: Energy, Equity and Immediacy

Energy and Equity, a report produced by Australia’s leading environmental, consumer and welfare organisations, says energy efficiency is potentially the quickest and cheapest way to cut greenhouse pollution. Energy savings of 30% are possible using immediately available effective technologies. The report recommends that efficiency improvements be complemented by appropriate utility tariffs and safety net measures.

The report, a joint project between the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS), the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and CHOICE, says five percent of existing homes should be retrofitted each year with energy and water saving technologies such as insulation, solar hot water and rainwater tanks to offset inevitable increases in utility prices resulting from emissions trading and other factors.

AAEE Awards

AAEE Executive and the Award Recognition Committee invite nominations for the 2nd Annual Award for Outstanding Contribution to Environmental Education in Australia. The Award is presented to a person who has made an exemplary contribution to the field of environmental education. The Award is coordinated through the recognition committee within the Australian Association of Environmental Education. Prior Chapter nominations can be entered again. Please send your suggested nominations toyour Chapter representative: NT Birut Zemits:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Be informed about Uranium

Concerned about the idea of a Uranium mine near Alice?

Worried, as some people say this could contaminate our water supply?

Heard there will be some benefits?

Don't know what, or should that be who, to believe?

Dr Gavin Mudd, Environmental Engineer from Monash University Department of Civil Engineering can help you to sort the facts out from the fiction.

Dr Mudd has been an active researcher and advocate on the environmental impacts and management of mining for over a decade. He has been involved with many aspects of industry with a particular specialty in brown coal wastes, uranium mining and environmental management. His work has been showcased in several international journals and conferences. Gavin maintains an independent perspective, and has undertaken research for mining companies, community groups and aboriginal organisations. In particular, Gavin has had extensive involvement in examining the underlying scientific issues associated with uranium mining in Australia, with detailed knowledge of the Australian uranium mining sector as well as globally. With strong qualifications and experience, he has developed a unique understanding of the multidisciplinary nature of the environmental aspects of mining in Australia and globally, culminating in a distinctive view on how to quantify an apparent oxymoron – that of “sustainable mining”. Additionally, Gavin has active research interests in urban groundwater issues, groundwater management and assessment, especially with respect to climate change and sustainability.

Gavin will be the keynote speaker at a public meeting about the Angela/Pamela uranium deposit being held at Anzac Hill High School tomorrow

6pm, Wednesday 7th May, Anzac Hill High School

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

ClimateXchange: How’s your world?

Questacon and ASPAC have made a climateXchange website for the Asia Pacific region.

climateXchange is helping to raise awareness of climate change and its impacts on local communities across the Asia Pacific. The site provides a space to gather stories on climate change from schools and communities and to share the great things that schools and communities are undertaking.

Submissions can include pictures, written pieces or videos that examine the effects of climate change both locally and globally.The collection of submissions are presented on the climateXchange website where users click on a location and view a story about climate change in that area. Visitors can see stories from areas as diverse as The Great Barrier Reef, the Snowy Mountain and Antarctica through the eyes of people who live and work there.

Examples of stories include a video from a primary school in Sydney showing what they are doing to make a difference or an interview with a scientist who is battling hard to save the rare mountain pygmy possum.To get involved and share your story go to the climateXchange website

Teaching Resources for the 2008 International Day for Biological Diversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat has launched an educational module for children and teachers to accompany the 2008 International Day for Biological Diversity. The module consists of an online portal for primary school students and five lesson plans for educators.

The web portal and lesson plans introduce the concept of biological diversity and highlight the importance of sustainable agriculture not only to preserve biodiversity, but also to ensure that we will be able to feed the world, maintain agricultural livelihoods, and enhance human well-being in the 21st century and beyond.

The International Day for Biological Diversity is on 22nd May 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Green Drinks in Alice Springs

Heard of Green Drinks International?

Every month, in multiple locations across the globe, people who work in or who are interested in environmental and sustainability issues meet up for a drink at informal sessions known as Green Drinks.

These events are very simple and unstructured, but many people have found employment, made friends, developed new ideas, done deals and had moments of serendipity.

Alice Springs Green Drinks is something that a few of us have been talking about for a while - so we thought we'd get it happening. It will be a great way of catching up with people you know and also for making new contacts. Everyone can invite someone else along, people visiting or new to town can find out about us on the web, so there will always be a different crowd, creating an organic, self-organising network.

To kick things off, we're holding a special event - Sustainability in the Pub during the Desert Innovation Festival

There will be an inspiring introduction to the evening from Jimmy Cocking (new coordinator of the Arid Lands Environment Centre ). You can also expect to see some familiar faces representing Afghan Traders, Alice Solar City, Outback Bushfoods and the (old) Centre for Sustainable Arid Towns.

Join us as and be a part of the emerging, creative, organic and unpredictable future of Alice Springs Green Drinks as we share our ideas on What is sustainability? How can we successfully apply it to our lives, homes and businesses? and who knows what else...

When: Tuesday 27 May 2008, 7:30pm

Where: The Firkin and Hound, 21 Hartley St, Alice Springs

Contact: for more information

Ghan Learning Challenge

Calling all innovative Primary and Middle years teachers

The Project: In 2007, a group from Anzac Hill High School won the Ghan Road Safety Competition. The prize was 60 seats on the Ghan from Alice Springs to Darwin return. Anzac Hill HS has generously donated these seats to be used as the focus for developing the ‘Ghan Learning Challenge’.

The Plan: In March 2009 a group of students in years 5-8 from Government Schools across Alice will travel, with teachers, from Alice Springs to Darwin for 3-4 days. Along the way they will explore the history, science, environment and language of the landscape they are crossing.

The People: We need a group of 15-20 innovative educators who are willing to come together to plan this exciting educational adventure. We are looking for both Primary and Middle Years teachers from a range of subject areas/specialities.

An AGQTP Grant has been awarded for the development of this project

The first meeting of the Ghan learning Challenge PLC was a great success with lots of exciting ideas being discussed. It’s not too late to get involved!

Come to our second meeting:
Thursday 1st May (Week 3, Term 2) 3:30pm – 4:30pm
All Seasons Oasis, Gap Rd (opposite the hospital)

For more information or to RSVP to meeting 2 contact:
Lisa Hall by emailing or by calling 89517007

Rocks and Things

Teaching Geology and don't know where to start?

Firstly there is a great resource Rock Around the Park which you can dowload from the Desert Park Education wiki. This resource was put together by local teacher Mel Phillips in her previous role as the Minerals Education Officer and Anne Scherer.

Secondly, Cathy McKeon, a long serving local teacher now working as an office based Science Teacher for Schools Division, has knowledge of rock, geology and earth science from her uni days. During her time here she has collected a quantity of resources on the local geology and has information on local excursions in the town area. Resources include maps, people, CD, books, posters, games and websites. Cathy is available to help teachers and can be contacted by email or by calling 8951 7052

Monday, April 21, 2008

2008 Melaleuca Awards for Environmental Excellence

Entries are now open for the Power and Water Corporation 2008 Melaleuca Awards for environmental excellence. The Awards which have been presented since 2003 recognise the environmental efforts of the community across Territory schools, businesses, community groups and individuals.  It’s expected that with a national focus on climate change, water conservation and recycling these areas of community concern will attract many interesting and innovative entries.

Projects such as stormwater recycling, rainwater harvesting, managing and recycling waste, effective energy management plans and energy saving initiatives are expected to be popular choices among entrants.  Commercial Territory businesses will also have an opportunity to demonstrate trade waste, energy management, environmental site plans and staff training programs as part of their entry.

Entrants can enter one or more award categories - community, commercial/industry, small business and schools.  Separate submissions can also be made to be considered for an environment grant.

Again this year, a Chairman’s Prize of $1,000 will be awarded to one entrant for donation to an environmental organisation of the winner’s choice.

Entries close on May 16 and the winners will be announced at a presentation on June 18. Information and entry forms are available on-line
or from any Power and Water Customer Service Centre.

Desert Innovation Festival

The Desert Innovation Festival begins on 25th April 2008, in association with the Australian Innovation Festival. It features a series of local and cross border events spanning desert Australia. Events in the festival are organised by Desert Knowledge Australia and other partners in the desert knowledge movement.

Highlights among the 19 listed events include a videoconference link-up involving researchers and businesspeople in the food industry to explore Desert Food Innovation (1 May), a virtual event discussing 4WD tourism in desert Australia; a cross desert conversation about innovative models, partnerships and approaches in the arts industry (21 May); and sharing experiences of local community sustainability initiatives to conserve energy and water (22 May). Download your copy of the 2008 Desert Innovation Festival program here.

Now in its fourth year, this festival celebrates how people in desert Australia are meeting desert challenges through partnerships, desert ideas, desert know-how and desert innovation.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

101+ Web Resources for Students |

This link will take you into a post on another blog - I think you could find several useful things here if you have a moment to take a look. Some of the content is geared towards American students, but lots is universal

101+ Web Resources for Students |

Friday, April 18, 2008


The Australia Institute, sponsored by Australian Ethical Investment co. has recently released this great free, web-based resource. It includes nine modules for teaching climate change including up-to-date, local data, student questions and activities. It covers the environmental, scientific, political, economic and ethical aspects of climate change and would be most suitable for humanities, science or integrated classes.


Know a Young Environmentalist Deserving of Recognition?

For the first time in 2008 Australia’s leading young environmentalists aged 15 to 25 can apply or be nominated for the Environment Minister’s Young Environmentalist of the Year Award.
Banksia is once again looking to inspire and be inspired by examples of environmental excellence in Australia’s most prestigious environmental awards and urge education professionals leading the way in environmental sustainability to enter the awards.
There are ten Categories featured in the 2008 Awards Program such as the Education Award, Indigenous Award and the Community Award. We also offer the Mercedes Benz Research Award which carries with it $30 000 prize money.
The Awards Honour Australian Businesses, Community groups, individuals and public bodies that are reducing their environmental footprint and using resources in innovative ways and educating others to do the same. The Awards provide an invaluable opportunity for recognition and presents others with the inspiration to follow.
For further information, contact, or download an entry kit visit

Awards close 5th May 08


Presented annually by the Australian Museum, the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are Australia's most comprehensive science awards and the largest award scheme for research into critical environmental sustainability issues facing the country.
Entries and nominations are now invited for $60,000 in prizes dealing with environmental issues:
• Environmental Journalism
• Environmental Research
• Environmental Sustainability Education
• Innovative Solutions to Climate Change
• Water Research and Innovation
• Young Leaders in Environmental Issues and Climate Change

The Eureka Awards close 2 May 08


Teaching for Uncertain Futures is the work of teachers and principals from around Australia who were involved in a national scenario building project, the Open Book Scenarios. The central question of the project was “What will the Australian teaching profession have to do to be successful in 2030?” The work provides a catalyst for schools to plan and reflect on how they can best prepare students for the future. It is a great starting point to heighten awareness of future influences and to explore ways in which the teaching profession can maximise the opportunities of the future, for students and for the nation.
Teaching for Uncertain Futures is available on request from Teaching
Australia, email


Learn about the Earth Charter, the consensus-building process, and the activities that Earth Charter in Action is undertaking. Visit the Web site to check out their educational materials and resources available, actions you can take, and subscribe to their newsletter. Earth Charter just released the guidance paper Earth Charter in Business: New Guidance Paper on the Earth Charter, GRI and Global Compact


In 2001 the Powerhouse Museum developed the first online ecological footprint calculator for individuals in Australia. It estimates the size of your ecological footprint from your answers to 15 questions. Bigfoot uses Australian data and

The calculator has been upgraded using the latest current Australian data.
The web address for the new calculator is:

Friday, April 11, 2008

Threatened Species Network Community Grants

Round 11 of the TSN Community Grants program is now open. Community groups are invited to apply for up to $50,000 to conduct on-ground conservation work for the ongoing health of our natural environment, specifically targeting the needs of nationally threatened species and ecological communities. Funding is available for activities such as habitat restoration, weeding, feral animal control, population surveys and monitoring, fencing, and fire management.

Copies of the Program Guidelines, Application Form and Guide to Completing
an Application may be obtained from the TSN website or phone the Program Officer Grants on 1800 032 551; or contact the TSN Coordinator for your region (Arid rangelands: Andy Vinter.8952 1541).

Original signed applications must be submitted by mail. Closing date for applications is 5pm Friday 30 May 2008

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Your Sky - Planetarium on the web

Your Sky is an interactive planetarium on the Web. You can produce maps for any time and date, viewpoint, and observing location.

Your Sky provides three ways to view the sky - as sky map, horizon map and telescope view. You simply enter your latitude and longitude and select the map you want.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Have your say on the 2020 summit - in Alice this Saturday!

There is an opportunity to have input into Australia 2020 discussions that will be taking place in Canberra in April via a local Regional 2020 meeting in Alice Springs this weekend.

The meeting details are

Alice Springs - 29th March, 9am - 11am at Centralian Senior Secondary College

The aim is to discuss the same topics as in Canberra.

The Summit will focus on 10 future challenges:
· Australian Economy - future directions for the Australian economy - including education, skills, training, science and innovation as part of the nation's productivity agenda
· Infrastructure - economic infrastructure, the digital economy and the future of our cities
· Sustainability and Climate Change - population, sustainability, climate change and water
· Rural Australia - future directions for rural industries and rural communities
· Health - a long-term national health strategy - including the challenges of preventative health, workforce planning and the ageing population
· Communities and Families - strengthening communities, supporting families and social inclusion
· Indigenous Australia - options for the future of Indigenous Australia
· Creative Australia - towards a creative Australia: the future of the arts, film and design
· Governance - the future of Australian governance: renewed democracy, a more open government (including the role of the media), the structure of the Federation and the rights and responsibilities of citizens
· Australia's Future in the World - Australia's future security and prosperity in a rapidly changing region and world
You are asked to register for the meeting at and indicate which topics you are most interested in discussing.

It can be an opportunity to 'put on the table' some key issues identified by this network and your organisation to ensure that input comes from the desert as well as the coast and large metro areas.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

International Year of the Potato:

2008 has been designated by the UN as the International Year of the Potato in order to raise awareness of how the potato has helped the agri-economy of developing countries to meet the challenges of malnourishment, land shortage, rising population and inhospitable growth climates. The official website is a useful education and information tool, featuring a kids section with basic potato facts, a quiz, details on growing your own potatoes, easy-to-use graphs on global production and consumption, and a video of a potato harvest.

Larapinta Trail information for school groups

Recently the Parks and Wildlife Service Northern Territory have put together a comprehensive information kit for school groups who are planning to walk the Larapinta Trail.

The information kit addresses topics like:

· Safety on the trail

· Special facilities and camping options for school groups

· Campfires, rubbish and water supplies

· Supervision, support vehicles and groups over 8

· Recommended reading about flora and fauna

It can be found on our website by following the links to ‘Walks, Talks & Trails’, ‘Larapinta Trail’, and then ‘Walking the Trail’.

The kit is in PDF form and will be updated whenever necessary so it is important to use the latest copy with every new walk that is planned.

Please phone Parks and Wildlife on (08) 8951 8250 if you require any further
information. Alternatively email

Invitiation to Pilot aspects of the renewed NTCF

NT teacher feedback and national curriculum developments have lead to the renewal of the NT Curriculum Framework over the past 12 months in the areas of English, Mathematics, Science and Learning Technologies. NT educators are invited to evaluate and provide feedback on these areas of learning through a piloting phase in Term 2, 2008.

Areas ready for piloting are:
English - Writing
Maths - Spatial Sense
Science - Science as Inquiry and Natural Processed Materials or Life and Living
Learning Technologies - Communicating through Publishing, Performing, Producing

Further information can be found in the Principal's Weekly Bulletin and in the attached flier

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Using Google Reader to keep track of blog posts

As you may realise, this blog replaces the many emails that I used to send out to teachers. This stops me from bombarding your mailbox. It is also useful as all the posts are kept in an archive which can be easily searched, so you dont have to trawl through your email to find the message. Mostly I have had good feedback about the use of a blog instead of email, the only problem being that people don't always know when I have posted something new. There is an easy solution to this too. There are a number of 'feedreaders' available to keep track of new posts. One is Google Reader.

Google Reader can be used to keep track of your favorite websites

Google Reader constantly checks your favorite news sites and blogs for new content. Whether a site updates daily or monthly, you can be sure that you won't miss a thing.

Google Reader shows you all of your favorite sites in one convenient place. It's like a personalized inbox for the entire web.

You can subscribe to this blog and many other great sites through google reader, making it easy to stay up to date with the things that are useful to you.


NEiTA is calling on parents, schools, and early childhood communities to show their teacher appreciation with an award nomination in NEiTA's new awards, the ASG Inspirational Teacher Awards.

The NEiTA teaching awards program provides parents, school, and early childhood communities with a unique way to acknowledge the contributions of a teacher. Parents, school, and early childhood communities can nominate through their School Council, Committee of Management, Parent Association, or Secondary Student Council. Parents can also nominate teachers independently.

Nomination forms are available by calling the NEiTA Secretariat on 1800 624 487. Alternatively, nominations can be made online at or by emailing NEiTA at For more background information about the NEiTA and its Awards program, please visit the website:


When the weather changes daily, how do we really know that Earth's climate is changing? A new book from Lynne Cherry and co-author Gary Braasch, written especially for middle schoolers, How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate: Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming (Dawn Publications, March 2008) presents the evidence behind the headlines-gathered by scientists from all over the world, sometimes with the assistance of young "citizen scientists" and told in an age-appropriate manner with clarity and hope.


Exploratorium site links to real-time NOAA imagery and graphs on atmosphere,hydrosphere, global effects, etc. Students can explore scientific data relating to the atmosphere, the oceans, areas covered by ice and snow, and the living organisms in all these domains.


HippoWorks Helps Teach Kids about Global Warming has just produced a new 12-part cartoon series "One by One, Ton by Ton, Let's Stop Global Warming!" to help teach kids about this important environmental issue and what they can do to stop it. A new episode will air every week.

As an educational tool for teachers, each episode concludes with questions and a glossary for a follow-up classroom discussion. Previous cartoons from Hippo Works have promoted energy conservation, awareness about animal extinction, and green living. The weekly cartoonlets are a free offering, for subscribers or for your Web site!


The Reframing the Future 2008 program has been redesigned to achieve even more of an impact within the national Vocational Education & Training (VET)system and to develop Australia's VET workforce. Two new publications in the Core Ideas series are now available:
- Action learning and the national training system
- Appreciative inquiry and the national training system
Reframing the Future's many FREE publications and new resources, can be ordered or downloaded through the website.


Water, Not Down the Drain is a comprehensive guide to sustainable water use around the home. With Australia experiencing one of its driest phases in history, everyone has to think about how they use the water available to them and find ways to reduce their day to day water use. The good news is that with rainwater and greywater, people have more water available to them than they think.

CONNECT2EARTH is a community website that will give young people a platform to share their ideas and concerns about environmental issues through their own videos, image or text. It is also a competition culminating in the presentation of the winner's video, text or images to
world leaders at IUCN's World Conservation Congress in Barcelona this October.

Connect2earth will allow IUCN to reach new audiences, especially millions of
young people from 13-35 years of age. It is a great platform to empower
young people to be more environmentally aware and involved in what we do.


Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard has invited all schools to participate in the proposed 2020 summit involving 1000 of Australia's best and brightest minds in April.

In a bid to tap into the minds of Australia's best and brightest students, Ms Gillard said she wanted all primary and secondary schools to host their own ideas summits. She said the schools summits would offer a unique opportunity for students throughout the country to make sure their views are heard on the 10 key themes of Australia 2020.

Each school will be able to hold their summit at a convenient time over a three-week period beginning March 17, with every school being encouraged to participate. Feedback from the schools summits will be collected and consolidated by the Federal Government, and will provide material for discussion at the youth summit, to be held on 12-13 April 08.


Monday, March 17, 2008

PCA National Schools Packaging Design Challenge

The Packaging Council of Australia (PCA), is running a national packaging design challenge to encourage innovative, functional and environmentally friendly approaches to modern packaging and consumer issues. Students from senor primary to Year 12 are encouraged to enter. Students and schools can win cash prizes, with the national winners also winning a trip to Melbourne to receive their prize at the 2008 Packaging Awards Presentation Dinner to be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel October 9. Registrations close in late April to late May depending on location. Please check closing dates for your state/territory closely to avoid missing out.
The PCA has been developing curriculum materials and supporting teachers to develop a comprehensive understanding and approach to packaging sustainability issues for the past three years. 2007 winning designs and competition video can be viewed at
For more information contact Prudence Frost E: or T: 03 9690 1955

Resources available from the PCA include:
The Pack pack – highly visual resource originally aimed at years 5-8. Currently being used by years 2-10 as a starting point for studying packaging issues. ($55) Also used as a reference for units of work in the Packaging Unwrapped series.
Packaging Unwrapped series – 4 titles each with 4 units of work covered for secondary students to Year 10.
Packaging Unwrapped – A Geography Perspective ($10)
Packaging Unwrapped – An Art, Design and Technology Perspective ($10)
Packaging Unwrapped – An ESL Perspective ($10)
Packaging Unwrapped – A Values Perspective ($10)

Packaging and Marketing Case Studies for Schools: 2.6 seconds to beat your competition – 18 case studies on packaging and its relationship to marketing strategies ($20)
All resources are only available from the Packaging Council of Australia. More information and order forms available on the website

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

2008-09 EnvironmeNT Grants NOW OPEN

Yesterday the Minister for Natural Resources, Environment and Heritage announced the EnvironmeNT Grants 2008-09 was open and was even better with the addition of a wildlife specific category to complement categories focusing on the human impact on the environment. The amount up for grabs has also been increased to $560,000.

Grant types:
School project, individual project or operational funding.

Closing dates:
Two stage application process:
1. Expression of Interest – 31 March 2008
2. Full Application – 28 April 2008

Individual Project
Two stage application process:
1. Expression of Interest – 31 March 2008
2. Full Application – 19 May 2008

Operational funding
Application by written submission only - due on 28 April 2008

Go to for more details.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Photo Essay Exhibition for National Youth Week

Enjoy taking photographs? Like to show the world how you see things? The Alice Springs Desert Park would like to invite your school to nominate for a place in an exhibition to be hosted by the Desert Park, for visitors to learn about how Central Australia’s youth see the nature of the Desert. Showcase your own and your friend’s photography skills by sending us a group photo essay on the natural desert habitat where you live. Your group’s photos could be on display at the Alice Springs Desert Park for all to see. Be sure to have your entry to us by 5.00pm CST Monday 31st March 2008

More information

Darwin Youth LEAD workshop 10-12 April, 2008

Youth LEAD is an innovative eco-social leadership and action training program giving young people the skills, motivation and opportunities to lead the way to a sustainable future. It is for 15-25 yr olds (flexible age limit). The second annual Darwin Youth LEAD program is being run as a Youth Week event in partnership with the Office of Youth Affairs and with the support of the Vodafone Australia Foundation and the Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts.

* When: Thursday 10th to Sat 12th April 2008 (3-day residential workshop)
* Where: Kormilda College, Berrimah
* $250 includes all food, accommodation and workshop materials (sliding scale if this price is a barrier - please contact us)

For more information please contact Gabe (Programs Coordinator - South Australia & Northern Territory on 0405 02 3232, or visit the website:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tips for Energy Smart Offices

A 250 Watt desktop computer, used eight hours a day, generates over nearly half a tonne of greenhouse gases each year. Check your computer, photocopier, printer and fax machine have the Energy Star® power management feature enabled. By enabling Energy Star, the computer goes into a "sleep" mode when not in use, reportedly reducing emissions up to 75% (must be an underused computer!) which would save $76.00 per computer each year.

Energy inefficient appliances add heat to the office and increase cooling costs.

Monitor screen savers do not save energy. Turning off the monitor does.

The life of monitors and disk drives is extended by turning them off when not needed

Portable computers use less energy than desktop models and generally ink jet printers use far less energy per page than laser models.

Use desk lamps or standard lamps where most light is needed, so less lighting is required for the entire room.

Don't over cool: 1°C difference in temperature between indoors and outdoors adds 10% to your bill and increases greenhouse gas emissions by the same amount.

For more tips see :

This inforamtion came from the Desert Knoweldge Australia COOLMob newletter Stay COOL, published on line each month. It is a great resource! To find out more about DKA COOLMob, to join or for a home energy or water audit, contact Kat on 8952 0299

Sustainability Radio

Did you know that the Arid Lands Environment Centre now have their own Sustainability Radio show?

The show is on every wednesday from 7- 8 pm on 8CCC (102.1FM)

The show covers both local and international environmental issues and ideas for sustainable living in Alice Springs.

Recent interviews include topics such as vegetable oil cars, worm farms, and an acoustic performance of eco-folk tunes.

Tune in!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Day and Night world map

This map shows the current position of the Sun and moon and indicates which parts of the Earth are in day and which are in night.
The website also contains more information on the sun and moon and useful links to things such as sun and moon rise tables and moon phase calculators

Monday, February 18, 2008

Thinking about Climate Change - A Guide for Teachers and Students

Thinking About Climate Change: a guide for teachers and students is now available for download at

A joint initiative between Professor Tim Flannery, the Purves Environmental Fund and Text Publishing, this guide is constructed for students between years 7 and 10 across the curriculum disciplines of Maths, Sciences, the Humanities and Information Technology. Adapted from Tim Flannery’s seminal book, We Are the Weather Makers, Thinking About Climate Change offers lesson plans, research aids and discussion suggestions to allow teachers and students to explore the implications and complexities of climate change and to learn and practice relevant skills. The guide has been compiled and tested by curriculum professionals and practising teachers and fact-checked by respected climate experts.

Thinking About Climate Change was distributed free to every secondary school in Australia in November 2007. It can also be downloaded for free from the Learning Resources tab at This site is regularly updated with activities, news, links and additional teaching resources.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Junior Art Competition

The Reef & Rainforest Carnivale LJ Hooker Colouring-In Competition brings 9,623 Primary Schools from around the country together into one of the largest junior school art competitions in Australia!

Art teachers from around the country are encouraged to enter their primary students into the competition for the chance to win a $1500 term deposit for the winning student and $1000 in art supplies for their school. State Finalists will win $500 in art supplies for their school and a $250 term deposit.

For more information, to register and to download the poster do to the website

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Learning for Sustainablilty website

Guide to on-line resources for government agency staff, NGOs and other community leaders working to support social learning and collective action around ICM and other resource management issues. A central section of this site links the reader to a range of guides, tools and checklists that can be drawn upon for guidance in this area to address issues such as participation and engagement. Other pages here highlight the lessons that have emerged from researchers and practitioners in different sectors.
New pages link to resources on underpinning social research methods including systems thinking and action research. One page lists on-line resources for both post-graduate research students and their supervisors.
Topics include thinking about the supervisory team, as well as tips for structuring and writing a thesis or dissertation.
The site also manages additional pages on finding volunteering and job opportunities in the sustainability sector. These are directly accessible from the main site indexing system. As with the rest of the site these
sections bring links to lot of on-line resources together in one easy to access site, each link is annotated to provide a guide to its contents.

Earth Hour

Sat 29 March 08
More than ten of the world's major cities today pledged their support for Earth Hour
2008, the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) led climate change initiative that has gained worldwide momentum.


UNESCO to Launch International Year of Planet Earth 12-13 February 2008
The General Assembly of the United Nations has proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE). Its subtitle ' Earth Sciences for Society' reflects the IYPE's main ambition: to make our planet a safer, healthier and wealthier place for its human societies by ensuring a greater and more effective use of the knowledge accumulated by the world's 400,000 Earth scientists.
On 12 and 13 February 2008, the International Year of Planet Earth will be fficially launched at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris. This event will be co-organized by the IYPE Corporation and the National Committee of the IYPE in France, together with IUGS and UNESCO.

IYPE Website with further information:

Monday, February 11, 2008

iNet student online conference on climate change

Students at your school are invited to take part in the 2008 series of iNet student online conferences, ‘Whose world is it anyway?’

These four online events for primary and secondary students are a chance to discuss big global issues with young people from around the world. Students can also share creative work exploring the issues.

This year’s themes are:

New technologies: a threat or a promise?
Online message boards active 25 - 29 February
*no new contributions can be accepted for this first conference.

Climate change: whose problem is it?
Online message boards active 10 -14 March
Extended deadline for sending in creative work: 25 February

Do you live in a 'global village'?
Online message boards active 28 April - 2 May
Deadline for sending in creative work: 17 March

If you could change the world to create a better future, what would you do?
Online message boards active 16 - 20 June
Deadline for sending in creative work: 12 May

For more information, visit
Register to take part

To make sure you are kept updated, register to participate at

Students may register online individually. Teachers can also register themselves and then pass information on to all their students.
What kind of creative work can be submitted?

· written work: essays, stories, poems, newspaper articles . . .
· videos
· audio recordings
· presentations
· websites

Students providing material for the online conferences are invited to submit an avatar, rather than a personal photo. The two sites that could
be used to create these images are: and
(teachers may need to set up an account for students or students may wish to draw their own picture and send as a jpeg file).

For more detailed information, please visit

All contributions, with students’ age, name, school and country, must be sent to Ms Debra Brydon at by the
deadlines specified above.

Students who aren’t able to submit any creative work by the deadline are still welcome to join in the discussion on the message boards.

If you have any questions about the conferences, please contact Debra Brydon:

Sea Week 2008

The Marine Education Society of Australasia (MESA) is a national organisation that promotes the sustainable use of marine and coastal environments through education.

Each year a different theme is chosen for Seaweek. In 2008 Seaweek’s theme is "Extinction - a Saw point" highlighting the plight of the declining sawfish. “Sawfish populations have declined over the years because of pressures imposed on them from fishing and modification of their habitat. Sawfish are vulnerable to most forms of fishing in particular net fisheries as at any size their toothed rostrum is easily entangled in the mesh’

If you would like to participate in Seaweek 2008 please visit the MESA website where you can access information about Seaweek including:
• Information sheets on Saw fish and other threatened marine species
• Teaching activities
• Photo gallery
• Scientific papers
• Talk with experts
• Live webcasts during Seaweek

Contact Verity Bone
SA/NT MESA state representative

Friday, January 11, 2008

New EPA Resource for Teens


This Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Web site "Your Environment, Your Choice" was designed especially for high school students to help make environmentally sound choices about the products they use, the waste they create, and the environment in which they live.

Sustainability Wiz Online Program

Based on best-practice international research and Gould Group's practical experience with thousands of schools, Sustainability Wiz guides schools through the steps essential to incorporate sustainability in meaningful ways into curricula, operations and culture - and from there into homes.

Using a range of fun online tools and resources, engaging and empowering activities, and through a community of support, Sustainability Wiz provides a one-stop shop for schools and their wider communities.

Importantly Sustainability Wiz allows students from around the world to engage in addressing climate change through actions in their school and the community and tackle issues such as carbon footprint, and water and energy usage to create schools for the future.

Being, Becoming and Belonging

26-28 June 08, Adelaide SA
World Education Forum SA - International Conference

How do we care for and educate children and young people for the world in which they live now and in which we hope they will flourish as citizens of tomorrow?

The World Education Forum, South Australia, thinks that it is time to take stock of the effectiveness of the effort that has been made to date. They urge you to join them and share your expertise and re-examine the values which underpin many of the assumptions that drive modern educational policy.

For more information, go to

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Have you used wikis yet?

A wiki is a website which allows users to add and edit content collectively.

One wiki that you might like to look at is the Desert Park Education Wiki which will help you to plan educational visits to the Desert Park and to share resources with other teachers.

Another is Eduwiki. Eduwiki is a collaborative partnership between educators across the world that enables us to instantly share ideas, resources, projects, and more importantly to connect to one another. The wiki talks about various digital tools and how members of the wiki find them useful in their classrooms.

Recently a group of NT teachers, some in Darwin and others in Alice, came together via a wiki to work on Re-thinking Waste in Schools. To find out more about this project visit the Rethinking Waste wikispace