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