Former Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, John Robertson (right) and Bernard Carlon, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW
In 2020, schools will generate solar power, be drought resistant, self-sufficient and rich in biodiversity. This was visualised by teachers participating in a Sustainable School NSW workshop during the 'Educating for a sustainable future' conference.
More than 150 delegates from independent and Catholic schools attended the inaugural NSW/ACT Independent Education Union (NSW/ACT IEU) Environmental Conference in Sydney on 23 October.
Sponsored by the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW, the conference was organised in response to increasing interest among the Union’s membership for access to information and professional learning opportunities about sustainability and climate change.
The Hon John Robertson MLC, former Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, opened the event. Mr Robertson spoke about NSW government policy on climate change and recognised the role of schools in developing environmental stewardship and the innovative, problem-solving skills needed to adapt and respond to the environmental challenges we face.
Professor Andy Pitman, Co-director of the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre delivered a keynote address on the impacts of climate change. Using climate modelling, Professor Pitman predicted droughts, major bushfires, floods and food shortages will be the norm if climate change is not addressed immediately.
Delegates from across the independent and catholic schools shared knowledge and practical ideas for embedding sustainability education in the schools.
Principal Rose-Marie Hoekstra said an ecological stewardship ethic is the driving force behind the sustainability journey at All Saints Primary School in Liverpool.
Maria Pender from Clovelly Child Care Centre discussed the role early childhood centres play in helping children develop a connection with and concern for nature and the environment.
Currently, 37 per cent of all NSW schools are registered with Sustainable Schools NSW. To find out more about what other schools are doing or how your school can become a sustainable school, visit www.sustainableschools.nsw.edu.au
The NSW/ACT IEU website features vox pops of students speaking about sustainablility projects.