Schools at sustainable best

Nossal High School student representatives with host Craig Reucassel from ABC’s host of War on Waste and Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio.

By Jessica Anstice

Nossal High School and Beaconhills College took out top awards in the ResourseSmart School ceremony held at the MCG on Thursday 13 June.

Berwick’s Nossal High School was named the student action team secondary school of the year and Beaconhills College’s Pakenham and Berwick campuses were named the campus infrastructure and operations school of the year.

The ResourceSmart Schools Awards is Victoria’s largest sustainability awards program recognising schools leading the way in minimising waste, saving energy and water, increasing biodiversity and tackling climate change.

“Everyone was very excited, particularly the student NEST leaders who have been working so hard in this area,” Nossal High School sustainability coordinator Lisa Mandeltort said.

“The school community is motivated to continue working towards supporting and enriching the environment.

“We’re investigating future projects such as our recycling program and the possibility of a vertical garden.”

Beaconhills College business manager David Young and sustainability coordinator Jack Donkers attended the awards ceremony with students Alysha Hall, Matthew Kane and Chloe Ward.

The students are part of Beaconhills senior school’s ‘Green Team’.

The college received a cheque for $500 which will fund a student-led sustainability project.

Mr Young said the award recognised the work of the college over several years, “in particular the vision, leadership and support for our environmental sustainability programs made by our college board, headmaster Tony Sheumack, staff and students of the college.”

“The college is very proud of its achievements in this area and we recognise that there is so much more to learn and develop as we move further to enhance the sustainability of our college and community,” Mr Young said.

Beaconhills College is now one of the largest solar-powered schools in Australia, with a total of 630kW of solar systems installed across its Berwick and Pakenham campuses.

The college aims to be completely powered by renewable energy by 2021.

Mr Donkers provides advice and guidance to other organisations on introducing simple initiatives to lighten their own environmental footprints.

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