First five-star sustainable college in Canberra

Hawker College today have been presented with a five-start Actsmart Schools accreditation for their outstanding work in improving sustainability and biodiversity of their school grounds.

The ACT is the only jurisdiction to have all schools signed up to the Actsmart Schools program. Hawker College first achieved an Actsmart Schools accreditation in 2013 and are now the first Canberra college, and 20th Canberra school, to achieve five-star accreditation.

To achieve five-star accreditation under the Actsmart schools program, schools must demonstrate their commitment to improving their waste and recycling, energy use and water use, biodiversity and school grounds, and embed sustainability across the curriculum.

Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Shane Rattenbury, said the school should be incredibly proud of their sustainability efforts.

“Hawker College has impressive environmental credentials and the passion their students and staff have in improving the sustainability of the College, is an example to us all.

“Embedded programs like the Actsmart Schools program go beyond what the schools themselves achieve, it teaches and embeds important sustainability and environmental principles and behaviours in the students who then take that home to their family and eventually pass it on to their own kids”.

Minister Berry said that the continued commitment of Hawker College to improving sustainability demonstrates how much it is embedded in their school culture.

“Students only attend Hawker College for two years so their ability to maintain their leadership in sustainability is a testament to their on-going commitment and hard work.

“It’s important that we recognise the efforts of the teachers and Principal and their commitment to keep the momentum going as new students come through each year.

“Students have a long-standing environmental leadership group who meet each week to discuss ways to improve their school sustainability and plan eco-friendly events and activities. They also host an annual tree day with focuses on building the biodiversity of the grounds by planting trees in their very own school forest.

“More and more we’re seeing student agency, especially when it comes to the environment, so it’s very important to have the supports and opportunities available to develop the interests and passions of students and this accreditation shows another way that Hawker College is doing that,” Minister Berry said.

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