St Louis de Montfort’s School a sustainability star

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St Louis de Montfort’s School in Aspendale has been rewarded for its efforts in education for sustainability with three key awards recently. St Louis de Montfort’s received the Premier’s Sustainability Award (Education) for its Leaders in Sustainability Education program.

The school has created a one-of-a-kind educational program and sustainability precinct that supports a whole-school approach to developing active environmental citizens. The focus is on hands-on, real-life learning and building leadership skills. There is a strong emphasis on using the school site and the local area, including local wetlands and Port Phillip Bay, in the teaching and learning. This is supported strong partnerships with the City of Kingston, Melbourne Water, South East Water, and the Dolphin Research Institute.

The school also won the ResourceSmart Schools award for Water Primary School of the Year for its hands-on water learning environment and water sustainability education.
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St Louis de Montfort’s is built on reclaimed swamp between wetlands and the sea and the site is subject to flooding, particularly in the winter months. In response to this, the school has a 10-year environment and sustainability plan, of which phase one has been completed. This includes the establishment of a grey-water filtration pond, a swale creek, observation ponds, wetlands flood basins and an aquaponics system.

St Louis de Montfort’s was also a finalist in the ResourceSmart School of the Year Award, for the range of environmental-learning opportunities it offers and its strong community partnerships. The school was also a finalist in the ResourceSmart award for Community Leadership Primary School of the Year and Biodiversity Primary School of the Year.

St Louis de Montfort’s teacher, Julie Wynne, won the ResourceSmart Schools award for Primary Teacher of the Year. Julie has been a driving force behind the school’s 10-year whole-school sustainability plan. She has overseen the development of the kitchen garden program and has built strong community partnerships. She has driven the fundraising of $300,000, which has funded the water sustainability program, vegetable, bush tucker and habitat gardens, an orchard, worm farms, an animal husbandry area, outdoor learning spaces and composting bays.