Our Sustainability Journey

In 2003 Killara became involved in yearly community tree planting and Water Watch activities though Western water, Melbourne Water, Hume Council and local developers; initially only Yr 5/6s were involved, then slowly other year levels ‘came on board’ with on-site projects.  National Schools’ Tree Planting Days, Clean Up Australia Day for Schools, local Landcare events, Aussie Bird audit etc., were also on our yearly calendar. Throughout the years students were regularly involved in Home School Learning Tasks creating posters for Western Water and EPA competitions (often winning or being placed).

We obtained Grants through Landcare and Mitre 10, Landcare & Coles, and Bunnings for ‘greening’ our grounds, gardening equipment for the students, and a compost area.

We also won water tanks from BlueScope Steel.

As the environmental Team began to grow more was achievable and achieved.

In 2010 /11 we became part of the Resource Smart AuSSI Vic Program managed by Sustainability Victoria and supported by the DEECD. The two main outcomes of this program are:

*Sustainability outcomes for the school – by improving energy, materials and water efficiency; encouraging behaviour change and understanding sustainability issues

*Curriculum outcomes for the school – by linking curriculum content to student actions relating to improving the school’s sustainability.

This is where we really ‘took off’:

2011/2012 we completed the Core Module.

2012/2013 we completed the Waste Module .

2013/2015 we completed the Energy Module.

2015/2016 we updated the Core, Energy and Waste Modules.

2015/2016 we are working on the Biodiversity Module.

2016/2017 we completed the Biodiversity Module

2017/2018 we will be working on the Water Module.

Our aim is to promote sustainability and the environment across the curriculum involving the students and school community at every opportunity. We have many on-going initiatives within the school. HEROs in every classroom looking after recycling and energy use, some are also composting (see our HERO page). We promote Nude Food lunches and have a reward system for this, announced at each assembly (see our Nude Food page). Outside we have all the native planting areas (added to each National Schools’ Tree Planting Day in July with the help of the Hume Free Seedling Program), bird boxes (2014 – thanks to the Sunbury Mens’ Shed), an orchard (see our Great Garden Fun page) with 13 fruit trees (2014 – thanks to Sunbury Community Health Centre & Bunnings) and a Native Bee Hotel (2015 – thanks to Phoenix’s dad). We now (2016) have 4 Friendship Seats (see our Making a Difference page) around the school made by Replas (Replas.com.au) from recycled plastic bags (see separate page). As you can see, we’ve been and are busy, with every level of the school involved in one way or another, and the feedback is that they are loving it.

We are a drop-off point for: unwanted mobile phones and accessories, batteries, asthma puffers – reminders of this go in the newsletter several times a year. We also collect un-recyclable polystyrene packing peanuts that come into the school, and we pass them on for reuse.

We have 16 council recycle bins for paper; these are emptied by council every week as part of their schools’ program. We have a worm farm, fed with scraps from the canteen. We use the worm juice on our gardens.

In 2012 we joined the SWEP program (Schools’ Water Efficiency Program) through the Department of Sustainability & Environment and Western Water. A data logger was installed at our water meter and we are able to monitor water use and are alerted if water use becomes excessive. Some 5/6 students have used this data within their maths sessions.

Our school newsletter carries an Environmental Corner each week with tips/advice regarding Sustainability.

2017 – Will see the creation of our very own Veggie Garden.  You may have noticed the new fence on the south side of our Phillip Drive entrance (near the flag pole).  We will have 6 raised garden beds and a 5 bin virmicompost system – STAY TUNED AND WATCH THE PROGRESS OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS. Our thanks go to Landcare, Momentum Energy and Bunnings who have all contributed to the garden.

Our Sustainability Team is extremely proud of what we have achieved over the years. If you have any ideas that you can help us with, we would love to hear from you. Contact any of our Team – Robyn Smith (room 17), Kelli Brogan (Music room), Sarah Round (room 1), Karen Francis (room 11), Julie Macdonald (Art room), or leave a message at the office and we’ll call you back.