Published November 3, 2023
In this year’s Lake Mack School Environmental Awards, two elementary schools in Mack Lake shared the top prize because the judges couldn’t share their sustainability efforts.
Dudley Public School and St Mary’s Primary Warners Bay were named overall winners from more than 20 schools that took part in the annual competition held across the city.
Lake Macquarie City Council Sustainability Engagement Coordinator Chris Harle said it was the first time in the competition’s history that two schools had shared the award.
Dudley was awarded for its innovative Renewable Energy Collaborative Contribution Program, which includes a soon-to-be-installed 14kW solar energy system, and its student-led ‘Garbage Guardians’ initiative.
“Garbage Guardians are student volunteers who help students properly separate trash into the correct containers,” Haar said.
“Paper, cardboard, hard and soft plastics, food waste and even whiteboard markers are all collected for recycling.”
St. Mary’s University received the award for its innovations in water efficiency and its achievements in reducing waste and energy use.
“Over the past few years, the school has shown incredible commitment to waste reduction,” Ms Haar said.
“We are now a completely waste-free school, which makes it a really great school.”
This year’s award was sponsored by Hunter Resource Recovery, Delta Power, Centennial Coal, the Sanatorium and the Council.
Dudley Public Schools Principal Chad Sakissilis said environmentally sustainable practices are valued not only by students and staff, but also by their families and the wider community.
“Our school is working on a number of projects that are consistent with environmental sustainability and engage the school community in the importance of caring for our local environment, for the benefit and legacy of Dudley’s beautiful future. We continue to educate,” he said.
Other winners include Cooranbong Public School (Innovation Award), Garden Suburb Public School (Continued Effort Award), Terralba Public School (Waste Award), Billabang Public School (Energy Award) and Barnsley Public School (Natural Environment Award). awards), including Charlestown South Public Schools. (Incentive award).
Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser, who presented the Incentive Award to Charlestown South Public School on Thursday, congratulated all the winners and nominees.
“Small steps by schools and students add up to big benefits for the environment and communities,” she said.
“They motivate and educate children to behave more environmentally friendly, and that message is passed on to their parents and families for the benefit of all of us.”