Tecoma Primary takes out joint top spot

Tecoma Primary School celebrates.From Left: Principal Rohan Thompson and students Janelle, Robbie, Jacob, Hope with teacher Deb Langford. Picture: SUPPLIED

Tecoma Primary School is a sustainability winner that was recently announced at a prestigious awards ceremony at the MCG attended by the Minister for Environment, Steve Dimopoulos.

The school is one of the joint winners of the Community Leadership School of the Year (Primary) category at the 2024 ResourceSmart Schools Awards held in Melbourne on 4 June.

Tecoma Primary School Sustainability Teacher Deborah Langford said she is really proud to be driving the Sustainability Program at Tecoma Primary School.

“This award is a testament to the Tecoma community who are very supportive of not only our school but of this program,” she said.

“There are families, grandparents, ex-students/families and local businesses that have donated their time and products to the school or helped out at our events.”

A ResourceSmart School since 2012, the school has partnered with local group Treasuring Our Trees to improve the campus’ gardens and work in an Indigenous garden with Australian native food plants.

During Clean Up Australia Day, the school and local community put in a combined effort to clear the rail trail between Tecoma and Belgrave.

The school fosters collaboration among businesses, groups, and families, creating a network dedicated to sustainability that benefits the school as well as the broader community.

Tecoma has a robust green procurement policy prioritising the use of eco-friendly products and recycled materials.

The judging panel commended the school’s array of community initiatives and connections. In addition, their participation in the circular economy was applauded with the school caring for a brood of chickens and using money from egg sales to spend back on their gardens and chicken feed.

There were 22 schools vying for an award in Victoria’s largest celebration for primary and secondary school students, teachers and school volunteers taking sustainability action, with 11 schools taking out awards at the event.

Matt Genever, Sustainability Victoria’s CEO, said the winners had shown exemplary leadership and commitment to sustainability and were outstanding role models.

“Tecoma Primary School is leaving a wonderful legacy for future generations and I congratulate them on their success,” he said.

Since 2008, ResourceSmart Schools has reached over 1,600 Victorian schools. Participating schools have planted more than 5 million trees, saved over $60 million through energy, waste and water savings and avoided over 74,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases.

The Grade six grade sustainability leaders were very proud of the award and are looking forward to making more sustainable changes throughout the school.

Emma said she was really proud of the school and the’ good changes we have made to our school to be more sustainable.’

“I’m looking forward to the rand opening of the Yarning Circle and Indigenous garden later this year.” said Robbie.

Janelle “I’m really proud of us getting this award because we have worked so hard for it.”

Hope and Jacob thanked the greater community for all their help.

“Thanks so much to our local community,” said Hope.

“We thank all the helpers from our community for helping out with our Environment program,” said Jacob.

ResourceSmart Schools is a free Victorian government program delivering sustainability education to help Victorian schools minimise waste, save energy and water, promote biodiversity and act on climate change.