Wandin North Primary School take out the ResourceSmart Emerging School of the Year award

L-R: Wandin North Primary School's Sustainability and Environment Teacher Laura Attrill, Diesel, Phoebe and Principal Paul Bailey receive the Emerging School of the Year award. Picture: SUPPLIED

By Callum Ludwig

Wandin North Primary School has been crowned the Emerging School of the Year at the 2024 ResourceSmart Schools Awards on Tuesday 4 June.

Despite only joining the ResourceSmart program in 2023, the school has already achieved a 2-star status and was praised for the introduction of its HEROES (Harvest, Eat, Record, Observe, Environment, Sustainability) program.

Principal Paul Bailey and Sustainability and Environment Teacher Laura Attrill said to be awarded Emerging School of the Year after being registered as a ResourceSmart School for just over 12 months is amazing.

“It was great to see what the other finalists are doing in their contexts and reaffirming that all of the hard work we have put into Wandin North is setting us up for future success, it was a great surprise to win the award and the students were so excited to go up on stage and receive our award,” they said.

“It was incredible to be recognised for all the hard work our entire community has put into our sustainability journey at Wandin North PS,”

“We can’t wait to continue our work teaching and equipping the next generation with the skills they are going to need to combat the environmental issues our planet is facing.”

Wandin North PS’ rapid-fire adoption of the ResoureSmart ethos has been seen in the construction of a chicken coop, a kitchen garden, and a HEROES kitchen made from

fallen trees which students have used to reduce food waste and learn about growing, harvesting and cooking fresh produce.

Mr Bailey and Ms Attrill said the ResourceSmart Schools initiative is a great program that encompasses all aspects of how we can embed theory and practices to look after and maintain our environment.

“Throughout our journey, we have received great support from the ResourceSmart team and Sustainability Victoria. The support includes professional development sessions, mentoring to navigate the online portal and opportunities to network with other ResourceSmart schools to reaffirm approaches and develop ideas,” they said.

“This year we have been working on reducing our waste at Wandin North Primary School and diverting as much school waste from landfill as possible and we are very close to achieving our third star through ResourceSmart Schools,”

“The next issue we want to tackle is our water usage at Wandin North, we are already very water-wise but through our work with ResourceSmart schools, we now know there is always areas where we can improve.”

Wandin North Primary School was one of 11 schools to win an award, presented in a ceremony at the MCG in front of Victorian Minister for Environment, Steve Dimopoulos.

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

“This year, Sustainability Victoria marked 15 years of the ResourceSmart Schools Awards with the theme, ‘Legendary Legacies – what will you leave behind?’ Wandin North Primary School is leaving a wonderful legacy for future generations, and I congratulate them on their success,” he said.