Congratulations to the 2020 Leading the Change

Teacher of the Year




Special Mention - JULIANNA STEWART

For more information please visit:

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Proudly supported by:

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And the 2019 Winners are:

Primary School Category: St. Francis Xavier Catholic Primary School

Secondary School Category: Currumbin Community Special School

People's Choice Award: Robina State High School

Thank you to our other Finalists, who presented on the night their inspiring sustainability initiatives:

- All Saints Anglican School;

- Somerset College;

- Southport State School;

- Tallebudgera State School;

- Silkwood School.

Thank you also to our judges Cam Mackenzie, Anna Itkonen and Chelli Easson who had a very tough job!  Also to our sponsors Regen Australia, Tangalooma Island Resort and City of Gold Coast.

We look forward to the 2020 School Sustainability Awards.  More information to follow soon....

We can’t wait to see your school’s creative and ambitious sustainability plan.


The Sustainable Schools Network and Gecko Environment Council are excited to introduce the 2019 School Sustainability Awards.  It is our intention to support schools to become more sustainable and to learn in action-oriented and authentic ways. In the 21st century it is essential that students and school communities are engaged as responsible citizens and are given opportunities to collaborate, express creativity, and to think critically.  The 2019 School Sustainability Awards invite schools to present their ideas for local strategies to address sustainability challenges.


For the purpose of the 2019 School Sustainability Awards, the word ‘sustainability’ is to be understood as including environmental sustainability, social sustainability, economic sustainability and system sustainability: that is, a four-pillar approach.  Each applicant may choose to address the pillars separately or holistically. It is anticipated that this award opportunity will further your learning from the 2019 Sustainability Symposium and be integrated into classroom learning experiences.









































Primary: Preparatory - Year 6

Secondary: Year 7 - 12


You may apply as a small group, year level or on behalf of your whole school.



1 March 2019 Entries open

24 May 2019 Entries close

31 May 2019 Finalists announced

8 June 2019 Winners presentation

June 2019 - May 2020 Implementation and documentation of the initiatives

Symposium date to be confirmed) Presentation of 2019 winning projects & their implementation



  • You must be committed to implementing your plan;

  • We encourage you to be creative and ambitious;

  • We require that you are available on the 8 June 2019 for the Awards Presentation if you are selected as a finalist;

  • This award is open to ALL Gold Coast primary and secondary schools;

  • You may seek help with your application providing this is identified.



We are excited to announce the following judges who will consider your application on the basis of creativity, applicability, effort, and impact.  Every effort will be taken by these industry leaders to be fair in their judging process and their decision will be final.

Cam Mackenzie is currently principal of the Amaroo Environmental Education Centre and is also Vice President of the Australian Association of Environment Education.  He has been involved in environmental education since 1980 and has been a principal advisor - environmental sustainability for the Department of Education in Queensland.  Cam represented Australia on the Environment and Schools Initiative, a network of environmental educators based in Europe, and the Queensland representative on the National Environmental Education Council, National Environmental Education Network and Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative working group.


We are fortunate to have Cam as one of our judges as he is an experienced educator and judge.  Cam has been a judge for the Australian Banksia Foundation Environmental, Queensland Premier’s Sustainability, Healthy Land and Water Awards. In 2011 he was awarded the Australia Day Medal for his service to environmental education in Queensland as well as Environmental Educator of the Year Award from the Australian Association for Environmental Education.

Chelli Easson is a recognisable Gold Coast sustainability contributor from her work on the Commonwealth Games.  Chelli was the Manager, Sustainability & Legacy for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018 and spent four years working on developing sustainability strategies for the game). A lawyer for many years in private practice, Chelli has followed her passion and moved into sustainability. Chelli's role with GC2018 was a career highlight and she has now joined the Board of the SSN as well as the Sustainable Event Alliance to continue contributing to sustainable futures.

Anna Itkonen's background is in art and culture, art education and social inclusion and she has a university degree in Art History and Art Education. Environment and environmental sustainability has always been a great passion of Anna’s.  When she moved to the Gold Coast about 13 years ago, a very fortunate chain of events took place and she got involved in the outreach work at Gecko Environment Council. That involvement turned into being part of the Gecko Management Committee and taking on the presidency for the past three years.  Nowadays Anna’s is also an Operations Manager at Gecko as well having several roles in her ‘other’ life; a Social Media Marketing Specialist, a freelance writer, a mother and a proud and passionate environmentalist, and a Gold Coaster.



On the 8th of June, 2019, as part of the Gold Coast Green Week, an Award Presentation will be conducted.  Five primary and five secondary schools will be chosen to further present their ideas to our judges. Following this one primary and one secondary school will be offered the following prize:


  • $1000 cash prize;

  • Confirmed workshop space at the 2020 Sustainability Symposium (to be held at All Saints Anglican School);

  • Opportunity to connect with the community using the Sustainable Schools Network blog;

  • Article in the Sustainable Schools Network Journal;

  • Article in the Gold Coast Blank Magazine.


One school will be given an opportunity for a class of up to 30 students and supervising teachers to participate in an excursion to Tangalooma Island Resort.  This includes return ferry transfers and an Eco Ranger presentation of your choice. 

Valued at up to $1690 this is an exception opportunity for one school.

We thank Gecko Environment Council, Regen Australia and Tangalooma Island Resort for their sponsorship of these awards.





Applications open on the 1st of March 2019 and close on the 24th of May.  Finalists will be contacted on the 31st of May 2019. Please submit your application in a digital format and include the application form (link provided below).  Each application must not exceed 10 minutes and can be a video, powerpoint, infographic or any other creative communication of your school sustainability plan. Consider this an opportunity to put a plan together for the extension of one of your sustainability projects or something new.  

Remember to your email your digital presentation to accompany this application form to: and

The 2019 School Sustainability Awards are created in partnership by the Sustainable Schools Network and Gecko Environment Council to offer schools an authentic learning opportunity.

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