Australia's first School's Sustainability Program's green flag is flown at Tinana State School.  The sustainability squad proudly received the honour.
Australia's first School's Sustainability Program's green flag is flown at Tinana State School. The sustainability squad proudly received the honour. Valerie Horton

Tinana School flies the first-ever Green Flag for Australia

TINANA State School are the first ever to fly the international Eco School's Green Flag for Australia.

The actions and choices of the school community has been internationally recognised for the Green Flag for Sustainability Awarded in Australia.

The Green Flag status was the highest recognition given to an Australian Eco-School.

Tinana State School teacher librarian and sustainability club organiser Robyn Yates said they achieved the five star Cleaner, Greener School status in 2013 which was a Qld program run by Keep Australia Beautiful.

"We were recommended to go on the schools eco program by the head of KAB program," she said.

"We were told this was the next step if we were ready to keep continuing on.

"We have always had an environmental study management plan and have a strong committee at the school with the kids running the sustainability squad."

Robyn said as part of the eco schools program they had to show that the students were in control.

"Students would run regular meetings, setting targets, looking at the data whether we were choosing biodiversity and what changes we were going to make, how do we know that they were effective; and making short term goals and long term goals.

"We really fine tuned our sustainability squad and sustainability focus in our school - so we developed an eco committee."

The committee is not just made up of students but parents, council, community partners including the Wildlife Preservation Society, Mary River Catchment Co-ordination Committee, Greater Mary Association and Butchulla elders and cultural group.

2017 Sustainability Captain Bonnie Quinn-Hennessy said she could not be prouder to accept the Green Flag.

"As a community we are not waiting for someone else to save our planet, we are actively working and achieving environmental goals that will impact our planet well into the future," Bonnie said.

"My wish is that every person here understands the incredible power they hold to make a difference.

"Our choices, our actions have the power to keep this planet alive and in pristine condition for the generations to come."

 

Fraser Coast Councillor David Lewis (left) congratulates Tinana State Primary School on winning a Green Flag Award for the students' environmental efforts.
Fraser Coast Councillor David Lewis (left) congratulates Tinana State Primary School on winning a Green Flag Award. contributed

Keep Australia Beautiful CEO Val Southam said they were absolutely thrilled to have their very first Australian Green Flag.

"Thanks to Tinana State School's commitment, the school has excelled in all aspects of sustainability including recycling, waste reduction, composting and educating the wider community."

Mr Andy Best, a Green Flag assessor said Tinana State School is firmly committed to the concept of being an Eco-School and strives for continuous improvement in all areas of sustainability

"The students, staff, parents and community all demonstrated strong support for the school's endeavours to be a good environmental citizen.

"They are most worthy recipients, and should be proud of their achievements and of being the first school in the nation to receive this prestigious award."

At the awards ceremony in November 2017 held at Tinana State School the committee signed a sustainability pledge.

Councillor Anne Maddern also offered to pay the $100 fee to any school who wanted to join the Eco Schools program.

"Since then our feeder schools - Aldridge and Maryborough High schools - have joined up to the Eco Schools program and want to work with us to assist in their journey," Robyn said.

"It has been a long journey but it is a passion of our school with great support from our principal.

"If it is in the Australian curriculum and we need to teach it, we ensure it is relevant for our local area and we bring in our community partners to give it a local flavour."

FAST FACTS

Keep Australia Beautiful (KAB) first trialled the Eco-Schools program in Australia in 2014. Since the program's commencement, over 275 schools have taken part.