Eco-Schools launching in Australia


Thursday 15 May 2014
Contact Stacey Passey
Phone 02 8626 9396




What: Eco-Schools Australia launch
When: Wednesday 21 May 2014
Media call time: 11.30 am
Location: Harrington Park Public School, school hall. 2 Sir Warwick Fairfax Drive, Harrington Park NSW 2567

20 years on from initially launching in Denmark, Germany, Greece and the United Kingdom, Eco-Schools is coming to Australia!

Keep Australia Beautiful is thrilled to be rolling out the Eco-Schools pilot programme this month, with the launch taking place alongside Australia’s first registered participant, Harrington Park Public School, and special guest from Eco-Schools South Africa, Malcolm Powell on Wednesday 21 May 2014.

Eco-Schools is an international programme of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), and aims to empower students to be the change our sustainable world needs by engaging them in fun, action-orientated learning. Australia is the 55th country to launch.

Long-time environmental educators, Keep Australia Beautiful will be hosting FEE’s special guest and chosen representative to mentor them in developing a great programme for Australian schools.

“We are about to welcome an important visitor from Eco-Schools South Africa to help introduce the Eco-Schools programme in Australia,” Peter McLean, CEO of Keep Australia Beautiful said.

Malcolm Powell, from the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa, who operate Eco-Schools there, has also been on the international Board of FEE for the past 10 years. In his Eco-Schools capacity, he has visited numerous Eco-Schools all over the world, including around Africa, Northern America, Asia and Europe. He will now be joining the Keep Australia Beautiful team at the Eco-Schools Australia launch.

“It is an absolute pleasure to welcome Australia as a country, and Keep Australia Beautiful as the implementing organisation, into the international family of FEE.”

“This is a family of over 70 countries from every corner of the world who, by implementing one or more of FEE’s programmes, use the vehicle of environmental education to increase our awareness of, and hopefully promote actions to mitigate the many environmental problems that we face, both locally and globally,” Mr Powell said.

Peter McLean said that Keep Australia Beautiful “are looking forward to gaining a great deal of insight from Malcolm’s experience with successful programmes in South Africa and worldwide.”

Principal and host to the launch, Andrew Best from Harrington Park Public School NSW is proud to be the first official registered school for the programme. He said “I am really excited that Keep Australia Beautiful will be providing access to Eco-Schools.”

“The new Australian Curriculum has Sustainability as one of its three overarching cross-curriculum priorities. Eco-Schools membership will greatly assist schools in delivering a 21st century curriculum, and provide students with authentic learning experiences.”

Brid Conneely, International Eco-Schools Director said that “the world is about to become even more beautiful thanks to the launch of the Eco-Schools programme in Australia. On our 20th anniversary we welcome Australia on board.”

For the first year of operation, Eco-Schools Australia will be piloted in New South Wales, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Schools looking for more information can head to the Eco-Schools Australia website at or contact Keep Australia Beautiful National Association.

Principal sponsor for Eco-Schools Australia is the Australian Packaging Covenant. Eco-Schools Australia is also sponsored by The Danks Trust and Wrigley.



Media comment: Peter McLean,CEO of Keep Australia Beautiful National Association 0416 227 158

Macarthur area Eco-Schools: Maruschka Loupis, Media Officer, Communication & Engagement 02 9561 1013


Eco-Schools is a programme for environmental management and certification, designed to implement sustainable development education in schools by encouraging children and youth to take an active role in how their school can be run for the benefit of the environment. It employs a holistic, participatory approach, combining learning and action, thus providing an effective method for improving the environments of schools and producing actual awareness raising and behavioural change in young people, school staff, families, and communities.

The Eco-Schools programme is recognised by UNEP as being among its preferred global models for environmental education, management, sustainability, and certification at an international level. It is a programme of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and operating in 55 countries around the world, involving over 14 million students.

Keep Australia Beautiful is Australia’s leading grassroots environment organisation, with more than 45 years’ experience in changing behaviours and attitudes concerning litter and recycling. We do so through community engagement, partnerships, education and ensuring that the community also takes its share of the responsibility for improvement.

Keep Australia Beautiful is Australia’s largest face to face schools environmental education service provider teaching more than 70,000 students each year. KABNA is an associate member of FEE, which makes us eligible to be the national operator for Eco-Schools and other FEE programmes. KABNA has been delivering environmental education in schools for over 2 decades, this includes face to face workshops, tailored year round activities and excursions. This impact is leaving a strong legacy of more environmentally aware and responsible young adults.

About Malcolm Powell 

Malcolm was born and bred in South Africa. He is an educationist by profession, and a conservationist by passion. Malcolm taught in high schools and in teacher training colleges before becoming Director of Environmental Education for Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA). He became CEO of WESSA in 1994, and semi-retired in 2006.

Maclom has been married for 44 years, has two sons, one of whom lives in Brisbane and who has two children of his own. He is a passionate flyer, having built his own plane, and enjoys spending every available minute out enjoying the great African bush.

Our Sponsors

The Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) is a sustainable packaging initiative which aims to change the culture of business to design more sustainable packaging, increase recycling rates and reduce packaging litter.

It is an agreement between government, industry and community groups to find and fund solutions to address packaging sustainability issues.

The Danks Trust provides grants to charitable organisations or projects that fit the categories of religion, education and/or the relief of poverty.

As a multinational company, The Wrigley Company has a long-standing commitment to environmental responsibility and leadership around the globe. They apply sound environmental practices throughout their business activities, with environmental consideration being an integral part of daily business.

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