Term 2 Progress Workshop – Camberwell Grammar School

[Photo of the Progress Workshop attendees on the roof of Camberwell Grammar School getting close and personal with their solar panels]


On Thursday 30th May Camberwell Grammar School hosted the Term 2 Progress Workshop for EASL’s ResourceSmart Schools.

The morning opened with an Acknowledgment of Country from student Tony, the Prefect of Environment & Sustainability at Camberwell Grammar. He shared insights into the school’s Green Week initiatives, including rubbish bin relay races led by Year 12 students and a sustainability-focused concert. A highlight was the fundraising effort for Zoos Victoria, which saw the school community raise $5,000 for the orange-bellied parrot through a student-led voting initiative on 16 endangered animals. His goals are to help the wider student body change their waste habits.
The day’s proceedings continued with networking activities to foster connection between sustainability leaders where the room shared person inspirations for championing sustainability at their schools. This was often rooted in resourceful grandparents, the natural world, connections to land through farming, and the students themselves inspired our educators.

Jo Menzies, the school’s sustainability program coordinator, then took the stage to discuss the school’s energy consumption and its significant solar system installation in 2017. She underscored the importance of measuring energy use to manage it effectively and shared strategies for approaching electrification with business managers.

Which lead perfectly into a presentation from Alumni Tim, from PowrHouse, which broke down the importance of electrification and collaborating with facilities and property managers at schools to strategically replace gas appliances over time. He provided practical and cost-effective approaches to enhance energy efficiency. Emphasising that the best way to save money is research and plan before appliances fail. Even though Victoria has a long way to reaching the state’s renewable energy target, that currently holds an average 35% share, further highlighted the positive trajectory for the future of electricity.  Attendees engaged in great discussion around potential applications for their own schools, and even homes.

After a delicious morning tea, the group then had a presentation and tour led by junior school teachers Tristan and Michelle, showcasing the school’s commitment to sustainability. Some highlights included their Indigenous biodiversity project that was informed by a student Biodiversity Audit and supported by the Gardens for Wildlife grant. Their school’s waste management strategy was a huge area of discussion, featuring custom signage and education programs that encourage proper sorting and recycling. The staff’s weekly bin checks and rewards like sausage sizzle days incentivize areas of the school that excel in waste management. Plus, sorting education is supported by a mentoring program where older students teach younger ones. There are also plastic-free lunch competitions in July, and the Green Ninjas, a student-led compost collection group, added an element of fun to these efforts by treating the activities as a game to sneak into the staff room to acquire. Who said sustainability couldn’t be fun?!

After a scrumptious lunch the workshop concluded with the usual RSS session where our educators/volunteers can get help from our wonderful ResourceSmart School’s facilitators on sustainability. A special thank you to Jo, Tristan, Michelle, and Camberwell Grammar School for their hospitality and for inspiring attendees with their remarkable sustainability initiatives.

Want to attend one of these special events? Keep an eye on our Upcoming Opportunities and EASL Humanitix page for Term 3’s Progress Workshop.