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School Programs

Within Victoria there are a range of fantastic sustainability programs that assist schools from initial concept through to completion. These programs either require your school to commit to the program by signing on to the program or by paying a fee for service. These programs include:


The North East Catchment Management Authority (CMA) welcomes you to the River Detectives education program for 2018. This program is focused on providing primary and secondary students a hands-on education in waterway and catchment health. There are environmental-themed activities, including habitat, water bug and water quality surveys.

 What do you get for being involved in the program?

·         A water-quality monitoring kit (on loan for the year)

·         Access to the River Detectives website which will provide teachers with resources, how-to guides and student activities with links to the F-10 Victorian Curriculum

·         Professional learning workshops

·         Access to loan macroinvertebrate sampling equipment ( TBC)

·         An interactive portal to record monitoring data

·         Support from local River Detectives facilitators Catriona ( Cat) Brown

 What you need to do in the program?

·         Monitor your chosen waterway (river, wetland, river etc.) with your students throughout the year – we recommend once a month. This involves looking at water science and waterbugs.

·         Record the data you collect which will allow you to compare data, look at graphs and look at what is happening in other parts of the waterway.

·         Attend two professional learning workshop with your facilitators

·         Tell us about what you found during the year with a report at the end of the year

 Key dates

·         Introductory professional learning workshops will be run on 27th February 2018

·         There will be lots of dates to celebrate and even virtual learning sessions that we will tell you about during the year

Links to the curriculum

The program has the potential to be run in many areas of the curriculum ranging from the cross curricula priority of Sustainability, to Physical Social and Personal Learning, Civics and Citizenship (students could explore the nature of ‘Waterwatch’ – a volunteer program run in the community), and also within the disciplines of Geography, Mathematics, Technology and Science.

 Professional learning workshops

We will run a full day workshop which will cover: an Introduction to River Detectives; finding out more from an expert or another group in the field; how to carry out water science testing (and collection of your kit); how to do macroinvertebrate testing; habitat monitoring; and your login and help on how to enter data in the portal. We have been lucky enough to secure John Gooderham a freshwater ecologist to attend the session.

 The date and location for your professional learning workshop is:

27th February 2018

North East Catchment Management Authority Depot at 25 Ward Lane EVERTON (with a trip to the local Ovens River) 

9 am to 4 pm (morning tea and lunch)

 Should you not be able to make this time or have any questions please contact us at

Catriona.brown@necma.vic.gov.au  Phone 0260437600



CERES (the Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies) is a community environment project located beside the Merri Creek in Brunswick. CERES has facilitated over 250 schools, including the only forty-three 5 star fully accredited Sustainable Schools in Australia.


Gould League

Gould Group designs innovative environmental education and training in sustainability. They have delivered educational programs to over 600,000 students, 1,400 schools and 300 teachers each year throughout Victoria alone. Their programs reach over one million Australian students annually. 





Landcare provides a structure and support for schools to incorporate studies of sustainable agriculture and natural resource management into the curriculum. 


National Solar School Program

The Australian Government is backing our schools in the fight against climate change. The National Solar Schools Program is giving Australian schools a head start in tackling climate change and conserving our precious water supplies.


Planet Savers

The Planet Savers program engages with local schools to increase awareness of greenhouse and other sustainability issues and to support and work with them to reduce their energy consumption.



ResourceSmart offers solutions to steer us towards a low carbon future.  ResourceSmart's 5Star Sustainability Certification helps your school demonstrate continuous improvement against benchmarks you set in the areas of planning, biodiversity, energy, waste and water.


The Sustainables

The Department of Sustainability and Environment and Gould Group have developed a professional development and curriculum program for Victorian schools on environmental sustainability. This program has been running since 2005, reaching 90 schools in regional and metropolitan Victoria, and uses "the Sustainables" as a teaching tool.


SWEP - School Water Efficiency Program

The Schools Water Efficiency Program (SWEP) is a state government initiative designed to help schools identify leaks and faulty appliances quickly, saving water and money.  SWEP provides schools with data loggers, a dedicated website, free curriculum materials and a support service to help them.  Participating schools have already saved more than $3m in water charges and saved more than 1 billion litres of water.  Even schools that only have tank or bore water supply are eligible to participate. 


The Schools Water Efficiency Program (SWEP) now offers eligible schools with the opportunity to participate in a pilot program to monitor school electricity use.  The electricity data is presented on the SWEP website in a similar manner to the existing water data and can be access through the same login. Complementing this information, a dedicated curriculum resource is being developed and is expected to be available in 2015.  Contact SWEP consultant Andrew Hinchliffe andrew@amhconsulting.com.au to find out more. 


Waterwatch Victoria is a community engagement program connecting local communities with river health and sustainable water management issues. Through Waterwatch, groups are supported and encouraged to become actively involved in local waterway monitoring and on-ground action.