Environmental Education Resources

There are many fantastic resources available to assist in educating children and others about the environments of Far North Queensland. 

Information has been compiled in these topics, with contact names provided to help you in the tables below:

1. General Sustainability
2. Water (Fresh and Marine) and or Waste
3. Wildlife
4. Biodiversity
5. Energy and transport

This resource list was originally compiled by Holloways Beach Environmental Education Centre and has been updated on this website on 23 October 2012,   to support the regions education networks. 

1. General Sustainability


Agency Contact Telephone Email Resource

Holloways Beach Environmental Education Centre

Sandra Charlton, Earth Smart Science Facilitator

Julie Williams  Administration Officer




“Gutful of Plastic” Whale Display (Waste Education) - contains a poster and some of the plastics recovered from a whale off the coast of Cairns.

Energy Meters- used to compare electricity use of different home appliances.

Portable Waterwise Demonstration Unit- connects to garden hose to provide practical comparisons between water saving devices in homes. (Water Wise Education)

Recycling Display Bin- wheelie bin with perspex front containing examples of recyclable materials.

Solar Oven- recipes also provided.

Cairns Regional Council (CRC)

Maree Grenfell, Sustainability and Climate Change Co-ordinator

4044 3312 email

Information on sustainability and climate change in the region including building design. Climate change and sustainability presentations for schools and partnership opportunities for programs involving biodiversity, energy, water and waste. Manages Council’s annual Climate Change and Sustainability Grant (opens Oct, closes November).
  Terry Genever,  Land Management Officer 0438010209 email Supply of trees and assistance in revegetation projects
  Matt Birch,
Land Management Officer
0408746447 email Supply of declared plant and animal pest extension material and class/field presentations.
Integrated land management practices and property pest management planning.

The Cairns Post

Margaret Ashworth,  NiE Co-ordinator 40526302 email Supply of free class sets of newspapers. Lessons on newspaper styles of writing and recycling of newspapers.
Publication of articles written by students in Post-Ed.

Gordonvale State School

Helen Underwood, Deputy Principal 40433666 email
Bookings for borrowing the drain stencilling kit, recycling display bin, water catchment model and Whizzy the Waterdrop costume. Advice on developing whole community approach to sustainability.

Nicole Douglas,  Head of Curriculum 40433666 email Advice on sustainability and the school curriculum.

Cairns and Far North Environment Centre

Anna McGuire,  Sustainability & Climate Change Campaigner 40321746 email Information on local environmental issues and projects, including information on plastic bags and their impact on our waterways and marine life.

Mulgrave Landcare and Catchment Group

Bruce Corcoran,  Coordinator 40561205 email Presentations to classes, provision of trees, fertiliser, water crystals, tools for school tree planting.


James Cook University

Hilary Whitehouse,
Associate Professor
email Support and class presentation regarding frog ecology and frog pond installation, curriculum and pedagogy advice.

Wet Tropics Management Authority (WTMA)

Lana Pickering Project Officer,  Community Engagement 40520533


WTMA can provide teachers with educational materials such as:
Rainforest Explorer – student and teacher curriculum based activities about the Rainforest in DVD format from ages P to grade 10. Also available on our website.
A2 set of 10 poster series - Wet tropics Habitats (10) and Animals (10).
• Cassowary DVD – Aboriginal significance of the cassowary to the Girringun Aboriginal people. (50min)
• Images CD – photos of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
• With partners we undertake school competitions – such as the “Keep it Wild” poster competition and Young Cassowary Awards, an event that honours the hard work and dedication of students, classes and schools in the field of environmental education and community action.

Clean-up Australia Day

  02 81973414   1) Clean Up Australia Day involvement
Clean Up Australia can be off assistance to you.
The flagship Clean Up Australia Day event is held on the first Sunday in March, however we encourage communities, schools and businesses to organise their own Clean Up Day events at any time of the year and we are happy to support them.
To register the Clean Up Site visit our website:
For more information on registering a site please visit:
Alternatively you can wait and see if someone else registers in your area and join them. You can search for existing Clean Up Sites here:
2) Educational Resources
Clean Up Australia has developed a Schools Climate Kit and curriculum based lesson plans. As background, the Schools Climate Kit provides teachers with a comprehensive set of lesson plans around sustainability themes. There are curriculum-based lesson plans on Schools Clean Up Day for each state and territory as well as a great range of creative learning activities and resource links, helping teachers to satisfy key learning outcomes as outlined in the relevant State Profile.
You can view these educational resources online at http://www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au/about/about-the-event/clean-up-for-schools.

The Missing Link

Kim  Forde 0448939009 email - eco-efficiency audits/evaluations and recommendations for action;
- assistance to develop action plans
- assistance to implement action plans
- assistance to integrate into curriculum and
- assistance to integrate into schools operational business plan.

Kids Teaching Kids

Cathy Oke 0393 293 736 email The Kids Teaching Kids Program offers students, teachers and schools with a variety of ways to showcase their learning through a range of exciting events. Kids Teaching Kids is an education model that uses local environmental issues as a theme for learning. Kids Teaching Kids starts in the classroom and extends into the community through the Kids Teaching Kids Learning Model and Program. When schools register to participate in our free 2011 Kids Teaching Kids Week (August 29 – 2 September) program we can offer support via our education kits, access to our education team, mentors, event planning, media and formal recognition processes.

School Solar

Dalia Mikhail 0419773640 email Dalia is the founder of the solarschools.net service and can assist schools in the area of energy efficiency and solar generation in schools. By 2012 all QLD State Schools will have their solar photovoltaic systems installed.
The energy data can be found on the www.eq.solarschools.net website and Dalia can book a 30 minute over the phone/by the computer training session to assist teachers in the use of the real time solar and energy consumption data in the curricular. www.eq.solarschools.net is an excellent maths and science tool and has cross curricular resources loaded to the site. She will explain the full functionality of the website, the resources and how to access and use the data within the classroom.

2. Water (Fresh and Marine) and or Waste

Agency Contact Telephone Email Resource

Cairns Regional Council (CRC)

Marie Taylor, Education Strategic Programs Officer, Water and Waste 40448352
0488 096 895
email Water and Waste education programs, teacher and class resources, tours to CRC operational sites. School Recycling contracts and assistance.
“Bag-It” Movie – plastic bags and an investigation into impact of plastic on our waterways

Department of Natural Resource Management

Peter Siemsen,
Team Leader, Water Resource Management
07 4048 4864
0419 640 506
email Available to do class presentations on the water cycle, aquifers, water resource management

Tangaroa Blue Ocean Care Society

Heidi Taylor 0410 166 684 email  Presentations to classes, running a marine debris beach clean up and data collection session (data is submitted into our National Marine Debris Database); can provide all beach clean up materials, Marine Debris Identification Manual and teachers Educational CD Kit.

Conservation Volunteers Australia CVA

Dr Alice Crabtree, Regional Manager Office phone 40320844
Mobile 0488364088
email Teams of Volunteers, Fee for service workforce, some advice / help re plantings - revegetation/ sustainability issues/ tree kangaroos etc. Presentations to classes possible as are shared plantings /bush tucker gardens attracting wildlife etc.
‘Toads Day Out’ promotion.
Conduct a free summer program with local volunteering info sessions every Nov/Dec for families including a butterfly garden planting- talks with how to attract frogs- cultural heritage/indigenous bush tucker sessions etc. Check out our website for day programs on Conservation Connect www.conservationvolunteers.com.au and click on Cairns….
Also run throughout the year both day and some weekend projects that provide volunteer opportunities. These are great for kids who are doing things like Duke of Edin. Program and need to show Community Service. We can arrange these for school classes as well – but if its an exclusive activity we usually charge as we are a not-for –profit and need to meet our costs.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Program Manager,
Reef Guardian Schools

47500700 email • The Reef Guardian Schools Program http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/our-partners/reef-guardians/reef-guardian-schools aims to create awareness, understanding and appreciation for the Reef and its connected ecosystems through encouraging schools to commit to the protection and conservation of the Great Barrier Reef.
• The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) Reef Beat education series is released each year with posters and an activity book that provides lesson ideas for teachers http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/resources-and-publications/student-and-teacher-resources/reef-beat-series.
• The GBRMPA Science Teaching Units focus on Key Focus Areas of the Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2009 (Prep – Year 12). The Units encourage students, teachers and their communities to follow the main aim of the Reef Guardians - to be stewards of the environment http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/resources-and-publications/student-and-teacher-resources/science-teaching-units.
• There are a range of GBRMPA resources available to education students on the key threats to the Great Barrier Reef and things they can do to help protect the health and resilience of the Reef http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/outlook-for-the-reef

CSIRO “Scientist in Schools” Fisheries Queensland 

Sue Helmke, Fisheries Biologist 40573700 email Available to do class presentations/provide resources/email discussion lists regarding:
• Queensland Fisheries
• Marine Habitat
• Noxious Fish
• Fisheries Management

Healthy Waterways

Rachael Nasplezes,
Community Engagement Officer
(07) 3177 9100 email - Up the Creek and Down the Drain Teachers Resource book
- Litter activity book for children
- Hugo the Healthy Waterways turtle stickers
- ‘We wouldn’t do this at home’ waterway litter posters
- Stormwater pollution posters
- Fact Sheets: Estuaries are valuable and variable; SEQ seagrass; The mangrove fringe; Gardens of algae; -Erosion in catchment; Nutrients in our waterways; 2011 SEQ floods An -Overview of the Flood; Creeks, stream banks and paddocks; -Seagrass, turtles and dugongs; Mud, nutrients and coral.
-SEQ Report Card/EHMP monitoring program.

3. Wildlife

Agency Contact Telephone Email Resource

Cairns West State School

Kristine (Kitty) McDonough – Science Spark 0423219466 email Co-ordinates the borrowing of museum specimens, artefacts and learning resource kits from the Queensland Museum. Kits are delivered to the Queensland Museum's depot at Cairns West State School each term (Term 1 and 2). Loans are generally for a period of two weeks.

FNQ Wildlife Rescue Association

Fred Howles - Education Officer 40534467 email Presentations to students at primary schools.

Tolga Bat Rescue and Research Inc


Jennefer Maclean 07 4091 2683 email May be able to do presentations to schools- usually on the Tablelands.
Visitor resource centre open to the public and schools.
Our latest newsletter can be viewed at www.tolgabathospital.org/about_newsletters.htm

Zoo to You

Jodie Creek - director 0415 696 439
email Zoo to You provides an interactive, up close wildlife experience. A variety of Australian native wildlife will be brought to you, in a range of educational presentations meeting minimum guidelines and core learning outcomes. Presentations are given to a class at a time, so there is more personal time for learning and the up-close experience. The cost is $8 per head and each show lasts around 45 mins, with 5 different animals. If you like check out my website which is www.zootoyou.com.au

4. Biodiversity

Agency Contact Telephone Email Resource

Council -

Tony Roberts 40326650 email Can provide a wide range of programmes from preschool to senior, secondary school and vocational training. Each 1-1.5 hour programme is conducted by a qualified interpretive officer and includes lessons that introduce students to:

• Rainforest Ecology.
• The importance of Plant, Animal, Insect Relationships.
• The importance of Plants to humans.
• The basics of Plant Taxonomy and
• Adaptations to the Environment.

Programmes can also be adapted to suit individual class needs.

School programmes are designed to support teachers in achieving the outcomes of the Queensland Syllabus KLA’s.
The Visitor Centre displays permanent and changing interpretive exhibitions, interactive interpretive touch screens and interpretive displays. These are also a great resource for students as well.

Invasive Plant
and Animal Education Biosecurity Queensland

Dr Petra Skoien,  Education and Community Engagement

 0732247704 email Resources- education programs. Information on invasive species. Teacher professional development. Can assist in linking schools to local expertise in invasive species (eg- local council and landcare group).

5. Energy and Transport

Agency Contact Telephone Email Resource

Ergon Energy

Christine Robertson – Energy Education Advisor 0417007899 email Energy Education and Energy Conservation in Schools – curriculum support and behavioural energy management (p to 12) – PD for teachers Resources provided to assist teachers provided with PD.

Battery World Cairns

Kerry Boyd / Simon Vardy 40516677 email
Advice on battery recycling and rechargeable batteries. Assistance to set up battery recycling programs in schools.

Travelsmart- Department of Transport and Main Roads

Jacqueline Clarke 0733066799 email
Assist with implementing travelsmart strategies in schools.
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