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Victorian Schools Garden Awards

Oak Lawn at Melbourne Gardens was a hive of activity yesterday with hundreds of students, teachers and parents gathering for the 2013 Victorian Schools Garden Awards presentation.

Supported by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD), these annual awards recognise some of the best young green thumbs in Victoria and the amazing sustainability education programs in place in Victorian primary and secondary schools.

The event began with a traditional smoking ceremony conducted by Charles Solomon, the Gardens’ Aboriginal Programs Officer and a recent addition to the Public Programs team. The award presentations were punctuated by lots of clapping and cheering, with the Minister for Education Martin Dixon on hand to give out a number of awards.

The big winner this year was St Macartan’s Primary School which took home the $2,500 Kevin Heinze Perpetual Award.

Located on the Mornington Peninsula, St Macartan’s Primary School has its own thriving Sustainability Centre which includes vegetable and bush tucker gardens, a pizza oven, worm farms, chickens and guinea pigs. The 180-student strong Garden Club planted over 9,000 trees, propagated mangroves for the re-vegetation of local coastal areas, and even sold the garden’s worm juice as a natural fertiliser!

The Victorian Schools Garden Awards are open annually to all Victorian schools, government and non-government. For more information about the awards and the full list of winners, visit the Nursery and Garden Industry Victoria website.

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