Keeping Victoria beautiful

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4 November 2021

St James’ School, Brighton, is a finalist in the Education category of Keep Victoria Beautiful’s Sustainable Cities 2021 Awards.

Since late 2020, the school has undergone a sustainable transformation. Through the hard work of parents and friends, led by Dave Ferrier, worn artificial surfaces have been replaced with a natural wonderland. After remote learning due to the pandemic, students were welcomed back to school to a new sensory garden made from natural materials like wood, fallen tree branches and river stones.

Play spaces to feed imagination were linked by an ‘adventure trail’ through a dry creek bed, and teachers relished a new outdoor classroom around a ‘campfire’. The Urban Food Forest soon followed, with containers of herbs, tomatoes and peppers planted to thrive over summer. More hard work resulted in eight extra garden beds ready for planting, plus a new rustic log-sided sandpit, just for fun.

With greater community support, plans are underway for a chicken coop and outdoor pizza oven made from recycled materials, and a ‘bush tucker’ garden developed with the Boon Wurrung community as traditional custodians of the land.

The winners of the Sustainable Cities 2021 Awards will be announced on Wednesday 10 November.