Sustainability matters at Amaroo Primary School 

Amaroo Primary School students

Amaroo Primary School in Gungahlin is serious about creating a more sustainable school and community.  

Amaroo means ‘a beautiful place’ in Nyoongar, and with the help of the Student Representative Council (SRC) and Green Team, the school yard will be a beautiful space for students to enjoy thanks to a project to recycle bottles and cans using the ACT Container Deposit Scheme (CDS). 

In just under 12 months, the school has returned 4,846 drink containers through the ACT CDS ensuring those containers are recycled and don’t end up as landfill. Plus they have raised nearly $500 for school improvement and sustainability projects.  

 “The SRC and Green Team spearheaded the project, and came up with ideas to launch the initiative, as well as educate the student body on the importance of recycling and how to participate in ACT CDS. The students see how easy it is to recycle and the benefits to the school, community and environment, and they take these lessons into the community,” said SRC teacher Steph Booksmythe. 

Students from Kindy to Year 6 voted to use the money for paper recycling bins in every class and for a ‘buddy bench’ in the playground. Keeping with the school’s sustainability focus, the bench will be bought second-hand and students will paint and decorate it to brighten up the outdoor area. 

If a child  feels lonely, they can go to the bench as a signal that they need someone to play with. Other children will see they need a friend, and go over to chat or include them in a game.  

The school also plans to implement a ‘waste warriors’ program as part of the Green Team. Students will use rubbish grabbers and patrol the playground to collect any litter.  

The students involved in the SRC are passionate about making their school and community a better place.  

 “I wanted to be part of SRC because as part of the team I felt like I could help change up the school to be a better place. If we send everything to landfill, then some of it ends up in the ocean and other places we don’t want it to be, and it could affect animals’ lives such as turtles,” said Year 5 student Younus. 

Other Year 5 students agree. “I wanted to help the school be better and cleaner, and to help get more equipment and resources for classes. I want to be someone who helps other people in the class. It’s important to recycle so we prevent it from ending up in the oceans,” said Ben. 

 “I wanted to be on the SRC because I thought it would be good to participate in making the school better with other people. It’s important to recycle because it means we’re helping our environment more. If the environment is bad, then it’s bad for us – it has a bad impact on us,” said Khadija. 

Interested in getting your school involved? Find out more here

Free preschool and primary school resources now available. 

Feature image: (L-R) Younus, Ben, Khadija and Noah returning the week’s containers. 

The ACT CDS is a partnership between the ACT Government, scheme coordinator Exchange for Change and network operator Return-It.