Awards nomination for Epsom school

May 11, 2024 BY

Stars: Teachers Erin Salm, Gillian Davey and Sarah Chamings celebrate Epsom Primary School's certification with Greater Bendigo mayor Andrea Metcalf (second from left). Photo: SUPPLIED

THREE Epsom Primary School teachers have together been named as a finalist for Teacher of the Year (Primary) in Sustainability Victoria’s 2024 ResourceSmart Schools Awards.

The specific finalists are Gillian Davey, Sarah Charmings and Erin Salm, who together make up ‘The Green Gals’ and who are leading a push for sustainability in the curriculum.

They oversee a group of 35 pupils at the school called the Green Magpies, which engages with the community on sustainability initiatives. Among the group’s activities has been a stall at Bendigo’s sustainability festival last year.

Judges have already praised the teaching trio for their ability to embed sustainability into the fabric of the school and for fostering engagement with the local community.

The teachers’ efforts have already resulted in the school achieving Sustainability Victoria five-star status, celebrated with a community flash mob and a visit from Greater Bendigo mayor Andrea Metcalf.

Twenty-two schools are in the running for recognition in this year’s awards, which are Victoria’s largest celebration of primary and secondary school students, teachers and volunteers taking sustainability action.

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 4.

This year is the 15th year of the ResourceSmart Schools Awards and has the theme ‘Legendary Legacies – what will you leave behind?’.

Sustainability Victoria’s regions and community action director, Katie Pahlow, said the theme was a celebration of the work of hundreds of Victorian schools that had been part of the ResourceSmart Schools program. “These schools are not only making a difference now but they’re leaving a legacy for the next generation through their sustainability endeavours,” Ms Pahlow said.

“The ResourceSmart Schools Awards is an opportunity to recognise the tremendous achievements of the teachers, students, school staff and the wider community who are creating a sustainable future.”

ResourceSmart Schools is a free State Government program delivering sustainability education to help schools minimise waste, save energy and water, promote biodiversity and act on climate change.

It has worked with more than 1600 schools since 2008.

Participating schools have planted more than five million trees, saved more than $60 million through energy, waste and water savings, and avoided more than 74,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases.