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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

17 July 2000



The Federal Government is charting a new course for environmental education in Australia with the establishment of the first National Environmental Education Council.

The Council is a key element of the Government's new environmental education initiatives contained in a National Action Plan launched today by Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill.

Senator Hill says the National Action Plan will reinforce the environmental education of our children and take environmental education beyond the classroom.

"The Council is designed to provide expert advice to the Government on environmental education issues-in particular how we can move beyond environmental awareness.

"Environmental education equips people with not only knowledge, but also the skills to enable them to protect the environment.

"Schools are just one avenue for environmental education. Reaching the community, industry and business leaders, and government at all levels is just as important a focus for environmental education programs.

"The environmental education initiatives contained in the National Action Plan are the outcome of an extensive community consultative process.

"The plan will deliver a national environmental education strategy, better coordination, enhanced professional development for teachers, improved resources, and integration of environmental education into mainstream education and training activities.

Senator Hill says a number of actions are already underway including:

The National Environmental Education Council is chaired by ABC Radio, Science Show broadcaster, Professor Robyn Williams and its membership includes Dr Tim Flannery and Mandawuy Yunupingu. It meets for the first time today in Sydney.

For more information:
Senator Hill's Office: Matt Brown Ph (02) 6277 7640 or 0419 693 515
Environment Australia: Eleanor Dean Ph (02) 6274 1817

17 July 2000

Attachment to media release-Beyond Awareness-new environmental education focus

Membership of the National Environmental Education Council

Chair-Professor Robyn Williams AM
Professor Williams is a broadcaster for the ABC Science Unit's Science Show. He has been a visiting Professor at the University of NSW since 1998 and is the President of the Australian Science Communicators. He has served as the President of the Australian Museum Trust and on the National Commission for UNESCO.


Dr Timothy Flannery
Dr Flannery is the Director of the South Australian Museum and author of a number of popular environmental science publications, including The Future Eaters.

Dr Mandawuy Yunupingu
Dr Yunupingu was the first Aboriginal school principal and is the Chair of the Reference Group Overseeing the National Review of Education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. He is the lead singer of Yothu Yindi and in 1993 was Australian of the Year.

Matthew Francis
Mr Francis is a student at the University of NSW and is a member of the National Youth Roundtable Environment Topic Group. He worked with the Rio Tinto National Science Forum in 1999.

Debbie Heck
Ms Heck is the President of the Australian Association for Environmental Education and is an Associate Lecturer at Griffith University's Faculty of Environmental Science.

Maree McCaskill
Ms McCaskill is the Chief Executive Officer of the Beverage Industry Environment Council.

Dr Robert Morrison
Dr Morrison is a science journalist in the Media, Marketing and Publications Unit of the University of Adelaide and Director of Right Angle Publications.

Bruce Wilson
Mr Wilson is the Chief Executive Office of the Curriculum Corporation.

Commonwealth of Australia