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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray

6 September 2002

Strahan Primary School Wins Hands on for Habitat Award 2002


"I am very pleased to announce that the Strahan Primary School, in Tasmania has won $5,000 for a conservation project as the winner of the Hands on for Habitat Award 2002," Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, said today in Melbourne.

The 2002 Awards were presented today by Dr Stone during a special ceremony at Melbourne Zoo. Representatives of Strahan Primary School were in Melbourne today to receive their prize.

"With about 3,000 entries in this year's Awards competition from 170 primary schools across the country the judges had a tough time choosing one group as this year's winners," Dr Stone said.

"Strahan Primary's winning entry featured many beautiful illustrations of threatened bird species, including the Orange Bellied Parrot, Swift Parrot and Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle. The children also accurately described the threats to their various habitats.

"Strahan Primary School will receive $5,000 for a project that helps to protect habitat within their school community. The funding may be used for a range of conservation activities, such as planting native vegetation around their school to ensure native mammals and birds have a home now and into the future.

"The children also have lots of ideas about how they may use their prize money, from building a shelter for injured animals, or an aviary for native birds, to planting more trees around Strahan, weeding the river bank next to their school, and making a photo gallery of species native to the West coast of Tasmania.

The School will also receive a digital camera, which staff and students can use to record their environment education activities, along with gift packs from Cadbury Yowie gifts." All 23 students from Strahan Primary who entered the competition are to be congratulated for the hard work they have put in to win this prestigious national award. It demonstrates a commitment to learning about our environment and inspired artistry among the whole class.

"It is also wonderful to see that an illustration of a Swift Parrot by student, Lyndsay Newett, has been chosen as this year's National Threatened Species Day poster. Lyndsay and the entire school community should be proud of their contribution," Dr Stone said.

The annual Hands on for Habitat Awards 2002 are a partnership between the Howard Government's $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust and Cadbury Yowie to offer primary school children an opportunity to help Australia's threatened species.

The Awards competition invites school children aged 6-12 years old to research their favourite threatened species, answer questions and draw their chosen species in its native habitat, thus combining fun and creativity with education and environmental awareness.

"More than 300 species of Australia's native animals and over 1180 species of native plants are at risk of disappearing forever if we don't continue to work hard to save them. One of the biggest threats to our native species is loss of habitat - in many regions less than 20 per cent of the native bush remains.

"I congratulate Strahan Primary School's Grade 6 for their outstanding effort, and encourage all Tasmanian Primary School's to think about ways they help save our native species" Dr Stone said.

For more information on the Hands on for Habitat Awards or for a free National Threatened Species Day information kit, call Environment Australia's Community Information Unit on 1800 803 772 or visit the website at www.ea.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/information/ts-day/

Contact:
Simon Frost 0419 495 468

Commonwealth of Australia