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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

8 September 2003

Frogs Prove Winners in 2003 Hands on for Habitat


Students from Forster Primary School, NSW, and Peg's Creek, in north-west WA, have won the 2003 Hands on for Habitat Awards.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr Sharman Stone, presented the awards at a ceremony at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra today.

"The awards are a partnership between the Australian Government's $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust and Cadbury Yowie to raise awareness of Australia's threatened plants and animals and the habitats they live in," Dr Stone said.

On the 7 September each year, National Threatened Species Day marks the date the last Tasmanian Tiger died in captivity in 1936.

"In the lead up to National Threatened Species Day, the competition invites young Australians aged 6-12 years to combine fun and creativity with learning about the environment.

"It was a tough choice for the judges this year with entries received from almost 4,000 students representing 214 schools across the country.

"Looking at the entries, it is clear to see how enthusiastic our school students are about learning how to protect our threatened species and their habitats.

"The two winning schools will each be given $4,000 for an environmental makeover of their choice.

"The money could be used for conservation activities like planting a native garden to attract indigenous species or clearing rubbish from local waterways."

Using an innovative education resource pack produced by the Australian Department of the Environment and Heritage, students are invited to choose a threatened native species, answer questions and produce drawings.

Forster Primary's winning entry focused on a variety of threatened Australian frogs, while Peg's Creek Primary looked at four different Australian habitats - bushlands, deserts and plains, wetlands and swamps, and rainforests.

Representatives from Highly Commended schools, including Mount Rogers Community School and Northside Primary Introductory English Centre, ACT, along with Jerrabomberra Public School, NSW, were also presented with prizes including a $200 gift voucher for native plants for their school and gifts from Cadbury Yowie.

For more information on the Hands on for Habitat Awards or for a free National Threatened Species Day information kit, call the Department's Community Information Unit on 1800 803 772 or visit the website at www.deh.gov.au.

Commonwealth of Australia