About E Week
A big welcome to the Mornington Peninsula Schools Environment Week website
Although this event is now moving into its 36th year, our program continues to evolve and reflect current school curriculum with the broad range of experiences offered designed to complement school-based learning.
E Week offers students a wide range of environmental and cultural experiences provided by a broad range of presenters.
We hope you were part of this year’s program which will be held at The Briars, an exceptional venue in Mount Martha, from Monday 25 – Thursday 28 March 2019.
This event would not be possible without the support of our sponsors and community supporters, including Mornington Peninsula Shire, local industry and a wide variety of community groups.
Do take a look at our program and watch out for information about E Week 2020
I was happy to see the many excited children exploring all that we offered.
Vision & Guiding Principles
Connecting children to their environment & community and encouraging action that fosters sustainable living
- Provide a broad range of activities that engage students in nature, inform them about their local and global environment and inspire students to take action for a more sustainable future
- Ensure that programs align with current school curriculum including cross curriculum priorities
- Develop student capacity to be active citizens through exposure to projects and activities in their local community.
- Develop in students an awareness and appreciation of the cultural heritage of indigenous peoples of the area.
- Inspire students and school communities to analyze and evaluate environmental issues and make informed decisions that support a sustainable
Health and Well Being
- Promote physical and mental well-being through more meaningful connections to the natural environment and mindful practices
- Develop a closer connection with all living creatures by providing opportunities for children to engage with a variety of living things.
- Schools will remain the foundation of the organisation
- The committee will liaise with the Mornington Peninsula Shire through the Briars to ensure that E Week guiding principles align with the Shire’s vision.
In 1983 The Mornington Shire sent a letter to organisations asking if they had any ideas for activities to go with the Free Tree issue. Local principal Bob Brady submitted an idea for hands on activities involving Primary School children from various schools on the Peninsula. The idea was accepted and the first Environment Week was planned. Principal Howard Reade was the first president and Bob Brady the secretary and driving force. In May 1983 the first Environment Week was held at the Parks and Gardens depot in Pine Avenue Mornington. 500 children participated during that week and there were 12-15 activities. These included plant propagating, art activities, nature trails and music and were run by local nurseries, government groups and local community groups. Reduce, Reuse and recycle was their catch cry. Marquees and tents were begged and borrowed from many local sources and had to be pitched by the organising committee. Garden expert Kevin Heinze opened the week.
The following year 2000 children attended and many more activities were added. There was a great feeling of cooperation with the Shire, Parks and Gardens, local businesses, schools and community groups coming together to provide a memorable and unique experience for the children from Mornington Peninsula schools. One of the more memorable activities was Operation Seedlift where the Shire cannon was fired and hundreds of balloons with seeds attached were released. Some of these finished up in faraway places like Queensland and Darwin.
Later, Environment Week moved to The Briars. In the early days it was held at the top of the hill near Josephine’s Restaurant but after some wild winds blew the marquees down it was moved down the hill to its current location.
There are many familiar names that were associated with those early days and some continue to be involved today including Mornington Peninsula Shire, Woolworths, Oasis Nursery (formerly Woodland Nursery), Hillview Quarries, Andrew Wegener Wildlife and Bunnings. The police were also involved over many years. At the Pine Avenue location they set up a Bike Ed traffic school in a former sewerage tank there. Without the tremendous support from Mornington Peninsula Shire, The Briars, local businesses, the E Week committee and the many volunteers from schools and community groups, Mornington Peninsula Schools Environment Week would not be able to now boast that it has been operating for over 30 years.
Types of Programs
Environment Week” aims to promote awareness and care of the environment and complements primary school programs linked to environmental science, recycling and sustainability. It caters for Kindergarten through to Year 6 students.
There will be five programs available in 2019: Expo Paddock, Engaging with Nature, Indigenous Connection to Country, Homestead Heritage and Sustainable Living
Activities and interactive displays are set in marquees in the Expo Paddock. Children are organised into groups of 5 with a teacher or parent supervisor, and can visit activities according to their particular interests; horticulture, water conservation, marine studies, ecology, native fauna and flora, as well as community interest programs such as CFA and friends groups.
Students from Years 1-6 can also participate in one of the four Briars Programs – Engaging with Nature, Indigenous Connection to Country or Homestead Heritage program. Years 3-6 may access our Sustainable Living Program. These Briars programs are more structured and the components are of a longer duration to allow a more in-depth examination of the issues with children rotating around activities in the two hour program. Activities focusing on specific issues include habitat health, history of the Briars homestead and gardens, indigenous culture and knowledge of the environment, conservation of animals and plants, sustainability, renewable energy and waste.
Sponsors and Volunteers
Environment Week has been running for many years and this would not have been possible without the support of many companies and organisations. To enable us to bring the best programs and exhibits to you and still make it affordable to all students we rely on our sponsors’ fantastic support. Some companies set up and man activities, some give financial assistance and others do both. We would like to especially thank our major sponsor Mornington Peninsula Shire and our Gold Sponsors Bluescope, Esso Australia & BHP Billiton Petroleum, Bendigo Bank, Hillview Quarries and the Grand Hotel. We would also like to mention the wonderful assistance that we have received from Bunnings and Woolworths.
Thanks also to our wonderful volunteer organisations who have given their time to share their knowledge and passion:
- Friends of the Hooded Plover
- CFA Mount Martha
- Fishcare Mornington Peninsula and Westernport
- Birdlife Australia
- SPIFFA (Southern Peninsula Flora and Fauna Association
- BERG (Balcombe Estuary Reserves Group)
- National Trust- Mornington Peninsula Branch
- Botanical Gardens Cranbourne
- Dolphin Research Institute
Mornington Peninsula Shire:
- Warringinee Group
- Jacqui Salter Landcare Facilitator Mornington Peninsula
- Amy Yang Waste & Litter Education Officer
- Eco Living Centre
- The Briars
Thanks to our caterers Mount Martha Rotary
Thanks to Mount Eliza Lions for their Traffic Management