KoalaSmartA Lions Club Project
What is Koala Smart?
KOALA SMART is a Lions project aimed to inspire, motivate and educate primary and secondary school children, along with the local community, to actively participate and embrace change to slow the decline in koala populations within the local region. Significant research and data collected in recent years deliver some disturbing predictions. Most notably, if current urban growth practices continue, koalas could become functionally extinct in the next 35 years. The koala’s plight has only become more urgent following devastating bushfires on the mid-north coast during November and December of 2019 which killed hundreds of koalas and decimated vast tracts of koala habitat. It is believed that a significant step in preventing this catastrophe is education – at all levels of the community.
Koala Smart is an educational program for Primary and Secondary schools which encourages teachers and students to utilise a variety of disciplines to approach a current environmental problem and try to develop initiatives that can be applied in their own communities.
Koala Smart 2019 attracted 25 schools in the Port Macquarie Hastings and Kempsey Shire Council areas. The results ranged from creative expressions and community education programmes to practical modifications for homes and technological applications. Some will be further assessed by conservation and planning experts for practical application with assistance from the Lions Club.
Participate in koala smart
KOALA SMART, is offered to both government and non-government Primary and Secondary schools.
The driving question is “What would you do to save the koala?” which is answered over the school calendar year. There is no restriction on the number of students participating. Teachers can decide how the project best suits their school’s size, current programmes, and resources and give Koala Smart to either ‘Sustainability Groups’, single classes, or the entire school.
Children have the power to make a difference. To this end, schools are strongly encouraged to form relationships with Critical Friends (for example, National Park Rangers, Environment groups or agencies, their local Council) for mentoring, to forge ongoing relationships and maximise the impact of their ideas.
Koala Smart 2020 will be aligned more closely to the current curriculum. Teachers will be able to use resources available on this website which include video and Power Point presentations, current environmental facts and statistics as well as direct links to other pertinent and useful websites. Once their planning has commenced, teachers will be able to access NSW Saving Our Species officers for advice on project content and direction.
Projects will be evaluated by environment and education professionals with the goal of applying practical ideas in the real world.
The Tacking Point Lions Club in conjunction with the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, NSW Department of Planning Industry & Environment (Saving Our Species), and the Hastings-Macleay Koala Recovery Partnership are taking a step towards saving koalas from extinction.
Visit the Koala Smart News page for more ideas and examples of projects from Koala Smart 2019.
Teachers interested in taking on the Koala Smart project, please register your interest below.
Once your teacher has registered for Koala Smart, and provided you with your login details, you can access the program here.
What would you do to save the koala?
Check out the news from our local school participants of Koala Smart 2019.