Inner West Schools can embrace sustainability

Inner West Council is expanding the highly successful Our Place Environmental Network.

The new Inner West Sustainable Schools Network will provide a forum for environmental and sustainability education issues in schools in Sydney's inner west.

Formed seven years ago, the Our Place Environmental Network had 15 active schools, a successful Facebook group, and gave local teachers the opportunity to gain professional learning accreditation.

The Network not only successfully connected teachers, parents and environmental educators – it also helped schools deliver environmental projects.

Stephen Jackson is one of the most enthusiastic members of the Network. He said the knowledge sharing was invaluable to the sustainability work undertaken at Stanmore Public School.

“It’s great to see what’s happening at other schools as far as sustainability and the environment goes - learning how other schools engage both teachers and students and how they incorporate sustainability into the curriculum,” Mr Jackson said.

“I became a member as an interested parent rather than an educator. I also help coordinate the kitchen garden program at Stanmore PS on behalf of the P&C so I am always looking for ways to improve our program and the facilities at the school,” he said.

“Most of the Primary Schools in the inner west now have vegetable gardens, native bee hives and other native species habitats and are incorporating these things into the curriculum. Marrickville PS just received a Council Community Grant and is putting in a kitchen, too.

“At Stanmore we’re developing an unused part of the grounds and planting it out in native flora. It’s where we are going to build a Yarning Circle that will double as an outside teaching area.

“The Network was invaluable in helping us get these projects off the ground,” Mr Jackson said.

The Administrator of Inner West Council Richard Pearson said the expansion of the Network was yet another positive example to emerge from the recent local government amalgamations.

“It’s great that other councils throughout the inner west will now have the opportunity to be part of this highly successful and effective Sustainable Schools Network,” he said.

“There are 60 schools in our Council area. Imagine how much more can be achieved with such a vast number of parents and teachers. The possibilities for integrating environmental education, for resource sharing, and funding information will certainly be greatly magnified,” Mr Pearson said.

The first meeting of the Inner West Sustainable Schools Network will be held at the Ashfield Service Centre on Wednesday 17 August at 4pm.

All representatives from schools in the inner west area are invited to attend, including teachers, specialists, parents and volunteers from all government and non-government primary and high schools. Go to or email

For more information about the Network, an interview with Stephen Jackson, or a print quality image, contact the Communication team.

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Page last updated: 03 Jun 2022