Western Sydney University Early Learning (WSUEL) Penrith has been announced as the winner of the 2021 Toddle Green Awards. The awards are designed to celebrate the green achievements of child care centres around Australia.
As the winner of this years’ award, WSUEL Penrith Centre Director, Tessa McGavock, said they will be able to continue their work greening the centre and teaching the children the importance of caring for the environment at an early age.
“It is fabulous to know these programs continue to grow in our service and that the children over a number of years are developing skills and understanding about caring for our planet,” said Tessa.
Environmental sustainability has been a passion of Tessa’s for some time. As a Master of Education (Leadership) student at Western Sydney University Ms McGavock won a Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award for Excellence in University Sustainability. As part of that award, she was able to travel to the European Early Childhood Research Conference in Estonia where she was motivated to start her doctoral study.
For winning the Toddle Green Award, the centre will receive a $2000 Bunnings voucher and a one-hour consultancy session with Millennium Kids – a not-for-profit organisation based in Perth, which helps to enable young people to have their voices heard about the environment.
Tessa is thrilled about what this award can allow the centre to implement. The money will be used for several projects, from planting shade trees to reduce ambient temperatures on playground surfaces, to establishing a small orchard and ideally another water tank.
“This is an exciting achievement for us as we take our sustainability practices to yet another level,” said Tessa.