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Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative – South Australia (AuSSI-SA)

Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative-South Australia (AuSSI-SA) schools and preschools develop a shared vision, values, understandings and practices to build a more sustainable community. 

The initiative is a partnership between the Department for Education and the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board (NRM). NRM Education is the board's school education program which is responsible for delivering AuSSI-SA. 

There are more than 350 schools and preschools registered with AuSSI-SA across the state. See the NRM Board website for registered sites and information about their sustainability initiatives. 

Support and benefits for AuSSI-SA schools and preschools

As an AuSSI-SA participant you will have ongoing help with your site's sustainability inquiry. This includes access to an NRM Education facilitator as well as: 

  • assistance to plan and manage sustainability initiatives at your site
  • technical advice and tailored training sessions for your staff
  • mentoring and support for student environment groups at your site
  • help to develop a site environment management plan and set sustainability goals
  • access to grants including NRM Board Action Grants
  • Support to apply for the KESAB Sustainable Communities and NRM Education awards
  • access to case studies that share how others are embedding sustainability into their school, curriculum and community.

You will also receive support to connect student learning to various elements of the Australian Curriculum, Early Years Learning Framework and the Teaching for Effective Learning (TfEL) frameworks. 

Register to become an AuSSI-SA school or preschool.

Benefits for school and preschool communities

Preschool and school communities who work with us on a whole of school approach have identified the following benefits: 

  • authentic learning in real world contexts
  • opportunities for students to apply critical thinking and problem solving
  • capturing the enthusiasm and energy of parents, teachers and students all working together
  • schools saving money, reducing their footprint and an increase in student and staff wellbeing
  • significant outcomes for teachers and students against the TfEL framework
  • priority access to grants including Junior Landcare and NRM Education school grants

AuSSI-SA approach

AuSSI-SA provides a framework for schools and preschools to develop a culture of sustainability with their community. 

AuSSI-SA is underpinned by the principles of Education for Sustainability (EfS) which is about learning for change and developing the knowledge, values and skills needed for leading sustainable lives. 

Through EfS students explore real issues in authentic contexts, which includes taking action in their school and community. As part of the EfS approach, NRM Education uses core indicators to support sites with their discussions about their journey towards sustainability. 

The indicators provide signposts for celebrating the school's current position and indicates the priorities for further development. 

AuSSI-SA and the curriculum

AuSSI-SA is also part of an international movement recognising the important role that schools and preschools play in educating children and young people for a sustainable future. 

Sustainability is included in both the Australian Curriculum (sustainability is one of 3 cross-curriculum priorities) and the Early Years Learning Framework.  

Register with AuSSI-SA

To register your school or preschool with AuSSI-SA, complete the online form, including the following details: 

  • your site name, address and contact details
  • the names, role and email addresses of at least 2 staff 
  • a brief description of Education for Sustainability programs and planning at your site.

By registering you accept that your details will be shared with the NRM Education program who provide services and support for AuSSI-SA schools.

Additional support

Additional support for sustainability initiatives may be available to your school from your local Natural Resources Management (NRM) Board.

You can determine your NRM region at the NRM website or via the NRM Boards.