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Teachers seek inspiration for sustainable table piece decorations

Recent workshops have inspired teachers across the state to get creative and help their students make sustainable table piece decorations for this year's Tasmanian Awards for Environmental Excellence.

The Awards recognise and reward those Tasmanians whose actions enhance, preserve and protect the Tasmanian environment. 2009 is the 11th year of the Awards, each year highlighting the best of Tasmania’s innovation and commitment to environmental sustainability and stewardship. The awards are coordinated by the Department of Environment, Parks, Heritage and the Arts on behalf of the State Government.

The 2009 winners will be announced at a formal dinner in Hobart on June 5 - World Environment Day. The dinner, to be hosted by the Minister for the Environment, will include approximately 40 tables - each requiring a centrepiece decoration.

Carinda Rue, Head of the Sustainability Section in the Environment Division says Tasmanian students are invited to make table decorations for this important event on Tasmania’s environmental calendar.

"We are encouraging all Tasmanian teachers and students to get creative and submit an entry," Carinda says.

"This project encourages discussion on how you can make 'art from trash' and the philosophy of encouraging students to think about reducing waste by re-using 'waste' items and by recycling through using materials that can or have already been recycled."

Last week in Hobart, Annie Beecroft and Maree Bakker from the Sustainability Section held a workshop for teachers at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG).

"A similar workshop was also held in Latrobe this week and it was great to see so many enthusiastic participants," Annie says.

"The workshops were designed to help teachers source ideas for their project and I hope they went away with inspiration to pass onto their students."

"The Hobart workshop was preceeded by another session on sustainability and it is all part of the education to get teachers and students thinking of ways to re-use waste and use recycled materials."

Annie says there is a creative brief which contains certain guidelines for those teachers interested in submitting a table piece decoration, such as the fact the decoration has to be made from clean salvaged waste items and materials, each tablepiece must include the signature item of a star, the symbol to reflect 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy, and most importantly each decoration must reflect the aspirations of the students as the voice of the future.

Entries for the table piece decorations close on Friday 22 May - go to www.environment.tas.gov.au/awards for more information.