Environmental Excellence Awards

We acknowledge and reward high school students for excellence in "sustainability" and "environmental action and awareness". Watch the video.

Starting our first awards at Maclean High School over 25 years ago, we now offer these annual awards across the North Coast of New South Wales, from Coffs Harbour to Murwillumbah.

Each participating high school is eligible to win at least one award, and a Regional Leadership Award is presented to the most outstanding student overall. We have also rewarded an outstanding university student from Southern Cross University each year for over a decade. Please contact us for more details, or if you would like to donate towards the prizes.

Regional Leadership Award 2017

Samual Gribben, Bellingen High School, Year 9.
Sam is our Regional Leadership Award winner this year. This award is provided to the student who excelled amongst all the other school award winners. Way to go, Sam! 

This year, Sam has been involved in environmental activities both in and out of school over the last two years. He was part of the Youth Congress with the MyRiver, OzGreen program and our School Environment Council (SEC). He is a member of the RiverWatch team that records and monitors water quality and riparian zone vegetation. This program was established after a mass die-off event for the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle (Myuchelys georgesi). He has also worked alongside the Office of Environment and Heritage staff to record details of the endangered turtle and attach tracking devices for their monitoring.

Sam was also chosen as our electorate's representative in the Children's Parliament with the Advocate for Children and Young People (AYC). Here he met with NSW Greens Treasurer Justin Field and then to spoke to Parliament. His audience included the Member for Coffs Harbour, the President of the Upper House and six other MP's. The issues he discussed were the push for a ban on plastic bags and the logging of the Tarkeeth forest. Sam has now identified himself as a student leader for the BHS SEC 2018!

Runners Up 2017

Ruby Reeve, Byron Bay High School, Year 9.

Ruby has been instrumental in leading a group of Year 9 students in establishing a sustainable approach to managing single use plastics and waste paper in our school. Through her leadership the school has progressed in drafting a waste management plan for 2018. Ruby worked with local stakeholders such as Local Council, waste groups and school admin, Positive Change for Marine Life, completed a Waste audit of the school canteen and investigated alternatives to single use plastics.

Yee Ming Goh, Maclean High School, Year 12.

Yee Ming is one of the most community minded young ladies to attend Maclean High School. By her own example Yee Ming continually demonstrates her willingness to help the community she lives in. By volunteering she ensures she is doing her part so that we are all a part of a sustainable future. She is actively involved with Rotary through the Interact Club. Yee Ming has volunteered for Relay for Life, World Vision 40 Hour Famine, Polio Campaign, Leukemia Foundation's World's Greatest Shave. Maclean Library Volunteer and Book Sales fundraiser. She has graduated from the Rural Fire Service Cadet Program. Yee Ming leads by example and headed Maclean High's Clean Up Australia Campaign.

Award Winners from each High School 2017

(listed in alphabetical order of school)

Lily Christmas & Charlotte Lopes, Alstonville HS, Yr 9. Lily and Charlotte have shown continual effort and commitment to the environmental group within their school. They have actively participated in planting trees, weeding gardens, general rubbish collection, raising money for environmental charity groups and advertising environmental issues eg. Earth Hour, National Plant a Tree Day.

Keshav Biswas, Murwillumbah HS, Yr 11. This year Keshav has participated in a program that has allowed him to work with the school cleaners to help clean the school yard during the afternoon. This has allowed Keshav to work closely with other people to make a difference in the school environment. He is a most enthusiastic and happy person who loves mixing with the students and staff as he moves around the school. Keshav always has a kind word to say to people and he loves spreading the word that he is doing a great thing for the school environment.

Neem Solomon, Nimbin Central HS, Yr 9. Neem has shown dedication towards and is an advocate of environmental issues. Neem has an awareness of global environmental issues, is a supporter of local environmental causes, was strongly engaged in the school Eco-Grant project, and is an active participant in organic gardening as part of Agricultural Technology Course.

Alyssa McDonald, The Rivers Secondary College, Lismore Campus, Yr 9. Alyssa has demonstrated a strong passion for environmental research and educating others about the ways in which environmental problems in third world countries particularly impact upon women and children.

Elkan Novak, The Rivers Secondary College, Richmond River HS, Yr 8. Elkan is a keen and active environmentalist not only in school but also in the local community. Elkan has participated in the schools National Tree Day and Clean Up Schools Day with great enthusiasm.

Decklyn Brown, The Rivers Secondary College, Richmond River Campus, Yr 8. Decklyn consistently works in a positive manner towards environmental and sustainable practices. He did some great work at this years "Clean Up Schools Day" and "Schools National Tree Planting Day" as well as through other school activities in agriculture and animal husbandry.

Rachel Holm, Toormina HS, Yr 9. Rachel had an outstanding contribution to creating a sustainable future at Toormina High school, she has shown leadership with a composting initiative at the school and has a keen and active interest in animal welfare and gardening by permaculture principles.

Jessica Adwinkle-Tait, Woolgoolga HS, Yr 8. Jessica has contributed to and shown leadership in environmental awareness and action through 'Ban the bag' and 'Stop Adani' campaigns. Jessica has consistently led discussions and promoted action on environmental issues, and is strongly engaged in a range of student leadership activities.

Criteria for these awards are that students have shown demonstrable interest, leadership, passion and commitment towards environmental excellence and sustainability through actions, programs or effort either in school time and/or out-of-school hours. Prizes for the winners from each school include cash (!), publicity, and a printed award. The Regional Leadership Award includes mentoring by the Sustainable Futures team and a scholarship for The Joyality Program.

This environmental award is now acknowledged by most participating high schools as a key student award, presented alongside more traditional academic, sporting and citizenship awards. Recipients have used it effectively in resumes for employment and submissions for university and other tertiary placements.

Past Winners


Regional Leadership Winner
Edward Hubbard, Murwillumbah HS

School Winners:
Bella Rubbo-Fairbairn, Byron Bay HS

Benjamin Soden Maclean HS

Edward Hubbard, Murwillumbah HS

Kai Prikulis, Nimbin Central School

Damon Cook, The Rivers SC, Richmond River High Campus

Elkan Novak, The Rivers SC, Richmond River High Campus



Jake Fitzpatrick, Byron Bay HS

Morgan Koekemoer, Grafton High School

Braydon Connor, Maclean High School

Freya Hughes, Mullumbimby High School

Kaliah Fletcher, Mullumbimby High School

Jason Williams, Murwillumbah High School

Megan Lee, Nimbin Central School

Joel Mudge, Wollumbin High School



William Sykes, Ballina High School

Nickolla Clark, Byron Bay High School

Taylah Holwerda, Coffs Harbour High School

Annabel Green, Grafton High School

Tayla Letts, Lismore High School

Besse Groves, Maclean High School

Lily Bullock, Mullumbimby High School

Romany Claringbull, Mullumbimby High School

Rhiannon Hayes, Murwillumbah High School

Jessie Kenneally-Clarke, Nimbin Central School

Jesulin Duray, South Grafton High School

Jake Kennedy, Wollumbin High School



Daniel Martenet, Ballina High School

Ruby Tavener-Graham, Coffs Harbour High School

Matilda Lynch, Dorrigo High School

Bethany Bayliss, Evans River K-12 School

Melissa Picone, Grafton High School

Jakira Toniello, Lismore High School

Benjamin Pilcher, Maclean High School

Charlotte Higgins, Murwillumbah High School

Kudra Falla-Ricketts Trinity Catholic College Lismore

Luacy Vieria-Silva, Trinity Catholic College Lismore

Samuel Cook, Wollumbin High School



Jack Norris, Ballina HS

Jack Christian, Byron Bay HS

Joel Ashworth, Byron Bay HS

Tiarne Hely, Coff Harbour HS

Grace Jones, Dorrigo HS

Briony Moore, Grafton HS

Maddy Braddon, Lismore HS

Robert Baker, Maclean HS

Courtney Bailey, Mullumbimby HS

Vanamali Hermans, Murwillumbah HS

Haven English, Murwillumbah HS

James Smykowsky, Richmond River HS

Rachael Payne, South Grafton

Genevieve Payne, Trinity Catholic College

Bridget Lea, Trinity Catholic College

Zak Thomas, Wollumbin HS



Ellyssa McGinley, Ballina High School

Zeb Branton, Byron Bay High School

Juliette Kidston, Coffs Harbour High School

Teegan Ellis, Dorrigo High School

Reba Blake, Grafton High School

Maddy Braddon, Lismore High School

Kyah Hurrell, Maclean High School

Courtney Bailey, Mullumbimby High School

Monique Orell, Murwillubah High School

Hayden Cridland, Murwillumbah High School

Brianna Morris-Grant, Murwillumbah High School

Peter Macklin, South Grafton High School

Amelia Telford, Trinity Catholic College Lismore

James Lea, Trinity Catholic College Lismore

Kurtis Foulkes, Wollumbin High School



Penny Skehan, Alstonville HS

Guy Luckenby, Coffs Harbour HS

Ryan McCallum, Grafton HS

Alice Batcheldor, Maclean HS

Jessica Bohan-Jensen, Murwillumbah HS

Soraya Quaine, Murwillumbah HS

Luke Asi, Nimbin HS

Sapote Hudd, Nimbin HS

Mahalia Jackson, Nimbin HS

Liam Dudgeon, South Grafton HS

Mikayla Robinson, Toormina HS

Madilyn Brady, Toormina HS

Haynard Maynard, Wollumbin HS

Megan Vynne, Southern Cross Uni



Kel Gale, Alstonville HS

Henry Garrad, Bellingen HS

Sarah Trende, Byron Bay HS

Matt Flanders, Coffs Harbour HS

Katherine Sangster, Dorrigo HS

Tegan Morgan, Grafton HS

Gwen Palmer, Kyogle HS

Maree Dibella, Maclean HS

Chi Chi Mester, Mullumbimby HS

Jessica Bohan-Jensen, Murwillumbah HS

Jasmine Russ, Murwillumbah HS

Eileen Hodgkins, Murwillumbah HS

Soraya Quaine, Murwillumbah HS

Andrew Attwater, South Grafton HS

Alethea Cotmore, Wollumbin HS

Gwenaella Anne Seznec, Southern Cross Uni



Zoe McClure, Lismore HS

Sasha Hunt, Lismore HS

Jake Farrell, Wollumbin HS

Matthew Skelton, Toormina HS

Kaitlin Cowan, South Grafton HS

Oli Landreth, Nimbin HS

Rowan Campbell, Murwillumbah HS

Kirsty Sheridan, Mullumbimby HS

Nikki Gibson, Maclean HS

Lucy Barker, Kadina HS

Alice Lane, Grafton HS

Kymbalee Tarran, Dorrigo HS

Shiloh Mignot, Byron Bay HS

Jacob Rodney Daley, Southern Cross Uni



Keeghan Silcock, Alstonville HS

Cooper Dames, Byron Bay HS

Kymbalee Tarran, Dorrigo HS

Lucia Botta-Stanwell, Lismore HS

Karlee Gosewisch, Lismore HS

Erin McKenzie, Lismore HS

Alana Hutchison, Lismore HS

Jessica McLachlan, Maclean HS

Natasha Allen, Mullumbimby HS

Leanora Collett, Murwillumbah HS

Rennie Mitchell, Richmond River HS

Craig Evers, South Grafton HS

Ian Francis Hayes, Southern Cross Uni



Sorelle Warzecha, Ballina HS

Chester Pierson, Byron Bay HS

Adele Finch, Coffs Harbour HS

Leah Varley, Coffs Harbour HS

Brianna Parbery, Dorrigo HS

Emma Quinlivan, Grafton HS

Lara Casson, Grafton HS

Tegan Morgan, Grafton HS

Alyson Hewett, Kadina HS

Victoria Jenkins, Kingscliff HS

Brendan Bedding, Kyogle HS

Reid Shipway, Murwillumbah HS

Angus McDowall, Maclean HS

Tenielle Joyce, Mullumbimby HS

Jeremy Hill, Richmond River HS

Crystal Jongen, South Grafton HS

Andrew Carroll, Wauchope HS

Adrian Peter Woodman, Southern Cross Uni



Tim Murphy, Southern Cross Uni



Kieran Searle, Maclean HS

Tiffany Keenan, Byron Bay HS



Marika Tyas-Tunggal, Maclean HS



Sue Jeong, Maclean HS

Sasha Kerr, Maclean HS

Frankie Sergeant, Maclean HS

Michael Schilling, Maclean HS

Scott Urquart, Maclean HS



Marika Tyas-Tunggal, Maclean HS



Marika Tyas-Tunggal, Maclean HS

Isabelle Nicoll, Maclean HS

Josh Dinham, Maclean HS

Jessica O’Connell, Maclean HS

Previous winners ... lost in the mists of time!