Environmental Education

Since its inception, the Fund has supported a number of environmental education projects and initiatives. While the funded projects have been diverse, ranging from book publication and distribution of secondary school resources to onsite school engagement, the scope of the work has been focused on seeking to educate youth and the general public about the importance of environmental sustainability and preservation of biodiversity.

The Weather Makers


The Purves Environmental Fund supported Tim Flannery to write a ground breaking book on climate change - The Weather Makers. Subsequently, the Fund funded WWF Australia to manage a marketing campaign for the book. The success of The Weather Makers has been outstanding. As well as achieving critical acclaim from numerous renowned authors and experts, the book has been a popular success, both nationally and internationally.


We are the Weather Makers

We Are the Weather Makers, Tim Flannery's follow-up book to The Weather Makers, was launched in August 2006 at an event for school children at the State Library of Victoria. It is an updated and condensed version of the original book. We Are the Weather Makers was written to appeal to young adults and to readers wanting to quickly get an understanding of key climate change issues.


Thinking About Climate Change

In 2007/08, the Fund again worked in partnership with Tim Flannery and Text Publishing to produce Thinking About Climate Change, an educational resource that makes teaching and learning about climate change easy and accessible. Thinking About Climate Change is adapted from We Are the Weather Makers.

With the Fund's support, multiple hard copies of Thinking About Climate Change were distributed to all secondary schools in Australia in November 2007, both public and private -a total of 2,947 schools. Schools were also offered a discount on classroom copies of We Are the Weather Makers and for each additional book sold, a small donation is made to the Fund. Feedback from schools indicated that schools were highly appreciative of the initiative and identified Thinking About Climate Change as an essential classroom resource. It was shortlisted for the Australian Awards for Excellence in Educational Publishing. Thinking About Climate Change can be downloaded free from the Weather Makers website.


On Borrowed Time


With funding from the Purves Environmental Fund, CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) Publishing produced teaching materials - website, teachers' booklet and CD-ROM -  based on David Lindenmayer's book On Borrowed Time, which explains the crisis of global biodiversity loss. The teaching materials encourage young Australian students to reflect on, consider and make decisions about Australia's biodiversity. The focus of the teaching units draws on the issues raised by David Lindenmayer and encourages students to contextualise their understandings in the context of their local environment and the broader context of global sustainability. The resources extend the learning experience through two interactive games in which students learn to manage a variety of environments.


Weather or Not It's a Climate for Change


The Purves Environmental Fund supported the children's book author, Caren Trafford, to send a copy of her book Weather or Not It's a Climate for Change to every primary school in NSW and Queensland. In addition, schools who ordered extra copies of the book after receiving the free copy, were able to do so for a specially discounted price. For each book sold, the author made a donation of $0.50 to the Fund.

Weather or Not It's a Climate for Change is an engaging, colourful explanation of climate change science, impacts and solutions for primary school students. Mike Bailey, ABC TV News' Weather Presenter and Producer said, "[t]his book simplifies the complex science of weather in a way that makes readers of all ages appreciate what's happening to our climate, and what we can all do to help save our planet".




The Purves Environmental Fund supported the 2008 Wakakirri National Story Festival. Wakakirri is Australia's largest performing and visual arts festival for High School and Primary School students. Wakakirri assists in educating school communities about the far-reaching benefits of sustainable practices for young Australians through performing and visual arts storytelling activities, designed to encourage students to learn about their world, who they are, what surrounds them and how their actions impact the future. The stories are shared via public performance, the Wakakirri website, television and print media.


Cents and Sustainability


The Purves Environmental Fund supported The Natural Edge Project, hosted in-kind by Griffith University and Australian National University, to produce Cents & Sustainability - a book that deals with the vital issue of how we can decouple economic growth from negative environmental and social pressures. Cents & Sustainability is an initiative to mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Brundtland Commission's landmark report, Our Common Future and carries a foreword from Dr Gro Brundtland, the former Chair of the World Commission on Environment and Development. The book explores, in a modern global context, the conditions under which society can achieve a form of economic growth that is both socially and environmentally sustainable.


On Our Watch


The Purves Environmental Fund supported Nicola Markus to write On Our Watch: The Race to Save Australia's Environment, a book about the current state of Australia's environment from the perspective of someone who has worked in the research and conservation fields for many years and is passionate about the magnificent diversity of Australia's flora and fauna. The book draws on recent scientific reports, expert opinions and the author's personal experience, to provide an overview of the rise of environmental awareness in Australia in recent decades, of the legislation and conservation frameworks designed to protect Australian species, and the barriers that are delaying delivery of significant outcomes.