Southern Tablelands Champions

High School children in the bush

Giving students the tools to make a difference is one of the main goals of Koala Smart. Koala Champions takes lessons beyond the classroom with fieldwork and connections to experts.

High schools in the NSW Southern Tablelands have been working with Koala Smart, rangers at the Kosciuszko Environmental Education Centre and the NSW Koala Program to pilot the Koala Champions extension work for Secondary students.

Around 150 students participated: 75 from Jindabyne High School Years 7 and 8; and 75 from Monaro High Year 9.

Engaging classroom exercises immersed these students in the world of koalas, enlightening them about threats to their survival and the critical efforts of the NSW Koala Program. 

Taking their learning into the field, students joined forces with Local Land Services staff to plant trees, enhance fieldwork skills, and conduct interviews with conservation and land management experts, gaining valuable insights into the challenges facing koalas.

The students were guided in koala habitat assessments at three Stations.  Station 1 concentrated on nearest neighbour identification and distance measurements, canopy cover measurements and understorey assessments. Station 2 involved planting koala habitat including eucalypt feed trees, companion tree species, shrub and wattle species. Station 3 involved Q&A with experts in koalas and/or koala threats.

150 trees and shrubs were planted to add to and restore koala habitat in the area.

But they didn’t stop there! These ambitious students put their creativity to work, crafting posters, videos, and community messages to raise awareness of the threats and actions required to protect koalas in our local area.

Let’s applaud these young champions for their dedication to koala conservation! And take a moment to consider what you could do in your classroom!

Register with Koala Smart and start exploring the possibilities.