Catholic Education South Australia
05 Nov 2017
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College a Finalist in International Future Energy Prize

Congratulations to students and staff at Tenison Woods College, Mt Gambier.

The College is in the running to win $100,000 USD to fund a renewable energy and sustainability project, after recently being announced as a finalist in the 2018 Zayed Future Energy Prize.

In its tenth year, the Zayed Future Energy Prize is the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) international award that recognises pioneers of a sustainable energy future. The prize was created by the late ruler of Abu Dhabi and Founding Father of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and is judged on a global scale annually.

Tenison Woods College is one of three schools in the final stage of the competition within the Global High Schools Category for the Oceania Region, with the winner to be announced at the award presentation in Abu Dhabi in January next year.

The College has passed the third round of a rigorous four-stage evaluation process and will vie to win the $100,000 USD prize against Lowanna College, Victoria and Motufoua Secondary School, South Pacific nation of Tuvalu.

College Principal, Mr David Mezinec is delighted with the achievement. “I see it as validation for the College’s deep faith based commitment to stewardship for our planet and a deliberate six year journey of continuous improvement that asks the difficult questions about our ecological footprint as a large College community,” he said.

The achievement comes after Tenison Woods College was awarded ‘Environmental and Sustainable Business of the Year’ at the Mount Gambier Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Awards on Friday 13 October. An award which recognises the dedication and drive of the school community. For the past three years, Tenison Woods College has been actively committed to developing strategies around sustainability and environmental education.

Catholic Education South Australia (CESA) Assistant Director and Chair of the Ecology Advisory Committee, Monica Conway, applauds the College for its sustainable practices and success on becoming a finalist in the Zayed Future Energy Prize. “We are launching a strategic plan for ecological conversion and action and the things that are happening here at Tenison Woods College are going to be a model for many of our schools in South Australia - modelling our commitment to ecology, learning, leadership, effective resourcing and being sustainable in our practice,” she said.

To be in the running for the Zayed Future Energy Prize, Tenison Woods College had to propose an innovative project which promotes renewable energy and sustainability. The College plans to create a ‘Zayed Centre for Innovation’ where students and staff can inquire, plan and build alternate energy systems to enthuse and equip them to be leaders in their communities. Sustainability Coordinator at the college, Mr. Tom Linnell, has been instrumental in the planning of the project. “We hope the Zayed Centre for Innovation will provide our students with an authentic opportunity to combine STEM curriculum with real world provocations,” he said.

In addition to the Centre, the college hopes to establish a Tenison Renewable Energy Education and Sustainability (TREES) Academy by 2020 and work towards having the college completely off the grid by 2030.

Representatives from the college plan to attend the awards ceremony in January and look forward to meeting other global pioneers of renewable energy and sustainability. “We are very excited about attending the ceremony and meeting a range of likeminded, passionate and committed people,” says Principal, David Mezinec.

Learn more about the College's submission by watching their video here

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