The Green Innovation Awards Northern Rivers will return for schools on the North Coast next year with $10,570 in Liberal & Nationals Government funding.

 Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW Ben Franklin announced the funding today at Empire Vale Public School who won the 2018 Green Innovation Awards Northern Rivers for primary schools earlier this year.  

 Mr Franklin said the awards program is a great opportunity for students to explore innovative green ideas for their community.

 “The Green Innovation Awards Northern Rivers is such a wonderful program. The opportunity it provides for students to explore, workshop, develop and present their ideas on green innovation is invaluable,” Mr Franklin said.

 “Communities in the Northern Rivers area are leaders in green innovation. I am delighted that the NSW Liberal & Nationals Government can support this program which will foster our next generation of green innovation leaders.

 “This year we saw some outstanding initiatives like the ‘sweet as sugar – biofuel’ project developed by the students at Empire Vale Public School. 

 “This funding from the NSW Government will mean the awards program can continue next year and can expand to more schools and students.

 Mr Franklin said the program was founded by local chiropractor Dr Bridie Cullinane, who wanted to inspire young people in the region to be future environmental entrepreneurs and leaders.

 “Dr Cullinane has worked incredibly hard to bring the Green Innovation Awards Northern Rivers to life. Because of her, students from schools across the Northern Rivers have been able to develop their green innovation ideas and present them to industry leaders.

 “I encourage schools to take part in the 2019 Green Innovation Awards Northern Rivers and to support our next generation of environmental leaders. I cannot wait to see the ideas developed by students through the program next year.

 Dr Cullinane said the Green Innovation Awards were founded with the aim of helping students to develop a passion for green innovation that they can carry throughout their lifetime.

“Like many health practitioners who are interested in the health of the body, I am also very passionate about the health of our environment as I see them as inextricably linked,” Dr Cullinane said.

“It started as an idea and then my team and many of our patients who are teachers, environmental scientists, business leaders, university lecturers and bundjalund elders, volunteered their time to put the awards together.

‘We weren’t sure how it would be received but the awards were a success beyond what we could have imagined and the standard of the entries was very high.

‘It’s very heartening to see passionate young people who understand the challenges that we are facing with the environment and are working towards solutions.

 “We are thrilled to receive NSW Government funding and support for the Green Innovation Awards as it will make it a viable program for the future. We are excited to see what the future holds!”