Schools, Pre Schools and Early Learning Centres

St Josephs Primary School Coleraine is leading the way in creating resource smart, food smart kids!   Upon a visit to the school this week, we were blown away by the tremendous effort put in by students, teachers and volunteers alike to the schools kitchen garden, and community orchard.   Kitchen garden classes are just one component of the Sustainability curriculum at St Josephs Coleraine. Whilst the garden started small, it has now grown to include a greenhouse, chicken coop, community orchard, herb garden and a very impressive set of vegetable beds.  St Josephs are an excellent example of a school making the most out of their existing resources to deliver a kitchen garden program. There is no dedicated cooking area as such, however the students still harvest and prepare their seasonal produce into delicious meals approximately 4 times a term utilising a shared hall space.  Garden beds are weeded and watered by the children regularly and looked after throughout the school holidays by families on a rotating roster.  It's not hard to see just how passionate the students are about their garden! Their enthusiasm, paired with excellent guidance from their Sustainability teacher and time invested through volunteers is really what makes this program successful. So successful in fact that the recipes they've produced have made them two time winners of Wannon Waters 'Water it, Grow it, Cook it' competition!   Keep up the good work St Josephs Coleraine!  Does your school run a kitchen garden program, or something similar? If so we'd love to hear about it!  With an additional four schools within the Southern Grampians about to get started with their own Kitchen Garden programs, we want to see, hear and help facilitate as much knowledge sharing as possible to ensure all our local schools learn from one another in this space. If you have any kitchen gardening stories or tips you'd like to share please forward them through to Ebony at or phone 5551 8475 for a chat!

Our local secondary schools have banded together, committing to the development of the Greater Hamilton Health Challenge for students in years 7-10, with the aim of addressing overweight and obesity in the Southern Grampians region. Principals of Baimbridge College, Monivae College, Good Shepherd College, The Hamilton and Alexandra College  and the Hamilton District Skills Centre came together with others last week to launch the concept of this challenge. Each school will now be working with their student body to design the challenge itself before aiming to kick off in spring this year. Baimbridge College Principal Robert Vecchiet spoke about the importance of the students having ownership over the challenge, ‘.. we want them to be healthier and for them to come up with ideas about how they might want to go about it’. A huge congratulations to our local secondary schools for developing such a positive partnership for action! Stay tuned as we look forward to learning more details about the Greater Hamilton Health Challenge, in coming weeks!  

Thanks to a community grant received from Southern Grampians Shire Council, GenR8 Change has been able to work with 4 local primary schools and involve them in Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation 's Pleasurable Food Education Package. The program has been proven to deliver positive behavior change, social benefits, an increased willingness to try new foods and an evident transfer of these benefits to the home environment. Yesterday, a training day was held for schools across the region whom are beginning to action this program. School representatives learnt more about how to get a school garden started, facilitate kitchen garden classes and integrate these with existing curriculum requirements. A number of local schools are already successfully utilising a kitchen garden model. We can't wait to see the number of schools taking this approach 'grow' and look forward to sharing their journeys with you! Does your school kitchen garden? Let us know about it! Head to the Tell Us What You're Doing! page on our website, or alternatively email or call Ebony at or 5551 8475.