We are excited to announce that that Tanya Leishman, specialist teacher at Seaforth Public School, is our 2020 Gould League Scholarship winner!
Tanya was selected for the scholarship due to her commitment to improving not only her school environment, but also the well-being and mental health of her school community.
The Gould League scholarship will provide Tanya with financial assistance to complete the online Forest Therapy Foundation Course offered by the International Nature and Forest Therapy Alliance (INFTA).
About the 2020 Scholarship
In 2020 it was intended that this scholarship would provide an AAEE member who is a teacher, tertiary student or environmental educator with financial assistance (up to $1000) to attend the AAEE National Conference in WA. Due to the impact of COVID-19 however, the AAEE 2020 National Conference has been postponed.
Therefore, in 2020, the AAEE NSW Gould League Scholarship can be used for any equivalent professional learning activity. This could be to attend another conference that will be proceeding in 2020 or to complete a standalone, online professional learning course.
Applicants will have to clearly state within their nomination form which professional learning activity the scholarship would be used for, a clear budget of costs and confirmation that funds can be spent, and the professional learning undertaken, between 27 August and 31 December 2020.
Current AAEE members who are teachers in NSW primary or secondary schools, environmental educators who work with teachers or students, or tertiary students studying Environmental and Sustainability subjects are welcome to apply.
Purpose of the scholarship
The purpose of this scholarship is to provide teachers, tertiary students and environmental educators with financial assistance (up to $1000) to attend the Australian Association for Environmental Education (AAEE) NSW bi-annual conference or, in the off year, the AAEE national conference, or an equivalent stand-alone professional learning activity.
AAEE NSW have offered this scholarship since 2012. The scholarship is made possible with a legacy left by the Gould League of NSW (which ceased operations in 2010) to assist future environmental and sustainability educators in their learning and to develop their skills and knowledge to:
- integrate sustainability, science and geography into their curriculum
- connect people with their natural environment
- empower the community to live more sustainably.
To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must be able to demonstrate they are upholding the values of the Gould League. You can read more about the background of the Award below.
Guidelines and Selection Criteria
Applications from AAEE members who work as teachers, or with teachers or students, in NSW primary and secondary schools will be accepted. Students studying Environmental and Sustainability subjects in tertiary institutions are also welcome to apply.
The scholarship winner will be selected by a selection panel, based on the following criteria.
- Current member of AAEE
- Upholding the values of the Gould League
- Supporting environmental education or education for sustainability
- Likely to benefit from the funded professional development opportunity
- Willing to pass on learning to school, university or work place
- Willing to submit a post-course report
The successful applicant will also need to be available for media coverage as required upon receiving the scholarship. Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously received the scholarship.
A post-conference report must be submitted within 3 months of the funded course, and may be used in AAEE publications. The topic you are asked to address is:
"How the experience enhanced your current work, any ideas, skills and strategies that you learnt from the conference experience, and how you have shared them with others."
For further information about the scholarship, please contact us
Congratulations to our 2019 scholarship recipient, Juliet Talarico who is a community educator at Rahamim Ecology Centre. Juliet is a skilled environmental educator who is establishing a permaculture course and garden for refugees and asylum seekers in transition housing. She has also dedicated herself to empowering women, children and young people to connect with issues of environmental justice.
The Gould League scholarship provided Juliet with financial assistance to attend the 2019 AAEE NSW Conference, ActiveNature, in Kirrawee NSW in October 2019.
The winner of the 2018 Gould League scholarship was Lisa Siegel.
Lisa is an experienced community educator and PhD student at Southern Cross University (School of Education) and is a skilled environmental educator with over 20 years experience in developing and facilitating educational experiences for children, young people, and adults. She is also the current co-convenor of the Mid-North Coast Sustainability Education Network.
The Gould League scholarship provided Lisa with financial assistance to attend the 2018 AAEE National Conference on the Gold Coast.
Lisa writes of the conference: "..whereas sometimes one can feel quite isolated doing environmental education work, here we were with a whole group of people with similar values and ideas about working towards planetary balance and wholeness. The new connections I made and old connections I strengthened were a highlight of the experience."
The winner of the 2017 Gould League scholarship was Julie Overton.
Julie is a past teacher at the Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre. She has recently been appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts (RSA) - a network committed to social progress and environmental protection. She plans to share her Conference learnings through the RSA as well as other organisations and networks she is involved with.
Julie writes of the conference: "I am being deadly serious when I say this is one of the best conferences I have ever attended. There were so many highlights it is hard to work out where to start."
Other Past Winners
2016 Simone Blom
2015 Tamlin McKenzie
2014 Leanne Eastway (Marie Smith part scholarship)
2013 Dr Justine Jacobs
2012 Kirsty Fikkers
For 100 years the Gould League of NSW (originally Gould League of Bird Lovers) was an institution in NSW public schools. The organisation originated at Wellington Public School in 1910 as the idea of a young teacher, Walter Finigan, and his head master Edward Webster. It grew quickly and was established state wide in the same year. The Gould League has contributed over time to the field of bird study, nature study, natural science, conservation and environmental education in NSW and Australia.
In the early years of the Gould League there was no other organisation dedicated to the preservation and study of birds and being able to relate that to students in a practical way. It was a natural progression that the Gould League of NSW branched out and became a pioneer organisation in public schools for environmental education.
The Gould League also had a strong voice in the forming of environmental policy and influencing opinions on environmental issues in the wider community. But most people would remember their introduction to the Gould League through their membership and pledge to the environment, and gaining the benefits of practical learning in their primary education.
In 2010 the Gould League of NSW celebrated its centenary at Wellington Public School in central NSW where it had started. It was decided that the Gould League NSW had reached an end of an era and that Environmental Education had come a long way in those 100 years, so the NSW Chapter of Gould League has wrapped up. “This scholarship will provide an enduring reminder of the early beginnings of Environmental Education in NSW and Australia”. (Gould League History, David Tribe)