Seqwater is supporting 12 community organisations across South East Queensland with grants totalling $86,000 to increase public water education and involve people in caring for their waterways.

Earlier this year the bulk water authority called for community partners to help improve the region’s knowledge and understanding of catchment health and the water cycle through its first ever community grants program – Water for life.

Not-for-profit organisations in the region were able to apply for grants of up to $10,000 to fund new or existing water projects that focused on education and community engagement.

A total of 51 applications were received during the seven week application period.

Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Peter Dennis said the grants program built positive relationships with groups and organisations and promoted water education and awareness.

“As the region’s bulk water authority, we are committed to water for life,” Mr Dennis said.

“Water for life is about more than delivering a safe and reliable water supply,” he said. “It’s about creating partnerships to support a sustainable water future for generations to come.

“I am delighted at the number of applications that were made in this program’s inaugural year. It shows there are a lot of people in the community with a keen interest in our water future.”

Among the successful applicants was the Stanley River Environmental Education Centre, which was awarded $10,000 to help fund its Bunya to the Bay Eco Adventure.

Centre principal Andrew Travis said the event had senior high school students take part in a sectional relay from the Bunya forests of South Burnett to the mouth of the Brisbane River.

“Indigenous perspectives serve as an integral part of the learning throughout the journey,” Mr Travis said.

“On each section of the relay, the students take part in a range of activities including water quality monitoring, plant and weed assessment and land management studies.”

Bardon Community Kindy was granted $10,000 towards developing a parkland area near Ithaca Creek into an interactive space to promote children’s engagement with natural environments and sustainable practices.

Co-director and teacher Matthew McCartney said the creation of the natural play elements would aid in erosion control, with the development helping to stabilise the existing creek embankment.

“We plan to incorporate an existing rain harvesting system and build natural resources, along with interactive botanic boards,” Mr McCartney said. “Children will be able to explore and learn about their local ecosystems.”

Bardon Kindy was among the successful Water for Life community grants applicants. Bardon Kindy co-director and teacher Matthew McCartney said the kindy would use the grant money to create an education space at the kindy.

The Albert Park Flexible Learning Centre, an alternative educational centre for young people who have chosen not to engage in mainstream education, was given $4,740 towards its 'Meet at the River' program.

The program aims to introduce at risk and complex young people to local waterways and environments through a trauma informed adventure therapy program primarily focused on canoeing.

Robert Topping, a youth worker at the centre, said the funding would be used to facilitate access to Enoggera Dam for introductory canoeing activities and to pay for various educational activities on various local waterways. “The program’s focus on local waterways is supported by a growing body of research that shows localised adventure programs can provide stimulating and engaging contexts for learning,” Mr Topping said.

Mr Dennis said those who missed out on grants should not be discouraged as it was a large field and urged people to apply again when the grant program returned in 2017.

Other successful applicants:

  •  Maroochy Waterwatch Inc – To fund field trips for students and professional development field trips for teachers and heads of department in Science and Humanities from various schools in Seqwater’s catchment.
  •  St Ambrose School, Newmarket – To fund an Enviro Week waterway education excursion.
  • Toogoolawa State School – to provide a water education unit for students.
  • Cubberla Witton Catchment Network Inc – To offer creek water quality testing with local students.
  • Scout Association of Australia Queensland Branch – To provide active learning day programs through its Waterwise Warriors Day events.
  • Save Our Waterways Now – To purchase water testing equipment.
  • Numimbah Valley Environmental Education Centre P & C – To purchase Interpretive Signage for Numinbah Hall Community Revegetation Site.
  • Bornhoffen Police-Citizens Youth Club – To fund a grounds remediation project.
  • Bunya Community Environmental Association – To provide school tours for Connect to your Creek Week.