Skip to main content

Reef Education

Reef Guardian Schools care for the Reef and undertake positive actions within their school and local community that contribute to Reef protection and resilience. Through the Reef Guardian School Portal, schools share their actions and achievements and connect and network with other Reef Guardian schools nationally and internationally. 

Schools can join the Reef Guardian School program for free through the Reef Guardian School Portal.

By being involved, your school will have a range of new ideas, opportunities and resources for teaching activities at your fingertips.

  • The benefits of the Reef Guardian School Portal mean teachers can:
  • select which activities their school will undertake as part of the program in that calendar year
  • share their actions and achievements 
  • see what actions other Reef Guardian Schools are doing both nationally and internationally
  • connect and network with other teachers through the Portal Dashboard
  • access free educational resources through the Reef Authority’s ReefEd website, and
  • keep up to date with news and events from the Reef Education team.


Download the Reef Guardian Schools Prospectus to learn more on the program. 


Reef Guardian Schools Prospectus

Resources for each year level and by theme

These are curriculum-linked teaching materials specifically developed to be integrated in school learning as science-focused units.

There are units for each year level – from early learning to grade 12 – making it an easy resource for teachers to utilise.

Teachers can explore all resources by topic, including coastal ecosystems, endangered species, extreme weather, the Great Barrier Reef, Indigenous use, marine debris, responsible reef practices, climate change, tourism and water quality.

To access resources, visit our new interactive Reef Guardian School portal.

Care, Learn, Act, Share, Stewards

Reef Guardian Schools have a proud history of achieving a wide range of sustainable actions within their school and local community that contribute to Reef protection and resilience. These actions align with the CLASS pillars of Reef guardianship (Care, Learn, Act, Share, Stewards):

Reef Guardian School Pillars

To celebrate 20 years of Reef Guardian Schools, we would love our past and present students, teachers, parents, and the community to share their stories with us. Our mission is to celebrate the fantastic achievements over the last 20 years.

To do this, we want to know your involvement in the Reef Guardian School program.

We would love to know how the program has influenced your ability to care, learn, take action and share knowledge towards Reef Stewardship.

The Reef Guardian Writing Quest opens on Monday, 20 November and closes on 22 April 2024.

It is open over the Christmas school holidays, so get storyboarding.

We are open to creative and innovative submissions. These could include posters, QR codes, slideshows, story art, podcasts, short stories, or PechaKutcha. 

There will be four categories in which you can win prizes:

  1. Best Comic Strip
  2. Best Short Story Book
  3. Best Illustrated
  4. Best First Nations Connection to Sea Country

Winning entries will be shared on the Reef Guardians Portal and social media channels. We can’t wait to read about your Reef Guardian journey!

Those not able to enter the Reflective Task, please consider sharing your story on the Reef Guardian Schools program by completing the questionnaire. One lucky person who completes a questionnaire by 22 April 2024 will receive a Reef Guardian School Steward Gift Pack.

Any enquiries, please send them to

Do you remember the first time you saw the Reef? Is there a Reef experience that you love that sticks with you like it was yesterday? Maybe it’s on the bucket list to visit, or you’re lucky enough to have it as your backyard. Everyone who visits always leaves with a story to tell. 

We want to hear yours!

The Reef Authority’s Guardian School program invites you to channel your creativity and share your Reef experiences through their REEFlections. Whether it’s in song, drawn, built or anything else – capture your favourite moments and share the magic of the Reef. The best part is it’s open to everyone, young or old, local or international. 

To help get you inspired, join our Reef educator Craig as he takes you on a virtual tour of some of his favourite Reef memories. Register now!

20 years of the Reef Guardian School program

Schools from all around Australia and globally are encouraged to join the program and enable the next generation of young leaders to become stewards of the Reef. 

All schools, no matter where they’re located, can have some positive impact on the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs around the world.

Marine ecosystems are all connected in some way, so even if your school is thousands of kilometres from the Great Barrier Reef, learning to live, work and play sustainably will help to protect your local waterways and the Great Barrier Reef.


A journey back in time - 20 years 

  • Reef Guardian School Program Timeline 
  • 2003: The Reef Guardian School Program was established by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
  • 2003-2009: The program grows to include several schools across the Great Barrier Reef region and receives recognition and awards for its innovative and effective approach to engaging and educating the community about the importance of the reef and the need to protect it.
  • 2010: The program reaches a milestone with the enrolment of its 100th school.
  • 2011: The program launches a new website and resources to support schools in becoming Reef Guardian schools.
  • 2012: The program releases a new set of lesson plans and activities to help teachers educate their students about the reef and the threats it faces.
  • 2013: The program celebrates its 10th anniversary and the enrolment of its 200th school.
  • 2014: The program launches a new initiative called "Reef Guardians in Action", which provides funding and support for schools to implement projects to protect the reef.
  • 2015: The program releases a new set of resources and materials to support schools in reducing their environmental impact and educating others about the reef.
  • 2016: The program reaches a milestone with the enrolment of its 300th school.
  • 2017: The program launches a new initiative called "Reef Guardian Ambassadors", which provides training and support for students to become leaders in the conservation of the reef.
  • 2019: The program releases a new set of lesson plans and activities focused on the theme of "citizen science" and the role of individuals in protecting the reef.
  • 2023: Reef Guardian Schools celebrates 20 years of the program. 
Reef Guardian School Fish
RGS 20 years
Reef Guardian School Tree Planting
Reef-Guardian-School Vegie Planting
Reef Guardian School Engagement
Updated 22 Feb 2024
Was this page helpful?
Your rating will help us improve the website.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.