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):
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.
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.
Share your story
From humble beginnings with 5 pilot schools, there have been some amazing achievements over the years. We would love to hear your stories!
Our mission in the next 12 months is to celebrate these amazing achievements over the last 20 years.
To do this, we need your help! We want to share the stories of our past and present Reef Guardian School students, teachers, parents and the community to inspire the next generation to love and care for the Great Barrier Reef. We have compiled some questions below to gather your stories and ideas for how we can share and celebrate this milestone.
We are not sure just yet how we want to present all of these stories, but we have some ideas... such as mini profiles on our reefed.ed.au website, creating a video and sharing on our social media - but we'd love to hear your ideas too.
- Reef Guardian School Program Timeline
- 2003: The Reef Guardian School Program is 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 their efforts to become 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 10-year 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 their efforts to reduce their environmental impact and educate 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.
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.