Sydney, November 23rd, 2021 - Earthwatch Australia is to partner with Swarovski Waterschool on a new program to educate young people in New South Wales and Victoria around water conservation.

The collaboration will teach pupils from 15 schools in Western Sydney and metropolitan Melbourne about the importance of water and the environment, focussing on the unique water challenges faced in Australia.

Climate change is putting freshwater ecosystems at risk in the New South Wales region, with droughts, growing water demand and the pollution of water catchments caused by bushfires seriously impacting water supplies and affecting the quality of life of locals.

Swarovski Waterschool will partner with Earthwatch Australia’s Kids Teaching Kids program to address these challenges, empowering students to become water ambassadors so they can inspire behaviour change in their communities. The students will learn from teachers and scientists and through peer education, and will connect with local water authorities, government bodies and environmental organisations to create wider impact. They will also gain an increased understanding of the cultural and social value of water to First Nations people and share their insights with over 2,000 students across the country at Kids Teaching Kids events, encouraging others to follow in their footsteps.

Nadja Swarovski, Chair of the Swarovski Foundation, commented: “Swarovski Waterschool is delighted to partner with Earthwatch Australia on this fantastic new program in the greater Sydney area. Teaching young people to treasure and protect the world’s most precious resource is critical if we are to safeguard our world for future generations, and Kids Teaching Kids’ peer teaching approach is a powerful way of empowering them to be the driving force of change. We look forward seeing the graduation of Australia’s next generation of environmental leaders.”

Cassandra Nichols, CEO of Earthwatch, commented: “The Kids Teaching Kids program is a transformational experience that empowers young people to protect our natural environment. By partnering with Swarovski, the next generation will become leaders, teaching peers and the broader community about the importance of water, an invaluable resource to our communities. Students are empowered to become environmental stewards, creating on ground action projects to conserve water into the future.”

David Clark, teacher at Coreen School in Blacktown, New South Wales commented: “During the Sydney COVID-19 lockdown, the Swarovski Waterschool program has been a fantastic help, and engagement with the subject matter has been inspiring. It is a space where staff and students meet to learn together.”

Swarovski Waterschool empowers young people and their communities to become water stewards by providing tools and training that address their local water challenges. Now active in eight countries across the globe - Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, India, Thailand, Uganda and the USA - it has educated 740,000 students at 2,500 schools since 2000.

The partnership between Swarovski Waterschool Australia and Earthwatch will be announced at the annual Kids Teaching Kids Conference, taking place virtually on 23rd and 24th November 2021. Fifty schools will come together to celebrate environmental literacy and sustainability projects through student-produced workshops, student keynote speakers, and in-school legacy projects.

The program will contribute to three of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development set out by the United Nations: Quality Education - by providing hands-on and Science-led teaching and encouraging students to educate their peers and gain problem solving skills and a sense of purpose and future; Clean Water and Sanitation - by working to ensure students gain knowledge about the importance of sustainable water use via field trips and project work; and Partnership for the Goals - by encouraging students to connect with local government agencies, NGOs, businesses and communities.