Educating for a sustainable future

Our vision is to educate students who will make a positive difference in contributing to a sustainable future

Our most simple definition of sustainability at Cornish College is making a difference for a world where there is enough for all, forever.

We believe the best way to achieve our vision is to embed sustainability, in its widest form, within our curriculum. We do this through our four
Rings of Sustainability.

In the context of learning at Cornish, the four Rings underpin everything we do and help us to embed a holistic approach to the understanding of big questions:

  • Natural considers issues from an environmental perspective, including how we, as local and global citizens, manage our ecological footprint, value and protect biodiversity and work to understand how we are connected with the Earth
  • Personal focuses on the individual, skills for living and wellbeing
  • Urban/technological takes a technological perspective
  • Socio-cultural examines beliefs, customs and practices

We embed sustainability in our curriculum through the Rings of Sustainability and by regularly connecting children to nature through our commitment to an outdoor learning pedagogical framework. We recognise that connection to nature is linked to pro-environmental behaviour moving forward into adulthood. Through careful and purposeful curriculum planning, direct teaching, inquiry and action, we develop an appreciation for and connection to the natural world. This helps us all to understand how important it is to make wise and careful decisions moving forward into the future.

The challenge for us, indeed for everyone is to put these ideals into practice on a daily basis. The College is committed to being leaders in education for a sustainable future and we pledge to do our part to create a world where our actions mitigate against runaway climate change.


Our participation in the Victorian Government’s ResourceSmart Schools Program falls under natural sustainability. The program supports schools as they integrate sustainability into their strategic planning and processes, helping them to improve their resource management while embedding sustainability practices into school operations, teaching, learning and community engagement.

Our ResourceSmart committee of staff and students is working hard to identify areas where we can make a difference in areas such as operational, teaching and learning and whole school community engagement. One area that was identified by a group of Year 10 students was our canteen and they investigated how we might provide more sustainable packaging choices.

TAKE2 Pledge

In late 2019, Cornish College signed the Victorian Government’s TAKE2 Pledge, which is “Working together, we pledge to play our part and take action on climate change for Victoria, our country and our planet”. We are aiming to become, amongst other initiatives, a Five Star ResourceSmart School and a community hub for sustainability.

We gained our first star in April 2020, our second star in 2021.


Our award-winning EcoCentre allows students to learn and create outdoors and to build their own knowledge base around sustainability, animals, food production and the use of recycled materials. Our students’ hunger for knowledge is supported by our dedicated and passionate staff, and our parent and alumni community.


  • Environment Education Victoria Awards – Excellence Award, Nicola Forrest, Deputy Principal
  • 2018 Greater Dandenong Sustainability Awards – Community Category
  • 2018 State Award – Victorian Schools Garden Awards, for Prep to Year 12 schools
  • 2018 Regional Victorian Schools Garden Award – Most Engaging Student Garden for Learning
  • 2020 ResourceSmart Schools Awards finalists – Embedding Sustainability ELC-Year 6 – Curriculum Leadership School of the Year (Primary) and Embedding Sustainability – Curriculum Leadership School of the Year (Secondary)
  • 2023 Five Leaf Eco-Awards – Basic Certificate, Eco Worship Award, Eco Outreach Award
  • 2023 The Educator – 5-Star Sustainable Program National Award Winner