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Published: 23 June 2021   •   Media release

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is partnering with an award-winning educational organisation to help Goondiwindi students investigate the region's unique river systems and the importance of careful management of water resources.

Petaurus Education Group will deliver the Basin Heroes pilot program to schools in the Basin, including Goondiwindi, during 2021 with a focus on the importance of the Murray-Darling Basin as a vital national asset.

As part of the pilot program, students from schools in Goondiwindi, Leeton, Albury-Wodonga, Mildura, and Murray Bridge will explore local catchment issues. They'll engage with local farmers, Traditional Owners, educators and scientists through field trips and interviews and ultimately create their own book of what they learnt about their local environment and the entire Basin.

MDBA's Chief Operating Officer Annette Blyton said it was paramount that students understood the importance of the Basin and how they could help to keep it healthy for future generations.

"The Murray-Darling Basin is an ecological and economic powerhouse and Goondiwindi is an important cog in these wheels with its rich biodiversity and booming cotton, vegetable, fruit, nut and cereal industries," Ms Blyton said.

"This project is one example of the MDBA's commitment to working with regional communities to achieve the best outcomes for the people and the environment dependent on a healthy Basin."

Petaurus Education Group Program Coordinator, Caitlin Lawrence said her team would work with Basin schools and communities to improve their knowledge and appreciation of the freshwater ecosystems of the Basin, as well as the Basin's importance for agriculture and communities.

"The Murray-Darling Basin is home to 2.2 million Australians including more than 40 First Nations, generates $24 billion in food and fibre and $8 billion in tourism. More than 120 waterbirds and more than 50 native fish species live in the Basin," Mrs Lawrence said.

"We will explore the Basin from a local and national perspective. Student will gain first-hand knowledge from landholders, educators, MDBA officers and Traditional Owners."

This is a pilot program across a select number of locations and an evaluation will be completed at the end of the year before a decision is made to roll it out further.

Schools interested in this program are welcome to contact Petaurus on 0434 208 849.

ENDS

Captions: (Students on log) High school students participate in a field day event full of hands-on activities from a previous program. (Students on beanbags) Primary school students read a case-study book they created from previous programs
Captions: (Students on log) High school students participate in a field day event full of hands-on activities from a previous program. (Students on beanbags) Primary school students read a case-study book they created from previous programs

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