FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday 22 July 2002
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION: AUSTRALIA LEADS THE WAY
Every primary school in Australia will soon benefit from the world's leading interactive environmental education program, developed by an innovative Melbourne-based small business, Sustain Ability International.
The Ollie Saves the Planet CD-ROM and web-based program, launched today by the Minister for Environment, the Hon. Dr David Kemp, will be distributed to every Australian primary school thanks to funding from several of Australia's peak industry and environmental bodies and some of the country's largest corporations.
Sustain Ability's previous interactive environmental program, Ollie Recycles, has already found its way into every primary school in Victoria, most of the rest of Australia, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The launch of Ollie Saves the Planet marks the first international release of the new program, before planned releases in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
Developed for five-to-13 year-olds, this world-leading educational IT product uses a cast of cartoon mates, headed by Ollie, who cycle and skateboard their way through saving the planet. The program's message is ecological and social sustainability and the importance of reducing our impact on the environment.
These are goals that children and their parents can help achieve by wise waste management - the message of reduce, reuse and recycle -and rethinking their energy and water consumption and encouraging biodiversity.
The companies and peak bodies sponsoring the CD-ROM have contributed funding to show their commitment to these important objectives and detail how Australian industry and business is moving towards sustainable production.
Helping to launch Ollie Saves the Planet, polar explorer and former teacher, Eric Philips, said that in order to strike the right balance between the needs of man and the needs of the environment, the current generation of school children would have to grasp the concept of ecological sustainability.
"Travelling to some of the most pristine places on earth, you're struck by just how precious and fragile this planet is. Ours was the first and probably only South Pole expedition to recover and retrieve all its waste. If it was possible to clean up after ourselves and be mindful of the rubbish we produced in the hardship conditions of a polar expedition, then it only takes a little bit of commitment to do that in your own backyard," Philips said.
The Ollie CD program is completely produced in Australia, underscoring Sustain Ability International's belief in the outstanding IT talent found locally. Ollie Saves the Planet was designed by Sustain Ability director, Jane Stewart, with help from a panel of leading environmental educators. Worldwide Interactive Group's Tim Austin, a multimedia specialist and leading "on-line" educator, is responsible for all the graphics and animation.
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