“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.” ― L.R. Knost

This year, we teamed up with the wonderful folks at Edgar’s Mission and invited Australian school students to stand up for animals on Be Kind to Animals Week.

We received a fantastic response from over 4,100 students in 65 schools across the country. Students worked on a range of different projects, including skit videos, displaying posters in the community, writing stories, visiting animal shelters, organising fundraisers, and more.

Students also focused on a range of different animal rights issues, such as protecting local wildlife, fighting cosmetic animal testing, practising responsible pet guardianship, supporting the work of animal rescue groups, and speaking out against intensive farming practices.

Here are the winners of the Be Kind to Animals Week 2015 school competition. Congratulations to everyone who took part!

Primary school division
Sponsored by Syndian, Renata Jayne and Loving Hut Perth

Yalata Anangu School, SA – $1000
Raising community awareness about caring for free roaming dogs in their remote Indigenous community, and raising funds for rural animal health programs by organising a local cleanup and recycling scheme. Teacher: Vanessa Rowe

Churchlands Primary School, WA – $500
Integrating technology in various ways to raise awareness about local birdlife and the need for residents to help protect them. Students conducted extensive research on different bird species and their various threats, and distributed eye-catching information posters with QR codes for the public. Teacher: Christopher Nener

Churchlands Primary School 3

Montessori International College, QLD (WANDI student group) – $200
Preparing cooked vegan dog treats to sell to the community and successfully raise funds to support animal rescue programs. Students packaged the treats and painted signs to advertise the fundraiser. Teacher: Lauren Paterson

vegan dog treats

Shortlisted prize winners
Prizes by Love That Pet, Renata Jayne and Faye Leister

Binnu Primary School, WA
Students studied responsible pet guardianship and created posters to present at their school assembly. Students also sold cupcakes to raise funds for animal rescue programs. Teacher: Kristy Cope

Crown Street Public School, NSW
Creating animal rights posters to display in their community. Students shared the message that ‘animals have rights, feelings and homes just like we do. It’s their rights to feel safe and loved.’ Teacher: Malin Frick

Tathra Public School, NSW
Kindergarten students studied a range of animal issues relating to companion animals, farm animals and wildlife. Students created a digital storybook after researching different ways to help injured wildlife. Teacher: Kylie Leung

Bangalow Public School, NSW
Students created and presented PowerPoint slides outlining various animal rights issues, including the impact of littering on wildlife and animal cruelty involved in the elephant tourism industry overseas. Teacher: Leonie Hibble

Christian College Geelong, VIC
Students researched and learned about the natural environments and behaviours of chickens, ducks, rabbits and guinea pigs, and filmed and edited a video explaining what they learned using green screen technology. Teacher: Tom Hartley

Secondary School division
Sponsored by ManageFlitter, SpiritWings and Veganpet

St Monica’s College, VIC – $1000
Students conducted research and presented their findings on various animal rights issues of their choice, examining the plight of animals used by the food and cosmetic industries. Students created a video outlining how their perceptions of dairy, egg production and animal testing have developed, and discussed how individuals and groups can drive important changes in these industries. Teacher: Sheelagh Leary

Greystanes High School, NSW – $500
Students carried out an animal rights unit and studied issues relating to keeping whales in captivity, the problems associated with growing meat, dairy and egg consumption, the mistreatment of domestic animals, and waterway pollution. Students created skit videos to raise awareness in the community and raise funds for animal rescue programs. Teacher: Hayley Matas

Cecil Hills High School, NSW – $200
Special needs students built clay bird houses and birdbaths to accommodate local birds in their school garden, after seeing swallows building nests too closely to the school playground where they wouldn’t be safe. Teachers: Roshna Sharma and Margaret Beadle

building bird house

Shortlisted prize winners
Prizes by Love That Pet, Dural Music Centre and Animals Australia Unleashed

Crookwell High School, NSW
Students and staff wore a green accessory or item of clothing to raise awareness for animal rights issues and raise funds for animal rescue programs. Teacher: Nathan Wong

Aquinas College, NSW (Students: Nicholas Lane, Rachel Verheijen, Scarlett Ranger)
Students carried out various different projects, including a reflective writing piece (Scarlett Ranger), recording community attitudes towards animals (Nicholas Lane), and visiting an animal shelter to raise awareness about the important role of rescue groups (Rachel Verheijen). Teacher: Bernadette Alexander

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