Tropical Savannas CRC > Research > CRC Research 2001-2008 > Knowledge and Education > Tropical savannas knowledge for schools

Tropical Savannas Knowledge for Schools

Leaders: Ms Julie Crough, Charles Darwin University, Darwin

Ms Louise Fogg, Department of Employment, Education and Training, Darwin

Full title: Curriculum Support Materials for Teachers and Students in Northern Australia
Project 4.3.2

Summary | Objectives | Outcomes | Outputs | Project Team |


The Tropical Savannas Knowledge in Schools project will provide curriculum support resources and materials that enhance and improve the understanding of Australia’s tropical savannas.

The project will involve TS–CRC (its partners) and:

  • Northern Territory Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET), teachers and schools to develop a comprehensive and interactive website about Tropical Savannas Knowledge that links with the Northern Territory Curriculum Framework, VET modules and Stage 1 and 2 SSABSA courses.
  • Education Queensland to develop a collaborative effort to produce curriculum support materials according to identified needs.
  • Department of Education and Training, Western Australia to develop a collaborative effort to produce curriculum support materials according to identified needs


  • To develop an interactive website that will facilitate and enhance teaching and learning about the Tropical Savannas in Australia in collaboration with TS–CRC partners and DEET.
  • To develop links and partnerships with Education Queensland and the Department of Education and Training, Western Australia.
  • To develop an interactive website (similar to the NT model) in collaboration with the Education Departments in Queensland and Western Australia.
  • To develop other resources (e.g. CD-ROM) which are identified during the project’s duration.
  • To foster and facilitate maximum uptake and use of the website resources and learning through professional development for teachers.
  • To explore the opportunity and potential benefits of developing a northern Australia educators’ forum.


This project would provide a long-term opportunity to improving land management in the savannas through improved capacity building for school students and teachers. If students and teachers have a more comprehensive understanding of the environment in which they live, how it functions as well as an appreciation of the values and perspectives about it, this will contribute to improved medium to long-term benefits for management of the tropical savannas in northern Australia.

The TS–CRC and its core partners represent, between them, many of the key players in Tropical Savannas Knowledge in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia.

For the project to succeed, it will be necessary to ensure the ownership by the main educational agency in the relevant jurisdiction (NT DEET in the first instance), and to ensure that project outputsand outcomes comply with curriculum requirements in that jurisdiction, including relevant national standards and priorities.

Co-investment in the project by the TS–CRC and DEET in the NT will provide the right environment for uptake of project outputs.

Partners (including TS–CRC core partners) that are involved include:

  • NT Dept of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts (DNRETA) and NT Dept of Primary Industries, Fisheries and Mining (DPIF&M)
  • Charles Darwin University (CDU)
  • Greening Australia
  • Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS)
  • Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
  • NT Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET)

The following organisations have been involved in ongoing discussions are:

  • North Australian Indigenous Land & Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA)
  • Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Territory Education (BIITE)
  • Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)


Stage 3—31 December 2005
  • Involve Qld Educators in project.
  • Complete learning modules (design and content) for NT website.
  • Outsource learning modules to multimedia specialists.
  • Pilot website with NT educators.
Stage 4—30 June 2006
  • Finalise revisions and content for NT website.
  • Launch new website for NT educators.
  • Involve WA educators in project.
  • Develop, pilot and review two new websites for Queensland and Western Australia.
  • Professional learning (professional development) workshop for teachers focusing on the effective use of Tropical Savannas Knowledge – EnviroNorth – website for integration in the classroom.
Stage 5—31 December 2006
  • Launch Qld and WA schools websites.
  • Develop strategy for the long-term sustainability of the website’s maintenance.
  • Ongoing updating of the research component of the web by TS-CRC communication team.
  • Evaluate uptake and utilisation of all three websites.
  • Write final report.

Project Team

Ms Julie Crough, TS–CRC
Ms Louise Fogg, NT DEET
Dr Peter Jacklyn, TS–CRC
Barbara White, CDU
Vicki Kane, NT DEET
Jenni Webber, NT DEET
Peter White, NT DEET
Karen Jeffrey, NT DEET


EnviroNorth online

The EnviroNorth website is now online. Two interactive learning modules, Savanna Walkabout which explores the people and diversity of tropical savanna environments, and Burning Issues, which looks at the role of fire in northern landscapes are available.  Other modules in planning are: Cattle Country and Caring for Country (Indigenous).

The site has three sections:

  • Teach Savannas supports classroom teaching and learning materials related to the student modules (in Learn Savannas) for the middle years.

  • Learn Savannas features structured, interactive modules - Savanna Walkabout and Burning Issues. The modules are full of animation, engaging graphics and mini-movies that emphasise not just the remarkable north Australian landscapes and wildlife but also the people who manage and know the country.

  • Savanna Windows links students and teachers to an educational version of the Savanna Explorer website with information on the wildlife, landscapes, people and NRM issues of the tropical savannas.
Go there now >>