Sunday, March 13, 2011



AUSMEPA’S Executive Director, Michael Julian, announced today the launch of the Rhonnda Alexander Memorial Marine Education Grant in the memory of Rhonnda Alexander and her support for AUSMEPA as well as for marine conservation and marine environment education. Rhonnda was married to Michael Alexander, AUSMEPA’s first Chairman, for 46 years until her tragic death on 19 July 2011 in a car accident near their Peregian Springs home.

Rhonnda played a key role in the setting up of AUSMEPA and encouraging her husband Michael to also get involved and accept the challenge of being the inaugural Chairman. Throughout her husband’s Chairmanship Rhonnda was a keen supporter of AUSMEPA making suggestions on how AUSMEPA could grow and achieve its goals.

AUSMEPA will award the grant of $3,000 each year to the school that can demonstrate, in its application for the grant, the most effective school marine education project that will lead to students actively improving the marine environment. This could include educating their local community and other environmental behaviour change activities.

The type of project is entirely up to each school; however the grant application must meet the required criteria. See attachment.

For the first year of the grant, applications are being sought only from schools whose teachers are members of the Marine Teachers Association of Queensland. Once AUSMEPA has gained experience in administering the grant, applications next year and subsequent years will be invited from all schools in Australia.

Applications will close at the end of April with AUSMEPA announcing the school to be awarded the grant at the end of May 2011. The successful school will have until the end of November to complete the project and submit to AUSMEPA a three minute video clip about the outcome of their project. The video clip will be loaded on to the AUSMEPA website.

For more information please contact Michael Julian 0417 657 951.

Criteria for AUSMEPA’s Rhonnda Alexander Memorial Marine Education Grant

Main criteria

  1. Students must have a major role in organising the project.
  2. On completion of their project the students will create a video clip communication product suitable to  be placed on the AUSMEPA website. Permission slips will be required.
  3.  The project must have a major coastal conservation application either by direct action or involvement with community education (they have equal weight).
  4. The innovative approach to the project has application to other schools.
  5. The quality of the project content, outcomes and outputs.
  6.  The grant money should not be used for resources already available at school however may be used for example to go towards purchasing or hiring equipment that the school would not normally have.
  7.  The attached application must be fully completed, signed and dated by the school Principal.
Other important information.    
  1. All applications must have both a concise and a detailed description of the student project. Details of expected educational outcomes for students and how this project links to marine conservation must be outlined.
  2. An individual teacher needs to be designated as project leader and primary contact between AUSMEPA and the school.
  3. There must be a budget showing how the grant will be spent. There is no requirement to find matching funding. It is anticipated that some projects may find small unexpected variations in expenditure. Please note there is no requirement to obtain any additional funding however if other sources of funding are made available these should be detailed in the budget.
  4.  The project may be undertaken with a community partner. If there is a partner, details of their role and support needs to be included in the application
  5.  Supporting documentation can be provided as an attachment however the primary assessment will be restricted to the application information.  NOTE:  The application may also be supported by a presentation prepared by the students using one media of their choice to explain why their project is important. Examples of media could include video clip, PowerPoint presentation, song, poem, poster, or postcard etc.   Principal’s signature is required to confirm that the project has the full support and encouragement of the school community. The Principal will supervise the expenditure of the grant taking into account there may be variations that the school will be responsible for resolving.
  6. The project will be considered to be concluded upon confirmed receipt of the student’s video clip communication about the project, accompanied by Parent Permission Slips for student images and budget sign-off by the Principal.

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