National Water Week online learning festival

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Calling all kindergartens, schools and community members to join us in this year's online learning festival as we explore the theme of Explore your Backyard during National Water Week.

We are partnering with water corporations across the state to bring together a fantastic collection of online events, printable resources and on demand videos to make National Water Week 2021 a week of fun and learning. 

Each day we will be exploring a different theme, all related to your backyard, local waterways and the environment.

Our online festival officially starts on Monday 18 October, 2021 and will finish on Sunday 24 October, 2021. 

You won’t want to miss this – whether you are a garden enthusiast or you have students in the classroom or remote learning, get ready to explore!

All activities are FREE of charge.

Can’t make it that week? Our online learning festival will be available for on demand catch up!

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Event program

Explore Your Backyard - Launch

Costa the Garden Gnome and Coliban Water’s Managing Director Damian Wells sat down for a Sunday afternoon chat, discussing gardening and water use:

    • The popularity of gardening and exploring our local neighbourhood surging during Victorian lockdowns.
    • How climate change, population growth and water availability can inform garden planning to future-proof our gardens.

  • Bee and Butterfly Encounter

Wednesday 20 October at 12.30pm

Join Sam from Labcoat Learning for an up-close look at bees and butterflies! Learn why bees and butterflies are great for our gardens. Plus, find out about the importance of water for invertebrates and how you can help. View on Facebook or YouTube.

  • Sharing spaces – how you can help your local birds

Thursday 21 October at 12.30 pm *This event requires bookings

Join Dr Holly Parsons from Birdlife Australia, and explore the wonderful world of birds. Holly is the Urban Bird Program Manager and will share tips on how to identify the birds that visit your backyard or nearby parkland. Holly also has useful ideas to help you provide habitat and resources for our feathered friends.

Please find below on demand videos and resources sorted by theme:

Suggested audience in italics. We recommend teachers/ parents preview resources to ensure they are suitable for their group/ children. Ensure children are adequately supervised when participating in these activities.

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Traditional Owners – connection to land and water

Filmed at VicWater's 2021 conference, Rodney Carter and Rueben Berg speak about First Nation's cultural values in waterways. Rodney is a descendant of Dja Dja Wurrung and Yorta Yorta people and Ruben is a proud Gunditjmara man from Melbourne. They offer suggestions that not only work to preserve our waterways but provide a broader perspective on how we can all keep working towards reconciliation. Secondary & adult.

Join Wadawurrung Traditional Owners and Central Highland Water staff to see how a modern scar tree is created. (3 min video, on demand). Secondary & adult.



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Backyard water experiments

School and pre-school aged children will love these animated experiment videos with Wally the Water Scientist. Created by Goulburn Valley Water, each experiment is supported with a worksheet. Primary & kindergarten with adult support.

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Waterwise gardening

  • Mulching your garden can save up to 70% of water from evaporating. Find out about different mulches and help your garden thrive in this 4-minute video from North East Water. Primary, secondary, adults.
  • Outdoor water use accounts for 25-50% of the average home’s water consumption. Gardens are an area where huge amounts of water are wasted. Visit Smart Approved WaterMark’s website to read about ways you can save water. Secondary & adult.

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Nature study & nature play

Build greater awareness, appreciation and understanding of the natural world! Primary & kindergarten with adult support.

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Backyard mini projects

Learn how to select and plant native and indigenous plants in your garden to improve the biodiversity of insects and native fauna that visit your patch. Primary.

A perfect rainy-day activity from East Gippsland Water. Make a rain gauge from a jar and measure how much rain you collect.

Healesville Sanctuary Vet Kath will show you the best way to leave water out for local wildlife during the summer months. More tips on helping wildlife in summer. Primary, all ages.


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Caring for local waterways

  • Caring for water and country – School project videos

    Southern Rural Water supported several rural primary schools to conduct mini projects on the importance of healthy waterways and habitats.

    Find out more about our local waterways by watching this short video by Penshurst Primary School.

Find out the benefits in removing willows from our waterways. Secondary and adult.

Growing indigenous plants around waterways and on cleared farmland improves raw water quality. Find out more in this short video made by Bass Coast Landcare Network & Westernport Water. Secondary and adult.

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Capture your backyard this National Water Week for a photo competition!

The photo competition is running in conjunction with the Explore Your Backyard online learning festival. GWMWater is hosting the competition on behalf of other water organisations involved and is the sponsor of the competition.

You’re invited to send a photo of how you save and use water in your backyard/garden for the chance to win a $100 gift voucher. The photo competition is open to students and community members in the state of Victoria to enter in one of these three categories:

  • Primary School-aged - Kids Gift Card (Coles Group & Myer)
  • Secondary School-aged - Kids Gift Card (Coles Group & Myer)
  • Community - Gift Card to Bunnings

Entries close on Monday 18 October at 5 pm.

Winners will be announced on Friday 22 October, during National Water Week.

Conditions of entry

Enter here


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The weather is warming up and it's a great time to head outdoors and spend some time in the garden. Enter our Water, It, Grow It, Cook It competition by designing a recipe inspired from your school or community group garden and enter for the chance to win some great prizes.

Click here for more information and to enter

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Storytime & mindfulness

Take your device outside for a story or mindfulness activity (then see what outside play happens next!)

A beautifully illustrated story that ventures from home to another country and back again, describing the water cycle. More water cycle activities are available. Primary.

Join yoga teacher, Victoria, on a journey through the water cycle. Made in Bendigo, this calming video helps tactile learners process and retain information about the water cycle. Primary.

Download and print this origami chatterbox to help teach children about the importance of using water wisely! Primary.

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Discover water - resources

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Are you ready to celebrate National Water Week?

Step outside with dirtgirl, scrapboy and Costa the Garden Gnome and discover the story of water.

Check out their water week fun here to sing, dance, make and learn more about wonderful water and the water cycle.

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