Unitywater pilot unique water education incursion

Primary schools across Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast and Noosa are the first in Australia to take part in a new, live, in-school theatre, water education program.

Smart Approved WaterMark and theatre company Gibber Educational are delivering the interactive Walter Smart and Friends education program for Unitywater as part of its drought response.

Aligned to the Australian Curriculum, Walter Smart and Friends is a 40-minute-high energy pantomime style performance and follow-on interactive workshop that inspires and educates students about water use and waste management.

The pilot program is being delivered to 20 schools in Unitywater’s catchment and the whole school can enjoy the performance.

Featuring characters such as The Water Smart Gran, The Singing Chef and of course Walter Smart himself, the performance uses original music and songs, bold costumes, comedy and multimedia to help students become more water aware.

The whole school can enjoy the interactive experience, with students year 2 and above taking part in a post-performance workshop for a deeper dive into what they’ve learned.

Unitywater Executive Manager Customer and Community Katherine Gee said she hoped the program would provide the next generation with information about water conservation in a fun and entertaining way, inspiring them to use it wisely. “We’re proud to pioneer this new approach to getting children excited about the water cycle and conservation, and empower them to use what they need and never waste it,” she said. “We hope they’ll take their learnings home and pass on some good water saving reminders to their parents, carers and friends."

“We know that knowledge is power, so with delivery of this education program we’re working to enable everyone to make more informed choices about how they use and conserve water during times of drought and especially coming into the drier winter season.”

Chris Philpot, CEO of Smart Approved WaterMark said he was excited to deliver the pilot program for Unitywater. “For years, 'Walter Smart and Friends' was Smart WaterMark's social media initiative. It thrills me to bring these characters to life through a program designed to increase water literacy and inspire water efficient behaviour among young Australians. We are grateful to Unitywater for their support with this pilot. We are looking forward to delivering great outcomes for students in the region - not to mention a highly entertaining performance”.

Tim Watt, Director of Gibber Educational said he was confident that the program would help to bring the curriculum to life for students and teachers. “It compliments what goes on in the classroom in fun and engaging way and provides the catalyst and inspiration for conversations and future learning long after we’ve left.”

To find out more about or to apply to have a ‘Walter Smart and Friends’ performance at your school in future contact office@wearegibber.com or info@smartwatermark.info

About Unitywater: Unitywater has been providing essential services to the Moreton Bay, Noosa and Sunshine Coast regions of South East Queensland for 10 years. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, Unitywater provides customers with a high-quality, safe and reliable water supply and sewerage services that are environmentally sustainable. Unitywater is committed to keeping their communities healthy.

About Gibber Educational: Gibber have been helping organisations to inspire positive change in attitudes and behaviour using live interactive theatre, film and multimedia for over 2 decades. Founded in the UK in 1999 Gibber bought their unique style of Theatre in Education to Australia in 2013 and have to date engaged and inspired over 143,000 students across the East Coast in topics such as careers and widening participation in Higher Ed, Underage drinking and the environment. Gibber deliver theatre in education programs that connect and engage with young people, delivering key learning objectives in a fun and memorable way.

About Smart Approved WaterMark: Smart Approved WaterMark (SAWM) is the one-stop shop for water efficiency in Australia. Through its Smart Water Advice program, SAWM delivers a range of educational, interactive water-saving resources for councils and water utilities to take to communities about saving water around the home, garden and business. SAWM certifies water-efficient products and services in Australia, Europe and USA. With Smart Water Solutions, SAWM helps businesses reduce their water use and save money by delivering water audits and recommendations. SAWM is the founder of the national Water Night event launched in 2020 and has also published the ‘Water Efficient Australia’ 2019 report and ‘Water Efficiency 2017’ in partnership with Water Services Association Australia (WSAA). Smart Approved WaterMark works towards a blue future that celebrates the many amazing qualities of water, its strength and its vulnerability.

Find out more about Walter Smart here