Kings Park won a Premier's Science Award for the Chevron Science Engagement Initiative of the Year on 15 August 2018.

Kings Park Education in action with junior bushland explorers. Photo: J. D'Arcy.

The award recognises the outstanding success of Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park and Kings Park Education in innovative science education for young Western Australians.

We are introducing children to the science of WA's extraordinary biodiversity by sitting under a shady tuart tree, paddling in a creek lined with paperbarks, listening to Noongar knowledge of the land around a campfire and traipsing by colourful kangaroo paws.

While there are many benefits of connecting children with nature, the main aim of Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park is to inspire the next generation of Western Australians to love, understand and ultimately become custodians of our natural environment.

Education programs linked to the WA school curriculum mixed with unstructured free time to explore the precinct have been a key to their popularity with schools.

The numbers speak for themselves. More than 20,000 WA school students are now participating in education programs in Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park each year, and a total of 95,000 visitors have passed through the gates in less than six months since its Stage 2 development.

Our partnership with Rio Tinto has been fundamental to the success of Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park and its education initiatives. Rio Tinto and Kings Park share a long-term goal of providing innovative environmental education and creating a legacy for future generations in WA. Without the very significant support of Rio Tinto and our other supporters, the project simply would not have been possible. Rio Tinto have shown enormous commitment to the project, providing critical support since the concept was first established more than ten years ago.

We congratulate our team of Kings Park Education presenters, Aboriginal educators, Naturescapers, horticulturists and many other staff and volunteers who contribute to making the precinct a success.

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists of the 2018 Premier's Science Awards and we extend our thanks to the WA Government and Chevron for the opportunity to participate.

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