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Students in The Gap clean up Fish Creek

"​It’s wonderful to see the school and students helping to bring the wildlife back to the creek"

Turning the tide on the adverse effects of urban development, staff and students at Hilder Road State School are improving the health of their local creek.

As a result of urban growth in The Gap area of Brisbane, the waters and banks of Fish Creek, where locals once used to swim and fish, had become polluted.

Driven by a team of parents who were keen to connect the kids with the creek — and supported by the Queensland Government Everyone's Environment Grant — the Fish Creek 4061 project was born.

The Fish Creek 4061 website provides Hilder Road State School teachers with educational resources specific to the creek that support delivering the Australian Curriculum from Prep to Year 6.

"It even includes an entire Year 5 HASS unit plan which makes learning more meaningful for the students. Schools across our area have been adopting this already," Ollie Narbey, one of the directors of the project said.

From picking up rubbish to planting trees and taking part in water quality testing, students gain real-life experience of how their actions affect the natural environment and how the environment affects them.

"Our staff, students, P&C and local community have worked hard to improve Fish Creek and bring back the animals and plants so future generations can enjoy their local environment," Mrs Narbey said.

Hilder Road State School P&C Association founding member Jeff Hilder's family settled in the area in the mid-1800s as it was developed into farmland.

"The creek really suffered from development of the area because of the local abattoir that operated from 1897 to 1923 and pollution of the Brisbane River from sewage and industrial waste," Mr Hilder said.

"It's wonderful to see the school and students helping to bring the wildlife back to the creek. We now often see King Parrots and yellow-tailed cockatoos in the area."

The future looks bright for Fish Creek with awards and partnerships with local organisations continuing to support the school's efforts. Next stop is building an environmental walkway to give students access to more of the creek for class activities with interactive signage to link back to what they are learning in class.

Other schools in the local area have been encouraged to take part in the Fish Creek 4061 project and make use of the available resources.

More information can be found at

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) ( )
Last updated
02 September 2019