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Reverse Garbage Education is excited to launch our inaugural Schools’ Creative Reuse Competition, with thousands of dollars in prize money thanks to our major sponsor, Gateway Bank.

As the largest creative reuse centre in Australia, Reverse Garbage inspires people to make reuse their first choice. Reverse Garbage Education’ sustainability education program encourages young people to think differently about waste. They are our future, so let’s get them reconsidering it as a resource now.

What better way to get them thinking than a competition with their peers (doesn’t hurt that there’s prize money too!).

What is REconsiderED?

Our REconsiderED competition is designed to encourage the reimagining, reinventing, and reinvigorating of resources. It is all about transforming an otherwise-disposable item into something of higher quality, to give it another chance at life. It’s the ultimate in reuse.

Who can enter?

This competition is for school students of all abilities from year 3 to 12, including students who are home schooled. There are three categories:

Year 3 to 6 – groups only (at least five students)

Years 7 to 9 – individuals or groups (at least five students)

Years 10 to 12 – individuals or groups (at least five students)

As all entries will be submitted online, they can be from anywhere in Australia.

What is expected?

Creative reuse is all about the unexpected.

The aim is to reactivate used or recovered waste materials by giving them a new life. Encourage the students to look at what is discarded at school, at home, at their parents’ work, local businesses or on the street. Or they can visit Reverse Garbage for a plethora of reuse resources.

To allow creativity and imagination, we will not put restrictions on the form of the entry. It may be as small and simple as old pencils being transformed into a coaster, or as large and elaborate as a bookshelf made of old school desks! As long as you can fit it in a photograph, then go for it!

Second-hand glue is never effective, so our one concession is that new (non-waste) components may be used for assembling the work, for eg. binding, bonding, adhering.

Creative reuse is so much more than just artworks. Entries can be functional, fancy or fun.

How do I register?

Complete a registration form by 30 July 2021. For the primary category, this must be done by a teacher. For the secondary categories, it can be either a teacher or parent.

Detailed instructions on how to participate will be sent to everyone who registers..

Are there any fees?

No. Thanks to the support of Gateway Bank, entry is free.

What are the prizes?

Entries will be judged by a panel of creatives with experience in, and an appreciation of, creative reuse. In each category, the judges will choose a:

Winner: $1000
Runner up: $500
Highly commended: $250
People’s Choice award selected from all entries: $500

Prize money is provided by our proud supporter, Gateway Bank.

Will there be an exhibition?

Yes. All entries will be displayed on an online exhibition from 8 – 21 November. This is why quality photos are important.

What dates do I need to be aware of?

Register by 30 July 2021
Entries submitted by 8 October 2021
Category winners announced: week of 8 November 2021
Online exhibition: 8 – 21 November 2021
People’s Choice Award announced: week of 22 November 2021

Are there posts and posters I can use to get the word out?

Glad you asked. We’ve created a couple of posters and social posts to help spread the word.

Also follow #REconsiderEDschools and our social media pages for tips on assemblage, photography, and of course to see what interesting reuse resources we have available.

Reverse Garbage Education Facebook Instagram

Social posts

Posters to print A3 or A4

A message from our sponsors

Our Purpose: Pocket & Planet

Gateway is committed to doing the right thing for our Members’ pockets and their planet, and drive our commitment through a range of initiatives that underpin this purpose. We have been certified as a carbon neutral organisation by Climate Active, and have published our Ethical Investment and Ethical Lending policies which state which sectors we will invest in and lend to, and importantly, which sectors we won’t support.

In our aim to help our Members save money and the planet by using resources as least wastefully as possible, we have partnered with creative reuse organisation Reverse Garbage NSW to support waste repurpose and reduction.



What’s the fine print?

Terms and conditions

  1. Entries must be submitted via email to reconsidered@reversegarbage.org.au by 5.00pm, 18 October 2021.
  2. Entries must be made from used or recovered waste materials. You will need to provide specifics of these materials on the entry form. Non-waste (new) products can only be used for assembling the work, including for binding and adhering.
  3. Entries must be the original work of the entrants and created during the 2021 school year.
  4. A maximum of three entries per group, or one per individual may be submitted.
  5. Items exhibited elsewhere in other prizes or exhibitions are eligible as long as they meet all criteria for this competition.
  6. Artworks that contain unauthorised use of indigenous symbols, motifs or styles are not eligible.
  7. Entrants must be enrolled in primary or high school in 2021.
  8. Entry into the Primary category must be submitted by a teacher/principal who will be the contact person for all communications. Any prize will be issued to the school, for the supervising teacher/principal to oversee.
  9. Entries into the Secondary categories must be submitted by a parent, teacher, or principal who will be the contact person for all communications. Any prize will be issued to this adult for distribution.
  10. All entries will be judged using the photographs and description included in the entry.
  11. Reverse Garbage reserves the right to refuse to exhibit artwork if offensive in any way, or does not align with its values.
  12. Every entry must include photos of the students working on the entry as proof it is an original entry. These photos may be used in the exhibition.
  13. The winner(s) may be requested to become involved in further publicity related to the Competition.
  14. Photos supplied as entries may be used by Reverse Garbage and sponsors for promotion and celebration purposes.
  15. Our major sponsor is Gateway Bank www.gatewaybank.com.au
  16. All winner(s) will be notified by Reverse Garbage in the week beginning 8 November 2021.

Contact us

If you have more questions, please email reconsidered@reversegarbage.org.au