The innovative and original approach to natural gas safety being delivered through the ATCO Gas Blue Flame Kitchen Schools Program has received top marks at the 2016 Department of Commerce Consumer Protection Awards, taking home the highly regarded KidsafeWA Award. Presented by Hon Michael Mischin, Minister for Commerce, the ATCO Gas Blue Flame Kitchen Schools Program was recognised for its significant contribution to the advancement of injury prevention for children in the community, joining a prestigious list of past winners including RAC WA and Surf Life Saving Western Australia.
Developed as a free excursion open to all year five and six primary school students (10 & 11 year olds), the program is run at ATCO Gas Australia’s Operations Centre in Jandakot. Utilising the joy of cooking to capture kids’ imagination, gas safety tips are provided along with advice on nutrition and healthy food choices. The various program components aligning with state and national education curriculum frameworks.
Now in its third year, the ATCO Gas Blue Flame Kitchen Schools Program is a key component of ATCO Gas Australia’s natural gas safety and awareness activities, and in 2016 will welcome another 800 students into the kitchen. ATCO is Western Australia’s largest natural gas distribution owner and operator, and provides a safe, reliable and cost effective energy choice to approximately 725,000 consumers throughout the state.
“We’re delighted to be the 2016 recipient of the Kidsafe WA Award,” said ATCO Gas Australia President, Pat Donovan. “It is a great honour to be recognised in this way and reaffirms the approach to education and promotion of natural gas safety through the ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen is having a positive and lasting impact within the community we serve,” Mr Donovan added.
As part of the award, ATCO Gas Australia was presented with a $2500 cheque which Mr Donovan said will be reinvested into the Schools Program and used to defray the costs of bus hire for schools previously unable to attend the program due to financial constraints.
“While we provide the Schools Program free of charge, some schools can be stretched in their capacity to transport students,” said Mr Donovan. “We’re pleased to be able to use the award funds to assist schools in this situation so that as many students as possible have the opportunity to attend and learn at the ATCO Gas Blue Flame Kitchen,” said Mr Donovan.
Away from the traditional classroom environment, students participate in hands on, age-appropriate, activities and gain ‘real-world’ learning opportunities through the skill and expertise of professional chefs, as well as ATCO Gas Australia specialists who explain the journey of natural gas, the equipment used to maintain the distribution network and how to identify any take action if any issues arise. Students are also provided with a take home booklet that encourages further discussion in class as well as with friends and family.
South Coogee Primary was the first school to take part in the pilot program in 2014. They returned last year after coming away with plenty of positive experiences, and are booked again for 2016. Principal Lynette Beard said students enjoyed the interactive learning environment which provides plenty of good advice and understanding of nutrition and natural gas safety.
“Feedback on the ATCO Gas Blue Flame Kitchen Schools Program from students and teachers has been overwhelmingly positive,” Mrs Beard said. “Collectively it was agreed that the experience was very practical, educational and great fun. The students particularly enjoyed cooking from scratch, learning about healthy foods and how to use gas properly. It is an excursion we would highly recommend,” Mrs Beard added.
Learn more or book your place in the ATCO Gas Blue Flame Kitchen Schools Program.
About the Kidsafe WA Award
The Kidsafe WA Award acknowledges an individual, local government, non-government organisation, business or group of individuals operating in Western Australia that have, through their particular field of endeavour, made a significant contribution to the advancement of injury prevention for children in their community. They may have worked to raise awareness of specific product hazards, be involved in the design and development of new products that improve consumer safety, or they may have developed and delivered projects or initiatives that raise community understanding and awareness of product safety.
Read more about the Consumer Protection Awards.
ATCO is a diversified global corporation delivering service excellence and innovative business solutions in Structures & Logistics, Electricity, Pipelines & Liquids, and Retail Energy. More information about ATCO can be found on www.ATCO.com.