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Local students top water poster prize

East Gippsland Water

25 October 2022

Students from Buchan, Metung, Swan Reach, and Newmerella Primary Schools are the East Gippsland regional winners in this year’s National Water Week poster competition, with one student placing first at the state level and another a runner-up.

William Hodge from Buchan Primary School topped the Additional Needs category in East Gippsland and took out the top prize in the category for Victoria. His colourful poster illustrates the issues Buchan’s water supply has faced over the past few years, from drought to fire and flood.

Ava Voigt from Swan Reach Primary School took first place in the regional Grade 1/2 poster competition with their colourful poster depicting different water stories and how we can protect our waterways.

The other East Gippsland regional winners who impressed the judges with their vibrant posters were:

Category:                               Winner:                                   School:

Prep                                       Elly Austin                              Newmerella Primary

Grades 1-2                             Ava Voigt                               Swan Reach Primary

Grades 3-4                             Grace Hotchins                    Metung Primary 

Grade 5-6                              Grace Strecker                      Bairnsdale Primary 


Additionally, congratulations go to the runners-up:

Skye Rojas (Prep – Orbost Primary School), Charlotte Durston ( Prep – Newmerella Primary School) Kaiabelle Hare (Grade 1/2-Metung Primary School), Noah Bowen (Grade 1/2 – Buchan Primary School), Piper Crawley  (Grade 3/4 – Metung Primary School), Stella Kuick, (Grade 3/4 -St Mary’s Primary School), Laura Jeans (Grade 5/6 – Bairnsdale Primary School), Jacquè Renaut (Grade 5/6 – Cann River P-12 College), Jayden Bristow (Additional Needs – Bairnsdale Primary School), Theo Mills (Additional Needs – Swan Reach Primary School).

This year the school prize, sponsored by Southern Rural Water, was won by St Joseph’s Primary School in Orbost.

East Gippsland Water’s Executive Manager Customers, Community, and Communications David Radford said:

“The standard of entries in this year’s competition has been outstanding. It’s inspiring to see how well-informed our young residents are about the importance of using water efficiently and its environmental significance. This owes a great deal to the work done by local schools to help maintain and increase awareness.”

East Gippsland Water and Southern Rural Water presented the competition winners and schools with their prizes during National Water Week. Each entrant will also receive a participation certificate.

The region’s winning posters are on display at East Gippsland Water’s Bairnsdale office at 133 Macleod Street and online at



Steve McKenzie, East Gippsland Water Managing Director, Piper Crawley, Kris Gaffney, East Gippsland Water Community Engagement Officer and Julie Butt-Henley, Metung Primary School Principal.

William Hodge, State winner, Noah Bowen and Wendy Reeves, East Gippsland Water Manager Communications & Community Engagement.