The Gap’s Sue Moller and Payne Road State School Win Top WasteSMART Awards

Did you know that local waste reduction champions Sue Moller and Payne Road State School have been recognised for their outstanding and long-term commitment to waste prevention at the 2023 WasteSMART Awards?

Read: Young Eco-Warriors From The Gap Receive ‘Change Maker of the Year’ Award

Sue Moller, a retired nurse turned “Master Composter” from The Gap, won the prestigious All-Star Award, which celebrates sustained dedication to decreasing waste in the community. Since completing her composting certification course in 2021, Ms Moller has worked tirelessly to cut landfill contributions from her neighbourhood.

From starting compost programs at local schools to collecting food scraps from community gardens, Ms Moller helps divert over 400 kg of waste each month. She also hosts free composting workshops and serves as a drop-off point for other composters.

Ms Moller (Photo credit: Brisbane Sustainability Agency/Facebook) 

Payne Road State School, on the other hand, takes a multi-faceted approach to embed sustainability within the school. They host an annual Environmental Leadership Workshop for 11 neighbouring institutions to promote broader engagement. Students also educate the wider community about their efforts at local events like the Eco Forum by MP Jonty Bush.

Photo credit: Brisbane Sustainability Agency/Facebook 

The school has both Junior and Senior Environment Clubs that meet weekly to maintain critical initiatives from their vegetable garden to their compost system.

Club members oversee native plantings and beehives across the grounds whilst monitoring energy and water consumption. They also organise classroom electricity usage competitions and have incorporated “Wrapper Free Wednesdays” to minimise plastic waste as part of the Tangalooma Ecomarines program. 

Sue moller
Payne Road State School students (Photo credit: 

Through their comprehensive and immersive sustainability programs, Payne Road students lead the charge on responsible waste management.

Payne Road shares the WasteSMART School Award with the Urban Farm at St Laurence’s College, which was also named winner for the said category this year.

About the 2023 WasteSMART Awards 

Sue Moller
Photo credit: Brisbane Sustainability Agency/Facebook

The 2023 WasteSMART Awards featured nine categories celebrating sustainability leaders across sectors. The coveted All-Star Award specifically honours outstanding long-term dedication to waste reduction. This year’s competition also distributed over $4,000 in prize money to 12 deserving honorees.

Judging panels assembled experts from Cleanaway, Containers for Change, the University of Queensland, and other organisations to select winners in all categories except one. The People’s Choice Award was determined by votes from the general public.

Read: Brisbane Fee Cut Sparks Surge in Green Waste Recycling Bin Orders

Winners across all nine categories were formally announced at the Lord Mayor’s Awards Ceremony, held at the Brisbane City Hall on 16 November 2023. 

Published 29-November-2023