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If you haven’t already heard the good news, sustainability is now one of the three cross-curriculum priorities stipulated by the Australian Curriculum.

Along with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures and Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia, these cross-curriculum priorities are to be embedded in all learning areas. They will have a strong but varying presence depending on their relevance to each learning areas. 

Head to Cool Australia’s curriculum page to explore our curriculum aligned resources. 


You may have noticed that the content descriptions that support the knowledge, understanding and skills of sustainability are tagged with a leaf icons.

content description



The tagging brings to the attention of teachers the need and opportunity to address the cross-curriculum priorities at this time. However, there are endless opportunities to integrate sustainability into your classroom.

Sustainability diagram

Sustainability education is futures-oriented, focusing on protecting environments and creating a more ecologically and socially just world through informed action. Actions that support more sustainable patterns of living require consideration of environmental, social, cultural and economic systems and their interdependence.


When you view sustainability in this light, you can embed sustainability into all learning areas across the Australian Curriculum.

In fact, many teachers are already integrating sustainability in their classrooms in fun and creative ways.

  • Physical Education teachers are using fair trade soccer balls and discussing how much water it takes to keep their footy oval green.
  • Home Economic teachers are using local produce to cook seasonal dishes and discussing food miles.
  • English teachers are using contentious environmental issues to teach persuasive writing and communication skills.
  • Mathematics teachers are using outdoor learning spaces to run experiential geometry lessons.

Incorporating sustainability into your learning program need not be a time consuming add-on to an already busy teaching schedule.

If you need some engaging, curriculum aligned lessons go to Cool Australia’s Teacher’s Page.


More information on the cross-curriculum priority of Sustainability  

Organising ideas

For each cross-curriculum priority, a set of organising ideas reflects the essential knowledge, understandings and skills for the priority. The organising ideas are embedded in the content descriptions and elaborations of each learning area as appropriate.


Organising Ideas



The biosphere is a dynamic system providing conditions that sustain life on Earth.


All life forms, including human life, are connected through ecosystems on which they depend for their wellbeing and survival.


Sustainable patterns of living rely on the interdependence of healthy social, economic and ecological systems.

World Views


World views that recognise the dependence of living things on healthy ecosystems, and value diversity and social justice are essential for achieving sustainability.


World views are formed by experiences at personal, local, national and global levels, and are linked to individual and community actions for sustainability.



The sustainability of ecological, social and economic systems is achieved through informed individual and community action that values local and global equity and fairness across generations into the future. 


Actions for a more sustainable future reflect values of care, respect and responsibility, and require us to explore and understand environments.


Designing action for sustainability requires an evaluation of past practices, the assessment of scientific and technological developments, and balanced judgments based on projected future economic, social and environmental impacts.


Sustainable futures result from actions designed to preserve and/or restore the quality and uniqueness of environments. 


 Source: ACARA Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority