For a sneak preview of the winners posters, click here and here.
The Sustainability Awards ceremony last November was attended by the host of ABC’s popular ‘Gardening Australia’ program Costa Georgiadis, who brought enormous passion, energy and inspiration to the night, and encouraged all who attended to spread the word about the importance of living in harmony with nature and each other. We were lucky enough also to have Colin Hunter, a Wurundjeri elder deliver a beautiful Welcome to Country, a local bluegrass band ‘Stomp Dog’ playing some great music which had many in the crowd tapping their toes and jumping up for a dance, and the Good Brew company providing delicious locally brewed lemongrass beer and apple cider. You may watch some of the Sustainability Awards night here and here. You may also see some photos from the night here.
Please see below for a full list of Awards winners and highly commended nominees.
CITY OF DAREBIN - AWARD WINNERS & HIGHLY COMMENDED RECIPIENTS
HOUSE AND GARDEN
*Winner - Angelo Eliades
Angelo has designed and built a backyard food forest in order to share knowledge and promote urban and local food production. From his backyard he has run over 50 garden tours, classes and presentations, and has developed a website which provides free how-to advice for others interested in growing their own food.
*Highly Commended - Mara Ripani and Ralf Pfleiderer
Mara leads a family which is very passionate about sustainable living! Her family has created a very productive food garden including chickens and bee hives; indigenous gardens and habitat for birds, butterflies and lizards; they installed water tanks which supply water for the garden, laundry and bathroom, as well as a range of energy efficient appliances and products which means that their household energy use is extremely low.
*Winner - Darebin Parklands Association
Darebin Parklands Association was established in 1972. In that time, the group has transformed what were once a tip site and horse paddock into one of Melbourne’s most beautiful and most significant urban bushland reserves. The parklands now supports a growing and diverse range of wildlife including echidnas, kangaroos, flying foxes, native fish, and over 70 species of birds. The DPA has worked hard also to share knowledge and experiences with the public and does so through various events.
*Highly Commended – Transition Darebin
Transition Darebin works hard to prepare our community for an altered climate and resource constrained society. They endeavour to increase community resilience and capacity through a range of food sustainability and security projects and events including the establishment of food swaps and co-ops, and food growing and preserving workshops.
*Highly Commended – Mind Australia (Sprout Community Garden)
Mind Australia operates Sprout Community Garden which provides pre-vocational skills development, personal development and recreational opportunities for people experiencing mental health challenges. Sprout works in partnership with, and shares knowledge and skills with various indigenous and local health and wellbeing centres, schools and community houses.
*Winner - St Raphael’s Primary School
St Raphael’s PS has taken a holistic approach to improving environmental sustainability. The formation of Green Teams has driven the introduction of the installation of solar panels and more energy-saving behaviours being adopted; the introduction of a kitchen garden and composing system; the building of habitat for birds, butterflies and lizards; and participation in a range of school sustainability programs and events such as ResourceSmart AussiVic program, Nude Food Fridays, and a walk to school program.
*Highly Commended – Croxton Special School
Like St Raphael’s School, Croxton Special School have developed an extensive kitchen garden and composting program – not only does Croxton Special School compost their own kitchen waste, they take the waste from the nearby CERES Fair Food Program – so really leading the way in reducing organic waste to landfill! As well, the school keep chickens which do their bit to reduce organic waste and create healthy soil.
*Winner - Annette Berryman
Annette is very involved with local sustainability projects and groups, including Transition Darebin, Fairfield Community Garden, and a loose confederation of people engaging in aquaponics projects. As part of her involvement, Annette has hosted working bees, skill and knowledge sharing events, social events, and garden tours. Most recently, she has been fundamental in putting together Transition Darebin’s Fruit Squad – a group of volunteers who prune local fruit trees and distribute the fruit to the tree owners and disadvantaged people in the community.
*Highly Commended – Sally Macadams
Sally is also incredibly active within Transition Darebin, most particularly in food sustainability and security projects. Importantly though, Sally also runs ‘Heart and Soul’ workshops for fellow volunteers aimed at reducing volunteer stress and burnout.
*Winner - Snap Preston
Over a number of years now, Snap Preston has participated in a range of energy efficiency and waste reduction projects for small business. These projects have included the replacement of lights with more energy efficient lighting, purchasing GreenPower, and ensuring that air conditioners are run at their most efficient temperatures.
*Highly Commended – Pack and Send Preston
Pack and Send Preston have undertaken a range of measures aimed at increasing environmental sustainability. These include the installation of energy efficient lighting, turning appliances off when not in use, switching to GreenPower, the installation of dual flush water-saving toilets, and increasing the amount of waste being recycled.
CITY OF BANYULE - AWARD WINNERS & HIGHLY COMMENDED RECIPIENTS
HOUSE AND GARDEN
*Winner - Hibi Farm (Angelica Cameron and family)
The folk associated with Hibi Farm provide not only a wonderful example of sustainable living, but of living and working communally with others also. Hibi Farm is a hub for 6 local families who share farm chores – such as building, animal husbandry, gardening, cooking and child minding… resources, which include an abundance of fruit, vegetables and herbs, honey, eggs, milk and cheese, as well as household and garden tools and equipment.
*Highly Commended – Alan Leenaerts
Alan has concentrated on reducing household energy and water use, so much so, that he is now a generator of electricity, and ‘off the water mains’. He has done all of this in creative and inexpensive ways, demonstrating that this is achievable for all.
*Winner - Warringal Conservation Society
Warringal Conservation Society was established 40 years ago. Its activities in that time have focused upon the protection, restoration and rehabilitation of the natural environment which is habitat for indigenous flora and fauna, and promoting a natural environment in which all living things can peacefully coexist.
*Highly Commended – Friends of Wilsons Reserve
Established in 1996, the Friends of Wilsons Reserve have worked revegetate and dramatically increase biodiversity in the area. In this time, there has been a considerable increase in waterway quality, frog activity, and native bat and bird sightings, and the group have participated in wider studies such as the 2009 Gould’s Wattled Bat survey, adding valuable knowledge and data to the study.
*Winner - Briar Hill Primary School
With funding from the Victorian Govt’s Climate Communities Grants Program, school funds and local business sponsorship, Briar Hill PS have constructed and ‘Enviro Hub’ which is used by both the school and local community to teach and demonstrate ways to reduce environmental impact and improve sustainability, as well as promote community connectedness. The ‘Enviro Hub’ includes a new building/meeting place, a food garden and orchard, garden shed, and chicken run.
*Highly Commended – St Bernadette’s Primary School
St Bernadette’s community have put in hundreds of hours to transform a weedy patch to an area of bush food plants for humans and wildlife, and as such there has been an increase in the biodiversity of the area. This work has been complemented by an environmental education program for students which has included topics such as population impact, food security, waste generation and reduction, and energy and water consumption and reduction.
*Winner - Mary Stringer
Mary is the driving force behind Transition Banyule which was formed in 2009. Mary has organised film nights, dinners, planting and pruning days, and garden tours – all with the aim of raising the profile of Transition Banyule, and the sustainability issues the group is concerned with. Mary has also mentored many others involved with Transition Banyule, and some who have gone on to establish other Transition groups.
*Highly Commended – Yuki Cameron
Yuki is very active within the Transition 3081 group. She has been responsible for organising and leading food swaps, various sustainable living workshops including bicycle maintenance and ethical shopping, and has been the driving force behind the groups partnerships with Banyule Council, Banyule Community Health, Murundaka Co-Housing Community, Banyule Bicycle Users Group, Friends of Darebin Creek, and West Heidelberg Neighbourhood Renewal amongst others.
*Winner - Austin Health
Austin Health, which includes Austin Hospital, Heidelberg Rehabilitation Hospital, and Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Hospital, has undertaken a range of projects – all funded by donations or non-operational budgets – which have included additional plants and planters at the Austin Hospital; an indigenous revegetation program, the planting of more than 1000 plants, and the establishment of a wetland at Heidelberg Rehabilitation Hospital; and the development of extensive sensory and therapeutic gardens surrounding all wards at the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Hospital.
*Highly Commended – Go Green Design
Kristian owns and manages this sustainable building consulting service, providing advice on sustainable building, renovating and retrofitting; increasing thermal performance; energy and water efficiency; and landscape design.
Thank you to all the nominees for your applications and again, congratulations to all our nominees listed above for all your incredible work! Well done.