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Southbank Sustainability Group

10 Oct 2019

Southbank Sustainability Group Image

Expanding sustainability beyond Southbank

September was, indeed, a month of sustainability!

From teaching young children at The Alfred Hospital about planting and upcycling, to presenting our work to the Melbourne Awards judges (getting selected as a finalist!), we took our group’s activities and influence outside our lovely suburb. And that’s not to forget the spectacular Global Climate Strike on September 20.

The month started with many of us working on our Melbourne Awards interview where we were given the chance to showcase the group’s work in improving Melbourne’s environmental footprint to a panel of industry experts. It was a great reminder for us all that the educational work that Southbank Sustainability Group (SSG) has done over the past two to three years, as well as our entire journey, which started with 11 of us planting a few small green planters and a guerilla-style temporary garden at Boyd. Eventually we lobbied council and won a permanent vegie garden for our neighbourhood. Today we have 125 members and have created a much-needed sense of community in the process. All of which the judges responded to very positively, selecting SSG as one of only three finalists going on to win our city’s highest accolade … the Melbourne Awards 2019! This means that SSG has a great chance of winning the first ever environment category award, recognising all our volunteers’ solution-focused, positive, and fun-filled environmental work over the years. The winner will be announced on November 16. Wish us luck!

As a group, we participated in the Global Climate Strike on September 20. One of our creative volunteers thought of, and executed, a great idea for a banner by repurposing discarded fabric and other materials, which we will use again for other events. 12 of us represented the group on the day, where apart from supporting students in demanding immediate climate action, we got to really enjoy ourselves. There was plenty of positive energy at the strike and so many Melburnians of all ages and all walks of life came together and united behind such an important issue that affects every single being on this planet.

On September 25, a group of our volunteers ran a children’s education day at the Alfred Child Care Centre. The children learned how to upcycle something as mundane as a plastic bottle by turning it into a beautifully decorated planter. They each chose one of three indigenous seedlings to plant in their planter, and learned how to think creatively in repurposing simple items like rocks, painting them and turning them into their personalised planter tag so they could tell their plants apart. We received very positive remarks by KU Children’s Service’s who helped organise this activity, sharing how much fun the children had while learning different ways of approaching sustainability.

September 28 marked our second big planting day event in the community garden. We saw a lot of new faces among the 47 Southbankers and surrounding neighbours who joined us to plant spring vegies and herbs. It was a joy meeting more neighbours seeking to interact with nature while learning how to plant seedlings. You can see photos from the day on our Facebook page.

What’s next?

October will focus on gardening and caring for our new seedlings. We’ll meet on Saturdays, October 12 and October 26 at 10am at Boyd. Come and talk sustainability initiatives, do some gardening, harvesting, and more.

Then on Saturday, November 2 at 10am, we will run a “Make your own Christmas newspaper gift bag” workshop inviting everyone to come learn how to repurpose old newspapers and turn them in beautiful gift/carry bags. Ahead of Christmas, we want to help people think differently in how they can repurpose common house materials and turn them into gift bags, Christmas cards, etc. That way, you can feel good about gift-giving in a way that doesn’t add waste and reduces your gift’s environmental impact. We’ll be running this workshop in Boyd’s Assembly Hall and it’s free to join. Check our Facebook page to learn more.

About the group: A solutions-focused community group of Southbank residents working to bring positive change in sustainability practices and education to our neighborhood, while building a wonderful community of like-minded people. Reach us at southbanksustainability@gmail.com or facebook.com/SouthbankSustainabilityGroup

 

Artemis Pattichi

Southbank Sustainability Group

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