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Southbank’s green voice recognised

06 Nov 2019

Southbank’s green voice recognised Image

The Southbank Sustainability Group (SSG) has been selected as one of three finalists under the environment category vying for the City of Melbourne’s prestigious 2019 Melbourne Awards this month.

On November 16, the winners of each of the seven award categories (environment, hospitality, urban design, health and wellbeing, Aboriginal Melbourne, community, and arts and culture) will be revealed at a special ceremony at Melbourne Town Hall. SSG will go up against PonyUp For Good and Beaconsfield Dental for top environmental honours.

Since the SSG formed in June 2017, it has attracted more than 130 members, established a community garden at the Boyd Community Hub, lobbied the council on waste and sustainability and created a much-needed sense of community in Southbank.

One of the group’s leaders and founding members Artemis Pattichi, who has also written a monthly column on behalf of the group in Southbank Local News since August last year, said she was quietly confident of success on November 16.

“Whoever wins it’s good for everyone as it’s good for the environment. But we do feel that we have a really good chance of winning it,” she said.

“In our presentation the judges seemed very engaged and excited with what we were talking about; the solutions that we’re bringing and how it can be replicated in any neighbourhood anywhere in the world. It’s just a matter of sharing that recipe for success.”

While being recognised as a finalist is a remarkable achievement in its own right, Ms Pattichi said that winning would help open doors to new networks and funding opportunities which would help the group to grow its voice.

She added that the recognition from council was validation of its solutions-driven approach to sustainability, which went well beyond its community garden.

“Something that is really key for us is being positive and solutions-focused instead of just gathering and whinging about a problem,” she said.

“It’s a bit different to your average community garden in the fact that we’re a sustainability group as well so we’ll do a lot of activities around education, changing habits, lobbying to council when there is an opportunity.”

“There are some real go-getters in the group too and they want to bring change and they want to see it happening and they’re tired of waiting a lot of the time.”

“It’s creating a community in Southbank which we didn’t have before and a lot of people are loving that aspect of the group.”

“We meet people on a human level, and we want to get to know each other. It is a bit hard in a very diverse community so that connects people behind a common bond and expanding that to other surrounding suburbs.”

The group continues to bring about positive change in our local community, having recently submitted a grant application to the City of Melbourne to establish a composting hub at Boyd for local residents. You can read its monthly update on page 23 of this edition.

Southbank Local News congratulates the SSG for its achievements and looks forward to (hopefully) reporting on its victory in the December/January edition. But, no matter the outcome, you’re winners in our eyes!

Other locals recognised as 2019 Melbourne Awards finalists include Arbory Afloat (hospitality), Metropolis Events (hospitality), MSO’s 2019 Sidney Myer Music Bowl Free Concerts (arts and culture) and BKK Architects – Swan Street Bridge upgrade (urban design).


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