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We’re baaack!

We’re baaack!

By Artemis Pattichi  Just like spring bringing everything back to life, this month brought us back with a bang! And this is only the beginning. We’ve all been waiting almost restlessly to see the Southbank community flourish again and create opportunities to meet with the wider community again, through fun educational activities. Our fortnightly Saturday meetups are back as of November 6, spring planting is underway, we are planning a number of solutions-focused events (and a couple of fun Christmas-themed ones), and we can finally start delivering the long-awaited community Composting Hub at Boyd! It was wonderful having our first meet-up on Saturday, November 6, after what felt like the lockdown that would never end (and what now feels like the final one we’ll experience). We got to feel like a happy, joyous community again, having a morning coffee and catch-up together and enjoying beautiful neighbourly conversations. Some members even brought along home-baked treats to enjoy with our coffees. Beautiful flowers freshly picked from our garden brightened up the table and our mood, as we made some group decisions together on our next community educational events. And, before going on to do some gardening, we got to welcome back two of our group’s superstars, Linda and Ching, and meet the two newest additions to the Southbank Sustainability Group (SSG) family! What’s on Our next meetup will be on Saturday, November 13, 10am at Boyd where we’ll start with a community coffee again before we do some gardening. We may even enjoy a one-hour educational session run by Gardens for Wildlife Melbourne and Gardens for Wildlife Whitehorse, about habitat gardening on balconies – perfect for us Southbankers and our small spaces. Details are to be confirmed on this balcony habitat gardening, delivered by PhD candidate Katherine Berthon, who has been studying the interactions between plants and their pollinators on newly established green roofs as well as on the ground. During her talk, Katherine will share her findings and give us some suggestions for the best value plants to consider on balconies and rooftops to attract insects and give them much-needed sources of food, shelter, resting places, and water. Resources that are very rare yet vital for insects and our food ecosystem in Southbank’s concrete jungle. November will also have our leadership team and a number of our volunteers working behind the scenes to deliver our first summer educational activity and Southbank’s first community composting hub. There is a wide variety of topics, skill sets and types of activities you can help with if you would like to get involved and volunteer a few of your hours here and there. Either in person or from home. You will be greatly contributing to building Southbank’s community, our collective climate action, and reducing Southbank’s environmental footprint. It’s also a lovely way to meet your neighbours and other community members. Educational activities Our much-awaited educational activities open to all Southbankers (and not only) will be starting again at the end of November to early December and we have a number of fun sustainability-themed activities for you coming up! From sustainable fashion, DIY cosmetics and beauty products, to gardening and composting, to a sustainable wine tasting … we got creative on the small solutions we can all implement to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Keep an eye on our Facebook page, email us, or become a member (it’s free), to stay updated on when spots are released for our next event. Open volunteer roles We have an opening for an Educational Events Champion and co-champion to drive this important arm of our group. If you enjoy the social, community aspect, while bringing to life some wonderful positive climate action ideas including your own, please email us with your interest in either of these volunteer roles. It’s greatly rewarding and a wonderful way to positively contribute to our environmental footprint and the community, while you will be receiving all the support, help, and guidance you need for implementing some of these educational activities. We are a collaborative group that shares the workload and makes it fun and social in the process. We also have an opening for an educational material co-champion. You will be working with our champion, Chris, and our designer, Aik, on producing information and guides to help Southbankers improve their carbon footprint and wider environmental impact. Your work will play an important role in connecting Southbankers who want to do better with their environmental footprint but are missing access to simple and feasible solutions that actually make a difference. You will also get to bring to life a lot of your own ideas for next guides or content themes, while working collaboratively with the educational events team and the wider leadership team for help, support, guidance, material, production, ideas, etc. Composting hub Finally, as we kicked off our first Composting Hub delivery team meeting on November 6, we can finally work on delivering Southbank’s first composting hub early next year! Now will be a critical time on finetuning all details and decisions on delivering and managing this important project that will close the loop on organic waste for many Southbank households (perhaps a few businesses, too). We can always use more volunteers, people who have a keen interest in various composting methods and either want to learn more about composting or put to good use their existing knowledge. Please email us to volunteer in helping deliver this much-anticipated project; either with organising and coordinating, hands on help, behind the scenes, or community facing help. Our next meetups are on Saturdays, November 20 and December 4. We meet at 10am outside House of Cards cafe at Boyd, where we start with group and upcoming activities updates over coffee, then do some gardening. Eventbrite registrations are still necessary to ensure we keep within the 30 people cap and for tracing. Please email us or check our Facebook page for when the next Eventbrite registration link is released, so you can book your spot. About the group A solutions-focused group of Southbankers working to bring positive change in sustainability practices and education to our neighbourhood, while building a wonderful community. Free to join. 2019 Environment Melbourne Award and KVB 2020 Sustainable Cities Environment Award winner •

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