Sustainable Cities 2012

SUSTAINABLE CITY OF THE YEAR
THE CITY OF BOROONDARA

The City of Boroondara is home to more than 165,000 people in Melbourne’s inner-eastern suburbs including Ashburton, Balwyn, Camberwell, Hawthorn East, Kew and Surry Hills. Community consultation has established that environmental sustainability is one of the top issues of concern to its residents. The Council therefore consults with the community on any new environmental policies, initiatives and projects that may impact on the local environment. This year, its Sustainable Living Expo attracted 2,500 visitors. Council and community planting initiatives, developed through its Biodiversity Strategy, have helped add 288,000 indigenous plants to the area since 2003. The Council strives to ‘lead by example’ in its own operations. It reduces water, waste and energy through its Green Office, Sustainable Buildings, Water Sensitive Urban Design policies and other programs.

COMMUNITY ACTION
“STATIONARY FACES” COMMUNITY MOSAIC MURAL AT PATTERSON STATION, BENTLEIGH
PAMELA IRVING STUDIO AND GALLERY

Over 750 people from the local and international community helped to create this 150 square metre mosaic mural on the underpass of Patterson Railway Station in Bentleigh. Initiated by local artist Pamela Irving, the project goal was to create a community artwork that would reduce graffiti, recycle unwanted tiles and beautify the dull underpass environment. Each participant was encouraged to express their own creativity within the theme of ‘portraits’ and together these symbolise the diversity of the local community. Local shops and residents also contributed old china and tiles to incorporate into the work. The mural continues to inspire locals and tourists who view it.

CULTURAL HERITAGE AWARD
MELTON’S HISTORIC MORTON HOMESTEAD LIVES AGAIN
MELTON SHIRE COUNCIL

Taylors Hill’s historic Morton Homestead is a rare example of an early 20th century farmstead. Located at the heart of the emerging community of Taylors Hill, Melton Shire Council saw the opportunity to transform this historically significant farmstead into a community hub while preserving its historical features. The property is of historical significance as it is one of few remaining Melton Shire houses built as a result of the Closer Settlement Board’s subdivision of prominent pastoralist William Taylor’s Overnewton Estate. The works undertaken included the repair and adaptation of the farmhouse. The Council conserved and integrated aspects of all original features into the landscape design where possible. Community activities are now taking place in the building, bringing new life to the old homestead.

PAM KEATING ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY AWARD
SELANDRA COMMUNITY PLACE
CITY OF CASEY

Selandra Community Place is an Australian first. It is an eight-star, zero energy display home in the Melbourne suburb of Cranbourne East. Using the latest technology and building practices, the home supports residents and potential residents to think sustainably when building their own homes and through their everyday actions. The home features interactive displays, DVD animations and ‘take-home’ information cards. The Council also offers community and sustainability programs at the site, including a small business centre; workshops on sustainable gardening; interior design and DIY projects. The property is a partnership between City of Casey, Stockland, Henley Properties Group and South East Councils Climate Change Alliance.

RESOURCE RECOVERY & WASTE MANAGEMENT AWARD
DUMPING IS DAMAGING
WYNDHAM CITY COUNCIL

The Dumping is Damaging campaign was developed to help tackle the problem of illegal dumping on roadsides in Wyndham. Using the Victorian Litter Action Alliance’s Illegal Dumping Kit, the Council used a number of education, infrastructure and enforcement actions. They involved local traders, real estate agents, skip bin operators, and residents in the target area. Over the four-month period, the campaign saw a large increase in the number of calls to the Council to report illegally dumped waste and raised awareness within the community on how to report persons seen illegally dumping waste and what happens to them. It also saw an increase in litter offenders being taken to court, and faster recovery of dumped waste by the Council.

PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT AWARD
CONSERVATION RESERVES PROGRAM
CITY OF GREATER GEELONG

The Conservation Reserves Program was developed to protect and restore the remaining two per cent of indigenous vegetation that covers the City of Greater Geelong. The work is performed with local community members and many environment groups and partner agencies including; the Bellarine Catchment Network, Bellarine Landcare Group, Friends of Waurn Ponds Creek, Geelong Environment Council, Breamlea Landcare Group and Geelong Field Naturalist Club. Conservation work involves fencing, pest plant and animal control, burning programs, the development of reserve management plans and revegetation. In many cases the works protect state and/or nationally significant species and vegetation communities. The program has also involved important weed research including the Polygala research program and use of rust fungus on bridal creeper.

COMMUNITY GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIPS AWARD
KEW COURT HOUSE AND POLICE STATION REFURBISHMENT PROJECT
CITY OF BOROONDARA

Kew Court House and Police Station was purchased by Boroondara Council in 2007 following an amazing fundraising effort by the community. Through Kew Historical Society, the community raised $500,000 in an effort to save the dilapidated 1888 building. Its restoration has since involved the support of additional partners including Heritage Victoria, the Federal Government’s Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program and the Victorian Government’s Community Support Fund. The restoration and refurbishment was managed by the City of Boroondara and completed in 2011. It ensured the heritage features of the building were retained while creating a dynamic arts hub for the community.

WATER EFFICIENCY AWARD
MOUNT EVELYN PRIMARY SCHOOL

By pledging to reduce water use and embedding water saving across the school, Mount Evelyn Primary has reduced its water use from 3.66 kL per student in 2009, to 1.72 kL last year. A range of initiatives support this including participating in the Melbourne Storm water Van Excursion to understand how a local catchment works and recognise the impact of litter on waterways; a new rain garden on school grounds and timers for all taps. Other supporting initiatives include: large water tanks for flushing of the toilets, cleaning and watering the school’s vegetable and bush food gardens: and a ban on bottled water being sold at the school canteen. The school’s sustainability action teams ensure that water saving is encouraged across the school.

EFFICIENT ENERGY AWARD
FRANKSTON CITY COUNCIL

The Frankston City Council has trialled the use of Warm Mix Asphalt on road resurfacing in Kananook Boulevard, Seaford. An environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional road surfacing, it allows the producers of asphalt to lower the temperatures at which the material is mixed and placed on the road, reducing energy requirements for the plant by around 30 per cent and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 per cent. It also provides a safer working environment for road crews through reduced fumes, heat and emissions. The Seaford test site will be monitored to ensure that it performs adequately as a road surface.  If it does, the Council’s infrastructure team will consider using it across its road surfacing program.

ACTIVE SCHOOLS AWARD
GENERATION JUSTICE IN THE COMMUNITY
GENERATION JUSTICE – MILL PARK SECONDARY COLLEGE

For the last four years students at Mill Park Secondary College have worked to raise awareness of environmental issues in the local community through their group Generation Justice. Initiatives have included workshops for primary students to learn more about local biodiversity; the annual Earth Action Environment Conference led by students for all schools in Whittlesea; presenting to teachers at the annual Greening Australia Toolbox for Change; and participation in both local and international Kids Teaching Kids Conferences to present workshops on subjects as diverse as bottled water, desalination and striped legless lizards.

YOUNG LEADERS
DARCIE JORDAN – GENERATION WAKING UP
GENERATION JUSTICE – MILL PARK SECONDARY COLLEGE

Darcie Jordan has led the development of the youth symposium and movement ‘Generation Waking Up’ in Australia since 2010. Officially launched in January 2011, the symposium aims to deliver a half-day, transformational experience that inspires and motivates young people to bring forward a thriving, just and sustainable world. Darcie has travelled locally and overseas, training both adults and young people and improving her skills as a facilitator and leader along with others participating in the Generation Waking Up movement. Now in Year 12, Darcy shows no signs of slowing down, fulfilling her role as School Captain while continuing to lead the expansion of Generation Waking Up in Australia and New Zealand. She is also the CEO of the newly-formed Victorian Youth Environment Council and is one of its founding members.

COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARD
BRIMBANK ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP PROGRAM

Brimbank held its first Environmental Leadership Program in 2011. The program is designed to build leadership and community engagement capacity about environmental issues in Brimbank and to strengthen the relationship between the Council and its diverse communities. The program trained 12 people aged 17 and over working, living or studying in Brimbank for two and a half hours each week over seven weeks. The leadership program consisted of a series of seminars, interactive workshops and study tours. These developed and enhanced participants’ environmental knowledge and community development skills. The leaders have become important agents for change within their communities. A new set of leaders will be developed each year.

DAME PHYLLIS FROST AWARD
DEBBIE COFFEY

Debbie Coffey, the Environmental Education and Volunteer Support Officer for Frankston City Council, is actively involved in environmental issues in the Frankston region. Debbie has contributed to past and current Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria Awards for Frankston City Council and is involved in delivering environmental activities within the community. Some recent projects include community vegetable gardens and the introduction of modern cloth nappies to reduce the use of disposable nappies in Australia. Whether it’s helping to organise the first joint Council’s Youth Environmental Forum, Leaders in Environmentally Sustainable Schools, or helping to launch a free guide to Frankston’s natural reserves, Debbie is always keen to put her hand up. Debbie is passionate about the environment and has a leadership style that gets things done as well as supports and encourages those around her.