Sustainable City of the Year 2020
Although the City of Monash was created as recently as December 1994, the area’s history of settlement stretches back many years.
The original inhabitants of the area were the Bunurong tribe, which were one of four tribes that made up the Kulin nation that lived in what was to become Melbourne and surrounding areas. Tales were told at around the time of the Gold Rush of the Bunurong holding corroborees at the junction of Ferntree Gully Road and Dandenong Roads.
Today, the City of Monash is located 20km south-east of Melbourne’s CBD and is home to world-renowned education, health and research institutions including Monash University, CSIRO and Monash Children’s Hospital.
Monash is home to more than 200,000 people – almost half born overseas.
This year, Monash led the way in community and Council based projects that exemplified commitment to the environment, social well-being, sustainability and waste management practices.
COMMUNITY LED PROJECTS
Community Awards Winner
Transforming surplus food into nutritious meals
FareShare’s origins date back to 2000 when, appalled by the amount of food going to waste while people were going hungry, a pastry chef began using surplus food to cook 300 pies a week to give out free to people sleeping rough.
Since then, FareShare has grown into a major player in food rescue specialising in adding value to rescued food by cooking it into nutritious meals.
Last year, FareShare rescued more than one million kilos of food that may otherwise have gone to waste in Melbourne and cooked 1.38 million meals.
Education Awards Winner
Athol Road Primary School
The environmental education specialist program started in 2012 after school leadership recognised the importance of educating students about environment and sustainability, which would in turn help to improve sustainable actions within the school.
Challenges have been faced with each new project implemented into the program from establishing and operating urban farms, wetlands, indigenous forests, desert gardens a d more recently with the nature playground and soon to be operational school farm.
The overall outcome has demonstrated tremendous positive experiential learning for all students from foundation to year 6 where all students are exposed to a range of experiences from animal encounters to learning horticultural skills in the urban farm.
Environment Awards Winner
Southbank Sustainability Group
Bringing positive, lasting change to our city’s environmental footprint
What started as a few isolated Southbankers with an environmental conscience and limited ways to express it, turned into a purposeful community of neighbours springing into action, improving Melbourne’s environmental footprint and Southbank’s liveability.
Through green space activation and engaging, fun educational activities, the group delivered 94 garden beds, 500+ plants, 20 educational workshops, created 468 participants who declared long-term behavioural change, locally produced 120kg of food, diverted 26.64kg food-related greenhouse gas emissions and composted 100kg of waste composted.
Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre
Connecting people to nature
Bayside Earth Sciences Society Inc
What can 6 million years teach us? World-famous fossil beds of Beaumaris Bay!
Litter Awards Winner
Marine Mammal Foundation
Marine Litter Project
Victoria’s marine environments are home to a diverse number of iconic and beloved marine mammals, including humpback whales, orcas, seals, and the newly discovered Burrunan dolphin.
Despite this, our oceans face a number of severe threats and dangers. Litter and waste are identified issues harming oceans all over the world, and while community awareness is increasing, the threat remains.
MMF believes education is key to making a positive difference in the conservation and stewardship of marine environments. MMF’s community engagement program, Marine Litter Project, will be delivered to community groups across Victoria.
Yarra Riverkeeper Association
Polystyrene Pollution in the Yarra River
Social Well-Being Awards Winner
Delivering Dignity with Gifts & Services
impact is a volunteer charity committed to making a difference to Victorian women and children fleeing extreme violence at home.
While impact is a charity, they do not give charity: they give dignity through gifts and services and give gifts and services with dignity.
impact’s reach has extended to include regional centres with 2000 Bags of Love being packed twice yearly in partnership with Victoria Police, Glen Eira College and ACU-Ballarat.
In recent years, impact’s services have expanded to include free occasional care at Moorabbin Court and impactful, free wellness classes for women in a safe environment with a social worker and female police officer participating with them.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
Rev. K. Bruce Corben
Grace Heart Community Church & Grace Heart Helping Hand Fund
No One Gets Left Behind
Waste Awards Winner
Together We Can Eliminate Single-Use
Moon Rabbit café is an environmentally innovative social-enterprise café from Bridge Darebin in Preston.
Since opening two years ago, the café prevented more than 30,000 disposable cups going to landfill by exclusively offering mugs and repurposed jars for take-away.
They have also provided hospitality training to 40 youth with additional needs through the ‘Tiered Training & Transition’ program.
The local community is integral to the takeaway system being maintained, providing a constant flow of donations of mugs and jars. Most customers now purchase food in reusable vessels encouraged through a BYO Container Loyalty card system.
Young Legends Awards Winner
Libby’s Koala and Wildlife Crusade
In 2015, aged 10, Libby took a trip with her family to Queensland that included a visit to the Australia Zoo. It was there that she fell in love with koalas.
In July 2016, she learned that they were considered a vulnerable species in NSW and Queensland and wanted to find ways to do something to support them. As an 11-year-old, she quickly went about raising funds and awareness by making and selling items at markets to raise money.
Early in 2017, she began to meet more wildlife carers and rescuers and from that, her passion for all wildlife grew and so did her crusade.
To date she has raised over $50,000, which supports volunteer wildlife carers and rescuers. She has also created many practical projects that involved her community, including making and distributing more than3,000 pouches Australia wide, making rescue kits for the community, collecting groceries to help volunteer shelters and being involved in a number of tree planting events, as well as Clean Up Australia Day events.
Partnerships for a Greener Future
Student Wellbeing Action Team
Mia, Libby and Lili
Youth Climate Emergency Activists
Dame Phyllis Frost
Andrew is the Yarra Riverkeeper and is the spokesperson for one of Melbourne’s most iconic natural icons
He regularly features in news articles, radio and podcasts as Melbourne’s foremost expert on the Yarra River and regularly contributes his passion and expertise to strategic planning and policy development panels.
Growing up on the beautiful banks of the river, he become Keeper in 2014 and followed on from the founding Riverkeeper Ian Penrose. Together Ian and Andrew have built an organisation with a reputation for both on the groundwork of environmental stewardship and water quality protection, as well as advocacy and public education.
In addition, he serves as the organisation’s figurehead on a global scale, contributing to the network of Waterkeepers worldwide. Well suited to telling the Yarra’s story, Andrew holds over 30 years’ experience in publishing and writing and was a winner of the prestigious George Robertson Award in 2016.He has recently published the book Wilam: a Birrarung Story, which was written in partnership with Aboriginal Wurundjeri elder, Aunty Joy Murphy.