Ongoing sustainable living activities for Flemington’s multicultural community
Flemington Green ran in 2011-12 and followed on from the success of the GreenTown East African program, where in partnership with Flemington Neighbourhood Renewal and with funding from Sustainability Victoria, we trained 13 local East African residents to be home sustainability assessors and deliver the sustainability message to hundreds of local residents.
This message was so popular that others living in the Flemington public housing estate told us they didn’t want to miss out, and we were thrilled to hear it. So together with Flemington Neighbourhood Renewal, we applied for and gained funding from the Sustainability Fund Neighbourhood Renewal grants.
The aim of Flemington Green was to bring sustainable living education to more of the local East African community as well as the Chinese and the Vietnamese communities. Though workshops and field trips, 50 people from these communities learned how to reduce their own environmental footprints and were given free products to help them get started.
Flemington Green commenced with workshops for the Vietnamese community: a group of 18 women attended weekly sessions at the Vietnamese Welfare and Resource Centre on the housing estate. Here they learnt about saving energy and water and reducing waste.
Vietnamese community liaison consultant Chi Nguyen helped translate each workshop, ensuring the content was presented in interesting and relevant ways to the participants. Chi has also been helping promote Flemington’s recycling pilot program, which is going so well that Phase Two has commenced: now several blocks of apartments in the estate’s Holland Court area are involved and dozens of residents have the chance to recycle their waste. With Chi’s help, the contamination rates of these recycling bins are lower than Moonee Valley City Council generally finds in other areas, a very exciting outcome.
Flemington Green then worked with women from the estate's East African community, and finally the Chinese community.
As the project wrapped up, participants told us their main outcomes from taking part were gaining new knowledge about the environment, starting to take action in their own home and also some social outcomes. They enjoyed meeting new people, including people from different backgrounds who live in their community, and they told us they gained confidence to talk to other people about ways they can help the environment. We've heard many stories of parents reducing their teenagers' shower time, people talking to their neighbours in the Flemington estate, women talking to their sisters about reducing energy bills... One of the best findings was that people from all three groups said how much they value coming together with people from different cultures to help their shared environment.
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