Speaking another language shouldn’t be a barrier to doing something for the environment. Unfortunately, many of our culturally diverse communities miss out on the help and support they need to make a difference.
That’s where we come in.
Our GreenTown program is working with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities to help them make changes in their homes, businesses, schools and everyday lives, to safeguard our environment.
We train a small group of people from each community we work with in sustainability. They then carry out free sustainability audits in the homes and businesses of others in their community. The project includes community and school workshops, and making sure the message gets into community language newspapers.
We’re working with people from all over the world – the Arabic-speaking and Assyrian Chaldean communities in Moreland, the Turkish-speaking community in Hume, the East African community in Flemington and the Indigenous Australian community in Darebin. In 2011 we started two new community projects: working with newly-arrived people from Burma living in Ringwood and the multicultural community in the Collingwood housing estate.
No matter what their cultural background, however, all these Victorians have something in common – they are all keen to do their bit for the environment.
The key to our success
The key to our success is the time and energy we put into to building trust and good relationships with the communities we work with. We get to know and understand their culture, day-to-day lives and how they can best adopt sustainable behaviours. We connect with members from within the communities and they branch out further and become the ‘face’ of our program. We have also been lucky to work with some very passionate and inspiring local leaders in all of our GreenTown communities.
The process of working together and learning from each other leaves us all richer and our environment healthier.
We've just completed an evaluation of the first four GreenTown projects, and have found some incredible outcomes. From taking a range of recommended energy, water and waste saving actions, GreenTown participant households are saving on average 4 tonnes CO2e, 61,000 litres of water and 191 kg of waste to landfill each year! Read more in our evaluation report.
GreenTown is run in partnership with many organisations, and is funded by the Sustainability Fund.
Read the NEW evaluation of the GreenTown Program (2008-2011) here
Read about Our GreenTown Collingwood photo competition for kids
Find out what all the buzz is about, below.
Speaking up about switching off
Sunday, 4 March 2012
Michael Green, The Age
Lina Hassan is very enthusiastic about household sustainability. “Everywhere I go, this is my message,” she says, leaning forward on her couch, in her Thomastown home...more
Shoukry Sidrak: It’s easy being green
Monday, 4 April 2011
Shoukry Sidrak’s garden is a bounty for any food lover. An assortment of fruit, vegetables and herbs are thriving in the carefully manicured Mill Park yard.
Local community centre goes green
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
The Alevi Community Council of Australia in North Coburg will have two 5,000 litre rainwater tanks installed next week, as part of a project to lead the Turkish speaking and Alevi communities of...more
Flemington estate residents find more ways to go green
From the Minister for Environment & Climate Change
Thursday, 21 October 2010
Culturally and linguistically diverse communities from the Flemington public housing estate will be helped to reduce...more
Hume's Turkish businesses going green
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Turkish‐speaking businesses in the City of Hume have jumped at the opportunity to sign up for free green business assessments.
The audits are being carried out by local community members who have been...more
Green groups welcome Bracks' climate change announcement
Saturday, 4 November 2006
Environment groups today welcomed the Labor Party’s announcement of a new scheme to help families reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Environment Victoria Executive Director...more
I’ve recently taken two groups of North Melbourne residents, including some of our Recycle Now Recycle Champions, to SKM Recycling in Coolaroo to learn more about what happens after we put our household recycling products into the recycling bin.
These field trips, as always, have...more
For World Environment Day on 5 June newly arrived young people from all corners of the world will come together with their local councils and communities to stage the Home Planet multicultural Environment...more
Volunteering with Environment Victoria since December 2012 has been an interesting and rewarding experience thus far. My background has previously been in farming and the construction industry so the attitudes and objectives of the working environment when compared with an organisation like...more
At 8.30pm this Sat March 23, millions of Earthlings will switch off the lights for Earth Hour, in a symbolic act of solidarity for climate action.
It’s a great chance to show our leaders that we humanoids DO care about the planet, and to raise public awareness about climate...more
- Community Sustainability Report: A review of what works and how it is practised in Victoria |
- Driving Smarter: How to change your driving style to reduce its impact |
- Eating Green: The Environment Victoria Guide to Seasonal Food |
- Hume's Turkish businesses going green |
- The Quick Guide to our Community Climate Action Plan |
- Green groups welcome Bracks' climate change announcement |
- The Quick Guide to Composting, Worm Farms and Bokashi |
- 'Turn off the lights' and other printable reminder stickers |
- How to use the Power-Mate Lite |
- Top 10 Winter Tips For a Warm, Efficient and Sustainable Home |
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