GreenTown | Environment Victoria

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Environment Victoria's Green Town program participants graduate


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 works 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 faith organisation workshops, and making sure the message gets into community language newspapers.

From 2008-2012 we worked 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 the GreenTown 2 program 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.

In 2012 we evaluated the first four GreenTown projects, and 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 was run in partnership with many organisations, and was funded by the Sustainability Fund

Read the 2012 evaluation of the GreenTown Program (2008-2011) here  
Read about Our GreenTown Collingwood photo competition for kids 

Our Flemington Green program has brought new communities together. Read all about it   
Check out our Sustainability for Diverse Communities Resource Hub

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...


Shoukry Sidrak: It’s easy being green

Monday, 4 April 2011
Northern Weekly

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...


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...


Speaking the Language of Climate Change

2010 Winner
Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge
Sustainable Living

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

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...


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...


From Twitter Twitter

Cameron Wheatley

Sustainable travel tips

posted by Cameron Wheatley on Tuesday, 22 December, 2015 - 12:56

How can we make sure that when we travel our desire to live responsibly doesn’t get left at home? We’ve pulled together a selection of resources that will help you make wiser travel choices this summer.

Nick Roberts

Healthy rivers and water-smart cities should be more than a pipe-dream

posted by Nick Roberts on Friday, 4 December, 2015 - 16:58

As the impacts of a record El Niño compounded by climate change hit home across Victoria this year, discussion about what to do with our limited water resources is once again heating up.

Parts of Victoria are again in drought. Water earmarked for environmental use to help...

Amy Yang

Riad and Mary's story

posted by Amy Yang on Thursday, 25 June, 2015 - 12:57

Riad doesn’t remember the exact date his family fled their home in the city of Al-Hasaka, Syria, nor the date they arrived in Lebanon. But the day he and his wife, Mary, arrived in Australia is a date that he easily recalls: Tuesday the 14th of October 2014.


Nick Roberts

Australian houses are just glorified tents in winter

posted by Nick Roberts on Monday, 15 June, 2015 - 11:54

As we shiver through the first weeks of winter, here's a fact to give you goosebumps: more people die from the cold in Australia than in Sweden. According to a new study published in medical journal The Lancet, cold contributed to about 3.9 per cent of deaths in Sweden,...


Introducing our new Campaigns Director, Alex White

posted by markwakeham on Monday, 1 September, 2014 - 18:24

Our new Campaigns Director, Alex White, starts today. Here's what he has to say about why he came to Environment Victoria.

Back in 2012, I spent three months working on the Obama campaign in Boston and New Hampshire. The locals, as well as being bemused by my hard-to-understand...


From Flickr Flickr

Changing the world, one person at a time - the teaser The one minute teaser to our digital story telling project, which features six participants from Environment Victoria's Sustainable Living Program talking about how environmental issues have changed them, and how they are changing the world.
Changing the world, one person at a time Six participants from Environment Victoria's Sustainable Living Program talk about how environmental issues have changed them, and how they are changing the world.

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