Media Releases | 17th Aug, 2010

Community climate change work wins an ‘Oscar of Australian Science’

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Environment Victoria’s hands-on work with the community has won the $10,000 Eureka Prize for the Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge.

The prize was awarded in Sydney tonight (Tuesday, 17 August), for Environment Victoria’s innovative programs working face-to-face with migrants and refugees, young people, seniors and the economically disadvantaged to empower these groups to raise awareness of climate change within their own community, and help others live more sustainably.

Environment Victoria is the state’s leading non-government environment group, and works across Victoria helping people disconnected from environmental issues to engage and become part of the solution.

The Eureka Prizes are Australia’s most prestigious science awards, and are usually only won by senior scientists and large research institutions.

Environment Victoria Chief Executive Officer Kelly O’Shannasy said she was very proud to accept the prize on behalf of all the program participants.

“Environment Victoria has been working hard with the community for years, and it’s an absolute honour to have that work recognised with such a prestigious prize,” she said.

“But this prize doesn’t just recognise our work, it recognises that communities everywhere, and people from all walks of life can be a part of the solution.”

Environment Victoria’s programs have included working with the Alevi, Turkish and Kurdish speaking community in Melbourne’s north, in partnership with the Alevi Community Council. Surmeli Aydogan of the Alevi Community Council attended the black tie dinner in Sydney.

“Working with Environment Victoria has been a great opportunity,” said Ms Aydogan. “It has spurred our community to become leaders in saving energy and water.”

Environment Victoria will be re-investing the prize money to reach even more Victorian communities with the climate change message.


For interview contact:

Kelly O’Shanassy, Chief Executive Officer, Environment Victoria, 0421 054 402

Surmeli Aydogan, President, Alevi Community Council, 0430 342 323

Media assistance:

Louise Matthiesson 0417 017 844

For more details about Environment Victoria’s prize-winning programs see:

Multicultural Leaders in Sustainability
Green Town
Youth eco-challenge
Sustainability on a Shoestring
Eco-Wise Action