In 2013-14 the program empowered over 80 Melburnians in the eastern and western suburbs to make their lives more environmentally friendly and engage others on sustainability.
Participants ran multicultural environment expos, tree planting days, sustainable cooking projects, and re-purposed old products to new. Each semester featured a three-day camp in the bush – this was the first time some participants had ever been to the Australian countryside or seen the ocean.
Participants who completed the project component of the program also earned a Certificate I in Active Volunteering, a stepping stone for further study or a career.
For many participants, the Home Planet program was transformational:
“At first we used to use a lot of things without thinking. We knew it was bad, but we didn’t feel it. Now we feel it.”
– Yonas, Footscray 2012
The program also has a direct impact on our environment through behaviour change:
“When I arrived in Australia, I took a long shower – maybe 20 or 15 minutes every day. Now I shower for 4 minutes.”
– Abdulkadir, Footscray 2012
“At first I left the power on all the time. Now I turn it off when I go to bed”
– Alex, Footscray 2012
Through their projects, participants in the Semester 1 2012 Home Planet program passed on the environmental message to over 300 people.
Home Planet was made possible with support and funding from the Department of Human Services’ Engage! Program, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Australian Ethical Investment, Brimbank City Council’s St Albans Connect and City West Water.