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Conscious Community Celebrates 2014 Yarra Sustainability Awards

12 September 2014

A community collaboration to reclaim an unloved corner of Fitzroy using art and ingenuity has been recognised at the Yarra Sustainability Awards.

Fitzroy resident, Greg Allan’s idea to build planter boxes with students from Collingwood Alternative School at the intersection of Cecil and Gore streets won the Home and Garden category.

Local street artist, Tom Civil also got on board, providing a colourful mural to backdrop the pop up community garden. 

The project was one of many environmentally conscious initiatives recognised at the awards ceremony hosted by comedian Dave O’Neil at Collingwood Town Hall on Thursday 11 September.

For a complete list of this year’s winners, please visit

Yarra Mayor, Cr Jackie Fristacky, said the awards were a great opportunity for the community to celebrate the long-term contribution of local individuals and organisations to sustainability while also recognising the next generation of environmental champions.

“This is the fifth year we’ve held the awards and one of the most inspiring aspects for me is seeing each year, how our local schools have incorporated projects like vegie gardens, water reclamation and composting into their education programs,” she said.

“It is great to know that local school children are not only being educated about sustainability when they start school but are also being given practical lessons they can apply long after they leave school too.

“I congratulate all of the people who took the time to enter the awards.

“Winners or not, the fact we have such an engaged community collectively focused on making Yarra one of the world’s most sustainable inner-city areas is wonderful to see.”

Other winners on the night included Friends of the Earth campaigner, Cam Walker.

Mr Walker received the inaugural Frank Fisher Award, established to honour the inspirational legacy of highly respected local environmentalist Professor Frank Fisher (1943-2012).

Receiving the award from Mr Fisher’s son, Tim, and colleague, Anthony James, Mr Walker was recognised for his natural leadership, generous spirit and tireless contributions to the sustainability cause.

The not-for-profit Melbourne Farmers Markets was successful in the Community Action category for providing alternative retail space to local and regional farmers, minimising the need for the energy intensive travel and storage of food.

The Business category was won by veteran local advocates for the environment, Friends of the Earth Co-Op, narrowly beating IKEA Richmond which was highly commended for its work in sustainability, including the recent installation of 2364 solar panels on the store’s roof.

Members of the community also had a say in the awards, with more than 1100 votes being registered for the People’s Choice Award.

This year’s winner was Daniel Hodges, who was recognised for his role as Bicycle User’s Group champion at Golder Associates.

The Yarra Sustainability Awards continue to highlight innovative community responses to critical environmental challenges.

Further information
Sally MacAdams
Community Sustainability Officer 
9205 5769



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