Congratulations to Yarra Sustainability Award winners

Friday 29 June 2018

Congratulations to all our winners from last night’s Yarra Sustainability Awards. Hosted by Craig Reucassel (ABC's War on Waste, The Chaser, The Checkout) we recognised individuals and groups doing amazing work in our community.

Building Design and Development


LAYAN Architects – Cremorne Studios


Cremorne Studios is a 6-storey, highly sustainable, energy efficient commercial development. Modelled on the world-class German sustainability standards of Passivhaus, the building has a strong, clean aesthetic and the rawness reflects the original warehouses in the area. Materials are used in their pure form for easy reuse at the end of their life span.
Optimal thermal comfort was achieved through high performance insulation (R4.2 in walls and R7 in ceilings); highly efficient glazing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning. The designers prioritised the wellbeing of occupants through focussing on indoor environment quality. High levels of daylight render the workplace lighting almost unnecessary and significant cyclist facilities encourage active, healthy commutes to work. The building sets a benchmark for sustainable design and aims to be a precedent for other developments.

Highly commended

Sustainable Homes Melbourne and Field Office Architecture – Eco Townhouses

The three-level townhouses in Clifton Hill were designed with an eco-conscious home owner in mind and are at the forefront of sustainable design and construction. Through clever design and innovative construction practices not typically seen in the residential sector, Sustainable Homes Melbourne have produced high quality and efficient dwellings that will stand the test of time. 

Built on a challenging site, they aim for optimal self-sufficiency and achieved 7 and 7.1 energy star ratings through clever orientation, reverse recycled brick veneer construction, high performing thermal mass, insulation and glazing. They also feature a 14 kilowatt solar array and two 10 kilowatt batteries and no use of on gas; water conservation, reclaimed bricks and sustainable timbers with no chemical additives. These homes raise the benchmark for sustainable design and construction.





Bettercup aim to eliminate single use cups from events and festivals, through providing customised solutions to meet client needs. Their services include the hire or purchase of Melbourne-made cups, washing, on-site management, collection and storage services. Bettercup is scaling up and recently supplied 25,000 cups to the Dark MOFO festival in Tasmania. The future is bright for reusables with more people to thinking about their waste and demanding alternatives.

Highly commended

IKEA Richmond

IKEA has strived to make their recent multi-million dollar refurbishment as sustainable as possible, recycling 85 per cent of construction materials; installing solar-powered charging stations for electronics; replacing print communications with LED display boards and using sustainable timbers and fibres. Significantly, they installed the Enrich 360 organics recycling machine which will convert around 31,000 kilograms of food waste each year from IKEA’s restaurants into fertiliser for farms.

Community action


Finbar Neighbourhood House

Located in Richmond, Finbar Neighbourhood House recognises that it’s no longer enough to be sustainable; we must be regenerative. With this ethos in mind, each week they take 1,500 kilograms of food waste from residents and businesses, turn it into rich compost, then back into food. Finbar Neighbourhood House emphasises sharing, reusing and repurposing resources, by sharing produce, seeds, skills and providing a drop-off point for a wide range of wastes.

Highly commended

Richmond Community Learning Centre’s Backyard Waste Warriors


Burnley Backyard offers many creative ways for people to reduce their waste, meaning everyone can gain hands-on sustainability skills to match their interests and lifestyles. From fixing items at the monthly repair corner; composting communally; sharing food scraps with the cheeky chooks; plus the Burnley fruit squad harvesting fruit that would otherwise go to waste, there really is something for everyone.



Melbourne Girls College


The school’s key to sustainability success is to be engaging, realistic and fun. They’ve banned disposable cutlery and replaced them with metal ones for hire, reintroduced the locally threatened Murnong yam daisy; saved more than $7,000 in water by detecting a major underground leak; installed 33 kilowatts of solar through their innovative ‘Adopt-a-panel’ campaign; and continued hosting their human powered cinema event for the community.

The Frank Fisher Award


Fiona Armstrong

Fiona is a leading public policy analyst, researcher and advocate. As Founder and Director of the Climate and Health Alliance, she is a champion of human health and the environment. Through her leadership, she united the sector and brought together politicians from across political divides. One major achievement was leading the framework for a national strategy on climate, health and wellbeing for Australia to fulfil its obligations under the Paris Agreement.

Local Hero


Kerry Echberg

As a member of Yarra Climate Action Now (YCAN), over the last nine years Kerry has volunteered her time, energy and passion to bring about action on climate change. Whether writing submissions to Council, speaking at government panel hearings, such as the East-West Link panel, or chanting slogans and waving banners at rallies, Kerry's efforts go far beyond YCAN. Her selfless dedication to establishing a safe climate for all deserves recognition.

Carole Wilkinson from YCAN collected the award on Kerry's behalf.

Highly commended

Caleb Lee 


Inspired by his Yarra River walks during kindergarten, 5-year-old Caleb developed a deep love for the river that spurred on his fight against litter. Armed with a ‘grabber’ tool, he’s led his friends, teachers, family and community on an eco-hero adventure. He created a ‘no-butts’ campaign on his street, mobilised people to clean up Dight's Falls, removing 20 bags of rubbish on one day – and so much more!

Lucy Skelton

Lucy is a highly accomplished environmental warrior. Her social enterprise ‘beHappy.bags’ raises money for environmental organisations and awareness about plastic pollution. As a leader with Melbourne Girls’ College Environment Team, she drove their plastic cutlery ban and organised a sustainable seafood lunch for over 200 students. Lucy is highly regarded by her peers and is a role model to younger students through her genuine approach and commitment to improving our world.

People's Choice


Caleb Lee



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