Term 1 Newsletter - 2020

Term 1 Newsletter - 2020 Banner Image


In this edition

What's News

Sustainability Champions in the EASL Region

Upcoming Events

Council Updates

Days of Significance

Wild by Nature

2 Wild By Nature Colour 2 PNG 01

Show us why you love nature!

Short Film Festival

Wild by Nature Short Film Festival celebrates everything we love about Victoria’s incredible natural environment, from your local park or creek, to your favourite wild place to escape the busy city.

Film submissions open on Monday 10 February and close Sunday 12 April 2020, and are open to all ages. Entrants must be living in Victoria. 

Finalists will be screened at the film festival on Saturday 16 May at the Drum Theatre, with prizes awarded to the winners in each age division.

Age divisions

  • Pobblebonk Prize: primary age, 12 and under
  • Swamp Skink Prize: secondary age, 13 to 18 years
  • Black Swan Prize: over 18

Films must address at least one of the following themes:

  • Caring for Nature
  • Together in Nature
  • Dandenong Creek

More information, including film festival themes and age divisions, is available at wildbynaturefilms.org and you can sign up to receive updates here.

Wild by Nature is presented by Remember The Wild and Living Links, and is supported by the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority and the Victorian Government. 

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Eastern Garden Competition

Coming Soon!

The Back to Earth Initiative shows how your household green waste is put to good use, creating compost to help farms, gardens and community green spaces bloom.

Making sure everyone uses their green waste bins correctly to produce great compost is just one of the ways we are working with the community. The Back to Earth Initiative is giving schools, early learning centres and community groups the chance to win a $5000 grand prize to bring your gardening or green space project to life.

Perhaps your school could benefit from a composting system or worm farm, your kinder needs a veggie patch or you’re keen to kick off a community garden.

The Victorian Garden Competition opens on 2 March 2020 for kindergartens, schools and community groups to nominate a garden or environmental project to win up to $5,000. 

To enter, you’ll need to answer a series of questions (with short answers under 100 words each) in an online form (available from 2 March 2020). You’ll need to get your nomination in by 27 March.

From 16 April to 11 May you will get to vote for you favourite project and decide which one should win the $5,000 prize. 

For more information go to the Back to Earth website

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Meaningful actions to help fire affected areas

Bushfire 4772240 1920

In the wake of the bushfires over the holiday period, there has been a big rush to provide supplies and donate items to those in need. Now that schools are back, it seemed like a worthwhile opportunity to share what activities will be of most benefit to support the efforts of recovery. 

Fundraise to Donate Funds

Fundraising money to donate to wildlife charities and the Victorian Bushfire Appeal is one of the greatest means of helping the fire affected areas recover. Funds will go directly to communities in need and to helping wildlife. You can find more infroamtion through the bushfire appeal website and through major wildlife agencies such as Zoos Victoria and Wildlife Victoria.  

Leave water out for wildlife

The best way to help animals on hot days or during a heatwave is to provide clean, fresh water in shaded locations. The RSPCA has great details on the types of dishes and places to have water to help heat stressed wildlife. You can read more here

For those travelling to bushfire affected areas, remember that displaced animals that have lost their habitat in the fires will be on the move in greater numbers than usual in the weeks following the fire as they seek new homes and food sources. Please slow down and take extra care on the road when driving in areas where there have been recent bushfires. If you see an injured animal by the side of the road, please note its location and report it to Wildlife Victoria (03 8400 7300).

Weeding and Volunteering

If you're planning on having a holiday or excursion to a bushfire affected area in the coming months, see what activities are happening in the area that you can join. Weeding is going to be a huge task for landholders over the coming years. With seed banks germinating, weeds will often establish dense stands that can out-compete native plants by blocking sunlight. 

Keep an eye on planned activities through the Conservation Volunteers Australia website. They are coordinating volunteer efforts for bushfire relief and have an event series planned for those wanting to be involved in recovery activities who can't necessarily travel to bushfire affected areas. 

Make pouches for wildlife carers

When young wombats, wallabies, kangaroos, bandicoots, gliders or possums come into care they need to be kept warm and quiet. Wildlife carers are always in need of suitable pouches as they perish quickly from wear and tear and soiling from their inhabitants.

Pouches are used for many different animals, some for two or three young ringtails at once, others for brushtail joeys which are larger and even for very young bandicoots. This means various size pouches are useful. Many people who would like to help our wildlife but are unable to commit to animal rescue or care, can help by making pouches and/or linings.

You can find out more informaiton about making pouches through the WIRES Wildlife Rescue

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2020 Learning for Sustainability Conference

Our Conference is SOLD OUT!

Our 2020 Learning for Sustainability Conference has sold out! Thank-you for all that have bought tickets to the event and we are taking names on our waiting list should more tickets become available. 

For those that have missed out but still want to hear Damon speak, he will be participating in Q & A sessions at two film screenings on Saturday 29th February. You can find more details about these events under the Yarra Ranges Council section below. 

A quick reminder for those who are attending the conference - book in your workshop preferences now. These will close on Friday 21st February.

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Sustainability at Whitehorse Primary School and Kindergarten

Seedlings Garden

Whitehorse Primary School and Kindergarten highly value sustainability, and as a school have implemented composting, plastic and paper recycling, solar hot water systems, and a rainwater system to reduce our impact on the environment. These sustainable practices are actively led and maintained by the student leadership team at Whitehorse Primary School.

The school children also work in the Garden Classroom with their classroom teacher, garden specialist and volunteers each week.  

Activities include:

  • Harvesting fruit, vegetables and herbs
  • Testing the soil PH
  • Making posies from a decorative harvest
  • Organic pest control
  • Feeding the chooks and collecting eggs
  • Tending the compost
  • Weeding
  • Spreading mulch
  • Planting seedlings

Last year Whitehorse Council supported the school by offering a composting workshop from Cultivating Community. 100 students got the chance to explore why composting is important and how worms and compost benefit our environment.

Whitehorse Kindergarten were also recipients of a grant that funded 2 mobile vegetable gardens and a compost tumbler so the children could learn about the cycle of reducing landfill waste, composting and gardening.

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CERES ResourceSmart Schools | Eastern Progress Workshop

Term 1 Eastern Progress Workshop

CERES Programs

Join us for a day of facilitated support to help you progress towards certification of your next module and/or Star! Come along to share ideas with other teachers and strengthen local sustainability education networks. 

Free for up to 2 staff/parents per school.
Lunch, tea/coffee and refreshments provided.

Date: Wednesday 11th March
Time: 9am to 4pm (arrive at 8:45am)
Venue: Glen Waverley South Primary School
Cost: Free!
Bookings: RSVP here

For more information please contact:
Catherine Medwin
ResourceSmart Schools Coordinator, Eastern Metropolitan Region
(03) 9389 0133 | catherine.medwin@ceres.org.au 

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Learning for Sustainability Conference



Our 2020 Learning for Sustainability Conference has sold out! Thank-you for all that have bought tickets to the event and we are taking names on our waiting list should more tickets become available. 

Join the waiting list here

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Steps to Sustainability Conference 2020

Steps 2 Sustainability 2020

This is a one day conference for teachers interested in Sustainability Education and the importance of our environment and taking steps toward a more sustainable future. The theme is “Plant Health, People Health, Earth Health” with a focus on climate action and health and wellbeing. There will also be a feature how we can utilise community partnerships to strengthen sustainability education in our schools.

Date: Wednesday 25 March
Time: 8:45am
Location: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne Gardens, Birdwood Ave, South Yarra
Cost: $150
Bookings: Trybooking

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2020 - Schools National Tree Day

Following on from the successful One Tree per Child program, in 2020 Knox City Council will be hosting a Schools National Tree Day event on Friday 31st July.
National Tree Day, sponsored by Toyota Australia, was co-founded in 1996 by Planet Ark and Olivia Newton-John. It has now grown in to Australia's largest community tree planting and nature protection event. Planet Ark is asking Australians to help us plant one million new native trees and shrubs across the country.

Planting Site

Fairpark Reserve, Manuka Drive, Ferntree Gully
Planting will take place along a portion of this recently “daylighted” section of Blind Creek.

Put this event into your calendar for 2020.

To register your interest, or if you have any queries please contact us at: Biodiversity@knox.vic.gov.au; or 9298 8000.

2 Day - Bike Ed Holiday Program

Bike safety checksLimited to 14 students aged between 10 and 13 years.
Day 1 will teach bike handling skills in a traffic free environment.
Day 2 will conclude with a short on-road ride in quiet residential streets.

Sessions will include multiple breaks and games to cater for this age group.

Students will learn:

  • Emergency stopping
  • Using gears
  • Scanning and signalling
  • Road rules and traffic safety
  • Basic bike adjustments and maintenance

Participants must bring their own bike (no training wheels) and a helmet and must complete Day 1 in order to attend Day 2.

Dates: 1 and 2 April 2020
Times: Day 1: 9:30am-2pm | Day 2: 9:30am-12:30pm
Location: Lewis Park Pavilion, 98 Lewis Road, Wantirna South
Who: 10-13 year olds
Duration: 4.5 Hours
Maximum Participants: 14
Cost: $20*

*There are NO REFUNDS on tickets but tickets are transferrable to another person.

 You can find more information and booking details on the Knox website.


Planning for Autumn Planting workshop

Join the Gardens for Harvest team and Maria Ciavarella from My Green Garden to learn about preparing your veggie garden for cool season crops, crop rotation, soil rejuvenation and the veggies that can be grown over the cooler months. 

Date: Wednesday 26 February
Time: 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Location: Knox Civic Centre, 511 Burwood Hwy, Wantirna South 3152
Cost: Free!
Registrations: Eventbrite

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Smarter Living - Follow Your Recyclables Tour

Have you ever wondered what happens to all the items in your recycling bin? 
To celebrate and acknowledge National Recycling Week, Manningham residents are invited to take part in a special tour of Visy’s Recycling Sorting Facility in Heidelberg.

The tour will provide you with the unique opportunity to learn more about the recycling sorting process of each type of material before they are taken to be reprocessed into new products.

Dates: Monday 2 March, 6.00pm - 8.30pm and Wednesday 4 March, 9.30am - 12.30pm
Meeting Point: Manningham Civic Centre, 699 Doncaster Rd, Doncaster 
Cost: Free
Bookings: Eventbrite
Transportation will be provided to and from the facility.

For further information please call Council’s Waste Management Team on 9210 2660.  Book in early as there are a limited number of seats available. Please note this tour is not appropriate for children.

More Smarter Living Events are coming soon. Keep an eye on the website for mroe information.

 Electric Vehicles Hero ImageElectric Vehicles – Are We There Yet?

Travel and transport is undergoing major transitions with technological advances bringing about new vehicle types, changes in fuel and energy sources and vehicle ownership models.

Come hear all about the exciting initiatives in development and see first-hand the range of electric vehicles and bikes entering the Australian market.

Date: Thursday 26 March 2020, 4.30 pm to 9.00 pm
Location: Manningham Civic Centre, 699 Doncaster Rd, Doncaster 
Cost: Free
Bookings: Eventbrite

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Litter Action Program

The Changing Nature of Tarralla Creek

Come along and make a difference to Tarralla Creek by joining us for the launch of the Tarralla Creek litter action group.

Melbourne Water and Maroondah City Council are seeking collaboration from the local community to reduce litter around Tarralla Creek as the area undergoes change through the Re-imagining Tarralla Creek Project,

The program, sponsored by the Department of ELW&P and Council, is supporting volunteers to monitor litter by providing funding to develop and implement litter reduction strategies for the Creek. All ages welcome.

Date: Saturday 8th February 2020
Time: 10:00am to 12:00pm
Venue: Realm, Eastland Shopping Centre, 179 Maroondah Hwy, Ringwood
Cost: Free!
Bookings Through EnviroCom: 9703 5288

Reusable Items MixedWaste Minimisation Workshop

Learn how to begin reducing your waste at home

Each year, the average Maroondah household produces 451kg of waste which is sent to landfill.

Come along to this waste and recycling presentation to hear from Council’s Waste Education Officer about how you and your household can reduce your waste to landfill and improve your recycling. This presentation will cover the issues with waste, the waste hierarchy, what can/cannot be recycled in your blue-lidded bins and other Council and community waste services residents can access, including:

  • Current issues with waste and landfill
  • What happens to your household waste once Council collects it
  •  Ideas for avoiding and minimising household waste
  • How to better dispose of, use and re-use "waste"
  • Recycling - what can/can’t go in the wheelie bin and what happens to it
  • Composting options and resources for residents

Places are limited and bookings are essential.

Date: Monday 16 March
Time: 10:00am to 11:30am
Venue: Maroondah Federation Estate, 32 Greenwood Avenue, Ringwood 3134
Cost: Free!
Bookings Through EnviroCom: 9703 5288

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Do you work or live in Whitehorse?

Be Rewarded for Living Sustainably

 Green Money Image

Council has teamed up with GreenMoney to reward Whitehorse residents, students, workers and volunteers for taking green actions at home and around the City. (Just be sure to register with a Whitehorse street address.)

Members can earn GreenMoney reward points for taking challenges:  You'll automatically earn points when you've completed a challenge – it’s that simple!

Points can be redeemed for gift cards and exclusive offers at local businesses.

Activate your account at the GreenMoney website or download the GreenMoney app for iPhone and Android and follow the simple instructions to get you started.

 Education Provider Opportunities from Whitehorse


A limited number of Education providers have the opportunity to get an on-site visit or student workshop from Cultivating Community for advice about how to start, reinvigorate or maintain an effective composting system or worm farm. Contact: greenercity@whitehorse.vic.gov.au


Schools can get a $150 rebate when they spend $150 or more on the following products:

  • Compost or mulch bin
  • Bokashi bucket or starter kit and mix
  • Worm farm and worms

Forms available online HERE

Sustainability Programs for Schools and Early Years

For a summary of all sustainability programs offered by Council, download the flyer HERE

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Yarra Ranges

G4H Booklet CoverGardens for Harvest

Sign up to the Gardens for Harvest program today to receive your free 64-page veggie growing guide! The Gardens for Harvest program is a free community education program, run by Knox and Yarra Ranges councils, to help residents grow more of their own fresh and healthy food. People who register to join the program receive the growing guide and regular updates including tips of what to do in the veggie garden through the year, invitations to community workshops where you can learn new gardening skills, and information on local events and activities. To join Gardens for Harvest, go to www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/gardensforharvest

Planning for Autumn Planting workshop 

Join the Gardens for Harvest team and Maria Ciavarella from My Green Garden to learn about preparing your veggie garden for cool season crops, crop rotation, soil rejuvenation and the veggies that can be grown over the cooler months. To register, go to 

Date: Wednesday 19 February
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Venue: Montrose Town Centre, 935 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Montrose 3765
Cost: Free!
Bookings: Eventbrite

2040 Logo

2040 Screenings with Damon Gameau

To inspire hope and learning about regenerative solutions in a time of extreme change, Yarra Ranges Council are offering two special screenings of the film 2040.

Joining us at these screenings will be the film’s director, Damon Gameau, who will provide further insights into the documentary through a Q & A session.

Date: Saturday 29th February
Time/s: 10:00am to 1:00pm, 2:00pm to 5:00pm
Locations: Mater Christi College, Belgrave and Mount Lilydale Mercy College, Lilydale 
Cost: $5 
Bookings: Belgrave and Lilydale

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Are these in your calendar?

For the full month by month list of sustainability linked days please look at the Calendar of Environmental Events, available through the Department of Environment and Energy. These can be great to link to topics happening over the year.


February 2ndWorld Wetlands Day 
February 11th to 12thInternational Day of Women & Girls in Science 
February 28thYouth and Schools Clean Up Day


For Website

March 1stClean Up Australia Day
March 3rdWorld Wildlife Day
March 7th to 15thWorld Parks Week
March 8thInternational Women's Day 
March 8th to 14thNational Ground Water Awareness Week 
March 21stInternational Day of Forests 
March 21stHarmony Day
March 22ndWorld Water Day 
March 23rdWorld Meteorological Day 
March 28thEarth Hour


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