partnering stronger communities

making a big impact in anglesea

Wood fired pizza making, a home preserving workshop, recycled and vintage fashion shows and seasonable cooking classes are just some of the activities locals enjoyed throughout the year as part of the Make an Impact pilot in Anglesea.

The Make an Impact program aims to build community resilience to climate change through fostering skills, imagination and the capacity of local people to take control and find answers to the issues relevant to them around sustainability and climate change. Anglesea was selected as a pilot location for the program which is a joint initiative funded by Greening Australia and Alcoa.

The program’s theme, experiments in local living, provided Anglesea residents with positive actions they can undertake that will benefit the local community, their individual health and well being, the environment and their hip pockets.

As the program wraps up for the year, Make an Impact Community Development Officer, Sarah Bolus says that the pilot was a huge success: “More than 750 people have been part of the program, including 11 local community groups, many of which would like to see the initiatives continue next year,” she said.

“All events were booked out within days of advertising them and the program reached people beyond its original boundaries of Anglesea, influencing people as far as Geelong, Torquay and Aireys Inlet.”

“As part of the program we created a community demonstration site at the Anglesea District and Community House. We retrofitted the old weatherboard house with more sustainable options such as solar panels, waste recycling, installation of insulation, water tanks and a water wise demonstration garden,” said Sarah.

“The Community House has since generated renewable energy that has been sold back into the grid.

“We also turned over 2,840kg of food waste into valuable compost for people’s gardens in just five short months, saving the equivalent of approximately 4.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the
atmosphere. This component of the program also helped build peoples skills on how to successfully compost and grow their own vegetables.”

“As a result of the program, 24 parents at the two local schools undertook training and received mentoring on growing their own fruit and vegetables. The schools have now developed kitchen gardens to pass on these skills to the students.”

Sarah said that the program helped develop new community leaders and build their capacity to become ambassadors for sustainability in the community.

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