Nows the Time to Continue the Sustainability Street Journey

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#21                    April 2008                                             Priceless!

      Now’s the Time to Continue the
      Sustainability Street Journey!
                                                Well the year is just continuing to fly –
                                                Easter has been and Summer has now

                                                The last few weeks have turned out to be
                                                quite a busy time for some of our
                                                Sustainability Streets with participants of
                                                Mulgoa and Penrith City Garden Club Streets
                                                graduating in a wonderful ceremony at
                                                Muru Mittigar on 1 March. Both groups
                                                have also been busily planning their group
                                                projects which are just about to get

                                              For some of our more established streets
                                              now might be a good time to start thinking
 of some activities and events to keep you going throughout 2008. If you have any ideas
 that Council might be able to give you a hand with or promote in our newsletters contact
 Krystie Race on 4732 8050.

                 Upcoming Street Dates
 The Mulgoa Sustainability Street group are holding a planning meeting to discuss their
 upcoming project to plant out a community garden at Mulgoa Public School – come along
 and get involved! The meeting will be held on Saturday 12 April from 3pm at Susan
 Ward’s place (24 The Straight Road). If you are planning on attending please give Susan a
 call on 4773 8291 and let her know – please leave a message on the machine if she can’t
 get to the phone!

 Is your group planning something? Contact Krystie Race to have your event included in the
 next newsletter by calling 4732 8050 or emailing

                             Want to be kept informed?
 To receive our newsletter automatically via email or snail mail please contact Krystie Race
 on 4732 8050 or email
Last Word from
By Vanessa Steele, Sustainability Street Facilitator
& Mentor for 2007-2008

I really can’t believe that after nine long gorgeous and
sustainable months, the 2007 Sustainability Street program
has come to the end! Well, not really. I figure once you hop on the sustainability train,
your journey is really just beginning.

For me, this rings so true as there is always so much to do, see and learn (even each
month) and it can sometimes be overwhelming when you’re not able to do, see and
experience it all at once. I think the next stage for people who have just recently
graduated (congratulations by the way!) is to reflect on what you’ve just learnt, decide
what sustainability means to you individually and most importantly commit to doing
something that is achievable (and won’t burn you out) and then spread the word!

So where have we come from since our winter’s beginnings on 28th July 2007?

The Mulgoa Growers (newly named by David from Vox Bandicoot at the graduation
ceremony) met one fine winter’s morning at a lovely sunny park at the end of The
Straight Road. We were greeted with a gigantic supply of home cooked scones made
especially by Susan Ward. As the months rolled on and the sessions were held at
different homes, from the amount of (delicious) egg sandwiches we devoured at these
meetings, the chook (yes, I mean our feathery friends) to participant ratio in this area is
fairly even! At one meeting children and babies out numbered our adult participants. It
was a very family orientated group and was great to see people feeling comfortable that
they could bring
their         family
members          and
friends along too
(and thanks Lee for
everyone on that

   The ‘Mulgoa
   Growers’ at their

                 The Sustainability Street Approach was devised by Vox Bandicoot Pty Ltd.
   This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.
The Penrith Green
Thumbs aka – Penrith
City     Garden     Club
(again coined by David
from Vox Bandicoot)
met on the same
winter’s day back in
July at Jan and Jon
Hennel’s place, but not
before a very yummy
sausage sizzle. Like the
Mulgoa          Growers,
nutritious food seems
to be one of the many
key     ingredients    in
making these sessions a
huge success! There
were no chooks in sight at these sessions, instead this group’s signature            The ‘Penrith
items were their luscious lawns (thanks to all the rain and onset of La              Green Thumbs’ at
Nina), gardens and veggie patches, enviable shade houses and potting                 their graduation

TALKIN’ (Sustainability) SHOP
Since July we moved through an array of sustainability topics. Popular ones included
   ¤ rainwater tanks,
   ¤ greywater,
   ¤ whitegoods and appliances that use the most energy,
   ¤ reducing your water and energy loads,
   ¤ setting up and designing a kitchen garden,
   ¤ the role of worms and compost systems to reduce space in landfill; and
   ¤ making your home less of a chemical cocktail and burden on the environment.

A massive thank you to those who hosted the sessions each month in their homes, to our
Street Coordinators thankyou for your enthusiasm and time and to Carmel from Council
for all her behind-the-scenes help as well.

Part of what I enjoy the most about facilitating people’s journey towards a more
sustainable lifestyle, is witnessing change. It has been such a privilege to be part of each
group’s successes and learnings. Below are some key social-sustainability achievements
that I believe keep groups active, vibrant and connected and are what I noticed develop
or ‘grow’ throughout the course.

   ¤ The sharing of information, knowledge and resources such as food, eggs, recipes,
     books, plants and cuttings;
   ¤ Seeing people who didn’t know each other connect and become friends;
   ¤ A sense of inclusiveness and warmth shown to people who joined each group at a
     later stage; and
   ¤ A brilliant sense of humour!

                    The Sustainability Street Approach was devised by Vox Bandicoot Pty Ltd.
      This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.
At the graduation on 1st March at Muru Mittigar, a few
people asked when they’d meet next. I gathered from that
question, that some people might think Sustainability
Street has come to and end. Far from it! It’s only
beginning. The momentum and interest in sustainability
will continue, it just takes a bit of planning and surprisingly
not too much work. With grant funding from Council, this
year’s groups will keep the enviro momentum going
through projects planned within the community with
Mulgoa Public School and Mamre House. To keep it going
beyond these projects you’ll need to communicate with
each other. Here are some suggestions…

   ¤ Update your street or participants via letter box
     drops, email or phone (if you have them). Flyers
     work well as people can pin them on their fridge or
     calendar as a reminder!
   ¤ Have someone who has computer skills design a
     basic leaflet (you can easily fit 3 to a page to save on
     paper & remember to keep your messages simple)
     and ask Krystie Race at Council to assist with
     printing. You can contact Krystie on 4732 8050 or
     email her at
   ¤ Advertise your next meeting or gathering in this
     newsletter (make sure the meeting date aligns with
     when the newsletter goes out – contact Krystie to
     get it included)
   ¤ Host a movie night (there are a couple of DVDs in
     your Street Kits – like Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth).
   ¤ Have a bbq or morning tea to catch up on local
     projects or to show off something new like a
     rainwater tank or veggie patch.
   ¤ Lastly (and this is quite popular in Permaculture) why
     not host an enviro working bee at your home and
     then put on bbq for those that attend. I’ve seen
     some amazing no-dig and kitchen gardens built and
     planted out in just half a day!

It is possible to keep in contact and work together. The
streets from Banool Avenue and Sir John Jamison Circuit
have continued to meet and work on local projects.
During 2006 they managed to secure grant funding for
rainwater tanks and water saving initiatives for their own
homes as well as undertake some drain stencilling and
plant some native gardens.

I wish you all the best for a very sustainable and healthy
2008 and I look forward to working with you when our
path cross again.
                      The Sustainability Street Approach was devised by Vox Bandicoot Pty Ltd.
        This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.
More Sustainability
Streeters Now On the
Saturday 1 March was an
important day for members
of     Penrith's     newest
Sustainability Streets, with
participants of the program
graduating in a celebration
held in the lovely grounds
of Muru Mittigar.

After a week of rain
Saturday dawned bright
and sunny - just perfect for
our requirements, with the
sun lasting throughout the
ceremony and through to
the lovely BBQ lunch and
bush tucker tasting, which
seemed to be well and
truly enjoyed by all.

Some special guests (apart from the Sustainability Street participants) were on hand to lend some
ceremony to the occassion and included the Mayor of Penrith City, Councillor Greg Davies, Council's
Sustainability Champion, Councillor Karen McKeown, one of the founders of the Sustainability Street
Approach, Dave Seignior, a Director of Vox Bandicoot Pty Ltd; and group mentor, Vanessa Steele.

The highlights of the morning were some passionate and heart felt speeches from some of our
sustainability graduands, putting into words how the Sustainability Street experience had affected them
and what they had gleaned from the workshops since the program began way back in July 2007.

A big thanks and congratulations to Lee, Irene, Gretel and Janis who were the brave ones to get up
                                                                   and speak in front of the crowd!

                                                                     A huge novelty cheque was also
                                                                     presented to both groups as part
                                                                     of the graduation ceremony to
                                                                     allow them to get a community
                                                                     project of their choice underway
                                                                     with the Mulgoa group choosing
                                                                     to work with Mulgoa Public
                                                                     School     on      a    community
                                                                     vegetable garden, and the
                                                                     Garden Club working with
                                                                     Mamre House to improve their
                                                                     plant propogation and irrigation
                                                                     systems. The funding for these
                                                                     community projects was made
                                                                     possible by        grant   funding
                                                                     provided      by      the    NSW
                                                                     Government        through     their
                                                                     Environmental Trust.
                 The Sustainability Street Approach was devised by Vox Bandicoot Pty Ltd.
   This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.
The News in Brief
Earth Hour

Council pledged its commitment to Earth Hour on 29
March and asked residents, businesses, schools and
organisations to participate too.

Earth Hour is an annual event coordinated by WWF
Australia to raise awareness of climate change and
encourages people and organisations to take practical
steps to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by five per
cent during the coming year.

Last year over 2.2 million Sydney residents and over 2,100
businesses switched off, leading to a 10.2% energy
reduction across the city. What began as one city taking a
stand against global warming caught the attention of the
world. In 2008, 24 global cities participated in Earth Hour
at 8pm on March 29.

Several Council facilities, as well as a number of schools,
businesses and organisations across Penrith City
participated in Earth Hour this year, most noticeably by
switching off lights for one hour at 8pm.

In addition to switching off our lights Council also agreed
to plant a native tree for each local household, business,
and organisation or school that signed up to Earth Hour,
with support from NRMA Insurance through their
communityhelp grants program.

Stay tuned for the final numbers of participants across the
Penrith Local Government Area who participated in Earth
Hour and the number of trees planted.

                     The Sustainability Street Approach was devised by Vox Bandicoot Pty Ltd.
       This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.

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