Local Sustainability Initiatives
Information on local environment groups and events.
There are many varied and outstanding volunteer groups across East Gippsland, contributing hugely to improving the local environment and having fun in the process. If you would like to become involved we recommend you check out some of the following links below. In addition if you have a group that would like to be listed on the website, please contact the Sustainability Unit on (03) 5153 9500.
Environment and Friends Groups (A-Z)
Abbey of St Barnabas at A’Beckett Park on Raymond Island is a Centre for Spirituality and the Environment. The Abbey offers rest and refuge, a hands on opportunity to care for the natural environment, a chance to learn how to pursue sustainable alternatives, time to address soul matters, company along the way, and hope and inspiration to continue the journey. Phone (03) 5156 6580 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Australian Plant Society Bairnsdale and District This group promotes the use of Australian native plants in home gardens and the conservation and preservation of Australian plants. The group meets on the second Wednesday of each month (except Dec and Jan) at 7.30-8pm in the Bairnsdale Secondary College staff room (Wallace Street).
Bairnsdale and Districts Field Naturalists An active group which enjoys the local biodiversity and undertakes many field excursions.
Biodiversity Link (BLINK) Join the East Gippsland on-line social network, and become a member, so you can post articles and images of interest to your Groups and the conservation community, and blog about your experiences for the interest of your Group and the conservation community.
Coast Action/Coastcare Community volunteer groups help to maintain our marine and coastal environment, through activities such as revegetating coastal areas, building boardwalks, fencing, building tracks, monitoring native shorebirds and animals, presenting education and awareness raising sessions, plantings, landscaping coastal areas and protecting cultural sites.
East Gippsland Bird Observers Club The East Gippsland Bird Observers Club (EGBOC) is the local branch of the Bird Observers Club of Australia (BOCA), who are an active group of bird enthusiasts. People are welcome to attend outings first before deciding to join the group.
East Gippsland Rainforest Conservation Management Network (EGRCMN) The EGRCMN aims to increase the amount of rainforest and associated vegetation types subject to restoration, conservation and permanent protection in East Gippsland.
Environment East Gippsland The Environment East Gippsland (EEG) is a passionate group working for the protection of Victoria's largest area of ancient native forests in East Gippsland. It also has links with regional, state and national environment groups.
Friends of Beware Reef The Friends of Beware Reef is a small group of divers who aim to highlight the beauty of one of Victoria's premier dive sites. Being in a marine sanctuary the group has strong links to Park Victoria, and provide monitoring and take photographs all year around. Email email@example.com
Friends of Cobberas The Friends of the Cobberas assist Parks Victoria in the protection and conservation of natural and cultural values in the Cobberas area of the Alpine National Park.
Friends of East Gippsland Rail Trail Statement of Purpose: To support completion of the East Gippsland Rail Trail with full and consistent development of the Rail Trail between Bairnsdale and Orbost via Nicholson, Bruthen and Nowa Nowa. To support the Committee of Management of the East Gippsland Rail Trail in management of the Rail Trail through appropriate terms of reference. To promote the tourism, recreational, environmental and historical value of the East Gippsland Rail Trail to the community, governments and sponsors. And to develop expertise in significant aspects of the East Gippsland Rail Trail including: vegetation management, fauna and habitats, recognition and respect for the cultural significance of traditional landowners, conservation of artifacts, history of the former railway, trail guide and interpretation signs, assistance with infrastructure management and tourism promotion, etc.
Friends of Errinundra National Park Friends groups are active in parks across Victoria. Some groups have formal membership, but it is not necessary to belong to a group to join in its activities - visitors are welcome.
Friends of Buchan Caves The Friends of Buchan Caves (Inc.) is a volunteer group based in Victoria, Australia. Its main aim is the preservation of caves and their natural flora and fauna. The Friends meet in the Buchan Caves Reserve and donate their time and skills to carry out special tasks, such as cave conservation, rehabilitation and revegetation projects.
Friends of Gippsland Lakes (FoGL) The Friends of Gippsland Lakes provide an avenue for interested persons to participate in the management of the Gippsland Lakes Parks and Reserves, and host a range of activities from tree planting to art exhibitions.
Friends of Mallacoota This group was formed toward the end of 1983. It's aim then was to ensure that the community was involved in decision-making as regards environmental and development issues.
Gippsland Environment Group. The Gippsland Environment Group (GEG) works with other environmental groups in East Gippsland to promote sustainability. They welcome new members with a keen environmental interest. Meetings are held monthly. Phone (03) 5153 0156 or PO Box 652, Bairnsdale 3875.
GECO Situated in the heart of East Gippsland GECO is a networking, political and education collective working for the protection of the remaining Old Growth forests in East Gippsland. The environment centre is nestled between the Errinundra and Snowy River National Parks and overlooks the majestic Mt Ellery.
Gippsland Plains Conservation Management Network (GPCMN) The Gippsland Plains CMN works to protect scattered remnant vegetation across private and public land on the Gippsland Plains. It is located in the West Gippsland and East Gippsland catchment areas. It has a current program to protect scattered trees involves assessing the trees for wildlife presence and providing subsidies for fencing and regeneration. It was successful in securing a Caring for Our Country federal grant to carryout on ground works. The CMN has undertaken a number of management trials with new and innovative techniques to restore woodland ecosystems. A regular newsletter is circulated sharing new ideas and techniques between landholders.
Habitat Network East Gippsland A local website listing friends groups across the region and up-coming events. Log onto this website and stay informed about events, issues and activities.
Landcare There are many active and welcoming Landcare groups across East Gippsland which undertake on-ground restoration, maintenance and revegetation works. It’s a great way to make new friends and help your environment at the same time:
- The East Gippsland Landcare Network have their own website at www.egln.org.au
- The Far East Victoria Landcare supports the following Landcare Groups: CannValley, Combienbar, Goongerah, Jarrahmond, Marlo Plains, Wairewa and District and Wangarabell-Nungatta.
Metung Bushland Reserve Community Portal A website portal to keep residents informed in and around Metung, with a focus on the Metung Bushland Reserve, a valuable example of Limestone Box Forest and Warm Temperate Rainforest.
Organic Agriculture Association Inc The Association is run by a small group of dedicated people aimed towards increasing knowledge and uptake of organic agriculture. The Association is strongly committed to linking the public to the key resources, education and information that will assist them to facilitate family, community, and the environment, in a secure, proactive, rewarding, and futuristic way.
Waterwatch Monitoring of water quality occurs by volunteers across the region, and provides valuable information on the health of our waterways.
There are many reasons to bring your community together and host an event to celebrate living in the amazing environment in East Gippsland. For a list of local events visit the Habitat Network East Gippsland, or visit national environmental events for some ideas on starting your own. Feel free to contact the Sustainability Unit if you would like to list a local event.
Sustainable Living Festival
Occurs in February in Melbourne, and hosts a range of talks and events. The Festival aims to inspire, educate and empower everyday Australians to accelerate the uptake of sustainable living.
Bairnsdale Street Harvest
Do you have excess spinach growing in your patch? Too many tomatoes in your garden? Are apples falling off your tree? Then come along a swap your excess fruit and vegetables from your garden, for something else. The idea is to swap anything you have in abundance, to reduce waste. Produce grown in chemically free conditions is preferred (but is not always possible). So just turn up with your fruit and vegetables and swap them with what's on offer, and what you think is a fair swap! (All leftovers go towards the Neighbourhood House kitchen).
When: Each Friday morning between 10.00am and 12.00 noon
Where: Neighbourhood House, Dalmahoy Street, Bairnsdale, in the front courtyard.
Be aware of Fruit Fly though, and make sure not to swap produce if you suspect you have it. See the Department of Primary Industries for more information.
Organic Agriculture Association Inc. Follow this link to keep up to date with local news and events.
World Wetlands Day
World Wetlands Day is celebrated internationally each year on 2 February. It marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran, on 2 February 1971. Why not organise an event for next year?
Clean up Australia Day
In early March each year, local community groups – Friends Groups, Landcare Groups, Scouts, sporting groups and schools – organise clean up sites to combat the litter problems throughout our Shire. Clean Up Australia Day
Started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned their lights off for one hour to make their stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Global landmarks such as the, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The CN Tower in Toronto, The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour. East Gippsland Shire participates in Earth Hour each year.
Farmers Markets (monthly)
Food from local farmers markets have very low ‘food miles.’ This means little energy has gone into transporting products to the point of sale. You will notice in many Australian supermarkets it is very common to buy produce sourced internationally, for example fish from south-east Asia, or oranges from the USA. For this reason it makes sense to shop at the local Farmers Markets including Metung, Paynesville and Bairnsdale.
You could also visit the following website to find out more about food miles
Occurs each year on April 22.The first Earth Day in 1970 enlisted 20 million Americans; it was the largest organized citizen action in United States’ history. With coordinated events taking place across the country, it is generally credited with launching the modern environmental movement. In 1990, Earth Day Network expanded internationally and organized campaigns in 142 nations. Earth Day now boasts the participation of more than one billion people in 190 countries. See the Earth Day website for more information.
International Biodiversity Day
Every year 22 May is the United Nations International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) and is designed to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. Biodiversity is most often understood as the number of different species of plants, animals and microorganisms in existence. However, biodiversity also encompasses the specific genetic variations and traits within species as well as the assemblage of these species within ecosystems. It is thought that ecosystems with high biodiversity might be more resilient to change, as they provide a larger pool of species that can potentially fill new niches.
World Environment Day
Occurs on 5 June annually. There are literally thousands of ways to do something positive for the environment. Again, whatever you decide to do, tell the United Nation Environment Program about it so they can post your activities on their website and make it part of the ‘Wide World of WED’ map.
Sustainable House Day (National)
Various houses across Australia will be opened up to show you how to live more sustainably on a day in September. Visit the website to find out how to register your house or where you can visit a sustainable house.
Held each year around September and aims to tackle the threats of weeds to our local biodiversity. Organising or hosting an event in your local area can increase understanding about the impacts of weeds to many different people. Many Australians do not know their backyard garden plants could be contributing to the $4 billion cost of weeds to agriculture every year.
By hosting an event during Weedbuster Week you can help, but be sure to register your event at so it becomes officially recognised.
East Gippsland Environmental Sustainability Toolkit
Sustainability Kit Primer (PDF 5.24Mb)
Sustainability How To (PDF 759kb)
Sustainability Matrix (PDF 610kb)
Sustainability Case Studies from East Gippsland
Bottling (PDF 362kb)
Bruthen River Loop Walk (PDF 625kb)
Saving the Grevillea (PDF 445kb)
Buchan Bus 'n' Freight (PDF 374kb)
Trust For Nature (PDF 387)
Goongerah Good Foods (PDF 406kb)
Jacarri Eco-Cottage (PDF 258kb)
Orbost Solar Bulk Buy (PDF 209kb)
Solar School Installation (PDF 729kb)
Jarrahmond Plant Corridors (PDF 396kb)
Beef At The Farm Gate (PDF 387kb)
Bairnsdale Tip Shop (PDF 473kb)
B.E.N.D. Eco-Housing ( PDF 475kb)
Blackberry Action Group (PDF 343kb)
Burn Off (PDF 267kb)
Solar Hot Water (467kb)
Metung Bushland Reserve (PDF 566kb)
Benambra Landcare (PDF 260kb)
Regent Honey Eater (PDF 242kb)
Waste Free Bruthen (PDF 295)
Waste Free Numerella (PDF 309kb)
Wicked Garden Beds (PDF 552kb)