Finalists announced for 2017 Victorian Premier's Sustainability Awards, ResourceSmart Schools Awards

Thursday, 21 September, 2017

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The Victorian Government and Sustainability Victoria this week announced the finalists for two upcoming awards — the Premier’s Sustainability Awards and the ResourceSmart Schools Awards.

Premier’s Sustainability Awards

The Premier’s Sustainability Awards recognise and celebrate Victorians who are leading the way to a sustainable future. This year the awards received their broadest cross-section of entries in their 15-year history, with the 29 finalists showcasing ingenuity and innovation in the way Victorians approach sustainability.

For example, collaborative group 3000acres was announced as a finalist in the Health category for its Improving Access to Healthy Food and Building Community program. Through an innovative collaboration with town planners, lawyers, residential developers and web-based developers, the group has developed a platform that connects people in urban environments who want to grow their own food with those who hold the land and resources to make it happen.

The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), on behalf of the Council Alliance for a Sustainable Built Environment (CASBE), reached the finals in the Government category for the Local Leadership Driving Sustainability in Planning program. Through a decade-long collaboration, CASBE councils have initiated significant sustainability projects, including the Local Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) Planning Policies, the Built Environment Sustainability Assessment (BESS) tool and a program that the councils use to encourage good design in their development applications.

Finally, sustainability centre CERES was picked as a finalist in the Education category for its Sustainability and Alternative Pathways program. Driven by a passion to educate for sustainability and the need to act now, CERES educators impart skills in living sustainably within and beyond their demonstration site — an urban oasis in East Brunswick.

Other finalists include: a campaign to save the orange-bellied parrot; a project that regenerates shellfish reefs using leftover oyster shells from local restaurants; a highly automated steel galvanising plant that produces significantly low emissions; and more.

The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony, to be hosted by media personality Charlie Pickering on 26 October at the Plaza Ballroom, Melbourne. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will personally select the winners of the Premier’s Regional Recognition Award and the Premier’s Recognition Award, which celebrate a finalist who has demonstrated notable benefits for regional Victoria and a winner who showcases exemplary innovation and determination in overcoming obstacles in sustainability, respectively.

“These awards represent Victoria’s highest recognition for sustainability and acknowledge leadership, innovation and achievement,” said Stephanie Ziersch, interim chief executive of Sustainability Victoria. “Each finalist should be congratulated for improving sustainable outcomes across business, government and within the community.”

For more information on the finalists, and to purchase tickets to the awards ceremony, visit

ResourceSmart Schools Awards

The ResourceSmart Schools Awards recognise the sustainability achievements of Victorian schools and their contribution to taking action on climate change. Sustainability Victoria manages the awards as part of the ResourceSmart Schools program, which helps schools embed sustainability into everything they do.

In 2017, as part of their 10th anniversary, the awards are focusing on the theme ‘a decade of school wins for the environment’. Submitted projects included the installation of solar panels, greywater ponds, garden beds, aquaponics ponds and beds, re-used tyre and sleeper walls, permaculture areas, compost systems and orchards. Some projects were even integrated into the school curriculum, with teachers helping students through hands-on real-life learning opportunities.

Having received an impressive 150 entries from 87 schools, Sustainability Victoria has now selected 58 finalists spread across 16 categories. The winners will be announced at a presentation ceremony on 16 October.

To view the full list of finalists, visit To register for awards updates, email

Image courtesy of CERES.

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