The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens

  One of my favourite botanical gardens in Australia is also one of the oldest. The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens has a history stretching back almost 200 years, and a long association, not just with horticultural display gardens but also, with the growing of food. From its transformation from farmland in the early 1800s, to its establishment of heated walls to grow food plants in cold weather, through to the creation of the much-loved ‘Pete’s Patch’ for ABC TV’s ‘Gardening Australia’ programme, with the inimitable Peter Cundall and more recently, Tino Carnevale, through to the hosting of the Tasmanian Community Food Garden. Today, the RTBG has become…

Farming, Fair Food and Fine Films

It’s been a week of ‘foodie films’ with a twist – shining a spotlight on how our food is being produced and how this ‘production’ – both small-scale and large-scale – could be expanded to feed a projected global population of 10 billion people by 2050. There is growing awareness about ‘food miles’ and the health and environmental consequences associated with the highly processed western diet that many people consume. More people are starting to look at where their food actually comes from and what goes into it, and there is increasing support for local farmers and producers, through the likes of farmers markets and community…

The People’s Climate March

‘People Power’ took to the streets of Melbourne on Friday 27 November, as the first of a weekend of Climate Marches took place across Australia. Tens of thousands of people added their voices to calls for action on climate change. The ‘voice of the people’ echoed across the world, as citizens in towns and cities – from Argentina to Zimbabwe – poured onto their streets as well, in a weekend of global community action, sending a powerful message – loud and clear – to world leaders on the eve of the United Nations Climate Summit in Paris. [* ‘Frontline’ montage photos…

Australia’s First Eco-School

I’d like to share a story I wrote about primary school principal, Andy Best – a quiet achiever in the realm of environmental education in Australia. I first met Andy in the café during Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership training in Melbourne last year, and he told me about his school, Harrington Park Public School in NSW, becoming Australia’s first Eco-School. That’s what the 6-page feature story that I wrote for a gardening magazine is all about … but it’s also about acknowledging Andy’s great leadership work, both within the education sector and the broader community. Sharing the stage with…

Stephanie Alexander – Leading a Revolution

Stephanie Alexander – Leading a Revolution The inspirational story behind the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program. It was really nice to meet with Stephanie Alexander recently and talk about her inspirational journey with kitchen gardens in schools. There are now more than 700 schools across Australia involved with her healthy living program. But it all started with just one – in Collingwood, Victoria. It was lovely to take Stephanie back to Collingwood College, where it all began. And it all began with just the seed of an idea and a desire to make a difference. To view the full feature story, which appeared in…

Eingana – The Journal of the Victorian Association for Environmental Education

I enjoyed working as the interim Editor of Eingana – the Journal of the Victorian Association for Environmental Education, for its April-June 2015 edition. It would have been nice to have continued on in the role but I have too many other work and travel commitments at the moment. Perhaps another time … It is always good to share stories about the journey towards sustainability and how we can engage others, as educators and communicators. Eingana is the great Earth Mother. She is fertility herself. She is the source of all life forms, of all being. DJAUAN TRIBE, NT To…

A Budding Green Thumb

In my last post, I shared a feature profile on school teacher, Mick Bourke. The accompanying story in the current edition of Your Vegie Patch magazine, is on 10 year old gardener and sustainability advocate, Jamie van Wensveen – who just happens to be my son! Although, in this story, I focus on the inspiration that his class teacher has been, in inspiring him to take up gardening and an interest in the environment, not to mention learning to cook. Bless you Mick Bourke! Needless to say, I had plenty of pics to choose from for this feature. And I…