Hume Enviro Champions

The Hume Enviro Champions program provides ten weeks of free training with the aim of building capacity within the community to develop, implement and evaluate environmental community projects. This is combined with other benefits such as:

  • following your community or environmental passion
  • meeting like-minded people
  • building self confidence
  • making a difference in your community and environment
  • learning new skills.

Over 120 community members have completed the training program since its commencement in 2012, and participated in over 60 community-run projects that benefit our local communities and the environment.

For more information contact Jo Burton, Environmental Community Development Officer, on 0455 091 999 or email envirochampions@hume.vic.gov.au

Hear from our 2020 Enviro Champions
Watch the video below to hear what 2020 Enviro Champions Anthony, Jo and Harsimran think of the program. 

  

This free training program is offered to people who live, work, study or volunteer in the Hume municipality.  

You don't need to have a project in mind to get involved with Enviro Champions. The training includes support to develop an idea and project plan of your own, or you can work as part of a team with other people working on a shared project.  

Here’s what past Champions say about the program:

     "The Enviro Champs Program has given me the strongest sense of community that I have ever had." 

     "Realising that there are plenty of people with great ideas in my community…a nest to develop those ideas." 

     "A deeper understanding of our environment as a whole, especially our local environment...inspiration to improve and appreciate that environment."

     "The course has been stimulating and invigorated my love of the natural world. I recommend and challenge anyone to get involved...it is very worthwhile." 

Registrations for the 2022 training program will open in October 2021. Please check back then for the application process using SmartyGrants for the free 10-week training program to help you develop your community environmental project idea. 

Hume Seed Library

  • The project is run by 3 community members from different years of the program.
  • COVID has had a significant impact on the ability of the group to deliver the services and workshops they had originally planned. These plans included a seed stand at the Sunbury library, workshops on how to save and cultivate seeds and activities for all ages to improve community understanding of the importance of seeds and localised food production, all completely free. A drop off service was also available for those who had saved seeds to donate.
  • When the library closed in 2020 due to COVID, the group shifted their focus for the seed stand to be a bundle of free seeds give away from the counter of a local health food shop. This was a fantastic success and many varieties of seeds were regularly donated by the community.
  • During the 2020 lockdown, Christie McIntosh grew seedlings at home to give away at a sharing table installed on the corner of her street. At the time there was a shortage of seedlings at local nurseries and the community happily got behind the idea of a sharing table in their neighbourhood, regularly exchanging fresh produce, seeds, books and other useful items. Christie has also been involved in delivering online workshops on a variety of sustainability and permaculture topics, for kindergartens, the Sunbury Transition Streets group and other audiences. 

Grow an Urban Jungle  

  • On 3 July 2021 the community came together to celebrate the natural environment, and to plant a dense native plot to improve biodiversity, habitat and food sources for native fauna along the Malcolm Creek in Craigieburn. The planting consists of a canopy layer of small shrubs with wildflowers, grasses, and groundcovers forming the ground layer. The planting design is a trial plot of the Japanese "Miyawaki" technique which has been adapted to suit local plants and soil conditions.
  • As a trial technique, Harsimran and a small group of volunteers will maintain and monitor the plot for 18 months to 2 years. In this time, records will be kept of maintenance, watering, weeding, plant growth and losses, to help evaluate the success of the trial against similar types of native conservation plantings.

Westmeadows Indigenous Community Food and Fibre Garden

  • Jo Russell has Indigenous heritage and a passion for sharing her knowledge of Indigenous cultural food and fibre practices. Jo began sharing her passion when she taught conservation and land management to students at the Indigenous Education Centre of Kangan Tafe. Jo continues to share with the wider community through regular Bush Tucker Walks and Talks.
  • When Jo joined the Hume Enviro Champions program in 2020, her dream was to have a dedicated space where she could engage the community in growing Indigenous cultural plants and how to use them as resources. Hume City Council has partnered with Jo to establish a suitable garden area in Westmeadows, with the launch planting day on 11 July 2021.

Connections @ Craigieburn Garden

  • This project is currently looking for a new Enviro Champion or partnership. Please contact Jo Burton on 0455091999 if you are interested.   

Care for 3064

  • Addressing litter in our parks and waterways is an ongoing issue and Bridgewater Park Wetlands in Roxburgh Park is no exception. This project has partnered with Roxburgh Rise Primary School to hold a clean-up event with year six students once every school term to help control litter in the local park and wetlands.
  • Council's Parks Department has also provided new rubbish bins and dog poles to help curb littering. Melbourne Water has also agreed to do a clean-up of the water body in the near future.

Hume CAN (Climate Action Now) 

  • This group began as an Enviro Champions project in 2017, under the banner of Climate for Change, advocating to stop Adani. A screening of the Stop Adani campaign’s, Guarding the Galilee was followed by robust discussion, leading to actions of writing letters to MPs and petition signing. In 2019, the group was reinvigorated by an eager Enviro Champ and re branded Hume Climate Action Now (HumeCAN). The activism and advocacy for the Climate Policy Reform continued with meetings, rallies, letter writing and more. In 2021 a member of the group interested in learning more about community organising and environmental project development joined the Enviro Champions training. The training has provided him with knowledge and skills to help continue HumeCAN’s advocacy into the future.

Small Acres

  • Beginning as an idea for a local homegrown produce and knowledge swap before the COVID-19 pandemic, this project adapted to the social distancing restrictions by becoming a project to start a series of short videos on sharing gardening knowledge and home sustainability tips and tricks.

Groovy up the Grasslands

  • This educational project began in 2016 by Enviro Champion Stephanie, running workshops and planting activities until 2019. It taught community members and raised awareness about the importance of remnant native grasslands and threatened species. A partnership with Banksia Gardens Community Centre helped deliver workshops. The project and HCC Conservation team has funding for maintenance until 2024 through a partnership with DHHS. 

HumeUs Action Group

  • The group HumeUs partnered with Council staff to help the greening of Hume, including Olsen Place on Widford Street, Broadmeadows. It continues to manage the Hillcrest Community Fruit Orchard.

Harvest Sunbury

  • A Sunbury-based community food swap.  Everyone is welcome to attend to swap seedlings and excess produce at the Sunbury Community Garden.

 

For further updates on projects and what's happening, join the Hume Environmental Champions Facebook group.

A new opportunity has been made available for people interested in mentoring environmental community-based projects. These positions are available to Hume staff and members of the Hume community. This exciting opportunity will include a half day facilitated training session.

The volunteer role of Project Mentors for Enviro Champions is to provide support to individuals or groups who are implementing an environmental project through the program. One mentor will be assigned, in consultation with the mentor, to one environmental project.