Q&A with Dean (Bermagui resident & Project Director at The Crossing)

Hear from The Crossing’s Dean Turner on what beautiful Bermagui means to him.

  1. If I were to take a snapshot of people who live in our region it would include… Sea lovers – fishermen, artists, farmers, musicians, surfers, cafe dwellers, retired city sea changers or drought refugees from far west NSW and young families who have moved here to raise their children in the great outdoors of the Wilderness Coast
  2. The best things about our region are… The bush and sea, cool nor-easters in summer, the people and their creative flair, clouds and stars over Gulaga Mountain.
  3. Key challenges for our region are… Sustainable tourism and incomes as fuel prices increase in this remoter coastal corner of NSW
  4. Our sustainability vision for our region is… A gateway to the Wilderness Coast with coast and bushland examples for visitors to experience sustainable living
  5. With the $10,000 funding for local sustainability projects we … Created an outdoor classroom for community workshops focused on sustainability.
  6. If our town had a theme song, it would be… ‘We are Sailing’ or ‘It’s a beautiful day’


Q&A with Penny Gibson (Young resident)

Young Community Garden celebrates with SBS Celebrity Gardener Costa

Young is a town situated in the South West Slopes with a diversified economy with steady growth. 70% of GDP from agriculture. There is a very strong business community, servicing 55,000 in the surrounding region. Young offers great lifestyle opportunities with education and health facilities offering first class facilities. School of Music (800 students) and a multitude of sporting clubs are just some of the choices residents have.

Population: Young Town around 9,000,  Shire 12,500 approx.

  1. If I were to take a snapshot of people who live in Young it would include… Positive, supportive, looking out for each other and resilient. The texture of Young is enriched by wonderful creative people and excellent sports people.  If the snapshot was taken in November/December it would include an influx of diverse and interesting itinerant cherry pickers.
  2. The best things about our town are… Beautiful scenic countryside and lifestyle choices. We have excellent local businesses which are all very supportive of the local community. Young District Arts Council already has a community run cinema, and art studio with plans for many more facilities and activities.
  3. Key challenges for Young are…Keeping growth climbing so jobs can continue to be created to retain as many of our young as possible. Keeping with infrastructure demands to cater for growth. Encouraging people to support our struggling Farmers Market and other initiatives which encourage a more sustainable life style.
  4. Our sustainability vision for Young is…Retaining our lifestyle advantages while caring for our environment. Establishing better networks in which more people are involved with supporting and enriching our community. Encouraging people to get interested in growing their own food and selling it locally. Creating a local cuisine which will be attractive to visitors and locals. Increasing the amount of recycling of resources. Improving access to alternative energy. Setting a standard for new house design and site placement so that they achieve much better energy efficiency.
  5. With the $10,000 support for local sustainability projects we are… establishing a community garden and providing power use meters to be borrowed through the local library.
  6. If Young had a theme song, it would be…

Read more on Young’s local sustainable projects and inspiring community garden HERE


Q&A with Melinda Hillery & the Palerang Local Project Team

Population: 2 200 Bungendore, 1 100 Braidwood and 11 817 Total in Palerang(2006)

1. If I were to take a snapshot of people who live in our region it would include…artists, farmers, small businesses, public servants, gourmet food producers, foresters, Indigenous people, old families and many recent immigrants.

2. The best things about our region are… the diverse inspirational landscape and it’s diverse inspirational people.

3. Key challenges for our region are… the different issues affecting different parts – the rugged landscape in the east makes many of the settlements quite remote and the economic opportunities are based largely around natural resources or creative use of them; the proximity to the west of Canberra presents problems associated with rapid growth and development, and demographic change with the majority of shire residents now living in the west in towns or rural residential and often commuting to Canberra for work with relatively higher incomes.

4. Our sustainability vision for our region is… to increase the sustainable development capacity of Palerang communities by providing advocacy and secretariat support for local initiatives. The longer term aim is to foster the establishment of innovations in local power production, food supply, public transport, waste reuse and recycling, the growth of local sustainable products, and the provision of sustainability focused education, training and technology transfer.

5. With the $10,000 funding for local sustainability projects we are… establishing the Palerang Local Action Network for Sustainability (PLANS) and will complete a funding application and/or business plan for the larger sustainability project.

6. If our region had a theme song, it would be…‘You may be wrong for all I know but you may be right!’


Q&A with Catherine Falk, Resident of Goulburn

Population: 21,060 (Goulburn City)

1.If I were to take a snapshot of the people who live in Goulburn it would be… a community of rural and town people, a large number of whom have been in this region for many generations.  Many young people and their families opt to stay in Goulburn and bring their children up interacting closely with their family. Those that leave town for education and career opportunities often return to settle later in life. There is a transient population of people who work in service and administrative jobs and presently we are seeing people tree-changing to our region, commuting to and from the ACT or Sydney, working their businesses from home and taking the opportunity to be able to purchase a home or land.

2. The best things about our town are… the changes of seasons, Goulburn’s heritage value, beautiful architecture, strategic location, unique history, active theatre, music and arts and a sense of community that contributes to a quality of life that encourages acceptance of people from all walks of life.

3. Key Challenges for Goulburn are… addressing the way people think about a sustainable future, climate change and the role they can play in it. As individuals and a community we can adapt and use these challenges in a positive and innovative way – not only in an environmental sense – but also in promoting a social and new economic future.

4. Our sustainability vision for Goulburn region is…“Ideas into Action for a Sustainable Future”. Check out our website to read more.

5. With the $10,000 Sustaining Our Town’s support for local projects we are…planning to:

  1. As a long term goal reduce the ecological footprint of businesses in the Goulburn Mulwaree region.
  2. Conduct a research/ educational survey with up to 300 businesses.
  3. Follow up with Business Recycling Educational workshops targeted to Chamber of Commerce, Liquor Accord and Rotary Clubs.
  4. Present The Goulburn Golf Club’s active participation in sustainable initiatives as a case study to demonstrate efficiencies in implementation.
  5. Promote the range of other SOT initiatives such as the home and garden reviews to further raise awareness of domestic energy saving.

The Goulburn region hope that their project could be shared as a model to adapt for other regions.


Q&A with Meghan Quinn & Joanna Clarke, Residents of the Snowies

Population: 8000 permanent residents in Snowy River Shire (aprox. 3500 in Jindabyne township) rising to somewhere around 18,500 in winter.

  1. If I were to take a snapshot of people who live in Jindabyne it would include…many young families with small children, teenagers in and around town, an older rural population living outside of our main town centres, and a number of single tradesmen in their 20s, 30s and 40s. It’s a mixed population of long-time locals, people who’ve left the city for a change of scenery, and those that came for the snow and never left.
  2. The best things about our town are…the pristine environment, changing seasons, access to the mountains, lakes, rivers and national park, and the warmth and community spirit in Jindabyne and surrounding villages.
  3. Key challenges for the Snowies are…unpredictable snowfall due to climate change and impacts on winter tourism; the impacts of climate change on regional agriculture, and providing infrastructure for growing permanent and visiting population.
  4. Our sustainability vision for the Snowies is…50/50 by 2020 to “keep the Snowies Snowy”; our long term vision includes zero-waste, loads of community gardens, and a community switched on to sustainability.
  5. With the $10,000 Sustaining Our Towns support for local sustainability projects we are going to… run an education and marketing campaigns aimed at helping landlords and other accommodation providers in the NSW Snowy Mountains to reduce their ecological footprint by taking basic steps to cut back on energy and water use.
  6. If the Snowies had a theme song, it would be… Let It Snow (let it snow, let it snow…)


Q&A with Gayle Buttrose, Resident of Yass

Population: 5,500 (in town); 15,000 in Yass Valley (approx).

  1. If I Took a Snapshot of People Who Live in Yass it Would Include… A mix of people who were born and lived here all their life, with a growing number of people moving here from Canberra.
  2. The Best Things About Our Town Are… The people, the beautiful surroundings, and the relaxed atmosphere.
  3. Key Challenges For Yass Are… Water, health services, road networks, and jobs.
  4. Our Sustainability Vision For Yass Is… To build a resilient community, able to face the challenges of climate change and peak oil together.
  5. With the $10,000 Funding for Local Sustainability Projects We’d Like To… Build a community garden that provides people with a diverse range of skills, abilities and backgrounds, the opportunity to grow their own food locally and organically.
  6. If Yass Had a Theme Song it Would Be… The Bob Marley song One Love People Get Ready, with the lyrics ‘Let’s get together and feel all right’ for our community garden.


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