2016 Built Environment award winner Sonia Bednar with energy, environment and climate change minister Lily D'Ambrosio

New research by Sustainability Victoria shows that over 90 per cent of Victorians want government, business and industry to be involved in environmental projects and to tackle climate change.

Sustainability Victoria chief executive Stan Krpan says the Premier’s Sustainability Awards provides a channel for passionate individuals, communities and businesses to share their great work with all Victorians.

“One of the great ways that sustainable Victorians in the built environment sector can demonstrate their commitment is by entering the annual Premier’s Sustainability Awards,” he says.

“With 10 categories in this year’s program, there’s an opportunity for a range of organisations to celebrate their sustainability leadership with the wider Victorian community.”

Previous finalists and winners say that their involvement in the awards has led to improved staff morale, acknowledged green credentials with their customers and stronger relationships in their communities.

Residents living in a 1950’s apartment block in East St Kilda, known as “38 Westbury Street”, won the 2016 Built Environment award for retrofitting their rooftop into a stunning community garden.

Spokesperson Sonia Bednar says the Premier’s Sustainability Awards was an avenue to spread the word in the hope that other people follow suit.

“Being at the Premier’s Sustainability Awards was a wonderful celebration for the achievement of a small community. The program shows you don’t have to be part of a big corporation to be honoured,” she says.

“On the night of the ceremony, for one fleeting moment, we felt like rock stars!”

Armstrong Creek Development

GbLA Landscape Architects and their client, the Armstrong Creek Development Corporation, were finalists in the 2016 Environmental Protection category for their program, Warralily Creek Corridor Rehabilitation.

Warralily is a new community being developed in the Armstrong Creek Growth Area of Geelong. The restoration project covers a site of 25 hectares, 2.5 kilometres of creek line, five kilometres of shared pathway, 7000 cubic metres of rock and close to one million new plantings.

Jeremy Minter, project manager, urban design at the Armstrong Creek Development Corporation, says involvement in the Premier’s Sustainability Awards was a great way to show the passion behind the project.

“We’re now using our association with the Awards in our sales and marketing teams to promote what we’re doing and what we will continue to do,” he says.

Simon Wade, principal of GbLA Landscape Architects, says that entering the awards was “remarkably easy”.

“It was all online, easy to fill in, leave and come back to and there was always plenty of support along the way,” he says.

Each year, the Premier’s Sustainability Awards promotes the success stories of businesses, organisations, community groups and social enterprises that have introduced sustainability into what they do, providing great role models for all.

“People all over the built environment sector are doing really fantastic and innovative things in sustainability,” Krpan says.

“With community support for climate change action at a record high, now is the time for you to enter your sustainability project in Victoria’s most high-profile environmental awards program and be recognised for your contribution.”

As well as awards in each of the 10 categories, the Premier will select two overall winners for the Premier’s Regional Recognition and the top award, the Premier’s Recognition Award.

Entries close Wednesday 21 June 2017. Finalists will be announced in late August and the Premier’s Sustainability Awards gala event will be held on Thursday 26 October in Melbourne.

For more information about how to enter the awards, tips to write a compelling entry, to see video case studies of past winners and finalists, or to attend the free information session on 31 May, visit www.sustainabilityawards.vic.gov.au