Category Archives: OTHERWISE Project

Information about the OTHERWISE project itself.

Manningham’s Youth Leaders for a Greener Wedge!

Live in or around Manningham Council? If so, come along to the Youth Leaders for a Greener Wedge Program on Monday 31 March and Tuesday 1 April 6-9.

Meet other inspired young people to help make Manningham a more sustainable community!

When: Monday 31 March and Tuesday 1 April

Time: 6pm – 9pm

Where: Manningham Council, 699 Doncaster Road Doncaster

Please contact Beth on 9840 9406 or for more information


2 ACT upcoming otherWISE events + volunteer opportunities

2 ACT otherWISE events

1. Australian Ethical Investments – Building Tour and Talk on ethical investments

When: Tuesday March 11th

Where: Australian Ethical Investments, Fern Hill Technology Park. Block E, Trevor Pearcey House, 34 Thynne Street in Bruce.

Time:  5pm till 6pm (tour will start at 5pm)

Contact for more info and to let me know if you are coming.


As a lead up to Earth Hour  at the end of March an energy savings workshops will be run to assist members of the ACT otherWISE network and their friends reduce their energy consumption in the home environment (especially for renters).  Come along and leave equipped with more tools and knowledge, as you take individual and community actions towards a more sustainable ACT.

When:    Tuesday 18th March

Time: 5.30pm to 7pm

Where: The Conservation Council, 3 Childers Street (next to the Street Theatre)

What to bring: your last Energy Bill.

Our lifestyles rely on energy.  Whether it’s enjoying a cold drink, staying warm on a cold winter’s night, taking a hot shower, watching a movie….  So many of the activities we enjoy require energy. Recently we have come to realise that the way we generate this energy is really important.  In Australia, most of our energy comes from burning fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases.  These in turn are contributing the climate change, which is already having major impacts on the environment-both natural and human built.

So, what to do? The workshop will provide information on how people typically use energy in the domestic setting and explore possible responses that we can take to have a positive effect on the climate change crisis.

Facilitated by Peter Miller from the Home Energy Advice Team (HEAT).  HEAT is an ACT government funded service for all Canberra and area residents designed to help them reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Come along, bring your friend, family and housemate and learn simple things you can do at home to use less energy and save money.

PLUS A Volunteer Project with ACT otherWISE?

ACT otherWISE is a growing network of young people in the ACT committed to making positive and sustainable changes to their own lives, and their communities.  As an introduction to the network, free Youth in Sustainability workshops are held for young Canberrans aged 15-25 years.

The workshops are designed to educate and inform young Canberrans on sustainability and to inspire them to reduce their individual and community consumption patterns.

Ongoing activities and support are available to participants as they make changes to their lives, get involved in existing community projects or design their own sustainability focused community projects.

For more information have a look at:

In the first half of 2008 the project plans to:
*run 4 youth workshops
*run a facilitator workshop
*run monthly activities including quarterly energy workshops, a river watch activity, a visit to Australian ethical investments and more!
* A celebration event for World Environment Day 2008,
*Develop and publish a booklet on how young people in the ACT are living and acting otherWISE
*support youth on individual and community projects; and more!

In the second half of 2008 we will run another facilitator workshop, more youth workshops and more monthly activities.

You can get involved by supporting the above projects.  Suggested Volunteer Projects include:

Support for production of a booklet on how young people in the ACT are living and acting otherWISE.  This Project will commence in Feb / March and will be completed by the end of May.

Support for organising an event for world environment day.  This project will start in February and end after the event which will be in early June.

Plan and organise a monthly activity.  We will require volunteers on a month by month basis from April this year.

Assist in the planning and organisation of a youth workshop on sustainability.  Volunteers who attend the facilitator training in February may then also co-facilitate on the workshop.  We will be running four youth workshops between February and June.  Volunteers required from February until completion of the workshop.

Organise a green film night for youth week.  Volunteer required from February / March until Youth week (April 5th-13th)

Event / Workshop Promotion.  Volunteers are required to assist in the promotion of all events and workshops run by ACT otherWISE, the length of volunteer engagement required would depend on the event / workshop being promoted.  The work may include distributing posters and talking with youth in schools or other groups about the ACT otherWISE project.  The later would suit previous workshop participants.  Volunteers required for each individual event / workshop and timing would range from one to four months per event / workshop.

Got a really great idea for something that would benefit ACT otherWISE and the community – let us know.

If you would like to discuss opportunities for working with the otherWISE project or if you have any ideas of your own that you feel would compliment the project please contact.the project officer, Rachael Millsom at or on (02) 6229 3211 (Thursdays and Fridays).

The project is run from the Conservation Council, 3 Childers street, Acton.  However volunteers would be able to do work from home.  It is noted that the volunteer may be required to move around Canberra, depending on the project undertaken.

Manningham Youth Leaders Workshop!

Manningham Council is keen to hear from any budding young local environmentalists to take part in Youth Leaders for a Greener Wedge!

The Youth Leaders for a Greener Wedge program will run the otherWISE workshop on the weekend of the 23 – 24 February 2008. Environmental projects will be run through 2008!

If you are interested please contact Beth at

Ideas & Action Plans from ACT otherWISE Workshop

To make Canberra more sustainable:

Transport: – car free lane, get people on bikes; less parking in the city for cars; less cars, increase sustainable transport; air travel ‘budgets’ for gov’t and business; better bike lanes; faster changing lights for bikes; free bike checks; economic incentives for sustainable living and vice versa.

Purchasing / Food: – encourage vegetarianism; more community gardens; roof top gardens on high-rise; encourage more local growers markets.
Water: – No sprinklers on at ANU during the day, grey water systems, compulsory rainwater tanks for new houses; ban use of tap water on gardens.

Community Building: – encourage retrofitting of houses; better designed developments / blocks for natural heating and cooling; community oriented designed developments; encourage sharing of things / stuff eg lawn mowers within communities.

Energy: – mandatory solar energy; more bike friendly policies / rules; more stringent restrictions on new houses eg solar; audit energy use by Government Departments and change; zero emissions targets for government departments; improve bus service; energy rating / education for all appliances; encourage using more energy efficient appliances; not change extra for green power; tax carbon emissions to make green power cheaper; solar street lights; solar energy tariffs improved; turn off lights at night in unused buildings; charge the true cost of fossil fuel energy; better initiatives for reducing energy use; compulsory solar hot water heaters for new houses.

Other – stop logging of old growth forests; make recycling and composting mandatory / have incentives eg free waste removal of you recycle; infect media with the idea that over consumption is NOT SEXY

Personal Actions:

  • Cameron: HEAT audit @ home; speak at Gungahlin Sustainability Fair on a Green Xmas; plant fruit trees and a veggie patch
  • Rachael: put clean comfort on bedroom windows; put cardboard strips along the top of curtains.
  • Serena: Use Garden safe dishwashing and laundry liquids; shop at farmers markets; fit efficient shower heads and light globes.
  • Millie: install a water efficient shower head;
  • Esther: Bike Ride to work, go on green energy
  • Louise: plant a  veggie garden; go to youth lead, organise a cultural exchange
  • Clare: sustain myself by Yoga etc; offset my flight emissions
  • Julia: ride everywhere; go to markets and food co-op
  • James: ride a bike more, car pool where possible, reduce length of showers
  • Jasmine: – shop at second hand clothes stores; plant veggie / herb garden


  • Guide for renting sustainably
  • Create posters to promote ACT otherWISE workshops
  • Green Kulture Tent @ Corinbank
  • Corinbank Resource Rescue Team
  • “Save water – don’t masturbate” campaign on uni campus
  • Collect wine casks for Derek’s roof (insulation)
  • Green Film night
  • Facilitate Living Smart Program in Canberra
  • Eco-songwriting workshop for young musicians
  • Set up a community garden with vegetables and indigenous plants
  • Start up sustainable schools initiative at Narrabundah and other schools
  • Promote energy efficiency  / green design for new homes
  • Speak to local supermarkets about introducing more sustainable products
  • Set up a green group at work
  • Set up a bicycle taxi between civic and Barton

Want to Work for ACT otherWISE in Canberra?

Support Project officer – ACT otherWISE

An exciting opportunity exists to join the peak environment group in Canberra. We are seeking an enthusiastic and motivated person to work on the ACT otherWISE project. ACT otherWISE is an innovative community development initiative to train, network and support young people in the ACT to work towards a more sustainable community through individual lifestyle actions and community projects. For more information see

As the support project officer, you will assist the project officer in organising and running training workshops; developing training materials; providing follow up support to young people as they take action in their own lives and in the community; and coordinating a community coalition and emergent peer network in the region. In addition you will be involved in publishing a booklet on how young people in the ACT are living and acting otherWISE and organising a World Environment Day celebration for June 2008.

Download the position description (PDF)

Applications are due COB Thursday 3 January 2008.

For further information about this position please contact Rachael Millsom, the Project Officer, in November and January on 6229 3211 or Cameron Neil on 0402 072 452 during December.

ACT otherWISE 2007 Project Summary and Highlights

By Rachael Millsom

2007 has been an exciting year for ACT otherWISE as we have secured further investment to continue the program, run more workshops, have grown to 130 young Canberrans on our network list, and worked to support a number of youth projects addressing sustainability.

Investments & Partnerships

ACT otherWISE started in September 2006 through the support of ACT Environment. This initial investment of $15000, plus $5000 from RMIT University and the invaluable in-kind contributions of Coalition organisations and members and inspired community members and young people, allowed ACT otherWISE to get started and run until August 2007. ACT otherWISE then successfully applied early in the year for a $10000 Youth Change Maker grant to support young Canberrans with a number of their sustainability projects and further training. In July 2007, ACT otherWISE received approximately $60,000 over three years from the Dept of Health to continue the program with the goal of promoting and helping to achieve a more sustainable and healthy ACT. We were also notified in September that we had received another $15000 investment from ACT Environment.

ACT otherWISE is immensely grateful to our financial investors, as well as to the Conservation Council for hosting the project, and for its network of fantastic supporting organisations and individuals including the University of Canberra, Office of Sustainability ACT (TAMS), CIT, ACT Sustainable Schools, Nature and Society Forum and AAEE.


This year ACT otherWISE ran its second facilitator training and five youth workshops.

The workshops in 2007 included:

  • February – a single workshop was run for a group of seven Venturer Scouts covering the ecological footprint and action planning.
  • March – a two session workshop for 18 students in year 10 at Orana High School
  • April – two mini workshops for 45 – 50 young people at the 2007 Youth InterACT conference
  • October – Facilitator Training for 7 facilitators (including myself). Cameron ran facilitator training on October 11th for a bunch of enthusiastic facilitators, many who have already assisted at the current youth workshops. Of these four have already assisted at November workshops
  • November – three session workshop for 21 students in year 10 at Orana High School, the other half of year 10 students that didn’t do the workshop in March
  • November – three session workshop run over three consecutive Wednesday evenings at the Griffen Center for 15 youth (the final session is next Wednesday!) At a busy time of the year these fun, enthusiastic and passionate youth made the workshop. ACT otherWISE looks forward to working with them on projects next year.

Youth Projects

In between workshops ACT otherWISE has supported youth from the November 2006 open workshop in their various projects, which included obtaining some funding through a Youth Change Makers grant provided by the Foundation for Young Australians.

The projects included:

  • A Uranium documentary by youth, for youth, which has been shown at the Dendy cinema in Canberra in its current form – the youth are looking at spicing up the second half of the documentary and there are still some interest groups that they haven’t interviewed yet. We look forward to seeing the final product.
  • A sewing group which ran a sewing workshop for youth in August and just recently (18th November) held a fantastic clothes swap event. It was a successful afternoon; there were heaps of clothes, young people, music, drinks and yummy homemade nibbles. The group plan on running more sewing workshops and clothes swap events next year. We look forward to it!
  • In August this year we supported 3 workshop participants and 10 other members of the network to attend a youth LEAD workshop run by OzGreen. Each of them returned from the workshop inspired and motivated to do more to create a sustainable and healthy Canberra. The other YouthLEAD participants have also joined our network.

Community and the ACT otherWISE network

But that’s not it! ACT otherWISE has continued to build networks in the community, as well as run other activities for young people in Canberra including:

  • An October monthly activity: 8 youth caught up at Floriade to attend an actewAGL sustainability workshop and share a lunch together.
  • A November monthly activity: the first of quarterly energy workshops run by HEAT (the Home Energy Advice Team)
  • In November ACT otherWISE ran the ecological footprint activity at an introductory SEE-Change event in south Woden
  • Bi monthly coalition meetings
  • Further development of training and workshop materials
  • We look forward to visiting a sustainable house tomorrow with existing members, their family and friends.

Next Year

Another exciting development was finding out the ACT otherWISE received money from an ACT Environment Grant, this has meant we are now running monthly activities, such as the energy workshop and visit to Floriade. As well as that it means next year we will be employing another person for one to two days for approximately six months initially to assist on the ACT otherWISE project. The position description is here if you know anyone who may be interested let them know.

So apart for having an extra person on board next year the following events, projects and activities are in development (and we’d love for you to be involved!):

  • Another facilitator training workshop
  • Four more youth workshops including another open workshop, one in Gungahlin, one with SEE-Change and another with CROWK.
  • Monthly activities including quarterly energy workshops, a river watch activity, a visit to Australian ethical Investments and more!
  • A celebration event for World Environment Day 2008
  • Developing and publishing a booklet on how young people in the ACT are living and acting otherWISE.
  • Continued coalition meetings.

I’m sure there will be many more exciting projects on the agenda!

Youth Leaders for a Greener Wedge

otherWISE & Manningham City Council are working together to train and support 15-25 yr olds in Manningham to take action on sustainability, and in particular on preserving the ‘Green Wedge’ that is part of the local government area.

Beth Dunlop is the project officer, working at Manningham City Council.

The facilitator training session is on 10 December and the youth workshop will be in late February.

For more on Youth Leaders for a Greener Wedge and the upcoming youth workshops, download the flyer here.

Youth Leaders for a Greener Wedge 2008