ACT otherWISE – Youth Leadership for Sustainable Communities
What is the project?
ACT otherWISE is part of a growing national otherWISE network, made up of young people and their communities who are living and acting otherwise towards a more sustainable Australia. The project aims to empower young people to become leaders within their communities, by identifying actions they can make to their lifestyles, and the lifestyles of their communities, more sustainable. The project does this through a workshop, action support and network and by supporting youth in undertaking personal and community projects.
Following the support and vision of numerous ACT community groups and organizations, and in partnership with the International Young Professionals Foundation and RMIT University, ACT otherWISE was able to run its first Youth Sustainability Workshop in Canberra, with the assistance of an ACT Government Environment Grant, toward the end of 2006. Since this time the project has grown and been involved in the education and support of over 100 youth in Canberra.
2007 was an exciting year for ACT otherWISE as further investment was secured to continue the program including more sustainability workshops and activities. The project now has over 100 young Canberrans in our network, and has worked to support a number of youth projects addressing sustainability.
In 2007 ACT otherWISE ran its second facilitator training and five youth workshops. These included workshops with a Venturer Scouts troup; two lots of Year 10 students at Orana High School; a mini workshop at the 2007 Youth InterACT conference; and a workshop open to all comers.
So far this year we have run a youth planning day, a waterwatch activity and another facilitator training session. By June we will run 4 youth workshops, publish a booklet on what young people in the ACT are doing to live more sustainably, run an event for World Environment Day, host Greenscreen, a short film and music night, in Garema place and run an energy savings workshop. I’m sure there will be many more exciting projects on the agenda for the second half of 2008.
In between workshops, ACT otherWISE has supported youth from the workshops in their various projects, which included obtaining some funding through a Youth Change Makers grant provided by the Foundation for Young Australians.
The projects include:
- A Uranium documentary by youth, for youth, which has been shown at the Dendy cinema in Canberra and will be shown at a green, youth-run, event (Greenscreen) in early May.
- A sewing group which ran a sewing workshop for youth in August and has held three successful clothes swap events with more planned.
- Supporting 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.
- Greenscreen – a green gig and film night to be run on 2 May 2008 in Garema place in conjunction with the conservation council,
- Workplace greening – a small group of youth in the workplace are busy scheming the next youth project aimed at greening the places where they work!
Community and the ACT otherWISE network
ACT otherWISE continues to build networks in the community, as well as run other activities for young people and their communities in Canberra. We welcome involvement from business and community groups, so if you have ideas or a group of young people you would like us to run a workshop for please get in touch. Over the next couple of years we are also looking for financial support, for individual events, youth projects and other funds just to keep us moving along, please contact one of the project officers on the email provided below if you are interested in providing this kind of support.
Getting in touch
If you would like to get involved in ACT otherWISE we would love to hear from you!
Contact us on otherWISE@consact.org.au.