The Bendigo Sustainability Group has won the Premier’s Regional Recognition Award in this year’s Premier’s Sustainability Awards for its diverse region-wide work in sustainability.

The Bendigo Sustainability Group is a very active and driven community organisation that brings together a diverse range of people with a shared interest in sustainable living, solar power, sustainable food and gardening, community education, energy efficiency and sustainability policy development.

Through a range of sustainability initiatives which includes a commercial-oriented approach, they have created a supportive culture for understanding, inspiration, action and hope from which to grow a sustainable future within the wider Bendigo community.

Winters Flat Primary School in Castlemaine won the top honour of the night – the Premier’s Recognition Award – for its program developing sustainability programs that engage not only their school, but their local council, businesses, Indigenous groups and their whole community.

“Each year we continue to discover the passion Victorians have for protecting their environment and thinking creatively about new sustainable practices,” says CEO Sustainability Victoria, Stan Krpan.

“Our state has an excellent track record of delivering innovative projects that benefit our environment and the community through efficient waste management, resource recovery, and new technologies for clean energy.

“Congratulations to all of this year’s winners. Your contributions will have positive long-term effects on our society and our way of life.”

Winners of other categories included:

Built Environment Award: ’38 Westbury Street’ Green Roof in the City – This ‘upstairs backyard’ green roof shows the monumental changes a community of apartment residents can make to their physical environment and the quality of their lives.

Community Award: Australian Youth Climate Coalition for Switched on Schools Victoria – Building a generation-wide movement by empowering tens of thousands of high school students to engage with climate change and take meaningful action in their communities.

Education Award: Winters Flat Primary School Castlemaine for their ‘Students leading change’ Winters Flat PS Sustainability program – A regional state primary school harnesses the power of community, their student voice and deep environmental respect to drive their inspiring work.

Environmental Justice Award: Voices of the Valley for their Community support following the Hazelwood Mine program – Voices of the Valley was formed in response to the impacts of the 2014 Hazelwood Mine Fire. As advocates, they have achieved justice for their community.

Environmental Protection Award: Geelong Cemeteries Trust for the Moonah Memorial Walk at Queenscliff Cemetery – A carefully planned nature reserve offering unique burial and cremation memorials within a protected coastal woodland.

Government Award: City of Boroondara on behalf of the Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (EAGA) for Biodiversity Monitoring in Melbourne’s East – Local councils, researchers, agencies and government develop and trial a framework for monitoring biodiversity, recognised in the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Awards.

Health Award: Melbourne Health for Reducing Waste One Dialysis Patient at a Time
Melbourne Health champions a range of waste reduction initiatives to significantly decrease the amount of clinical waste their kidney treatment service produces each year.

Innovative Products or Services Award: Solvup – Building a Global Standard for Sustainable Retail – Victorian-developed technology used by retail stores and call centres encourages 100 per cent lifecycle from all products, leading the ‘sustainable retail return’ movement.

Large Business Award: Crown Melbourne for Crown Earth – A policy, a strategy, plans, actions and outcomes that drive sustainability across Crown Melbourne’s operations. Business partners, employees and contractors all play vital roles.

Small and Medium Enterprises Award: Yarra Valley Estate – A conference, wedding and accommodation centre conducts certified sustainability programs spanning energy, water, waste and community development.

The awards ceremony was held at the Plaza Ballroom and was hosted by entertainer Eddie Perfect.