On 11 September 2022, EcoNetwork Port Stephens held its first Sustainable Futures Festival Day. The sun shone brightly on the 1000 people attending the festival at St Philip’s Christian College in Salamander Bay. They came to listen, learn and talk about all things ‘sustainability’. Electric cars, enormous whales, roaming giant puppets and local musical groups ensured there was something for everyone.
Sustainable Futures Festival
Thanks to all the volunteers
What was the Sustainable Futures Festival?
The Sustainable Futures Festival aimed to create positive change, with innovative and practical solutions for a sustainable and regenerative world, working in partnership with local communities, businesses and government agencies.
Incorporating the philosophy of sustainability into the festival as much as possible, the five key areas EcoNetwork endeavoured to uphold during the festival include: Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle. These were highlighted through the lead up events prior to festival day including the aRRRRRt awards – putting the ‘R’ into art and celebrating local artists and their vision of sustainability.
The Festival culminated in a special event held on 11 September. The speaker program was headed up by Professor Veena Sahajwalla, the 2022 NSW Australian of the Year, famous for her eco-friendly technologies for converting waste into valued products.
If you missed it, all the original festival information, including speakers, stall and sponsors can be found here. And don’t miss this colourful photographic medley.
What were the main benefits of the festival?
With over 1000 people attending the festival and with the 94% people surveyed indicating they had a positive experience, the top three benefits cited were:
Creating a positive atmosphere for learning about sustainability
The experience of interacting as a like-minded community, talking about practical sustainability, finding entertaining ways of learning and showcasing alternative ways of thinking and doing.
Supporting the progression of St Philip’s Christian College and Tomaree High School towards sustainability
EcoNetwork Port Stephens was proud to learn that St Philip’s Christian College has strengthened their recycling program and that Tomaree High School’s sustainability and environment program has been revitalised as a result of the festival.
Connecting local community groups and businesses with research and innovation expertise
EcoNetwork is aware that new technologies developed in research settings may have practical applications locally, in collaboration with community groups as a result of introductions that occurred at the festival.
You can read a summary of the outcomes of the Sustainable Futures Festival – click on the image. For a copy of the full report, please contact EcoNetwork.
Just wanted to give you and the rest of EcoNetwork PS a wrap. That was one of the best sustainability events I have been to (and I’ve been to a lot). To my delight there was no corporate PR, no green washing, no ‘empty suits’. Just great people, grass roots innovations and a very high level of expertise and knowledge. Exactly what an event like this should be. Talks were all excellent and the whole event ran really smoothly.Rob McCann, South Pacific Sustainability
Sustainable Futures 2022 could not have happened without the support of a wide range of sponsors, community groups and local businesses.
We are most grateful to all these wonderful partners who supported the Festival and our local community, especially in this our inaugural event. They recognised the opportunity to partner with EcoNetwork Port Stephens, a recognised and reputable environmental advocacy network of over 30 business, community and environmental groups.
Thank you all – we could not have done it without you.
Working with Newcastle University
EcoNetwork also partnered with the University of Newcastle’s Business School, College of Human and Social Futures to help promote and evaluate the event, giving the students practical market research experience. Watch the video below and find out more about their Work Integrated Learning Program.