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Sustainable Futures Festival – 11 September 2022

A festival of inspiration, innovation & conversation

Sustainable Futures Festival – for inspiration, innovation & conversation

Welcome to the Sustainable Futures Festival Page – information central for all our planned activities and festival news.

Our inaugural festival will showcase environmental innovation, sustainable living and the different ways in which nature enriches our lives.  Read the latest Festival News.


The Sustainable Futures Festival is excited to announce our special guest speaker, the 2022 NSW Australian of the Year – Professor Veena Sahajwalla.

International award-winning scientist, engineer and ‘Eco Alchemist’, Professor Sahajwalla has invented eco-friendly technologies for converting waste into products like steel and ceramics. We will hear about some of her ideas on how together we can reimagine our waste and shape circular economies in our own communities.

Read more      

In partnership with local communities, environment groups and businesses, EcoNetwork Port Stephens is excited to have this opportunity to host a special event for everyone to come along and experience, enjoy, learn and socialise.

The festival will increase knowledge, raise awareness and provide tools for change by showcasing leading solutions to the ecological and social changes we face. Adapting to new technologies can be a challenge – yet understanding that change is inevitable, is the first step towards practical solutions that really work.

  • Who: Organised by EcoNetwork Port Stephens, supported by our festival partners
  • What: Sustainable Futures Festival
  • Where: St Philip’s Christian College, Salamander Bay
  • When: 11 September 2022 from 10am – 4pm
  • Why: To share ideas on creating positive change in our neighbourhoods
  • How much: gold coin donation
  • Sign here for ecoupdates


  • Official Opening: 10am
  • Main stage – Professor Veena Sahajwalla: 11am
  • Food vans: all day
  • Speakers: 11am – 3pm
  • Event activities coming soon
  • Tent talks: all day
  • Refit fashion show 1pm
  • More event entries coming soon
  • Prizes announced: 3:30pm
  • Closing: 4pm

Getting Involved

Are you interested in being part of the Sustainable Futures Festival?

Would you like to partner with us or book a trade display?

Find out more or get in touch

The festival content and focus will be at a grassroots level that everyone in the community can identify with. The day will include displays and presentations based around the core themes of land, water, energy and community. Be inspired by what is possible:

Land: Improve soil health through composting methods such as worm farms, discover how your property can become a useful stepping stone for wildlife passing by, help local threatened species like shorebirds, koalas and orchids.

Water: Prepare for the future and create a wetland on your property, help make our marine environments plastic-free and find new ways to conserve water with designer storage solutions, grey water use, permeable paving and micro-desalination.

Energy: How does community power work? Where to get the best advice on solar power, micro grids, inspect an electric vehicle and be enlightened by alternative transport ideas.

Community: Find out how your local volunteers, organisations and small businesses are planning a sustainable future for Port Stephens towns, neighbourhoods and our natural environments.

Join us at our Marketplace for innovative products and services, yummy food vans, native plants, live music and eco-friendly homewares – all with a sustainable futures theme.

Get hands on and explore practical ways in living more sustainably in your community. Our tent talks will include diverse subjects like keeping native bees or driving an electric vehicle as well as fun competitions for kids of all ages!

Find out how our Festival Partners are supporting the Port Stephens community. How can we work together to lead a happier and healthier lifestyle?

There are many in our Port Stephens community who have been permanent residents for decades, others are more recent and there might be some welcome blow-ins too! Whoever you are, we are inviting you to our free event – there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained, informed & well fed!

Help us get our community involved:

  • Spread the word through your networks, family, friends and workplaces.
  • Post the date on your social platforms. 
  • Sign up to our EcoUpdate for evolving news on the festival program.

If you’re reading this and becoming keen or curious but you’re not a member of a local Port Stephens group – that’s just fine! Please get in touch and we can find you ways of becoming involved.

We look forward to making this an opportunity to bring together a wide range of special interest groups and individuals to help foster connections and common interests which our whole community can benefit from.

To find out more – come to the Festival and enjoy …

  • A marketplace including local native plant giveaways, arts and crafts stalls, kids activities, environmental displays, local eco-businesses and special Festival offers.
  • Live entertainment, local community groups, competitions to win great prizes.
  • A program of talks ranging from eco-friendly lifestyles, challenging the climate crisis to wildlife to 5* sustainability ideas featuring our special guest speakers.
  • Exhibitors of innovative products and technologies such as solar ovens and electric bicycles.

Get Hands On with our activities program …

  • Practical workshops and demonstrations for all ages and skills such as up-styling second-hand items or constructing your own portable solar panel.
  • Get your hands dirty building a worm-farm or delving into compost.
  • Make your backyard a haven for wildlife by turning hollow logs, bark and leaf litter into valuable habitat or building insect hotels and frog ponds.
  • Entertaining and educational activities for children like an environmental scavenger hunt, a mystery treasure chest and fun competitions.

Get involved!

Stallholders: It’s not too late to start planning a display of your eco-friendly products or your sustainable services in our Marketplace. Spaces available – see our stallholder display rates and send us an expression of interest.

Sustainability-oriented community groups: We welcome organisations large and small from in and around Port Stephens. Please send us an expression of interest.

Schools: Are you a parent or a school teacher with environmentally-conscious students who’d like to share their projects and ideas? We’d love to hear from you – please get in touch.

Sponsors: Do you run a forward-thinking business and would like to promote it? We can offer you a partnership with a recognised and reputable environmental advocacy network of over 30 business, community and environmental groups.

We still have openings for commercial support of some of our festival activities including prizes for the schools’ sustainable futures poster competition, the printing of our interactive activity booklet, raffle prizes and niche marketing opportunities.

Please send us an expression of interest. Or if you’re not quite ready, just email us for more details.

Our Sustainable Futures Partners …

  • Port Stephens Council – showcasing new waste strategies and bushcare initiatives.
  • St Philip’s Christian College – providing the perfect indoor/outdoor venue for our event.
  • Hunter Water – water is life.
  • Boomerang Bags, Raymond Terrace – a prime example of 5 * Sustainability at work!
  • Koala Eco – creating sustainable plant-based products to connect people with nature.
  • Hunter Region Landcare Network – supporting us through grant funding and expert advice.
  • Salamander Bay Recycling – providing community support through local employment and grants.
  • Boomerang Park Preservation Group – supporting guest speakers
  • Newcastle Permanent – supplying materials and prizes for our kids activities.