INVITATION: Opening of Sustainability Hub — Costa to talk water

You are invited to the official opening of the Randwick community Centre Sustainability Hub…


TELEVISION GARDENING PROGRAM HOST, Costa from SBS’s Costa’s Garden Odyssey, will join Randwick City Council’s Team Eco, the Mayor of Randwick and guests for the Official Opening of Randwick City Council’s Water Wise Trail and the Sustainability Makeover retrofit of energy/water systems for the Randwick Community Centre. Costa will join us to talk about his ‘take on water’.

The opening is part of  Local Government Week 2010 activities.

“Council has been successful in receiving a grant from the NSW Government’s Climate

SBS's garden show host, Costa.

SBS's garden show host, Costa.

Change Fund to retrofit the Community Centre for energy and water efficiency and to repurpose the Centre as a Sustainability Hub and venue for our Sustainable Gardening and Living Smart courses and other initiatives”, said Fiona Campbell, Randwick Council’s Sustainability Education officer and manager of the retrofit project.

Involving permaculture

Fiona has included a number of professional Permaculture practitioners in the community centre retrofit project and the community and schools education program now being designed around it. She wants to improve the reputation of the Permaculture Design System among decision makers and position it as an acceptable approach to community development.

On the Water Wise Trail project team have been:

– illustrator Rob Allsop (who illustrated Rosemary Morrow’s Earth Users Guide to Permaculture); Rob has drawn the comic-style instructive

panels that will be erected in the community centre and the adjacent Permaculture Interpretive Garden

– Archology architect, Terry Bails, who specialises in solar and energy efficient design

– landscape architect and CEO of Sydney Organic Gardens, Steve Batley

– sustainability education specialist, Mary Bell

– professional program evaluator, Phillip Booth, who has evaluated both the Sustainable Gardening and Living Smart courses for council

– community food systems consultant and member of the Permaculture International Ltd Board of directors, Russ Grayson.

“We will capture nearly all the roof water and store it in a range of tanks that will irrigate the Permaculture Interpretive Garden that is now under construction by Sydney Organic Gardens and that will feed into the toilets”, said Fiona.

“The building retrofit uses passive and active solar design solutions to make it more comfortable for winter and summer conditions. Terry has used simple, available solutions so that they can be easily adopted by householders.

“The Water Wise Trail, assisted by the NSW Government’s Water for Life Education Program, is an interactive educational trail that explains some of the water retrofitting elements of the Sustainable Makeover project.”

A photovoltaic array to produce energy from sunlight has already been installed on the roof. An outdoor classroom is to be constructed later.

“The community centre retrofit and Permaculture Interpretive Garden will enhance our annual Ecoliving Fair”, said Fiona. “Visitors will be able to interact with the water and energy efficient demonstration kitchen and take away ideas they could do at home”.

Last of the local bush

The Permaculture Interpretive Garden occupies the space between the community centre and an adjacent, remnant patch of Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub, a small portion of indigenous vegetation surviving in the region.

An elevated walkway was recently completed that will take people through the scrubland where they will be able to learn about the ecosystem that once occupied extensive areas of the coastal Eastern Suburbs. The scrubland is an ephemeral wetland that drains water into the aquifer, providing a valuable role in maintaining local environmental services as well as having habitat values. The walkway is not yet open to visitors.

Fiona said that she hopes to see local people as well as those associated with the Permaculture Design System and other sustainability initiatives at the Official Opening.


Date: Saturday 7 August.


11.00am – arrive
11:15 – Mayor’s welcome
11:20 – ‘Costa’s Take on Water!’
11:40 – Mayor’s official opening of the our Water Wise Trail and the Sustainability Makeover retrofit
11:42 – Refreshments and planting of the native garden and vegie patch
12.00pm – Tour of the Water Wise Trail
12:30 – Finish.

Where to find it

Randwick Community Centre
27 Munda Street Randwick — off Hendy Avenue.
The Randwick Community Centre’s Sustainability Makeover project is supported by the NSW Governments Climate Change Fund.

The Water Wise Trail has been assisted by the NSW Government’s Water for Life Education Program.


Students in the existing training gadren at Randwick Community Centre. The Permaculture Interpretive Garden will largely replace the use of this garden.


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