Aims to improve sustainability

By Steph McNicol

A MISSION to build flourishing and sustainable communities is the focus of the Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group.

Comprised of more than 400 members, the Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group is made up of a variety of action groups which focus on different categories of improving sustainability.

MRSG president David Gormley-O’Brien said the group aimed to make the community more sustainable by finding means of renewable energy, sourcing local, ethical food, reducing their ecological footprint and empowering people to use active transport.

“We have action groups, which are made up of people who are passionate about one particular area, whether it be waste, active transport or the bee group, all of us focus on achieving significant progress in our mission,” he said.

“We also work very closely with Macedon Ranges Shire Council, for example, with our waste action group we’re partnering with council to build a Wash Against Waste trailer which will make events waste free.”

Mr Gormley-O’Brien said the launch of the Macedon Ranges Seed Library earlier this month involved educating the community.

“At the launch we had Macedon Ranges Shire Council Mayor Janet Pearce and councillor Jennifer Anderson attend. We also had a speaker come in and talk to the visitors about plant biology,” he said.

“People had the chance to fill folders with seeds and label which type of seeds are which. We also have another group who is using the Woodend Neighbourhood House garden to build a garden bed there.

“It makes it easy for anyone who is interested to learn about the biology of plants to have access. It goes with our mission, securing a local, ethical food supply and empowering people to grow their own food.”

The group president said his role was to enable people to do what they were passionate about.

“We have these people that are passionate about an area, and my job is to provide the conditions so they can focus on their passion,” he said.

“I also encourage co-operation between the groups, the groups work together and collaborate which means they become more effective.”

The Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group encourages the community to get involved in its upcoming events, a chance to sow seeds at Woodend Farmers Market on April 4 or the Sustainability Festival on October 3.