Adelaide: an inspiring place to be

At our recent film night we screened the illuminating French documentary ‘Tomorrow‘, an inspiring film that asks “What if telling a hopeful story that points out solutions is the best way to solve the ecological, economic and social crises that shake our world?”

Adelaide could easily have been featured as the inspiration for this film. There are many great community-led initiatives happening right now across Adelaide. We have much to be proud of and inspired by.

We came up with a list of local examples of some of the themes from the film: agriculture, energy and waste and alternate ways of being.

Photo By Normangerman at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Local Agriculture

The Food Forest – a 15 hectare permaculture property in Gawler growing over 160 varieties of fruit, nuts, grains, vegetables and timber.

Wagtail Urban Farm – Adelaide’s own micro urban farm less than 10km’s from the CBD at Mitchell Park. Growing tasty, nutrient dense vegetables, with an emphasis on delicious, vibrant salads, healthy greens and fresh herbs that are sold locally at Glenelg North’s Organic Corner Store market.

Joe’s Connected Garden – a new kind of community garden in Elizabeth Grove where neighbours have joined together to link their gardens and share the harvests. It is not just about growing food but creating community and fostering respect for the earth and each other.

Grow Free: Give what you can, take what you need – a group dedicated to making our food locally grown, organic and free.

Village Greens of Willunga Creek – a small, diversified organic market garden on the Fleurieu Peninsula, an hour south of Adelaide. Owned by young farmers who are passionate about sustainable agriculture and the blossoming local and fair food movement in Australia.

Locally produced seeds – Heirloom Harvest, Love that Seed.

Energy and Waste

Community Energy Action South Australia – a group about sharing what’s going on in South Australia – to inspire each other and help everyone know who to reach out to for support. Two big goals: Get community energy talked about by the 2018 state election. Build two community owned projects so people can see what community energy means with their own eyes.

Citizen’s Own Renewable Energy Network Australia – people-powered movement to fast track Australia’s renewable energy revolution.

Repower Port Augusta – a 5 year campaign led by the local community has resulted in the recent announcement that a solar thermal power plant will be built in Port Augusta.

Soft Plastics Recycling – the Gawler Natural Resource Centre has helped facilitate a soft plastics kerbside collection trial with Gawler Council, NAWMA and Visy. Soft plastics can be placed inside a yellow bag and popped into the regular recycling bin for collection. The plastic is then turned into a solid fuel and burned by Adelaide Brighton, displacing natural gas.

WOMADelaide – a great example of how a major event can be a sustainable and respect the environment it is held in. Only compostable and recyclable wastes are produced by festival goers. All cups, plates, crockery, serviettes and any items sold in packaging at WOMADelaide are fully compostable and segmented recycling and organic waste bins are present throughout the park. All organic waste generated at WOMADelaide is mulched by Jeffries, treated for composting and delivered back to and used by the Botanic Gardens.

Boomerang Bags Adelaide – Boomerang Bags works to reduce the use of plastic bags by engaging local communities in the making of Boomerang Bags – community made using recycled materials, Boomerang Bags provide a free, fun, sustainable alternative to plastic bags.  By getting involved, you are participating in a national movement that celebrates a local grassroots initiative, community building and sustainability.

Exploring alternate ways of being

Local groups

Transition Adelaide Hills – Transition Adelaide Hills is an active group of passionate people dedicated to building a resilient, sustainable, healthy and inclusive community in uncertain times.

Transition Gawler – Everyone has heard about the threats and impacts of climate change and our society’s dependence on fossil fuels, and Transition Gawler is here to help you do something about it!

Transition Adelaide West – a grass roots group focusing on finding community driven local solutions to the many problems now plagueing us in a sustainable way.

Totally Local Blackwood – If every person in the Blackwood area spent just $10 per week in their local independent shops, instead of online or at the big supermarkets, it would be worth an extra $10.6 million a year going into the local economy. Which means more jobs, better facilities & a nicer place for us all to live. Makes you think doesn’t it?

Sustainable Communities SA – Building resilient communities to achieve a one planet lifestyle Adelaide local meet up group – A local group in Adelaide for all those interested in living a more meaningful life with less.

Fascinating Podcasts

Greening the Apocalypse – Each week the Greening the Apocalypse team talk to the tinkerers and thinkerers, the freaks and geeks from permaculturists and eco-farmers to alt-tech innovators and peer-to-peer information networkers who are growing fascinating new systems through the fault lines of the old.

The Rescope Project – Regenerate your World

The Lucky Country – Richard Denniss. An insider’s outside view of Australian politics and economics.

Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC)

Greening the Economy – Lessons from Scandinavia

Connecting and finding inspiration in your local community

Living Smart Courses

Have you wondered how you can make your life more sustainable? Do you want to respond positively to issues like climate change or meet people who care about the environment and sustainability?

Then Living Smart is for you!

Courses announced for:
Coromandel Valley – starts Thursday 19 October
Norton Summit – starts Thursday 19 October
Surrey Downs – starts Thursday 19 October
Marion – starts Monday 30 October
Brought to you by the NRM levy, the Cities of Marion and Holdfast Bay, Adelaide Hills Council, Cities of Onkaparinga and Mitcham, City of Tea Tree Gully and Be Living Smart Inc.

Have an idea? Needs some funds?

The 2017-18 Community NRM Action Grant round is now open. Applications close 20 October 2017. Community NRM Action Grants are designed to enable groups, individuals, non-government organisations and small businesses to undertake projects that focus on building community capacity and/or on-ground works that enhance and protect our natural resources. Grants are available for 2 categories: building community capacity and on-ground works. Grant application information can be found here.


We’d love to add to the list, please email us at hello at


The DVD ‘Tomorrow’ can be borrowed from the Adelaide Sustainability Centre for home viewing. It is also available to download from iTunes and you can purchase a copy from your local DVD supplier.

By Diane Salvi

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