Hands On Sustainability Training – Course Outline
Trainer: Jane Knight
Jane has been working in sustainability for over 20 years doing many varied projects at the community level. Jane has a Permaculture Design Certificate and has trained countless people in sustainability over the years. She is currently finishing her own sustainable home build. Some of you may know her from when she was President of HREA, now Hepburn Wind, the first community owned wind farm in Australia.
Jane says “we are looking for people who have an interest but perhaps are not sure how and where they want to contribute. I plan to have some fun with the course too!”
The course will be run over 6 weeks on Friday mornings between at 11am – 2pm with an additional 2-4 hours each week for tasks to complete at home as a personal project. The training program will cover the basics of sustainability awareness and support participants to identify:
• What area of sustainability appeals to them the most?
• What personal skills and strengths they can apply in this area.
• What practical skills do they want to develop in this area?
• What outcomes do they want to achieve and what goals do they want to achieve?
• Who can they work with in the local area to develop their skills and achieve the outcomes they desire?
Each participant will complete a personal research project for their area of interest, with an emphasis on finding local groups and individuals who share this interest. Participants will be encouraged to learn from previous successful projects and identify what skills and strengths they can contribute to local projects. This information will then be used to formulate a personal project which will extend beyond the life of the training program.
The areas of personal interest for individual projects could include (but are not limited to):
• Media, communications and online newsletters
• Understanding social change
• Social and ecological innovation
• Researching one area of sustainability (biodiversity, energy, water, waste etc)
• Event management
• Being a committee member
• Project development
Session 1: Ecology 101
This session will begin with group introductions and warm-up activities. We will then explore the basics of sustainability, and how to integrate ecological thinking into the way we live. It will include local examples of people, projects and solutions (we will invite three local presenters to share their stories). The session will conclude with take-home tasks for the week
Session 2: Understanding social change
Session two will begin with reflection on the take-home tasks. We will then explore what works and what doesn’t with social change. Participants will draw on their own research and life experiences and explore successful local projects, to uncover why people engage in some activities and not in others. The session will conclude with take-home tasks.
Session 3: Field trip
Participants will go on a field trip to various sites in the shire to explore practical sustainable projects and talk to local leaders.
Session 4: Where do I fit in?
This session will explore participants own strengths and skills and how these relate to action for sustainability. Participants will be encouraged to explore their own leadership (both big and small) and what activities they could undertake to contribute to sustainability in the shire. The session will conclude with take-home tasks.
Session 5: Planning for the future
This session will explore the ideas and projects participants are interested in creating. Participants will explore the logistics, skills, resources and time required to put their ideas into action and develop creative solutions and plans.
Session 6: Next steps
Each participant will give a presentation to the group about what they have learned from the course and what their future activities will be in the area of sustainability.