Environmental Leadership course

Enrol in this free environmental leadership course to gain the skills to lead an environmental project.

Applications for the March 2023 course are now open. 

Download application form (DOCX 148 KB)

Participant numbers are strictly limited to 30. Please note, all applications will be processed on a 'first in best dressed' basis, meaning that as soon as we have the required number of suitable applicants to begin a course, the application process will close. Priority will be given to applications from residents or employees of businesses within the City of Port Phillip, but applications are also encouraged from neighbouring municipalities.

About the course

This 10-week course supports you to develop and lead your own sustainability action project and will focus on individual growth in a team-based environment.

Environmental Leaders Course

A week-by-week description of what students will learn in the course. 

Congratulations to all of the graduates of the 2022 Environmental Leaders course. Pictured above are just some of the participants who are now progressing their own sustainability project.

The course structure:

  • Welcome and introduction
  • Understanding leadership
  • Creating a vision
  • Making change happen
  • Project management
  • Resource management
  • Action orientation
  • Communication and media
  • Pitch night
  • Going public

Brett Hedger, Sustainability Officer at the City of Port Phillip will facilitate the course with guest presenters adding specialist knowledge throughout.

The course is provided free of charge and one-on-one coaching will be offered throughout the year in addition to the course.

Participants who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion.

Who can take part

This course is aimed at everyone who wants to become an environmental leader. There are no pre-requisites and no skills required.

The course will be challenging, consisting of 2.5 hours per week in class, around 2-4 hours per week of homework, and further team-based project work which will take place both during and after the completion of the course. Aspiring leaders will be supported throughout the training with easy and regular access to facilitation staff.

In terms of executing a project, don’t worry. You don't have to have a project idea to take part. And it does not matter if you are a seasoned environmental project manager or someone at the beginning of your environmental journey. Your ideas, enthusiasm and openness are what we require. We will be working in project teams and we will walk the path together, so you don’t need to know or be everything.

The project work must be undertaken within the City of Port Phillip. Priority will be given to applications from Port Phillip residents and employees of businesses within Port Phillip. Applicants outside of the City of Port Phillip will need some justification as to why they should take part in this training, together with a clear undertaking to participate in environmental project work within the City of Port Phillip.

The training will be a mixture of in person and online interactions and it is essential that you have access to a computer and an internet connection.

If you’re ready to learn more about yourself, meet other people and take action on climate change, then this is the course for you! Send us an email to tell us you're interested in finding out more at enviro@portphillip.vic.gov.au

Past projects

Port Phillip Pickers

Meet the Port Phillip Pickers, a project born out of this program. Made up of volunteers from our community and led predominantly by Isabel Gardner and Agnieszka Majer, the program harvests olives from trees around Port Phillip and presses them into olive oil. An impressive 105 kilograms of olives were harvested in the last pick and pressed into 12 litres of olive oil! The program ensures the olive trees are maintained and the produce doesn’t go to waste.

The Environmental Leaders from the August 2022 course founded the following projects:

  • Crowdsounding – an issue-based video platform to speak to manufacturers and affect change
  • PooLite – transforming dog waste into renewable energy
  • Art activations – a series of environmental art activations in Elwood
  • Zero waste apartments – a research, advocacy and action program to reduce landfill waste from apartments
  • En Casa – conversational food workshops 
  • Grot label – textile up-cycling project using natural dye
  • The Community Grocer – a weekly food market
  • Onelife yoga – tailored program based on need
  • Port Phillip Community Pantry – to share homegrown produce
  • Flowers with Purpose – local native species grown on public land for generating flowers
  • Emerald Design – designing joyful spaces 

The Environmental Leaders from the February 2022 course founded the following projects:

  • Flatly No Waste – sustainable apartment living
  • Treasures in the Hood – community-based podcast
  • EcoMotion – reusing plastic waste
  • Port Phillip Cinema – showcasing the community in action
  • Encountering – nature and art exhibition
  • One Nature Walks – nature and art workshops
  • Garden Party – celebrating Port Phillip’s gardens
  • Sharing Our Power – Community Battery Install
  • Put a Lid On it – soft plastic recycling
  • The Recycling Coyote – reusing plastic waste
  • Grub Steak – waste processing & food production with insects
  • BinFinder – application to help with waste disposal
  • Sustainable Spaces – collaborative hub and work space for sustainability
  • LIVE – Local’s Into Victoria’s Environment – a sustainability leadership website
  • Beachcombers – education program to regenerate Port Phillip (Bay)
  • Seasets – storytelling through the eyes, ears and mouths of the community.
  • Rewilding Kids – reconnecting kids with the natural environment
  • Forest of Port Phillip – reimagining the nature around us
  • Everlasting Colour – guerrilla gardening
  • Earth Heroes – sustainability education in an early-years setting
  • “The Cove” Night – ending dolphin slaughter
  • EcoTrackers Network – helping people with eco-purchasing decisions
  • Green Home Advisors – household sustainability advice
  • Growing Together – community planter boxes from fruits and vegetables
  • Where does it go? – waste education
  • Seasonal Celebrations – re-learning the art of seasonal eating and harvesting
  • Just Use it – helping people to use what they have

The Environmental Leaders from the August 2021 course founded the following projects:

  • What’s for Dinner? – Sustainable Food Events
  • The Kind Designer – Architecture for small footprint living
  • ECO Table – Reusable Birthday Party Kits
  • Mother’s Earth – Reducing and Reusing plastic in baby products
  • Our Garden – Creating urban habitats
  • Recover Clips and Lids – Recycling bread tags and bottle tops
  • Co:Lab Studios – Small scale living and working
  • Waste No More – Recycling and Reusing App
  • Plant Bank – Rescue, repurpose and resell plants
  • Our Ocean Connection – increase ocean literacy
  • Make It Happen – repair café
  • Awesome Pawrents Academy – sustainable pet ownership and new puppy parent support
  • Melbourne Makers – online platform to connect residents with local businesses
  • The truth About Waste – end to end waste research project
  • Stark White to Lush Green – Apartment building transformation
  • St Kilda Bike Kitchen – repair and ride bikes
  • The Menstrual Cup – an alternative to tampons and pads
  • Mission Zero Community – small footprint community and housing
  • People Powered PECAN – local environmental action campaign
  • Our Diverse Neighbours – making connections with people and nature

The Environmental Leaders from the 2020/2021 course founded the following projects:

  • Earth Conscious Fashion Events – style without waste
  • Recycling and Upcycling Business
  • Apartment Eco Blitz
  • Sustainability of Self Eco-Resilience
  • Not for Profit Burnout Toolkit
  • Re-design Recycling
  • Elwood Kitchen Library
  • Charity Green
  • Environment and Social Cause Marketing
  • Anarchist Hydration Collective
  • Sustainable Apartment Living
  • Kerferd Rd Project
  • Plastic Gift Card Recycling
  • Monash Climate Action
  • 25:25:25 Residential Emission Reduction Program
  • Empower School Captains
  • Bulk Buying Community
  • Eco-electronics Design Guide
  • Green Currency St Kilda
  • Future Oceans
  • Sustainable Local Businesses
  • Sustainable Residents Group
  • Pollinator Observatory
  • South Melbourne Market Plastic Reduction
  • South Melbourne Market Refill and Recycle station
  • Local Responsible Cafes
  • Myth Busting Bio Cups
  • Rare Native Plant Society
  • Local Responsible Cafes
  • Emission Reduction Strategy in Workplace
  • Music, Art and Sustainability Festival
  • Treesponsibility
  • Kerferd Road Habitat Restoration
  • Community Sustainability Directory

The Environmental Leaders from the 2019/2020 course founded the following projects:

  • The first council-approved tiny house project in Victoria, if not Australia (featured in The Age)
  • Tram stop community garden
  • Green farm laboratory producing local organic food
  • Carbon neutral kindergarten
  • Trash Bags on Tour - offering tours and waste education for corporate, council and tourism sectors
  • Detox your home and boat day
  • Earth building in the city
  • Tool library
  • Sustainable apartment precinct
  • Annual street closure day
  • Environmental video log
  • Sustainable library and indigenous book collection
  • Children’s environmental activity book

Read more about exciting projects created by past leaders here:

Feedback from the course

  • "Throughout the course, a safe and equal environment was fostered where I felt heard and people were supportive of each other. The slides each week were always beneficial to achieving both a deeper understanding of leadership and the techniques for implementation."
  • "If you want to know what you can do to help the planet, or help the community, or help yourself to a state of greater awareness and a new or renewed sense of your own potential, I urge you to embark on this course. It's an adventure. It will challenge you. You will meet incredible people and a whole community you may not know existed. You will connect, with love, to where you live. You will be supported with much love and knowledge the whole way, and will find love and knowledge within yourself."
  • "What you will learn in this course is not just about improving the environment. The knowledge, and experiences will help you in every aspect of your life. I'm 74, and thought I knew it all. The course infused new energy in me. I now feel like I did when I was 24."
  • "The course helped me to focus on what I could do to make this world a better place. But more than that it showed me that l was not alone and there are so many likeminded people in the world and in my local community. I loved being in the same room with so many inspiring and talented people."
  • "For many years I have wanted to make more of an impact in the environmental space but I have struggled to see myself as a leader of change. This course has helped me identify my strengths, consider how to overcome my leadership challenges and has given me the confidence, skills and network to deliver an environmental project. Brett is an inspiration and supportive facilitator and I would highly recommend this course."

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