The Great Local Picnic
The National Sustainable Living Festival presents a huge sustainability and zero waste celebration like you’ve never seen before.
In the heart of our city at Royal Botanical Gardens Melbourne, join ABC's Gardening Australia's Costa Georgiadis for an afternoon celebrating sustainable living. The Great Local Picnic features a huge line up of special guest leading sustainability innovators including Helena Norberg-Hodge, David Holmgren, Sandro Demaio, Alice Zaslavsky, Professor Tim Entwisle, Mariam Issa, Kirsty Bishop-Fox, Nina Gbor, Jakobi and more for a big green day out.
Bring your picnic rug and basket with your delicious dishes made from your homegrown harvests, or pack a locally sourced spread and join the showcase of local food, innovative sustainability and community connection. This is a zero-waste event and there will be some compost buckets, but there will be no bins. So if you bring any waste to the event, we will kindly ask you to take your waste home with you
Come along with your family or a group of friends, or register as a community or work group and be part of an inspirational and entertaining day, as we reconnect and unite on our sustainability journeys.
There are some fantastic family activities starting with a pre-picnic event with Costa the Garden Gnome who is looking for some little helpers to help him dig up some picnic mission magic! You can find more about the Picnic Parade here
About our Speakers
Costa Georgiadis is a landscape architect, environmental educator and television presenter who has an all-consuming passion for plants and people. He is the much-loved host of one of the ABC’s most iconic and Logie award-winning programs, Gardening Australia.
Mandy Nicholson was born in Healesville and is a member of the Wurundjeri-willam clan of Melbourne with connections to the Dja Dja Wurrung and Ngurai Illam Wurrung language groups of the Central/Eastern Kulin Nation on her father’s side and German on her mother’s. Mandy is the leader/singer of the Djirri Djirri dance group.
Helena Norberg-Hodge is a linguist, author and film maker, Helena Norberg-Hodge is the founder and director of the international non-profit organisation, Local Futures, a pioneer of the new economy movement, and the convenor of World Localization Day.
Dr Sandro Demaio is a medical doctor and globally-renowned public health expert and advocate. He co-hosts the ABC television show Ask the Doctor – an innovative and exploratory factual medical series broadcasting across Australia and around the world.
Mariam Issa is the Co-Founder and President of RAW - a community garden in her backyard. RAW’s acronym ‘Resilient Aspiring Women’ holds an immensely powerful meaning for Mariam as it embodies not only her journey, but a transformational state of being for all.
David Holmgren is best known as the co-originator of permaculture. He has developed three properties, consulted and supervised on urban and rural projects, written 8 more books, and presented lectures, workshops and courses in Australia and around the world. His writings over 3 decades span a diversity of subjects and issues, whilst always illuminating aspects of permaculture thinking and living.
Alice Zaslavsky is an award-winning author, broadcaster, ‘Vegelante’ and Australia’s friendliest voice in food. Alice is the Cookery Columnist for The Weekend Australian Magazine, host of Saturday Breakfast on ABC Radio Melbourne, and the resident foodie on ABC’s hit television program News Breakfast.
Professor Tim Entwisle is a botanist, scientific communicator and botanic gardens director. He is the Director and Chief Executive of Royal Botanic Gardens. Tim is a regular contributor to Australian radio and writes for science, nature and garden magazines. He recently published a memoir, Evergreen: the Botanical Life of a Plant Punk.
Jakobi is a proud Djap Wurrung and Gunditjmara man, and a Guide and Educator at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. His work includes creation and facilitation of tourism and education programs. He is passionate about climate change, conservation, and impacts of colonisation on the environment and First People's culture. Jakobi believes solutions for environmental and social progress towards justice for all, is grounded within First People's knowledge and leadership.
Kirsty Bishop-Fox is a sustainability educator and changemaker who inspires, and supports people in the shift towards a more sustainable future, so together we have a positive impact on our planet, people, and productivity. She’s the founder of Sustainability Pathways, Program Manager for Sustainable Living Festival, and co-founder and president of Zero Waste Victoria.
Nina Gbor is the founder of Eco Styles, an award-winning sustainability advocate, ethical fashion speaker, writer, educator and climate activist. Her work is derived from research and lived experiences in the global South and global North with focus on equity, social justice and development.
Brendan Condon works on design and construction of sustainable carbon neutral communities, urban farming projects, and restoration of biodiversity and nature. Brendan and his teams work to create a better designed, more efficient, lower cost, circular economy society that is able to meet the challenges of the future, and to show that we already have the solutions at our fingertips to build a better world.
Taj Scicluna, is known as the Perma Pixie. She intends on creating a fertile and abundant world, where the Earth's resources are distributed fairly and with care and responsibility. Through Passionate Permaculture Education and the creation of diverse ornamental Edible and Medicinal Gardens, The Perma Pixie nurtures diversity and protects ecology through harbouring healthy and resilient communities and ecosystems.
Thuch Ajak is a co-founder of United African Farm, an initiative that brings the African community together to grow culturally appropriate crops and share their culture. He has worked in plant protection in Sudan, volunteered at CERES and worked at Joe’s market garden where his passion for farming was ignited. Thuch works as a Refugee resource hub manager and volunteers for the Living and learning centre, and is a broadcaster at Casey Community radio.
Cate McQuillen is a producer and writer, known for dirtgirlworld and Get Grubby TV. An Emmy Award Winning Owner/ Creator with a demonstrated history of working in the screen industry. Creator and Producer of dirtgirlworld and Get Grubby TV, Cate takes sustainability off the screen and into the real world with a suite of highly successful projects and programs that are changing the world for real.
Gardens Nature Play - for the kids
Delight your child’s senses at the Great Local Picnic with free nature play experiences led by Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria’s experienced Learning Facilitators. Watch them find joy in connecting with the natural world through a range of nature-inspired activities, such as cubby-building, seed bomb making, sensory play and nature based art activities.
For more information about our speakers and program you can find more details here.
The Great Local Picnic is a FREE public event brought to you by the National Sustainable Living Festival. Proudly supported by Venue Partner Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and Principal Event Partner The City of Melbourne.