Four-part fest to build connections

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Green Skills’ Anne Sparrow and Basil Shur at last year's festival.
Camera IconGreen Skills’ Anne Sparrow and Basil Shur at last year's festival.

It will be four celebrations in one at this month’s Great Southern Sustainable Community Festival.

Food For Thought, South West Streeet Festival and Harmony Day will all be incorporated into Albany’s annual Great Southern Sustainable Community Festival on Saturday next week.

This year’s theme is Creating Community Connections, with the Town Square and Alison Hartman Gardens to become a hub for entertainment, food, markets, speeches and activities promoting sustainability.

Green Skills’ Anne Sparrow said a greater sense of community created more sustainable towns.

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“Shopping local increases Albany’s sustainability as a community,” she said.

“If we can shop locally, support local businesses and reduce online purchases, our community will flourish even more.”

Ms Sparrow said this year’s festival program had plenty of options, with speakers covering everything from wellbeing to regenerative agriculture.

“These events provide opportunities for the community to interact with leaders in sustainability and to learn how to make things from scratch with raw ingredients,” she said. “We should all aim to reduce waste where possible. By buying less plastic and plastic-packaged stuff, you save money for more important things.

“For some people that may be reducing your mortgage, going on an experience, including a holiday, or other more essential items.”

The festival, which will run from 9am-5pm, will include a regional school cook-off, with four school involved in an Amazing Race-inspired cooking competition.

Celebrity gardener Sabrina Hahn will share her extensive knowledge on all things gardening, educating listeners about the importance of creating biodiversity in their own backyards.

Ms Sparrow said Albany was on its way to a more sustainable future, but had to keep improving.

“There are some fantastic leaders of sustainability in the Albany community but there is always opportunity to learn more,” she said.

“Albany is doing a fabulous job of extending the lifespan of our current tip sites by reducing our purchases that include excessive packaging.”

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