Green Futures Now

GFN LogoGreen Futures Now! is a leadership program for people aged 12 – 25 aimed at building knowledge and supporting young people to help tackle local environmental issues.

Green Futures Now! program begins with a series of workshops and activities that connect young people with the work that is happening locally to mitigate, adapt and respond to climate change. Participants gain hands-on knowledge and skills from local people who are helping create an environmentally sustainable future.

Following the workshops, the young people lead their own project to address climate change and broader environmental issues. Projects in previous years have involved a winter clothing donation drive, an environmental scavenger hunt, ‘Living Simply’ packs and video interviews of local environmental champions. Please read below for further information on these projects.

Green Futures Now! means:

  • Including the voice of young people in climate change adaptation and mitigation planning
  • Connecting young people with local activities that transition to a greener future
  • Supporting young people to lead action on climate change and sustainability

Key Dates for 2024

Registrations close 17th April


Workshop 1: Saturday 20th April (10-3:30 pm)

Explore the local flora and fauna and take part in an ecological survey at Tozer Reserve.

Visit Volcanic Produce to gain hands-on experience in growing and harvesting spray free organic food and learn how their helping tackle local food insecurity.

Workshop 2: Saturday 27th April (10-3:30 pm)

Join eco-warrior Colleen Hughson (Beach Patrol 3280) on a beach clean-up and marine debris classification session to learn more about the issue on marine debris.

Build your advocacy skills with local campaign strategist Emily Reeves from Agency International as she shares the key principles to influencing change.

Workshop 3: Saturday 4th May (10-3:30 pm)

Explore the mental health benefits of mindfulness in nature with Tania Moloney from Nurture in Nature.

Connect to country with local indigenous artist Emma Stenhouse, while learning the traditional Aboriginal weaving technique of the Ngarrindjeri women.

Group Project workshops

  • 5-6:30 pm Wednesdays 8,15, 22, 29 May
  • 5-6:30 pm Wednesdays 5, 12 & 19 June

Registrations for the 2024 Green Futures Now! Program are now open!

Please register below to be a part of Green Futures Now! 2024 program.

Your Details


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2023 Green Futures Now!

Participants in the 2023 began their intensives at the Warrnambool Community Gardens with Ngatanwarr Merring/Welcome to Country and Truth Telling by Brett Clarke, followed by a tour of the Gardens by Rob Porter.

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Intensive two involved a trip to Kelly Swamp where participants heard from Geoff Rollinson (Warrnambool Coastcare Landcare Group) and Lachlan Farrington (Nature Glenelg Trust). The group learnt about the aquatic values of the wetland by participating in fish sampling and bird watching. This was followed by a visit to the Merri River where they heard from Stephen Ryan (Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority) about recent works to improve habitat. The group enjoyed a bike ride along the promenade to the Pavilion, where they heard from councils Nicole Wood about the Active Travel program, Colleen Hughson about her work in tackling marine pollution, and Megan Nicholson about her passion for turning marine debris into art.

Intensive three saw the group visit a sustainable farm in Dennington, which is powered exclusively by solar. They toured Are-able’s Big R Shed and e-Waste facility, along with Loved and Shared Warehouse. The participants were excited about how these two organisations are not only supporting community, but also working to reduce and recycle waste. After their final tour at Hycel Deakin, the group reflected on their experiences during the intensives and identified areas of environmental action for their group project.

The 2023 Green Futures crew were interested in:

  • Increasing local knowledge and community participation in environmental volunteering (e.g. beach clean ups, planting days); and
  • Leading campaigns around nature strip planting, growing your own food, reducing single use plastics and minimising textile waste.

The group decided to address the issue of textile waste and fast fashion by organising a winter clothing donation drive. The goal was to collect as many warm clothes and blankets as they could to help the less fortunate while keeping textiles out of landfill. The group received over 50 donations from the public which amounted to just under 200 kg of clothing and other winter apparel! Donations were distributed within the community through the Salvos and Loved and Shared.

The group also ran a raffle for those donating items, giving away a vegetable gardener starter pack, and vouchers to the Salvo’s store and Worn Gundidj Nursery.

Following the completion of the group project, a number of the crew worked with council’s environment team to help plan and deliver the Green Futures Festival. This event, held on Saturday 4th November, was a chance for community to come along and hear from local environmental groups and also enjoy some nature based kids activities. Over 60 people came along and enjoyed the day.

2022 Green Futures Now!

2022 Green Futures Now! The 2022 program kicked off at Moyjil/ Point Richie with a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony by Brett Clarke. John Sherwood then spoke about the Moyjil conundrum and the global significance of the site (provides evidence of human existence some 80,000 years ago). During the three intensives, the group also visited the Warrnambool Community Gardens, Hycel Deakin and a Sustainable hair salon (Unisex Cuts).

The group heard from Kevin Sparrow around rare plants and climate change, and Stephen Ryan (Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management) Justin Harzmeyer (Fishcare) and Bruce Campbell (Warrnambool Coastacre Landcare Group) about the importance of conserving and restoring local habitat. The members also heard about sustainable house designs (Fiona Golding), the Barwon South West Resource Recovery Group, along with council’s roof top solar project and sustainable travel initiatives.

Following the intensives, the group reflected on what they had learnt and identified areas where more environmental action could be undertaken.

Young leaders from Green Futures Now 2022 identified the following needs:

  • Educating people on local initiatives and actions occurring to tackle climate change and environments issues.
  • Empowering community members to take simple everyday actions.
  • Specific need for further education around how to recycle and manage waste.
  • The need for undercover bike shelters around town to encourage more cycling.

The group decided to focus on the first two needs, by organising ‘A Walk In the Park’ scavenger hunt. This family friendly activity was designed to raise awareness around the small everyday actions people can take to help create a greener future. People followed clues to discover five iconic places in Warrnambool. At each discovery station, a QR was scanned which directed people to an animated video showcasing simple messages around five important themes:

  • Waste and wellbeing
  • Conserving our oceans
  • Protecting our habitat
  • Reducing your footprint
  • Helping the Planet

At the end of the trail, each person received a free Green Futures Now keep cup and drink. The animations will also be linked to QR codes on concrete bollards at Victoria Park. We encourage you to visit and take a look!

Green Futures Now 2022 members at Hycel Deakin

Green Futures Now 2022 members at Hycel Deakin.

The group cycling to their next destination during one of the intensive workshops.

The group cycling to their next destination during one of the intensive workshops.

The group hearing from Stephen Ryan at the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and Justin Harzmeyer from Fishcare Victoria.

The group hearing from Stephen Ryan at the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority.

2021 Green Futures Now! Pilot Program

youth council

During the 2021 Green Futures Now program, young leaders identified the following needs:

  • Educating people on what local community is doing to address climate change
  • Sparking people’s interest and engagement in the local community groups involved in sustainability
  • Educating our youth so they can make climate change less of a risk in the future
  • Supporting young people to include environmental sustainability in everyday life as a habit


To address these needs, the 2021 GFN members put together “Living Simply” packs containing reusable and sustainable products and information sheets to educate young people about the everyday changes that can have a big impact on our planets health.

They have created video interviews with local people and representatives from groups involved in tackling climate change and making a healthier environment.

Check the interviews out along with additional information and links below.

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You can find out more about Warrnambool Community Gardens here:

You can find out more about Mad for the Merri here:

You can find out more about Beach Patrol here:

You can find out more about Megan Nicolson’s practice at Instagram

You can find out more about Sherry Johnstone’s practice here:


Additional Information

Green Warrnambool Strategy:

Green Warrnambool reflects our community aspirations as set out in the Warrnambool 2040 Community Plan. It is a roadmap for creating our environmentally sustainable and resilient future.
Vision: Warrnambool will be the most environmentally sustainable regional city in Australia

Regional Adaptation Snapshot Barwon South West – Climate Change

This resource provides insight into the climate change effects that are being experienced across the Barwon South West Victoria region, along with the ways that communities are working together and adapting to these challenges.

South West Community Energy Project

This partnership between South West Community Energy, Warrnambool Community Gardens, and Warrnambool City Council illustrates a collaborative approach to greening the energy grid.…

Sustainable House Day

Sustainable House Day provides the opportunity to explore some of Australia’s most unique and inspiring homes, and learn from the people who designed them, built them, and live in them. This is an annual event which includes a program of local houses.

Deakin University

Universities play a crucial role in helping Australia understand, mitigate, and adapt to climate change. Here are a couple of local projects with big impacts:

Drone Monitoring

A world-first initiative from Deakin University, hundreds of citizen scientists have been mobilised and are using high-tech drones to help monitor Victoria's coastline.…


Deakin’s Hycel is one of Australia’s first facilities for testing, manufacturing, optimising and training in new hydrogen technologies, Hycel is focused on technologies that use hydrogen rather than processes that produce it. Hycel Technology Hub is a ‘living laboratory’ that translates lab results into real-world solutions.

Moyjil – Point Ritchie

Point Ritchie or in Aboriginal language, Moyjil, is a rocky headland at the mouth of the Hopkins River in Warrnambool, Victoria. The indigenous community and scientists have been working together to help tell the story of Moyjil which is recognised as having great heritage significance.

Nature Glenelg Trust

Nature Glenelg Trust is a mission-driven, not-for-profit organisation that believes in positive action, and working with the community and our partners to achieve real results on the ground.


The Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority protects and enhances the land, water and biodiversity across 26,910 sq km of Victoria’s South West.
Learn about some of the practical work Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority does to heal ecosystems by watching this video:

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Warrnambool Recycling Services Directory

Learn how you can ‘Reduce, Reuse, Repair and Recycle’ in Warrnambool by visiting this directory.

Barwon South West Coast Recovery and Resource Group

Our region is filled with wonderful and innovative local businesses committed to creating a brighter, happier and healthier future. Visit this sustainable choices map to find one near you!

Choosing sustainable seafood

Good Fish is a comprehensive guide to sourcing sustainable seafood. It provides the opportunity to support sustainable fish stocks for generations to come by making informed choices when purchasing seafood.

Warrnambool Plant Selector Tool

This online plant selector tool provided by Warrnambool City Council allows you to make an informed plant choice based on the size of your garden, how much gardening you like to do and how much water a plant needs to thrive.

Carbon footprint calculator

Here are a list of websites which allow you to calculate your own carbon footprint. Identify changes you can make to reduce your own carbon footprint.…

Volunteer Connect

Connect with a local environmental group and volunteer your time. Volunteer Connect is a great way to get started.

Gardens for Wildlife

A free program developed to help Warrnambool residents encourage wildlife into their garden. You can improve the habitat for wildlife in your garden by creating a wildlife friendly garden that provides shelter, food and water. Find out more about the program here.

Sustainable Salons

‘Sustainable Salons is a social enterprise that helps its salon members reduce their impact on the planet and invest in local communities.’ Visit their website to find a sustainable salon near you.