The Baw Baw Sustainability Network

An overview of the BBSN by Mal McKelvie.


The Baw Baw Sustainability Network (BBSN) was started in 2007 by a group of ordinary people from throughout West Gippsland.  The establishment of the BBSN was supported by individuals, local community groups and the Baw Baw Shire, who recognised the need for a specialist group to deal with the escalating and complicated sustainability issues and concerns facing the local community. The Network has since flourished with a growing membership of over 130, and hundreds more casual participants and interested parties across our region.  As an independent, not for profit, local community group, we provide a vital and unique service, bridging the gap between talk and action on sustainable living in Baw Baw.

We provide awareness, education, a forum for local discussion, a voice for our local issues, and a vehicle for community and government to collaborate and act on environmental issues. Our very professional shop front in Yarragon, REstore, provides a permanent, highly visible and physical presence, with fabulous gardens and great partnerships.  We also employ a professional Sustainability Project Officer, and enjoy the benefits of hugely diverse expertise from our members.

Other services and activities include:Newsletter, Website (a link is on the side bar), Bulk Food Buying Group, Re-skilling Workshops, Produce Swaps, Domestic Energy Workshops, Sustainable House Day, Food Gardens Day, Community Garden in Yarragon, Gardening Days, Cooking Pizzas in a Wood-fired Oven, Film Nights, Information nights with notable Public Speakers, Lobbying & Action on Local Issues (i.e. Coal Seam Gas) and Networking & Partnerships

The BBSN is an incorporated organisation, and is fully compliant with the Victorian Government Associations Incorporation Reform Act (2012).  As detailed in our constitution our “Aim: [is to] Establish the Baw Baw region community as a model of environmentally sustainable living. Objectives: To promote lifestyles, technologies, community household and business systems that are environmentally sustainable. To increase community awareness about climate change and sustainable environmental practices. To monitor and measure progress toward achievement of environmentally sustainable practice in the community. To inform and educate the community about environmentally sustainable living practices through appropriate media. To implement community projects that promote environmental sustainability. To establish and maintain a Public Fund to be called the Baw Baw Sustainable Environment Fund for the specific purpose of supporting the environmental objects/purposes of the BBSN.”

The BBSN is a group of every-day people getting together to do extraordinary things today and for the future.  This is an enormous journey we have embarked on. We’re constantly coming up with new ideas and welcome any suggestions!