Oak Lawn
Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne


26 February 2023


12:00 pm - 4:30 pm

The Great Local Picnic – Sustainable Living Festival

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, Tishiko King 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.

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.

Including children’s and breakout activities with more program details are coming soon.


About the Speakers 

Costa Georgiadis

Costa Georgiadis is a landscape architect, environmental educator and television presenter who has an all-consuming passion for plants and people. As co-creator and host of Costa’s Garden Odyssey for SBS, he caught the attention of a nation. Since 2013, Costa has continued his journey as the much-loved host of one of the ABC’s most iconic and Logie award-winning programs, Gardening Australia. Beyond the screen, Costa is deeply involved with the importance of biodiversity and habitat, regenerative agriculture, permaculture and holistic land practices that deal with the issues arising from a rapidly urbanising world. He lives and breathes gardening, relishing the natural world and our connection to it.

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. She is the author of several books, including ‘Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh’, an eye-opening tale of tradition and change in Ladakh, or “Little Tibet”. Together with a film of the same title, Ancient Futures has been translated into more than 40 languages, and sold half a million copies. Helena Norberg-Hodge, founder of Local Futures. Her latest book is ‘Local is Our Future: Steps to an Economics of Happiness’. Other publications include ‘Bringing the Food Economy Home’ and ‘From the Ground Up: Rethinking Industrial Agriculture’. Helena is also the producer of the award-winning documentary ‘The Economics of Happiness’.

Dr Sandro Demaio is a medical doctor and globally-renowned public health expert and advocate. Having held the role of Medical Officer for non-communicable conditions and nutrition with the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development at the World Health Organization, Dr Demaio was previously the CEO of the EAT Foundation, the science-based, global platform for food systems transformation. He has published 30 scientific papers and more than 90 articles and the author of the Doctor’s Diet, a cookbook based on science and inspired by a love of good food. Dr. Demaio also co-hosts the ABC television show Ask the Doctor – an innovative and exploratory factual medical series broadcasting across Australia and around the world. Dr Demaio originally trained and worked as a medical doctor at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. He holds a Masters degree in public health, a PhD in non-communicable diseases and has held fellowships at both Harvard Medical School and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Tishiko King is a proud Kulkalaig woman from the Island of Masig, Kulkalgal Nation of Zenadth Kes, and contributes to the Groundswell Giving team as their new Philanthropy and Engagement Officer. Tish was formerly Campaigns Director at Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network and now supports the campaign Our Islands Our Home as an organiser. Based in Naarm, Tish is spirited about sharing culture and amplifying social inequality and the rights of First Nations people. During her studies in Ocean Science on the Gold Coast, Tish became passionate and actively involved with grassroots environmental groups and rallies across Australia and overseas. In her personal time, Tish is a member of the Advisory Group for the Australian Museum Climate Solutions Centre. With experience across different industries at CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere and the exploration and minerals industry, Tish brings a diverse perspective of First Nations and environmental justice.

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. With a background in education, Alice believes that everyone should be able to read food the way that they can words, and that it’s just as important that they do. Alice’s books are beloved by cooks and eaters of all ages. In Praise of Veg, her second book, has been a smash hit internationally, and her most recent cookbook, The Joy of Better Cooking, helps readers to break free of the fears and pressures around being a “good cook”

Professor Tim Entwisle is a botanist, scientific communicator and botanic gardens director. He has been Director and Chief Executive of Royal Botanic Gardens since 2013, following two years in a senior role at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, and eight years as Executive Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust in Sydney. Tim is an Honorary Professorial Fellow at The University of Melbourne and an expert in freshwater algae but has a broad interest in plants and public gardens. Tim is a regular contributor to Australian radio and writes for science, nature and garden magazines. He is active on social media, including a weekly blog (talkingplants.blogspot.com), and recently published a memoir, Evergreen: the Botanical Life of a Plant Punk.

David Holmgren is best known as the co-originator of permaculture. In 1978, he and Bill Mollison published Permaculture One, starting the global permaculture movement. Since then, David has developed three properties, consulted and supervised on urban and rural projects, written eight more books, and presented lectures, workshops and courses in Australia and around the world. His writings over those three decades span a diversity of subjects and issues, whilst always illuminating aspects of permaculture thinking and living.


Book your free tickets here.

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