Thousands of Canberrans enjoyed a first-hand immersion in sustainable living and community connection as Ginninderry threw its first Inspire Festival on 15 April.
Under the clearest blue sky, the festival took over several streets in the city’s first all-electric suburb and first 6 Star Green Star community, rolling out in a number of directions and celebrating innovation, nature, small business, food and music.
Some big names on the sustainability front came to share their wisdom on living more intentionally, including actor and director of That Sugar Movie and 2040 Damon Gameau, Tasmanian chef and ethical farmer Matthew Evans, former River Cottage host and committed veggie gardener Paul West, and Gardening Australia guru Angus Stewart.
Marcus Mills-Smith, Ginninderry’s Head of Community, Marketing and Communications, said he was thrilled with the turnout and the amount of interest from Canberrans in what was taking place at Ginninderry.
“We brought some pretty high-calibre speakers to the event to talk global issues, but also presented practical information on how to create a home micro-forest with Edwina Robinson from The Climate Factory and Shannon Battisson (President of the Australian Institute of Architecture) on incorporating sustainable design into your home,” said Marcus.
“I think people were able to take away a lot of really important and inspiring information as well as having a wonderful day of fun activities with their children and seeing our Ginninderry Community first hand.”
Indeed, a lot of the day’s colour and movement was geared towards encouraging Canberrans to live more consciously.
From free workshops where kids could get their hands dirty, plant some healthy seedings (complete with friendly worms to take home) to walking through the Ginninderry Conservation Corridor and talking to dedicated beekeepers about what makes a hive happy, a big effort was made to create a family-friendly festival. Children’s television personality dirtgirl character did her bit to chat with kids about how they could keep the earth flourishing.
On the electrification side, a carpark was taken over by EV enthusiasts, AEVA ACT, Pedal Power and SEE-Change. Rows of quiet and non-polluting vehicles were on display and their owners were only too happy to talk through the swap to electric driving – and even take people for a spin. For those people who prefer two wheels, Cycle Jam ran a repair workshop.
Food trucks, a coffee cart and a street of locally made crafts and upcycled goods made for happy wandering between stages and stalls, allowing festival-goers to pull up a seat, sit in the sunshine and soak up all that is good about this unique Ginninderry community.
The festival certainly lived up to its name.