Selected as a group of 15 people from diverse backgrounds to undergo the EcoCity Stories Melbourne program, to become EcoCity storytellers and learn to tell powerful stories about sustainability & biodiversity in the City of Melbourne. The project aims to help residents, workers, volunteers and students tell their own stories about how they are building a city that will thrive in the future.

Over a period of months the I learnt from professionals, including a journalist, filmmaker and digital expert, about how to write stories, shoot and edit videos and publish their stories widely. The program is run in partnership between Melbourne City Council and the organisation EcoCity.

My first story centers around the innovative cafe Hortus in the Docklands area of Melbourne, who partnered with St Kilda Indigenous Nursery Co-op to introduce indigenous vegetation to planter boxes around the exterior of the cafe. This thoughtful & temporary activation of the space makes a significant contribution to the biodiversity, cultural value and human amenity of developing, and often maligned area.

My second story centers around the new and unique contribution immigrants are making to Australia’s food landscape through backyard food growing and community gardens. It touches on ideas of cultural heritage, as well as the comfort and value people (particularly new arrivals) associate with “growing their own”. I worked with the organisations Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre and Cultivating Communities in Richmond to film this story.

The creation of this story required the understanding and operation of high definition filming equipment (Canon 700d DSLR, tripod and Lav microphone) as well as sophisticated editing software (Adobe Premiere) across multiple video and audio tracks to produce a video package of a professional standard.