• Macedon Ranges

    Sustainable Living Festival

    4th March 2017

  • It's festival time again!

    Saturday 4th March 2017

    9.00am - 3.00pm

    Corner of High & Forest Streets, Woodend


    The Macedon Ranges Sustainable Living Festival is located in the scenic Macedon Ranges, and is one of the region's most popular and important events. The festival attracts strong support from businesses, community groups and government representatives and is hosted by the local NFP Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group (MRSG). The festival is now in its 8th year, and showcases ideas, products, and practical solutions to inspire visitors to enjoy living more sustainably.


    For the first time the Macedon Ranges Sustainable Living Festival will be run in conjunction with the Woodend Community Farmers’ Market, another established initiative of the MRSG. This well-loved event draws patrons from all over the Macedon Ranges and beyond, who come to revel in the relaxed country atmosphere and stock their larders with mountains of high quality, local produce.


    Featuring an exciting line-up of inspiring exhibitors, free workshops, guest speakers, film screenings, and kid's activities; the 2017 MRSLF promises to be a great day out for the whole family!


  • Guest Speakers

    Join us at the main stage for a free line-up of informative and inspiring talks.

    Victoria's Renewable Energy Future

    10.00am - Community Forum

    Simon Corbell, Victorian Renewable Energy Advocate

    The setting of a new Victorian renewable energy target (VRET) is a game changer for renewable energy in our community. Large scale solar and wind projects, along with community owned projects, battery storage and other technologies will reshape the Victorian energy sector. Simon will speak in a community forum on the opportunities and challenges the VRET presents, what it means, and how jobs, investment, energy security and sustainability can be achieved.

    Simon Corbell was appointed as Victoria's first Renewable Energy Advocate in December 2016. He is an Adjunct Professor of the University of Canberra and previously served as Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Energy of the ACT.

    Let's build it here: Making VIC the place to be for renewable energy

    10.00am - Community Forum

    Pat Simons , Yes 2 Renewables Community Coordinator

    Pat Simons will be joining Simon Corbell, and Barry Mann (MRSG) to speak in an engaging community forum on Victoria's renewable energy future.


    The community campaign to achieve a Victorian Renewable Energy Target was fought long and hard. Once home to the world's worst anti-wind laws, Victoria is now set to build the renewable energy revolution at home, meaning huge potential for jobs, investment and a safer climate for communities across the state. Pat will retell the story of the community campaign, and talk about the new challenges and opportunities campaigning for 100% renewables, good jobs and strong communities.

    When Solar Bankrupts Coal, will I be forced to live Off-Grid?


    Simon Reid, BREAZE Energy Solutions

    Simon has worked in both the community and small business sectors to help thousands of homes and businesses find sustainable electricity and hot water solutions.

    Simon will share the good news about how solar power, and increasingly affordable batteries, are bankrupting centralised electricity generation using fossil fuels, and consider how this sustainable future will change the way we source and use energy in our homes and businesses.

    Action on Climate: How Victoria can be a national leader on climate


    Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth

    Since taking office in 2013, the Federal Government has scrapped the national climate change policy (carbon price), attacked renewable energy, and come to the aid of coal and gas interests. This policy failure has left Victorian communities exposed to climate change impacts - from increased heatwaves and storms in the city, to drought and bushfire in rural and regional areas. In this presentation, Friends of the Earth's Leigh Ewbank, will facilitate a community discussion about climate risks and how Victoria can become a national leader on climate change.

  • Exhibitors

    The 2017 MRSLF features an exciting line up of 40+ sustainable living exhibitors. Here's just a few..

    350 Melbourne

    350 Melbourne is the local, Victorian based arm of the international climate activist organisation 350.org. We have been operating for over 3 years now, supporting campaigns at both a local and national level which have helped to pressure major decision makers and power-holders to take the steps needed to address the climate crisis.


    If your home is too hot, too cold, has big bills or you want to prepare for solar, home battery storage or going off grid, see ecoMaster for quality retrofit solutions.

    DIY or done for you.

    Breaze Energy Solutions

    Breaze Energy Solutions are a team of passionate energy consultants finding the right renewable energy and hot water solutions for households and businesses across the Central Highlands and Western District of Victoria.

    The Wilderness Society

    The Wilderness Society Inc is a not-for-profit conservation organisation dedicated to the protection and restoration of our wilderness and wildlife within Australia. TWS is actively working on campaigns to prevent land clearing and marine environment destruction, as well as longstanding campaigns to protect forests and endangered wildlife.

    Kyneton Toyota

    Toyota Australia are bringing a new hydrogen fuelled car called the Mirai, which showcases a new technology in which hydrogen is used to power an on-board 'fuel cell' - a miniature factory that creates electricity which, in turn, either charges the on-board battery pack or powers the car’s electric motor, or both. This car is not yet available in Australia, so this is great opportunity to check out some cutting edge innovation in the electric vehicle sector.


    CyclePort is the world's first universal smart bike dock. Our ports instantly clamp any bike fitted with our simple connector (no need for bike locks), charge electric bikes safely and enable universal bike sharing with smart control. We are a local start up company with global application and are looking to extend our network of partners, investors and clients (local and state governments, universities, building managers, tourism operators).

    Evolve Windows

    Evolve Windows is a manufacturer of high quality, architecturally designed residential and commercial aluminium window and door systems. Servicing all areas of Victoria. Evolve Windows manufactures the highly regarded ThermalHEART range of windows, which are up to 51% more efficient than non-thermally broken windows.  

    EnviroShop Newstead

    EnviroShop Newstead are suppliers of quality solar power, battery storage, hot water, insulation, lighting, paints and oils and eco products for the house and garden.

    Energy Democracy

    An energy democracy co-operative is the ability for the community to create change in the electricity system to become a resilient, localised, democratic and clean energy economy.

    Stealth Scooters

    Suppliers of high quality electric scooters that put a smile on you and planet earth. 

    TCK Solar

    TCK Solar installs solar systems of any size as well as the most efficient & whisper quite SANDEN heat pumps. Our core believe is 'do it once, do it right'. Our premium components + highly experienced installers are giving you total peace of mind. SOLbond panels glued to flat roof are worth a visit. Talk to us about the LG 9.3kW Lithium iron battery now part of our premium range.

    Gisborne Montessori School

    Gisborne Montessori School is a small, non-denominational, independent school, providing Montessori education for babies, toddlers, preschool and primary school aged children It is the only Montessori primary school in Victoria that is purpose built on sustainable principles.

    Upper Campaspe Landcare Network

    The Upper Campaspe Landcare Network consists of 16 Landcare and Friends Groups working together on projects such as: protecting waterways, restoring native vegetation, preserving and enhancing wildlife habitat, establishing wildlife corridors, biolinks, walking tracks and interpretive signage. The Network also provides community education on the above as well as issues such as soil health, farm planning and weed control.

    Ashbourne Landcare Group

    The Ashbourne Landcare area is bounded by the Woodend-Tylden Road in the North, Harpers Road on the East, Falloons Road and Gleeds Lane on the West and the head of the Campaspe River, at the top of the Great Dividing Range, in the South. Ashbourne Landcare Group has an active committee that meets between 5 and 7 times per year, holding member events such as field days and working bees occur 4 or 5 times per year.

    Macedon Ranges Cycling Club

    The Macedon Ranges Cycling Club is a friendly, dynamic cycling club located in the Macedon Ranges. They organise regular social rides and participate other cycling events.


    Under the Branches

    Australian designed, indoor, micro solar-lighting kits: perfect for lighting the shed, potting houses, off-grid, camping - and emergency lighting. 4 million of the Barefoot Power solar lighting kits are providing power throughout the developing world.

    The Bob Brown Foundation

    The Bob Brown Foundation is all about action with a vision to protect Australia's wild and scenic natural places of ecological and global significance. The first place on our radar is the stunning Tarkine in a remote part of North West Tasmania. The Tarkine is a vast wilderness area supporting Australia's largest tract of cool temperate rainforest, spanning wild windswept beaches, extensive buttongrass plains and pristine wild rivers.

    Anna Mitchell

    Local author Anna Mitchell cycled several thousand kilometres on her recumbent trike and thru-hiked the 968km Bibbulmun Track in Western Australia. She saved a fortune in transport and accommodation costs, lost weight and learned she was capable of much more than she thought she was. Her unconventional mode of transport introduced her to all sorts of wonderful characters and resulted in a 5-star travel memoir "Fat Chick Goes AWOL".

    Life Cycle Solutions

    Do you want to get more out of life?

    Follow that dream, be successful, have great relationships at home, at work and at play. Life Circle Solutions is a business that supports people to be the best that they can be.

    Edgar's Mission

    Edgar’s Mission is a not for profit sanctuary for rescued farmed animals that seeks to create a humane and just world for humans and non-humans. Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary is set on 153 peaceable acres situated just outside of Lancefield, nestled in the tranquility of the Macedon Ranges.

  • Woodend Library Hall

    Find in-depth presentations from a couple of inspiring locals in the library hall. 

    Pull up a chair and join the conversation.

    Strawbale House Building & Passive Solar Design

    10.30am - Free Entry

    Dean Lamb

    Dean Lamb is an owner-builder, and local small business operator of Watt's Fresh grocery store in Kyneton. His strawbale house build featured on Australian Grand Designs. Dean will go through the basics of building your own strawbale home, along with sustainable design principles to reduce energy bills and keep your home comfortable all year round.

    This Farm needs a Farmer

    11.30am - Free Entry

    Melissa Connors

    Kyneton based tree changer, Melissa Connors has launched a campaign inspired by her friendship with retired farm worker Noel Jenner, which provided the mentoring necessary to get the best out of her family’s land. Melissa has gone on to launch a community development project, This Farm Needs A Farmer, which will match would-be hobby farmers new to the area with retired farmers to offer advice.

  • Workshops

    Our free workshop series will run over the course of the day.

    Join in and learn something new! Look out for the big white marquee on the Festival Green.


    Morning Yoga

    Kerri Aitken

    Yoga Instructor

    Join us for an early morning yoga session for the whole family! Stretch your body and clear your mind, in morning class suitable for all ages and abilities. Be guided by an experienced instructor through lots of fun and gentle exercises to get you ready for a fantastic day out at the festival!

    *The class is free, but bring a yoga mat if you have one.



    People & Permaculture

    David Arnold

    Murrnong Permaculture Farm

    David Arnold runs a successful permaculture farm and is a regular stallholder at the Woodend Community Farmers' Market. David will facilitate a discussion about where Permaculture can help us to go. Be it urban or rural, landscape or built environment, home or work - permaculture design and thinking has something to offer. What is that exactly? Come and find out!


    Growing Exotic Mushrooms

    Sandor Istella

    Sandor's Harvest

    Sandor Istella is a well-known local producer and a regular at the Woodend Community Farmers' Market. Sandor specialises in growing exotic mushrooms, in many unusual and delicious varieties. In this workshop he will demonstrate an easy way to cultivate these mushrooms in your own home!


    The Art of Composting

    & Worms

    Adam Laurance


    Using worms to turn kitchen scraps and other trash into nutrient-rich worm castings has become a growing part of the green movement. The benefits are two-fold. The worms eat the waste, and then turn it into manure that can be used as fertilizer to grow better gardens and flowers. Adam will demonstrate the simplicity of vermicomposting at home.


    Keeping Bees in your Backyard

    With members of the

    Woodend Bee Friendly Society

    The Woodend Bee-Friendly Society is a working group of the Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group that seeks to promote the sharing of knowledge about beekeeping between aspirants, novices, and experienced beekeepers in Woodend and surrounding areas.In this workshop you can learn the basics of bee-keeping, view a demonstration hive and visit the new community honey extraction caravan.


    Joy with Raw Food

    Melissa Keath

    Author & Raw Vegan Chef

    Melissa is a local raw food chef and author of the Joy With Raw Food series of gluten-free, sugar-free, salt-free recipe books. In this workshop, you will learn how easy it is to prepare the most delicious and amazing raw cakes with just a few simple healthy ingredients. Best of all, you will be able to sample a raw cake and ask all the questions you have about the raw vegan lifestyle.

  • Film Screening

    Just Eat It : A Food Waste Story 

    Just Eat It : A Food Waste Story

    Entry: $5

    Woodend Library Hall, 1pm - 3pm.

    Guest Speaker: Anna Mitchell, Food Waste Campaigner & Dumpster Diver

    The Loddon Mallee Waste and Resource Recovery Group is hosting this film screening and discussion. All proceeds will go towards food waste charities in the region.

    Tickets can be purchased on the door or pre-booked by calling Rachel McConville 0419 106 461.


    We all love food. As a society, we devour countless cooking shows, culinary magazines and foodie blogs. So how could we possibly be throwing nearly 50% of it in the trash?

    Filmmakers and food lovers Jen and Grant dive into the issue of food waste from farm, through retail, all the way to the back of their own fridge. After catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of good food that is tossed each year in North America, they pledge to quit grocery shopping cold turkey and survive only on foods that has been discarded. In a nation where one in ten people is food insecure, the images they capture of squandered groceries are both shocking and strangely compelling.

    Featuring interviews with author, activist and TED lecturer Tristram Stuart, food waste expert Dana Gunders, and acclaimed author Jonathan Bloom, Just Eat It looks at our systemic obsession with expiry dates, perfect produce and portion sizes, and reveals the core of this seemingly insignificant issue that is having devastating consequences around the globe. Just Eat It brings farmers, retailers, inspiring organisations, and consumers to the table in a cinematic story that is equal parts education and delicious entertainment.

  • Supporters

    The Macedon Ranges Sustainable Living Festival is grateful to all our supporters.

    A big thank you to our sponsor the Trentham & Districts Community Bank Branch of the Bendigo Bank for helping us bring you this year's event.

  • Connect With Us

    Be sure to follow the MRSLF on Facebook for regular updates and news

  • Register your interest

    Please contact us if you would like to exhibit at the festival.