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Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies

Located in East Brunswick beside the Merri Creek, at a traditional meeting place of the Wurundjeri, the Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES) is a 4-ha inner-city environment park that promotes environmental sustainability, social equity, cultural richness and community participation. CERES was established in 1982 in conjunction with Brunswick City Council, Brunswick Secondary Educational Council and Brunswick Unemployment Group, and operates diverse research projects and education and training programs. The Centre helped establish the first house-to-house rubbish-recycling scheme for Brunswick in 1983, and on-site projects use, test and demonstrate sustainable technologies including solar, wind and water power. Commercial projects include a weekly market, café and permaculture and bush food nursery. CERES receives funding from municipal, State and federal government, philanthropic organisations and corporate bodies. Situated on an ecologically restored ex-landfill site, the Centre attracted 200 000 visitors in 2003-04, employing 25 equivalent full-time staff and 500-1000 volunteers. The Return of the Sacred Kingfisher Festival celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2003. This annual multi-arts community event celebrates the success of efforts to improve the natural environment and restore habitat for native birds and other animals.

Ann Mccarthy