Five top tips for making Collective Action happen

Published: 17 March 2023
female adult and two female kids standing in a garden talking and laughing

Have you been inspired by our stories of Collective Action to make a change in your community?

If you’re looking to create new connections, gain skills and experience, and improve both your mental and physical health, contributing to some collective action in your neighbourhood will tick all these boxes and more.


Tricia from the Mallacoota Sustainable Energy Group and Maylei from the Mernda Repair Café have one thing in common – they are passionate and proud volunteers in their community. Follow their lead and search for your suburb on this map where you’ll discover dozens of volunteering opportunities in your community, from advocacy to wildlife care and everything in between. Use Google or check your local council website for conservation groups you can join and other volunteering options. Or dream big and start your own!

Donate, repair and share

If your latest spring cleaning frenzy has unearthed an old printer, clothing that doesn't fit and a bunch of books you’ve already read twice, think about whether your “trash” could become someone else’s treasure, just like the amazing volunteers at Neighbourhood Collective.

Reach out to a local charity, or join your neighbourhood Facebook group and see if anyone in your community needs the second vacuum cleaner you keep in the cupboard in case your first one breaks down. You’ll support a circular economy, free up space in your home and get a dose of the warm fuzzies by helping someone in need.

Before you give your goods away, consider whether they could use some TLC. Find a local repair cafe such as our friends at Mernda who will have your donations looking shipshape and ready for their second life.

two women repairing a stool Mernda Community House has diverted more than 0.6 tonnes of waste from landfill and delivered numerous workshops teaching people how to do their own repairs.

Host a clean-up

Is there an area in your community that could use some TLC? Rather than looking the other way, you can organise a clean-up and restore the site to its former glory working alongside your neighbours. This is something that our amazing ResourceSmart Schools do so well each year. Register your working bee with Clean Up Australia so you’re covered by public liability insurance and you’ll receive a free kit with gloves, bags and helpful info.

Get the word out on by posting on social media, sharing the details with local schools and sporting clubs, or by doorknocking nearby streets. And be sure to check with your council about how and where to dispose of the rubbish when you’re done. In 2021, over 2,500 Clean Up sites were registered across Victoria, with more than 170,000 people coming together to revitalise local parks, streets, beaches, waterways and bushland.

Get gardening

Community gardens can bring neighbours together, improve local biodiversity and combat food waste. Green thumbs of all ages and backgrounds can get involved by planting fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers. Check your council website to see if your neighbourhood already has its own communal gardens and find out how you can get involved, like heading along to a weeding session or contributing your own household compost. If you’re keen to set one up yourself, get in touch with your council to see which permits are required. They could also have some great tips around indigenous plants, weed control and mulching.

You might find a source of inspiration from some of the community compost and worm farm projects we have funded through our Circular Economy Communities Fund.

Never miss a funding opportunity

If you've been inspired to take action in your community, sign up to this news alert to find out when new grants and funding become available that you might be able to use to kick-start your local project.

We want to hear from you! If you're interested in sharing your story or learning more from Sustainability Victoria, please let us know in the sign-up form whether you would like to be contacted by a Sustainability Victoria team member and we will be in touch.

Collective action

At Sustainability Victoria, we’re collecting stories about community action that we've supported through our grants and programs.

Explore all 7 stories on our interactive map.