SNL has been bringing the North West Community together to show tangible examples of sustainable living.

Over 10 years years we have enjoyed successful engagement with all aspects of our community – including partners, sponsors, volunteers, exhibitors, educators, experts, tradespeople, vendors, marketers, government organisations, community organisations and citizens in order to share ideas, knowledge, skills and products leading to greater sustainability.

More importantly, we are building networks of people and organisations across our region who understand the value and benefits of sustainability – on an individual, local and global scale.


The project began in 2009 by a few friends getting together due to the lack of good available public information about passive energy house design with an open day of a single house in Tamworth. From the strong interest the activity received it became clear the community wanted this information.

Since 2009 activities include messages based on energy and waste, carbon emissions, food waste, local foods, innovation, housing, technology, transport, design, biodiversity and community resilience. The group continues to run activities with the community, business, building, education, local and state government sectors. Activities include Expos, Open Houses, Bus Tours, Business Kits, Corporate Presentations, Guest Speakers, School Competitions, 100 Mile Food Nights, and Mums and Bubs Activities to name a few.

The Challenge:
 how can we increase the sustainability of the citizens in our region?

Bring together: Partners, Sponsors, and Volunteers and show a shining example of a family building a sustainable house – off the grid and with all modern conveniences.

The public response was overwhelming with 3,000 attendees over the two days. TMLA received a Namoi Natural Resource Management Award from Namoi Catchment Management Authority for the event.


Col Easton from North West Local Land Services NWLLS and Jean Coady from Tamworth Regional Landcare Association TRLA.

Col Easton from North West Local Land Services NWLLS and Jean Coady from Tamworth Regional Landcare Association TRLA.



New England Regional TAFE provide science educators Rachel Webster and Jean Coady.



Many volunteers hours were spent on planning, promoting and running the event, engaging with the public, and creating the compass card giveaways, that explained the benefits and concepts of north facing buildings etc.

You can download your own compass card here



Central, accessible, attractive, displaying Best Practice.

Bill and Jan Bryan generously provided their home, designed by Bill, an engineer. This building included many excellent features including:

  • Off grid solar power
  • Solar Water
  • North facing aspect
  • Lawrence Trombe wall
  • Water well under living room
  • Return of roof heat in winter
  • Solar water floor heating
  • Jan’s Water-wise garden


Experts and Vendors:

  • Bill Bryan engineer and designer of the home
  • Tradespeople involved in the construction including Col Damon
  • Geoff Green, Solar Hotwater plumber
  • Ian Lobbin, Tamworth Regional Council Water Officer
  • Sharon Taylor, sustainable garden designer
  • New England Solar
  • Betsys Blinds and Awnings
  • Country Energy
  • “I’ve Got Worms” worm farms

The Community Responds!


The public response was overwhelming with 3,000 attendees over the two days. TMLA received a Namoi Natural Resource Management Award from NCMA for the event.


ECOSMART BUILDING EXPO – Tamworth, Gunnedah and Narrabri

Building on success – bigger and further afield!


TAFE provided the venue in Tamworth and Gunnedah to hold a two day expo where many exhibitors were able to demonstrate products, skills and ideas.

Practical Examples


Tamworth, Gunnedah and Narrabri sustainable buildings were displayed including businesses and houses that had been retrofitted.

Approximate numbers of visitors – 3,000


Successful Sustainability Expo at Tamworth TAFE

Guest Speaker – John Dee


Jon Dee – 2010 Australian of the year, Joint founder of Planet Ark and National Tree Day, Managing Director of “Do Something”

Seminar in Sustainability Centre at TAFE


The forum, a free event, was run on a format similar to ABC TV’s Q&A program. The topic was “Reducing Our Carbon Footprint – Whose Job Is It?” All members of the community were invited to take part. The forum had a mediator to ‘guide’ the discussion among a number of experts who were invited to join the conversation about reducing our carbon footprint.

They included: Jon Dee of “Do Something!”, New England Federal MP Tony Windsor, Tamworth Regional Council General Manager Paul Bennett, Darren Keegan of Industry and Investment NSW, grazier Rohan Kingham, Yale Carden of Geoexchange, John Michael from TAFE, Bryan Singh of Singh Property Group, Stephanie Cameron from Enviroag andLandcare, and Bill Bryan of WJ Bryan Engineering.

23 Exhibitors

2011 Exhibitors

Workshop – Geoexchange, Reusing Waste, Sustainable Water use, Global Warming, making your house more sustainable, carbon farming, growing your own food, solar ovens, wind energy, carbon sequestration-biochar, building a sustainable house.

Free Bus Trip to Open Houses across Namoi Catchment

Open Houses Bus Trip

Pilliga Pottery, Willow Tree Information Centre, private houses in Manilla, Gunnedah, Daruka, Nundle, Bendemeer, Premer, Tamworth, Mullaly.


Sustainable Namoi Living – now a series of events.

Costa Georgiadis

Community Groups and Organisations invited to apply for funding to run events.

  1. Conservatorium Play “The Big Deal” visited venues across the catchment
  2. 1 million Women – Speaker – Bernie Hobbs
  3. Tamworth Birdwatchers “Brekky with the Birds”
  4. Tamworth Organic Community Garden Dirt Bagging Demonstration with Costa.
  5. 100 Mile Recipe Competition and Food Night.
  6. Gunnedah Urban Landcare workshops
  7. Nundle Primary – garden to kitchen to garden
  8. Inspired Business Lecture with Tamworth Business Chamber
  9. Building/Realestate Event with Tamworth Master Builders

2012 Expo


Included 40 Exhibitors with 3,000 visitors Friday Kid’s Day. Greatly attended over 2 days.



Special Guests Costa, Brendon Moare, Cartoon Dave, Pilliga Mouse and Matt McKenzie’s snake.

Sustainable Building Tour included:

  • Happy Smiles Dental Care
  • Tamworth Waste Water Treatment
  • Froog Moore Park Retreat
  • Grain Products Australia
  • Tamworth Waste Facility
  • Private Homes


Sustainable Namoi Living Series of Events

2013 Schools Competition
  1. Gen Y Race (Enviro Race) reaches new demographic.
  2. Kids Day Events and Schools Competition Awards.
  3. 2013 Expo – new venue Bicentennial Park – Many exhibitors, workshops and visitors.
  4. SNL receives Sustainability Award from Tamworth Regional Council.


Sustainable Namoi Living Events – Keep Calm and Go Green

Tidy Town Award 2014
  1. Manilla Solar Event – investigating community solar project – over 100 attending to show support of sustainable energy projects in North West NSW.
  2. Gen Y Race
  3. Evening with the Birds – Tamworth Birdwatchers.
  4. Science Engineering Challenge.
  5. Expo at Bicentennial Park.
  6. Open Buildings at Tamworth, Quirindi, Narrabri, Gunnedah and Somerton.
  7. Sustainable North West Living receives the Tidy Town Sustainablility award.


This year we saw a focus on food and the benefits of buying local, as well as how to reduce food waste.


Sustainable North West Expo 2015

  • Over 20 Exhibitors attended across a range of industries
  • Over 3000 people attended
  • A kids tent with children’s activities
  • A lucky door prize entry to win the “Taj Mahal” of Chook Pens
  • Live entertainment by the Gomeroi Dancers
  • Daily workshops on sustainable activities such as preserving, mud brick making, beekeeping, organic gardening, climate change, aquaponics, fostering community spirit, and more.
  • 100 Mile Dinner for Show Pavilion winners

100 Mile Dinners

This year saw SNW roll out 5 x 100 mile night dinners partnering with local community, organisations to present ‘Pop-Up restaurants’ to educate the community on the benefits of buying local. Northern Inland Regional waste sponsored these events to promote the message “Love Food – Hate Waste” The dinners all used local caterers and sourced food within a 100 mile radius where possible. Guest speakers included Col Easton from Local Land Services, Alison Leckie and Tracey Carr from Northern inland regional waste and local producers such as Derek Blomfield “The Conscious Farmer”

Talks aimed to educate the audience on key messages

  • In season and full of flavour
  • More nutrients and shorter time between paddock and plate
  • Less likely to have been in cold storage
  • Supports local economy and promotes safer food supply
  • Reduces use of fossil fuels from transport and storage
  • Helps the environment by maintaining farmland
  • Sustains green space in your community!

They were held at the following locations and were partnered with local community groups:

  • Walgett: 28th March at the Walgett Rugby Club – with the Walgett Hostesses (210 attendees)
  • Tamworth: 13th March at the Tamworth Showground with Tamworth Show Pavilion Committee (110 attendees)
  • Copeton: 10th April at Copeton Dam with the Copeton Fresh Water Swim Committee (95 attendees)
  • Bingara: 13th June at the Roxy Theatre with Northern Slopes Landcare Association (125 attendees)
  • Warrah Creek: 27th June at Warrah Creek Hall with Upper Mooki Landcare Association (85 attendees)

Rural Women’s Sustainability Morning Teas

SNW hosted 5 x Morning Teas. A free community event open to women (and their children). This aimed at being a series of events to educate, and inspire women on how they can live, work and ‘play’ more sustainably within their local community.

The events were held at:

  • The Nundle Bowling Club on Monday 1st June at 9.00am
  • Smithurst Theatre, Gunnedah on Tuesday 2nd June at 9.00am
  • Sport Ground – Rugby Club, Barraba on Thursday 4th June at 9.00am
  • Werris Creek Pharmacy Coffee Corner on Friday 5th June at 9.00am
  • Loomberah Community Hall on Thursday 11th June at 9.00am

The events were advertised through regional press, posters and local schools along with social media.

Water Warriors Schools Competition

We had Over 73 entries to the Water Warriors Competition. Entries came from right across the North West Region from Moree to Barraba and Tamworth.

Feedback from Teachers was very positive. They recognised the demonstrated syllabus links, it often led to discussion at home as well as in class on water use issues. The open nature of the challenge, they said encouraged creativity but in a targeted way. The entries certainly demonstrated that.

Amazing Enviro Race Youth Event

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The Amazing Enviro Race was attended by 80+ young people aged between 13 and 19. The event consisted of a series of challenges based around environmental themes. One of the challenges was for students to explain what sustainability means to them which was filmed for later use by the SNW committee. Also challenges on recycling, water conservation, tree planting, land care, sustainable food use, upcycled fashion, recycling and more.

Winners Senior 15+ – 2 x bikes
Name –
Member 1: Sam Barden (Farrer)
Member 2: Ben Fisk (Farrer)
2nd Winners Senior 15+ – 2 x Go Pro Camera
Name –
Member 1: Courtney Mead
Member 2: Lea Gilchrist
Winners JNRS under 15 – 2 x bikes
Name –
Member 1: Joseph Ross (Oxley)
Member 2: Zach Burn (Oxley)
2nd Winners JNRS under 15 – 2 x Go Pro Camera
Name – Green Machine
Member 1: Oliver Keft-Gill
Member 2: Jake Darlington
Winner of Slam Junk – 2 x Basketball & Movie Tickets total $50.00
Name – Super Merino Bros
Member 1: Christian Wilson
Member 2: William Carr
Best Video for Sustainable x 2 Vouchers to Skate Rink
Name – Team Unfit
Member 1: Chloe Hope
Member 2: Lauren McRae
Best Dress Overall Winners – 2 x Go Pro Cameras
Name – Cape & Safety
Member 1: Tehlia Herden
Member 2: Sage Francis
Best Dressed Runners up – 2 x Skull Candy Headphones
Name – BJ
Member 1: Blair Bennett
Member 2: Jake Vanderfield
Best Dressed Honourable Mentions – 6 x Movie Tickets
Name – Green Elsas
Member 1: Emma Klasen
Member 2: Willamina Burke
Name – Super Mario Bros
Member1: Christian Wilson
Member2: Will Carr
Name – Team Unfit
Member 1: Lauren McRae
Member 2: Chloe Hope
Name – Broken Ankle
Member 1: Abigail Kelly
Member 2: Lyndell Boschma
Name – Cape Girls
Member 1: Annabelle Turnball
Member 2: Ellie Bennett
Name – Coal seam Gas Girls
Member 1: Emily Wall
Member 2: Annabell Suttor

Did you compete in the Amazing “Enviro” Race?
We’d love to hear your feedback