Just what is Living Smart?

Living Smart is a multi-award winning behaviour change program. The courses provide participants with the skills and knowledge to take action in their own homes to improve their quality of life and reduce their environmental impact. They run over up to 8 sessions and all include a field-trip as well as hands-on learning in-class. See brochures on outcomes & content.

The full Living Smart course consists of ten key modules:

Water     Power    Waste    Simple Living    Gardening for Food     Transport   Healthy You    Gardening for Biodiversity   Healthy Homes    Community

There is also

  • a taster workshop giving the Living Smart delivery style for 2-3 topics, ideal to grow community interest and;
  • 3-5 session short courses that delve deeper into hot topics such as Low-waste Lifestyle, Water-wise Home and Garden, Low Carbon Living, Growing your own Food, Wellness, Community and other topics to suit your needs

What makes Living Smart unique?

  1. Rather than just developing an awareness of issues and hoping people change their behaviour, Living Smart is based on sound methods to encourage behaviour change in individuals. These methods include in-class goal setting and regular sharing of intended and achieved actions building commitment to act and positive role modelling.
  2. Living Smart facilitators are trained in adult learning principles. The course is not a “chalk and talk” lecture series but uses cooperative learning, the sharing of participant knowledge, and hands-on activities to encourage sustainable changes and develop community.
  3. The ten topics of Living Smart mean it has a wide breadth, so participants leave with a very broad understanding of what it means to be sustainable and behaviour change can readily spillover from actions from one topic to another.
  4. The content on each topic and the choice of field trips is designed by the facilitator separately for each Living Smart course. It is based on the needs of each individual group and the expertise within the group.
  5. Finishing the course with an inspiring exploration of what community can achieve, feeds a desire to continue to meet with fellow participants and/or the wider community. From this, many post-course Living Smarties groups now operate and other community groups, networks or campaigns have been formed by Living Smarties becoming sustainability champions in the community.

See participants’ sustainability stories

Colin’s Story      Michele’s Story    Marco’s Story    Ditte’s Story    Graeme’s Story

We know it works!

Living Smart has been evaluated and refined ever since its first pilot course in 2003 where it was researched and evaluated through a PhD Thesis by Lucy Sheehy at Murdoch University.  Each course has evaluation to identify actions made during the course and intentions for post-course

See examples:    SA course highlights 2018          Busselton 2019 Report

In 2017 the post-course impacts of Living Smart were researched… more

The Story behind Living Smart

In May 2002, The Meeting Place Community Centre saw a need for a sustainability education program in Fremantle after interest expressed by local residents. They approached the City of Fremantle to look at the best way it could be achieved, wanting a program specifically tailored for the port city.

At the same time, environmental science researchers at Murdoch University came to the City of Fremantle, looking at developing a household program that would test different techniques for changing environmental behaviour – an area that has been the subject of research for many years.


The rest is history… see more