Water is Life event poster illustrated by cartoonist Rocco Fazzari
A "Festa dell'acqua" dinner for over 100 people on 18 November 2007 marked the end of a highly successful three month water saving campaign which was developed by and targeted at the Italian community.
Held at the l'Associazione Napoletana in the inner west Sydney suburb of Leichhardt, the dinner incorporated activities which promoted the sharing of water saving ideas among guests, and opportunities for attendees to ask questions, sign up for a DIY water saving kit and to get a shower timer and booklet in Italian about reducing water consumption.
Guests were entertained by renowned Italian folk group, Vento Del Sud, and Andre' Boerema from Sydney Water, Damien Giurco from the Institute for a Sustainable Future at UTS and Rochelle Porteous from Leichhardt Council discussed in Italian and English, water reduction and recycling with the audience.
Silvia D'Aviero, a bilingual environmental educator with the Ethnic Communities Council of NSW (ECC) explained that the L'acqua e' vita (Water is life) campaign started with the aim of expanding the reach of the existing NSW Government's Water for Life program to the Italian community through providing water saving information in a social setting.
"In the initial stages I gathered support from Italian community organisations like FILEF, the Federation of Italian Workers and Co.As.It, an Italian community service provider, which have both been working with the community for a long time and have their trust. They contacted their members asking them to support the water saving campaign.
"The next stage was to develop a media campaign based on communicating water saving messages which addressed some of the more frequent questions raised in previous community environmental education programs that I had conducted.
"The campaign included six interviews with SBS radio and one with Italian radio station, Rete Italia, as well as a series of weekly articles published in the Italian newspaper, La Fiamma. Waterwise workshops were also conducted in a range of Sydney suburbs such as Punchbowl, Ashfield and Dee Why," Ms D'Aviero said.
As a result of the "Festa dell'acqua", Leichhardt Council, Co.As.It, FILEF and SBS radio have all expressed a strong interest in working together on environment issues in the future.
The L'acqua e'vita (Water is life) was a joint project between the Department of Water and Energy NSW and the ECC. It was funded as part of the Water for Life program.
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