About the EcoCentre

The EcoCentre is a not-for-profit, community-managed environment group located in the corner of St Kilda Gardens. For 25 years it has provided a base for affiliate groups involved in activities that promote environmental sustainability and community action.

Program Participants

Seeding future change

The EcoCentre vision is to provide education and inspiration to the wider community. Its collective impact since 1999 has transformed the way Melbourne understands wildlife, waterways and wellbeing in the age of climate change.

Read our latest Annual report to know more about our work for the environment, people and the planet.

We envision an empowered community, actively cultivating long-term environmental well-being​.

We are passionate about supporting people to mitigate and adapt to climate change and to reduce waste and curtail consumption. We believe all citizens should have equitable access to clean air and water, viable soil, and renewable energy. We know that enhancing biodiversity is critical to a functional urban ecosystem.
Our mission is to build relationships, educate and demonstrate sustainable environmental practice and strengthen people’s connection to the natural world. 

Our values are: respect for our First Peoples and their cultures; integrity; inclusiveness; reciprocity.

View the Constitution 2023EcoCentre Strategic Plan 2021-24 and Monitoring and Evaluation Framework 2021-24

An EcoCentre where we all belong.

The people of Port Phillip and Greater Melbourne want to live in a greener, cooler, more liveable city. We want to breathe clean air and walk on litter-free beaches. We want our children and grandchildren to swim in a plastic-free bay, to hear birds singing in our parks and gardens, to understand and care about this place we call home. We want our homes and streets to be resilient to the impacts of climate change.

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The original EcoCentre building located in the St Kilda Botanic Gardens’ was an old Park-Keeper’s house. The original building, a 1966 brick veneer had an energy efficiency rating of less than one star. The concept of a local ‘environmental hub’ was initiated by the City of Port Phillip (CoPP) in 1998 and has now grown to be an independent, community-managed, environment organisation; the Port Phillip EcoCentre Inc.

The EcoCentre was formally launched in St Kilda Botanical Gardens in December 1999. In 2003, it was retrofitted to a 5-star level – which was state of the art at the time. Since then, public awareness and design efficiency have moved along swiftly and the EcoHouse continues to be retrofitted to a 6-star standard.

The centre provides a focus for community groups and individuals to meet and share knowledge and resources, leading to positive flow-on effects into the community. The EcoCentre initiates educational projects and provides meeting space, office facilities, a small environmental reference library and most importantly, an example of environmental action in practice.

The EcoCentre has been structured as a regional ‘umbrella’ environment organisation, to meet the Environment Australia criteria enabling tax-deductible donations. This enhances the EcoCentre’s ability to attract external funding and sponsors and ultimately provide improved services to members and the community. The City of Port Phillip has continued its support in the form of building provision and utility expenses and is a key financial sponsor contributing to operational costs. In exchange, the EcoCentre is committed to supporting and furthering the goals of the City of Port Phillip.

Original Project Team 2002-2003

  • Peter Barker | EcoHouse Project Coordinator
  • Jo Samuel-King | EcoHouse Strategic Coordinator
  • Peter Ho | Building Architect
  • Martin Reeves | Landscape Architect
  • Fooks Martin Sandow Anson | Construction Management

Since 1999, the EcoCentre team has been recognised through over 36 awards from local to Victorian, Australian and international.

Finalist, Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2023, Thriving Environment Category (Community)
EcoCentre School Sustainability Festival 

Finalist, Sustainable Cities Awards 2023, Wellbeing Category 
EcoCentre and headspace Bentleigh Naturespace Youth Program

Finalist, Minister’s Choice Award 2022 
Baywide Data Pioneers

Finalist, Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2020, Community Award
Living Water Workbees (nominated with Werribee River Association)

Finalist, Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2020, Environmental Protection Award
Clean Bay Blueprint (nominated with Yarra Riverkeeper Association)

Winner, Victorian Marine and Coastal Awards 2020, Inspiring Community Engagement and Education
Port Phillip Baykeeper

To see our past awards, head to our Resources page.


Our People


Diverse and dedicated

Meet the talented group of passionate professionals behind the EcoCentre initiatives and programs.

The EcoCentre is proud to be led by a well-qualified and talented committee, served by professional public fund managers, and staffed by a highly-skilled team.

The EcoCentre acknowledges the Kulin Nations, including the Yalukit Willam clan of the Boon Wurrung language group, traditional custodians of the land on which we are located.

We pay respects to their Elders past and present, and extend that respect to other First Nations and Elder members of our multicultural community.