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  • Lisa Elliott

Sustainable Living Foundation

Updated: Oct 22, 2019

Home Front - Facing Australia's Climate Emergency

Contact Name: Luke Taylor - Director


Address: 225 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC, 3000

Phone Number: 9249 1888

Charity website:



DGR Registration Link:

ACNC Page Link:

Overview of Organisation:

Operating for more than 20 years, the Sustainable Living Foundation (SLF) has a long history of creating platforms that enable widespread cooperation and education in the pursuit of ecological and social sustainability.

SLF is best known for producing Australia’s annual National Sustainable Living Festival and its climate research and strategy development platform Breakthrough - The National Centre for Climate Restoration.

These programs have grown a large and active public following and facilitate collaborations with organisations across government, business, and community sectors to accelerate the uptake of sustainable practices and effective action on climate change.

Through the Festival, SLF supports and promotes the work of hundreds of sustainability organisations and engages a national audience in a community education platform that highlights major sustainability issues and solutions while connecting thousands of people to avenues for action.

The Foundation’s ongoing work in shaping and supporting high-level responses to climate change and the current climate emergency is carried out through its Breakthrough climate centre. Breakthrough draws on local and international expertise to cultivate critical thought leadership and movement-building tools that can be used to inform and influence the climate debate, policy-making, industry practices, and activist campaigns. The platform publishes innovative thinkers, produces original communications, and hosts thought-provoking forums for key change-making audiences. Breakthrough’s work has gained recognition from climate advocacy, academic, and media bodies for providing comprehensive and eye-opening accounts of the extent of climate damage and risk and the need for an emergency-level response.

In more recent years, SLF has leveraged its platforms to drive the growing recognition that climate change poses a level of threat that constitutes an emergency response. After helping to seed the beginnings of the global campaign to declare a climate emergency in a number of local Australian communities, the Foundation has been strongly advocating emergency-level policy and action. As the Sustainable Living Foundation continues to develop new projects, our top priority is creating tools for change that can be used by the wider sustainability movement to push for and facilitate a safe and just response to the climate emergency that matches the scale and speed of its threat.

Describe the project that requires funding:

The Sustainable Living Foundation is seeking funding for one of its latest Breakthrough projects: Home Front - a documentary web series that reveals the untold story of the climate emergency. This project will broaden the scope of Breakthrough’s existing communications platform to tap into the engagement power that film and video content have in the competitive “attention economy.”


Home Front aims to deliver a crucial reality check to the current climate debate, political messaging, and media coverage. The series uncovers previously under or unreported climate risks and their implications from uniquely Australian economic, social and security perspectives. The narrative confronts gaps in climate policy and communications and explains why incremental change is no longer a viable option for providing maximum protection for all people, species, and civilisation from the impacts of climate change.

Inspired by the level of social determination and capacity for change that often arises in times of great challenge, the series will go on to investigate the architecture of a society-wide, emergency-level climate action plan and demonstrate Australia’s ability to rapidly transition to a safe climate economy in a way that could be replicable on a global scale.

By focusing on global warming impacts and solutions within an Australian frame of reference, Home Front looks to increase awareness and understanding of the level of risk we’re facing by bringing the issues home and presenting local avenues for action. This compelling new narrative will unpack critical questions relating to the climate transition with powerful stories positioned to build super national confidence for monumental change. Australia provides an ideal case study opportunity to examine challenges and opportunities a nation will face when mounting an emergency response to the climate crisis. The country is a major pillar for the world’s fossil fuel industry but is also positioned in one of the most climate-vulnerable regions. Global warming is driving increasingly severe weather events and social inequities, and now the country is at an inflection point in its approach to climate, energy and security. It is likely that Australia’s evolving climate story will resonate worldwide.

Home Front aims to leverage the power of trusted messengers to establish a highly credible platform that can effectively engage with audiences across the political spectrum. The series features interviews with former Australian defence officials, fossil fuel industry executives, national security experts, climate scientists, politicians, industry analysts, and community leaders. This unexpected cast will dissect emergency economic and social transition examples and delve into the themes of community mobilisation and leadership; opportunities for innovation in technology, policy, and legislation; industry and business engagement; enterprises and employment; and provisions for a safe and just transition. The intention is to give audiences factually clear and personally resonant ways to connect with complex climate subjects, which can help them envision their role in an achievable course of social, political and economic action for this make-or-break decade.

(Please see the full project prospectus attached to this form)


The Home Front project is employing a strategic impact documentary format, which marries documentary storytelling with the principles of strategic communication to help trigger social change. Beyond distribution through the Sustainable Living Foundation and its network, the project is designed to function as a free-access educational tool for the wider climate emergency movement. Screenings and content sharing amongst climate action groups can help to align objectives and messaging and strengthen overall community pressure on leaders and decision-makers.

Production for Home Front is working toward creating a series of connected online episodes that can be broken down into short-form content pieces that are best suited for varying online distribution platforms, screened as full episodes that address key overarching themes, or viewed as a collection in full-length documentary format. This flexibility in distribution will help to maximise the potential reach of the project and allow third parties to use the series to best meet their movement-building needs.

Earlier this year, released a pilot episode for the Home Front series with the objectives of getting critical messages to audiences as quickly as possible and gathering initial audience feedback. This initial release has already generated significant interest and impact. Screenings at film festivals in Melbourne and Sydney were received with strong emotional responses, and test audiences have reported a newfound sense of urgency to progress climate action. The pilot has also been nominated for an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Award for Best Short Documentary. Most importantly, SLF has already fielded screening requests for the pilot alone from over 30 climate action groups across Australia, as well as multiple requests from groups in the USA, UK, Sweden, and Canada. This positive response shows clear demand for the project and the need to develop and produce the full story for maximum impact

(Please see the draft outreach & impact strategy attached to the project prospectus PDF)


The requested funds would allow SLF to expand on the content in the pilot episode and extend it into a full episode with additional interviews and local examples. In conjunction with the backing we have already secured, these funds would also enable the start-to-finish production of “Part 2.” It would also contribute to the research, networking, and documentary treatment work that will be used in further episodes and to secure funding to carry on production of those episodes.

(Project budget breakdown included in project prospectus)

Please describe any collaboration you have had with other organisations in relation to this project:

Home Front has attracted collaborators, pro bono or highly subsidised services, and in-kind support across all aspects of the project.


Scout Films - - Film Production & Cinematography

Crayon - - Film Grading & Colouring Services

Resolution Design - - Film Graphics & Titling

GAS Inc - - Sound Design & Production

The Australian National University (ANU) - - Locations


Research & Strategy for Transition Initiation (RSTI) -

Climate Security Advisory Group -


Council and Community Action in the Climate Emergency (CACE) -

Baker McKenzie -

Vudoo - - Social Media and Video Content Marketing

The following organisations have collaborated on the Home Front project by helping to facilitate test audience screenings and research after the release of the pilot episode. Off the back of the pilot’s powerful impact on these audiences, they have also expressed interest in continuing their involvement by supporting the project’s distribution and promotion as future episodes are completed.

Aus Eco Solutions Beyond Zero Emissions Bonner Greens CEDAMIA - Climate Emergency Declaration and Mobilisation in Action Central Ringwood Community Centre Climate Action Now - Wingecarribee Climate Change Action - Bayside Climate Change Action - Mansfield Region Chewton Bushlands CSIRO Democratic Party (USA) Doctors for the Environment Eastern Climate Action Melbourne Extinction Rebellion - York (UK) Fridays for Future (Sweden) Investor Group on Climate Change Manningham City Council Medical Association for Prevention of War Murundaka Community Net Zero Leadership Summit Port Melbourne Business Association Slap Tomorrow South East Environment Network Stop Adani Geelong Transition Banyule Transition Warringal Transitions Film Festival Transocean Investments Pty Ltd University of Technology - Sydney Victoria Climate Action Network

Funds requested from Pool of Dreams sub-fund:


Other sources of funding:

PHILANTHROPIC GRANTS - Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation (LMCF) - 45K (secured)

DONATIONS - Multiple individual & corporate - 30K (secured)

PROSPECTIVE FUNDING - Doc Society - New Perspectives Seed Fund

When would this project be expected to start?

Early stages of research and development that have received funding are ongoing. The next production phase of the project is expected to commence in January 2020.

When would you anticipate this project will be completed?

The next phase of production is anticipated to be complete, with distribution and promotion having commenced, by August 2020.

Please click here to view the Project Prospectus