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 Meeting Place Community Centre, Murdoch University and the City of Fremantle jointly agreed to work on a holistic course covering all facets of sustainable living.
Instigating actual changes in behaviour was imperative, so goal-setting techniques researched at Murdoch University were incorporated as a key element, to be taught as a life skill.
In November 2002, the Southern Metropolitan Regional Council joined the Living Smart Steering Committee to support extension of the program to new centres and groups in the surrounding region. For the SMRC, Living Smart would in part meet their regional goal of residential greenhouse abatement.
Partnerships have been and will continue to be a crucial component of Living Smart. The program itself is the product of one and our success speaks of its value. Similarly the delivery of Living Smart in new communities will be most effective if delivered through a partnership.
In 2011 the Founders of Living Smart agreed at the request of the Living Smart community to become an independent, incorporated, non-profit organization. This was the start of Be Living Smart Inc. which is now represented by a volunteer Board, other volunteers and active facilitators plus a part time paid coordinator.