New - Life Learning

Introducing an exciting new program for Geelong - Life Learning!  

Life Learning is affordable, community-driven, fun education hosted in a variety of inner Geelong venues.  The program commences in late February. These are informal classes for curious people looking to try something new, without a hefty price tag. 

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Gift to East Timor Solar Project

Helping to bring clean, renewable lighting to remote East Timorese communities at Christmas

Our last Green Drinks for 2016 on the topic of Community Energy, proved very popular with 80 people attending.  We had presentations from Nicky Ison from Community Power Agency and our own CORE Geelong Coordinator, Dan Cowdell.

Given the topic and in the spirit of Christmas, we decided to raise some money for ATA's East Timor Solar Project. Committee member, Tim Adams spoke passionately about his recent field trip. ATA has been working with East Timorese communities to provide clean, renewable lighting and electricity since 2003. There still, the majority of rural households depend on expensive kerosene and candles for lighting. We were all humbled to learn the significant human impact that just 20W of solar power could achieve: children could study at night and chores could be completed - lives changed!

Geelong Sustainability decided to add our Green Drinks entry donations to the other funds collected.  The upshot was a total of $300 was raised. This enabled us to purchase 6 x gifts to Renewable Energy Development Trust Fund - equivalent to a solar panel for 6 East Timorese families. How good is that?

If you are looking for ethical or sustainable gifts this Christmas then download our Gifts & Giving Guide or visit the ATA webshop to donate to their Gift of Light project.

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Not-for-profit Law

We are on a steep learning curve at Geelong Sustainability.  As we move ahead with our Community Energy project all sorts of questions are coming up around legal as well as financial arrangements.

But lucky for us we have discovered a wonderful community resource called Justice Connect - and their legal program called Not-for-profit Law.  NFP Law provides legal information, advice, referrals and training for not-for-profit community organisations like us.

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I attended a training session today and was most impressed.  The session was called "From MOUs to Mergers - legal issues to consider when working with other community organisations".

I can now tell a memorandum of understanding from a contract, a partnership from a joint venture and an amalgamation from a merger - well, I hope I can.  I also understand the importance of due dilligence, the hefty responsibilities of committee and board members and the shifting ground under not-for-profits in Victoria.

 

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Our work acknowledged in VIC Legislative Council

We are delighted to have had our hard work coordinating Sustainable House Day for our region recognised by Gayle Tierney MP, Member for Western Victoria in the Legislative Council.

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Greenhouse Strategy submissions

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A new Draft Greenhouse Strategy has been developed and Geelong Council is now seeking community feedback. That means they would like to hear what you and I think about it.

This paper is more significant than it may look. If you care about climate change, this is an opportunity to do your bit: just five minutes of your time can make a real difference here!

Go to this page – and tell Council what you think about their draft paper. Before Sunday 5pm!

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Community Energy Project Receives Vital Funding

Our Community-Owned Renewable Energy (CORE) Geelong project has reached a considerable milestone attracting vital funding from the Victorian Governments New Energy Jobs Fund.

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The CORE Geelong task group has been meeting since early 2015 to establish community owned renewable energy projects where community investors raise capital to fund the installation of solar PV systems on the roofs of Geelong businesses and not-for-profit organisations. Hosts sites receive the benefits of the solar system without having to fund the upfront capital of the system, while community investors receive a return on their investment and the environment benefits from more clean energy being generated on Geelong’s roofs.

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GS Supports Refugees

Geelong Sustainability Acting President Noreen Nicholson (left) and Secretary Vivienne Burke met with Maureen O'Keefe today to present Diversitat's refugee settlement program with a cheque for $1,000.

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The funds were raised by generous Geelong Sustainability members and supporters to assist newly arrived Syrian and Iraqi refugees settle and find happiness in our community. Thanks to you all.

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Sept Green Drinks Showcases Open Houses

We had a huge crowd at Beavs Bar on Wednesday night for our September Green Drinks. The event showcased the diverse range of new, renovated and retrofitted homes opening in this year’s Sustainable House Day Geelong program. The 2016 program is our biggest ever with 14 houses opening across the region on Sunday 16th October.

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The official event poster was launched featuring Sue’s new 7.5 star passive solar home at St Leonards.  Attendees were keen to take home the event poster and touring map with QR code for study further.

Homeowners explained their rationale, material and technology choices and what experts will be offering free advice at their properties on the day. Click here to view the event slides. 

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Student request to an environmental warrior

Geelong Sustainability frequently receives requests for information from students who are working on a school project. We are fortunate that our wonderful Secretary, Viv responds carefully and appropriately depending on the child's age. We thought you would enjoy reading her recent reply to a Grade 4 student at Geelong College who asked us:

  • When did this group start?
  • Why did you make this group?
  • Were you connected to the environment when you were young?
  • Have you made any changers throughout the years?
  • Can you help the environment more?
  • Will you go on with the project?
  • Do you like helping the environment?

Dear Hermoine,

Thank you for choosing Geelong Sustainability as your Environmental Warrior for your school project.  This is the first time we have been an Environmental Warrior and we are very pleased to help you with your questions.
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August Green Drinks: What’s Geelong’s future?

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Our August Green Drinks was held at Beav’s Bar on 24 August 2016. Geelong Sustainability invited board member Mik Aidt to give a presentation about what he learned from his recent trip to Denmark. It provided timely inspiration for the new community consultation process ‘Our Future’ which City of Greater Geelong Council officially launched on 1 September.

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