Geelong Sustainability 10 years old

Kathryn McCallum and Vicki Perrett (left) blow out candles and cut the birthday cake


Geelong Sustainability's 10 year birthday was celebrated with a special event in July 2017. During the celebrations, we listened to reflections by past and present GS committee members about the people, the passion and the projects over the years.

It was both moving and cheerful for old and new members to exchange memories and for everyone to learn how much the group has achieved over the years. 

You can see a list which shows some of the highlights below.

Kathryn McCallum, who was the group's first President, talked in her speech about how it all started with a little group of people who gathered in a lounge room in 2007 – and how impressed she was with what the group has achieved since then.

Dave Campbell, who was the group's President from 2008 to 2014, showed photos from the decade of events and activities. He talked about some of the group's first victories, remarkable moments and experiences. 

Monica Winston talked about her period as Vice-President 2007-13, and Mik Aidt, committee member since 2013, shared some highlights from his collaboration with Dan Cowdell, who also entered the committee in 2013 and already a year later was elected as GS's new – and so far youngest – President. Unfortunately Dan wasn't able to attend the 10 year celebration.

Vicki Perrett, current President, was a committee member since 2012. She gave insights in initiatives and changes that had happened in this period, and what personally motivated her to work with the group.


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Community Owned Renewable Energy - Project Update


CORE Geelong has been established by Geelong Sustainability to facilitate the transition to a sustainable energy system. We're enabling community investment in renewable energy projects that are financially self-supporting, and return economic as well as social benefits to the community. In short, we’re creating an Energy Democracy!

We’ve come so far over the last few years, it’s worth summarising the journey. Back in 2014 when we surveyed our members and supporters, they overwhelmingly told us we should focus on a community owned renewable energy (CORE) project for Geelong. While it was a big ask, we accepted the challenge and took it in stages.

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Who Gives A Crap - always in stock

Buy your Who Gives A Crap toilet paper from Geelong Sustainability.


Premium Bamboo - $51 per box of 48 rolls (click above)

Standard - $41 per box of 48 rolls (click below).

Great value - great product.

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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.



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.


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


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.


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.


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.