Geelong Sustainability AGM and Member Briefing

John PearceNews

Geelong Sustainability AGM 2021

By empowering people and accelerating the transition to a smarter, clean energy future,
Geelong Sustainability is having a positive impact on our economy, community and the environment.

    

Geelong Sustainability held its 2021 Annual General Meeting via Zoom on Thursday 18 November. Forty five people including 36 GS financial members attended the meeting. 

As at 30 June, our membership base of 249 was composed of 120 individuals, 76 families, 7 students and 46 businesses. While membership growth was a modest 12% this year, by comparison our subscriber list grew by over 55% and our monthly newsletter now reaches almost 5,500 people. 

Despite challenging circumstances, President, Vicki Perrett, reported that Geelong Sustainability (GS) has continued to effectively fulfil its mission to empower people to regenerate and protect the planet. Proudly independent, volunteer-led and apolitical, GS has continued to deliver meaningful change in our community. 

The President reflected that GS’s reputation and influence were steadily increasing due to the consistent delivery of strong project outcomes, effective community engagement, well-coordinated professional events and evidence-based articulate advocacy. While lockdowns impacted face-to-face events, delivery of services and project timelines, GS embraced technology so it could maintain momentum and engagement.

Vicki commented that the adoption of the UN Sustainable Developments Goals in Strategy 2025 had proven to be a useful guiding framework and most activities aligned to one or more of the four SDGs (shown below).

  

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This year GS won state government funding for 5 new projects, totalling over $920,000. The grant to establish the Barwon South West Community Power Hub was GS’s largest grant to date. The exponential growth had created an unsustainable workload for office bearers and it’s was time to bring on part-time administrative staff. 

As a people-powered organisation, the President acknowledged the astounding contributions of the many passionate volunteers and encouraged everyone to carpe diem in the Race to Net Zero.

Acting Treasurer, Vivienne Burke spoke to the 2020-2021 financial report. The COVID-19 lockdowns, caused major disruption to our major project, Climate Safe Rooms (CSR) and the operations of our social enterprise, Greenlight. She explained the operating loss of $119,646 was due to the expenditure of carry over CSR project funds of  $172,793. Despite the difficult operating environment, GS met all of its contractual commitments and finished the year with equity of $241,237.

   

2022 Committee

   

A Member Briefing followed as pillar and project coordinators reported on their recent highlights including: 

  • Geelong Energy Future Forum - Sal Fisher
  • Geelong+ Community Solar Program - James Rourke-Dunkley
  • Electric Vehicle Community Group Buy - Noreen Nicholson
  • Climate Safe Rooms Project - Tim Adams
  • Sustainable House Day - Vicki Perrett

Next bells were rung to launch GS’ new online Sustainability Directory. GS wants the Directory to become an invaluable regional resource ~ the ‘go to’ reference that empowers people to live and work more sustainably and reduce their carbon footprint at home and at work.

  

FY2022 plans & current projects

     

In the last section, participants received an overview of 2022 plans and current projects including:

  • Organisational development plans - the President
  • Barwon South West Community Power Hub - Steve Turnock
  • Small Business Energy Saver Program  - Steve Turnock
  • Neighborhood Battery Initiative - Dan Cowdell
  • Circular Living Challenge - Vicki Perrett

In concluding the meeting, the President noted as there would be both state and federal elections in 2022, she encouraged people to discuss with family and friends how we carpe diem (seize the day) in the race to net zero!

    

AGM & Member Briefing Recording

    

The following video is an edited recording of the AGM and Member Briefing. Some acknowledgements and minor technical issues have been deleted.