This page highlights some of our recent events to bring together the community to take action and enable changes - many still have links to ongoing resources to help you plan your action Most recently (with the COVID pandemic restrictions) ECAM has partnered with other organisations to promote our collective efforts. This includes the Yarra Valley Community Power Hub and ACF Community Chisholm as well as local government.
Reviving ECAM's tradition of town hall gatherings On 8 June ECAM hosted the Community Energy Roadshow. The Roadshow included speakers
the importance and actions of our local government tackling decarbonisation of our local neightbourhood
information and guidance on solar PV and batteries from community partner RACV solar
a keynote presentation from Dr Moragh Mackay on the important role of community energy groups in the return to a decentralised energy system such as we had before the 1960's centralisation of electricity and gas services
a panel of ECAM volunteers on what makes us passionate about community activism and the community led initiatives we'd like to develop in our neighbourhood.
Yarra Valley Community Power Hub EV Community Information Event
ECAM's partner Community Power Hub is joining with Healesville CoRE to present this event on Zero Emission cars on Saturday 19th February 2022 in Healesville. As well as speakers and electric vehicles on display with their owners, the Hub is launching a Community EV Bulk Buy partnered with the Good Car Company that imports second hand electric vehicles from Japan, to make them available to community groups in Australia, at really affordable prices. Information and registration is here.
Heat pump hot water bulkbuy launch A major initiative for 2021 is theheat pump hot water bulk buy with Reclaim Energy. The bulk buy online launch videos are available on the YV CPH youtube channel. These include the benefits of hot water heat pumps and the bulk buy launch.
ECAM's history of events The following provides a snapshot of ECAM's activities before COVID lockdowns limited our activity. 2014, Lakeside Walk and Talk ECAM's first public venture had ECAM speakers presenting their well researched explanations as to how and why climate change is occurring and its devastating impacts, in the environs of Blackburn Lake whose changing birds and wildlife are a signal of its changing habitate. The 40 attendees were encouraged to act both personally and politically so that fossil fuels become a thing of the past, emissions can be brought down and a safe climate restored.
Other events in 2014 included discussing solar PV and energy efficiency including the Beyond Zero Emisions Housing Plan, a member's description ing =the plan’s recommendations on his own house and the great benefits gained, and ecoMaster demonstrate the importance of "filling those gaps" to ensure heat stays in and cold stays out.
Noted environmentalist Rob Gell moderated ECAM's State Election Environment Forum where 150 enthusiastic attendees grilled the three candidates for Forest Hill presented their plans for action on climate change
2015 Lakeside Walk and Talk The new year again kicked off with a walking talk to the shore of the tranquil Blackburn Lake, discussing the impacts of climate change and sharing ideas to mitigate its affect.
In May we hosted the Divestment Expo with 250 people at Box Hill Town Hall to hear Dr John Hewson AM speak on “Climate Change – Threats and Opportunities for Business and You”. Presentations and displays by businesses in superannuation, power and banking provided information on divesting from fossil fuels to mitigate the risks from climate change.
ECAM's strategic planning towards incorporation included our focus on “our Patch” and acting locally with our Local Government being City of Whitehorse, City of Maroondah and Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action, and that ECAM would only work at the Federal and State government levels in conjunction with other larger climate groups. This was the start of fruitful relationships with Councils and allied climate activists.
In 2015 this included local Councillors speaking at ECAM meetings, ECAM participating in the Mullum Mullum Festival at Currawong Bush Park with David Spratt (now Research Director for Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration) on , Climate policy strategist spoke on “Local conservation and a warming climate: what gives?”
2016 was a busy year Kicking off the year with a presentation on The Science of Climate Change and Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) publication, the Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan, 2016 included our first Electric Vehicle Expo in March with 110 attendees able to view residents showing their EVs and the Powershop Tesla and the Enviroshop Battery installation exhibit. Cr Andrew Munro attended and in his Report to Residents described it as the best event he had attended as a C of W Councillor.
In May Dr John Merory MB.BS.FRACP.M.Env. Sci., a lifelong environmentalist and member of Doctors for the Environment explained and demonstrated evidence of the rising heat on earth 1850-2016. He outlined how deadly the impact of heat is on increased deaths, more hospitalisations, more ambulance call-outs, etc. Describing the symptoms of heat stress and the impacts on our health, he then outlined what measures we can take to protect ourselves and our neighbours.
In June ECAM partnered with Lighter Footprints for the Federal Election Forum with close to 600 people buzzing at Box Hill Town Hall. After community presentations, comedian Rod Quantock mceed a panel of Peter Christoff (setting of the context for climate change as an international issue) with Josh Frydenberg MP (Libs), Senator Janet Rice (Greens) and Mark Butler (ALP) spoke briefly and took questions about their main climate change platforms. Break out groups with candidates from the electorates of Chisholm, Koonong and Deakin provided a good chance for people to question their candidates.
In September Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (EAGA) outlined the goals and actions of EAGA which is a formal collaboration of seven Councils in Melbourne’s east, working together on regional programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and facilitate regional adaptation. This was followed by Cr Andrew Munroe a City of Whitehorse councillor for Central Ward who brought us up to date with some of the things happening in Whitehorse.
In October ECAM had "Even More" to say about energy efficiency with member's presentations on implementing Beyond Zero Emissions's Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan in their own homes to tbe comfortable, save money and reduce emissions. Richard Keech, primary author of the BZE book “The Energy Freedom Home” then presented a case study of his own home where he has implemented the BZE plan very effectively. Over supper, Ecomaster, Enviroshop and BZE staffed stalls and provided advice on the practical implementation of energy saving strategies.
Finally ECAM topped off the year with a Sustainable Community Leadership Award from the City of Whitehorse and the Major and Coucillors sharing a celebratory supper and small talk with ECAM members.
2017 Solar and Batteries "What You Need to Know" led our year with over 200 attending a forum moderated by Rob Gell setting the challenge to reduce emissions before introducing renewable energy expert Pat Tale of Enviroshop on a refresher on how solar and batteris work and what to consider to best meet your own specific requirements. Bruce Mountain - Director Carbon and Energy Markets, discussed the cost/benefits of batteries both on scales from the individual home to commuity and grid scale, decarbonizing the grid and energy security. Stalls included Enviroshop, Gridedge, Ecomaster and Whitehorse Council, and the event was live streamed to Facebook to the waitlist that could not fit in the Waratah Room Whitehorse Centre.
In September inspiring environmental specialists Amanda McKenzie from the Climate Council and Kate Nicolazzo from Moreland Energy Foundation showed us how states and cities leaping ahead in implementing their own action to meet the Paris Agreement, and shared the practical action especially business and councils demonstrated, and the help available for residents to implement change at home.
Finally at our AGM Melanie Kerr Senior Waste and Sustainability Officer, City of Whitehorse gave a very information talk on “Whitehorse War on Waste”, outlining how Whitehorse disposes of its waste and giving many practical ideas as to how we can reduce and reuse, and the City's major review of waste issues.
2018 was another busy year Starting with the promoting the benefits Solar Savers, an initiative of Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action, a pioneering approach by Victorian Councils to support pensioner households to install solar with no upfront costs.
In May ECAM was delighted to support the 18th Mullum Mullum Festival, sponsoring Prof. David Karoly, Leader, CSIRO Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub, on where our forests are heading with climate change.
ECAM featured in the Whitehorse Sustainable Living Festival presenting on retrofitting your house to reduce emissions alongside Victorian Government promotion of the Energy Compare website to shop for energy retailers.
In August ECAM held another Electric Vehicle event "The What, Why and When guide" with EV journalist Byrce Gaton, national editor for ‘EV News’ and regularly writes on EV topics for ReNew magazine.
In September ECAM presented again on retrofitting your house to reduce emissions to Hungarian Seniors Citizens in East Burwood
Finally at our AGM, Paul Brown Managing Director of Ironbark Sustainability presented on “Energy Smart Cities” and the challenge of decarbonising all the activities across our local area and the initiative local energy groups can take to accellerate this change.
2019, our last public year
ECAM started the year with a bus tour to Wonthaggi Desalination Plant and Bald Hills Wind Farm Tarwin Lower, with a presentation and tour of the reverse osmosis plant to purify sea water and a tour of the wind farm to see massive wind turbines powering off the Bass Strait coast and learn how they operate.
In April ECAM combined with ACF Chisholm and EAFE (Eastern Action for Environment) to present the Federal Chisholm Deakin Election Forum, with a keynote presentation from Dr John Iser from Doctors for the Environment preceding a Q&A moderated by Tracee Hutchison of experts and candidates (noting Labor and Green candidates attended by Liberal candidates declined).
City of Whitehorse Sustainability and ECAM copresented Finn Peacock from “Solar Quotes” presenting his book "The Good Solar Guide or Demystifying Solar" in which he discusses the what, why and how of solar. Attendees also learnt about Solar Victoria's subsidies and were able to discuss options with a number of suppliers.
ECAM hosted a presentation of partner activisits, including Luke Taylor, Director of independent think tank the National Centre for Climate Restoration (Breakthrough), Adrian Whitehead of Councils and Community Action in the Climate Emergency (CACE) and Andrew McKernan of KNOXCAN Coalition of local environmental work groups in Knox.
Then COVID happened which means we had a couple of lockdown limited events in 2020, including a presentation from Ironbark Sustainability on science based targets for local government and local business, and a forum with Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action, Whitehorse and Maroondah Councils on local government action