ECAM EVENTS AND SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENTS 2014 (Four events) March 2 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. 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. June 5 2014, Rooftop Solar, 140 attendees People love hearing about the benefits and practicalities of solar energy! Thus 140 came to hear solar installers demonstrate how effective solar power is, how much it can save them and how much it will cost, and what they need to consider to ensure a practical and efficient installation. A great supper ensured many stayed and chatted with various stall holders after the event. August 27 2014 ECAM awarded a Whitehorse Community Grant - 2014-2015 of $1000 August 14 2014, How to Cut Your Energy Bills Big Time 150 people turned out on a cold winter night to hear Hugh Venables presenting the BZE Housing Plan, Richard Keech, explaining how he has implemented all the plan’s recommendations on his own house and the great benefits gained, and Maurice Beinat Chief Technical Officer ecoMaster demonstrate the importance of "filling those gaps" to ensure heat stays in and cold stays out. Practical, inspirational and fun! September 30 2014, State Election Environment Forum Noted environmentalist Rob Gell moderated while the three candidates for Forest Hill presented their plans for action on climate change and took questions from the floor. 150 enthusiastic attendees were thus better informed about how to vote for climate action. Audience comments included “an inspirational night”, “excellent evening. Well organised, well attended and went like clockwork”, “the candidates will be well aware that the environment is of great importance to the Forest Hill electorate”, 2015 (Five Events) March 1 2015 Lakeside Walk and Talk Held at tranquil Blackburn Lake, about 35 people walked through the bush to the shore of the lake with ECAM members explaining the impacts of climate change and sharing ideas to mitigate its affect. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with comments such as “I was involved in climate change 20 years ago and have become very depressed about it all, but it is so good to see local people doing something about it. I will keep in touch.” “Really enjoyed it”. “Thanks so much for all that information”. May 13, 2015 Divestment Expo 250 people attended 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. 46% of those who attended returned evaluations rating the evening at 90%+ and 79% said they would take action in response to their new knowledge. “Brilliantly organised and run”. July 21 2015 ECAM awarded a Whitehorse Community Grant - 2015-2016 of $2000 August 29 2015 ECAM PLANNING FORUM ECAM members (12 attended) met to confirm the ECAM Description, Vision, Mission, and Purposes; Clarified and confirmed that our public/“our Patch” are local Individuals currently uninformed about climate issues, Local Government being City of Whitehorse (with Maroondah via EAGA and Transition Towns), and that ECAM would only work at the Federal and State government levels in conjunction with other larger climate groups. A comprehensive Plan and Calendar for 2016 were developed with purposes and actions outlined to achieve our aims. November 11 2015 ECAM Annual General Meeting and Guest Speaker At the AGM President Peter Moon summarised the year to date and the outcomes of the Planning Forum. Cr Bill Bennett addressed the audience congratulating ECAM for their community work in climate action and reassured us that history will show we are on “high moral ground” in doing so. Outlining his own long history in environmental awareness and action, he spoke to some of the Whitehorse Council’s current activities, took questions and outlined some ideas as to how to work with council staff and councillors to inform them of our concerns and activities. November 22 2015 Mullum Mullum Festival ECAM cosponsored one of the activities at the Mullum Mullum Festival at Currawong Bush Park where David Spratt, Climate policy strategist spoke on “Local conservation and a warming climate: what gives?” November 27 2015 Peoples Climate March ECAM members marched with the new ECAM banner to support one of the largest climate rallies held in Melbourne. 2016 (Seven events) February 12th 2016 Open Committee Meeting ECAM members Terry Roberts and Hugh Venables presented their presentations on The Science of Climate Change and Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) publication, the Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan. March 9 2016 Electric/Hybrid Vehicle Expo 110 people attended this Car Show with ten exhibitors, all of whom were eastern suburb residents or businesses, except for the Powershop Tesla and the Enviroshop Battery installation exhibit, demonstrating and talking with attendees about the benefits of their electric or hybrid vehicles in the car park abutting the FNCV Hall. All then moved into the hall where the owners gave a short presentation and answered questions. Feedback was extremely positive, noting it was a well organised and informative event, that the short, to the point, presentations was a very effective way to get key info across, and it was great to see such interest in EVs. 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. April 13 2016 ECAM awarded the 2016 Whitehorse Sustainable Community Leadership Award in recognition of ECAM’s achievements in sustainability. May 11 2016 Open Meeting with Dr John Merory 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. 55 people attended with positive appreciative feedback. June 16 2016 Combined ECAM Lighter Footprints Federal Election Forum Box Hill Town Hall buzzed with close to 600 people – a strong demonstration of just how seriously the community takes the need for serious action on climate change. A Lighter Footprints video started the night and was both a bit of fun and a serious reflection on the damage to the reef as “the canary in the coal mine”. The Boroondara Young Citizen of the Year Kathleen Hanson spoke about youth concerns for the environment. A panel managed by Rod Quantock 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. September 14th 2016 Local Climate Action in the Eastern Suburbs and in particular Whitehorse. Scott McKenry, the Regional Coordinator - 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. 35 attendees. October 13th 2016 How to cut your energy bills – Even More! Forty five attendees heard Hugh Venables and Richard Keech share their expertise and experience on how to save money on energy bills, reduce emissions and make our homes more comfortable. In his home efficiency presentation Hugh outlined the steps to take in our homes as detailed in the Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) publication, the Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan. Richard, the 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. November 30 2016 Annual General Meeting Meeting at the Field Naturalist’s Club Vic, 28 people heard the outgoing president Peter Moon report on the busy year of ECAM events and that ECAM was awarded the City of Whitehorse 2016 Sustainable Community Leadership Award He thanking the City of Whitehorse for their support. ECAM currently has 50 paid up members, with 400+ on the ECAM News email list and 292 facebook likes both of which continue to grow steadily and have worked with many like-minded organisations. Peter thanked the committee and all the volunteers who assisted with letterboxing and at the events for their hard work and for the community for supporting the work of ECAM. Committee Members for 2017 were elected and all present including Mayor, Cr Denise Massoud and Councillor Bill Bennett enjoyed a celebratory supper. 2017 (3 events) April 5th 2017 Solar and Batteries – What You Need to Know A very successful event with 200 plus attendees at the Waratah Room Whitehorse Centre. Moderator Rob Gell set the current environmental context and the need to reduce emissions before introducing renewable energy expert Pat Tale Sustainability Consultant - Enviroshop who gave a refresher on how solar works and outlined the various types of batteries available and what one needs to consider to best meet specific requirements. Bruce Mountain Director, Carbon and Energy Markets, an economist then discussed the ecomomics and cost/benefits of batteries both on an individual home scale and how batteries will impact the bigger picture of decarbonizing the grid and energy security. Questions from the floor were lively and well addressed by the panel. Attendees also perused stalls by Enviroshop, Gridedge, Ecomaster and Whitehorse Council. Bendigo Bank sponsored the event to the tune of $1000 and Mayor, Cr Denise Massoud, Councillor Bill Bennett and Robert Clark MLA attended. The event was live streamed to Facebook so the over 60 people on the waitlist who could not fit in were able to view the event as it was happening or later as a podcast. September 14th 2017 CAN RENEWABLES CUT POWER BILLS - AND SAVE THE PLANET? An audience of approximately 75 people was privileged to hear from two inspiring environmental specialists in Amanda McKenzie from the Climate Council and Kate Nicolazzo from Moreland Energy Foundation. While reiterating the need for the world to act fast on climate change, Amanda gave us encouragement and hope that we can address the challenges we face and that there are states and cities leaping ahead in implementing their own action on climate change to meet the Paris Agreement. Kate’s enthusiastic sharing of all the practical action that is being achieved especially with business and councils demonstrated that help is available for each of us to implement our own measures to access renewables, reduce carbon and save on costs. An inspiring night. The event was live streamed to ECAM Facebook. November 29th 2017 AGM AND WHITEHORSE WAR ON WASTE Approximately 35 people attended heard President Kathy Leitch speak to her report saying it was heartening to say that ECAM was as strong as ever helped along by the City of Whitehorse Grant of $1500, printing and Sustainable News advertising. Paid up membership is now 50 and email list is 410. Kathy thanked the committee and many other volunteers who have enabled ECAM to conduct two very successful public forums: “Solar and Batteries” with a wait list of 80 and “Will Renewables Cut Power Bills and Save the Planet” both with wonderful speakers providing us with hope for the future. Kathy particularly thanked Pam French, a founding member of ECAM who is stepping down from the committee. Next year ECAM will aim to run five bi monthly events starting in March including an awareness of the State Election late next year and continuing to address our call for a “Safe Climate Now”. A committee of nine was re-elected and others present were encouraged to join the committee next year. After the AGM, Melanie Kerr Senior Waste and Sustainability Officer, City of Whitehorse gave a very information talk on “Whitehorse War on Waste”, outlining the composition of waste collected (35% of which is food wastage), how Whitehorse disposes of its waste and giving many practical ideas as to how we can reduce and reuse, etc. Whitehorse will be conducting a major review of all waste issues in 2018. An End of Year Supper Celebration followed. 2018 (6 events) March 7th 2018 Solar Savers Information Night Speaker Karl Barnett outlined the terrific benefits available for relevant pensioners, of the Solar Savers program, an initiative of Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action, and sponsored by City of Whitehorse. Many of the 70 attendees were new to ECAM. Solar Savers is a pioneering approach by Victorian Councils to support pensioner households to install solar with no upfront costs. May 6th 18th Mullum Mullum Festival ECAM was delighted to support the 18th Mullum Mullum Festival held over the weekends of Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 April and Saturday 5 & Sunday 6 May 2018. In particular ECAM sponsored the talk on Saturday 5th May by Prof. David Karoly, Leader, Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub, National Environmental Science Program, CSIRO, about Climate change and the Mullum Mullum: where are we now and where are we heading? A copy of David’s power point presentation including very interesting (and scary) graphs is available at https://mullummullumfestival.org.au/. Approximately 30-40 people attended this presentation and ECAM provided afternoon tea for participants at Currawong Bush Park conference centre on the Saturday and Sunday June 6th City of Whitehorse Sustainable Living Festival. ECAM Committee member Hugh Venables, as one of the key speakers on the night, delivered the BZE Talk on retrofitting your house to reduce emissions. Approx 90 attended and Hugh’s talk was very well received (best on night!). A Vic Government speaker explained the website Energy Compare and as it does not address whether energy companies get their energy from renewables or not, ECAM will write to the government about this. ECAM had a stall at which a Letter to the State Govt and Opposition re Home Mandatory Energy rating was available: Signed and posted were 14 letters to Minister Friedenburg, 11 to State opp leader Matthew Guy, 14 to State Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio. AUGUST 9th Is it time to buy an electric car? The What, Why and When guide Byrce Gaton has been working in the EV sector for 10 years building and maintaining converted EVs, and is national editor for ‘EV News’ and regularly writes on EV topics for ReNew magazine. He shared lots of information about EVs that are on the market, what's right for each budget and what will hopefully be available soon in Australia. There was a great turnup - 47 attendees plus 7 committee members and the interest of those attending was well and truly on display as evidenced by their 45 minutes of questions! Sept 26th Hungarian Seniors Citizens East Burwood Hugh Venables gave the BZE Talk on retrofitting your house to reduce emissions. November 29th AGM and Guest Speaker Paul Brown Paul Brown Managing Director of Ironbark Sustainability who gave a very information talk on “Energy Smart Cities”. 30 people attended. Paul discussed: Transport (today’s teenagers will be the last generation to drive, by 2040 100% automation, flying cars/taxis by 2050 so planning and regulation required for parking etc). Energy (Renewables now in North East Victoria so impact on location of generators/transmission, plausible that by 2050 no brown or black coal, massive increase in solar and batteries, cost of energy esp cars will decrease) Smart City data (for example smart city lighting sensors, communication systems, improved software enable councils to measure change, manage assets, reduce costs and plan better in real time but also has huge co-benefits for safety, etc). There thus needs to be a collaborative approach by the State, local government and the community to address policy issues such as priorities, privacy issues and how to balance the benefits and risks. Paul suggests ECAM and the community are best equipped to advocate for and promote change eg solar bulk buys, etc. 2019 (5 events) February 21st 2019 Bus tour To Wonthaggi Desalination Plant and Bald Hills Wind Farm Tarwin Lower A full bus of around 54 people visited the Wonthaggi Desal Plant and Bald Hills Wind farm. First up was a tour of the Desal Plant with an accessible but very informative presentation explaining how the plant purifies the sea water using reverse osmosis and then pumps it through to Melbourne’s water storage system. Then off to the wind farm to see massive wind turbines powering off the Bass Strait coast and learn how they operate. “Fascinating!” and “So interesting!” were common responses to the day. April 8th 2019 Federal Chisholm Deakin Election Forum ECAM combined with ACF Chisholm and EAFE (Eastern Action for Environment) to present this forum at Box Hill Town Hall that attracted approximately 400 people. Keynote speaker Dr John Iser from Doctors for the Environment outlined why this climate emergency needs to be tackled and Tracee Hutchison moderated the presentations and questions from the floor. While invited, the Liberal candidates for both electorates declined to attend but Labor candidates Jennifer Wang and Shireen Morris and Greens Luke Arthur and Sophia Sun gave good outlines of their party’s policies to an enthusiastic response. June 5th The Good Solar Guide or Demystifying Solar City of Whitehorse Sustainability invited ECAM to join with them in presenting this public forum. Speaker Finn Peacock from “Solar Quotes” discussed the what, why and how of solar and a Victorian Government representative outlined the state government’s new solar and battery subsidization programs. 200-300 people attended and were able to discuss options and quotes with a number of suppliers. ECAM Committee member Peter Rickards’ introduction made the climate change link and ECAM welcomed participants along with Council staff. 50+ people joined the ECAM News list. August 14th 2019 What some other climate groups are doing Three speakers advised the 30 people attending of their current actions and a lively discussion followed about how the groups could support each other. The National Centre for Climate Restoration (Breakthrough) an independent think tank that develops critical thought leadership to influence the climate debate and policy making. Luke Taylor (director) played and discussed the film “Home Front - Facing Australia's Climate Emergency Part 1 and called for feedback. See survey link: bit.ly/HomeFrontSecurity. Episode 2 in production for mid 2020. See https://www.breakthroughonline.org.au/. Councils and Community Action in the Climate Emergency (CACE) Adrian Whitehead outlined action to take with Councils to declare a climate emergency. For information and resources see: www.caceonline.org and https://www.cedamia.orgKNOXCAN Coalition of local environmental work groups in Knox. Andrew McKernan advised re their planned action. Have spoken to some councillors but limited support re Climate Emergency. They are launching a petition at an 11th September event where they will show the Homefront film and launch paper petitions (18yrs+, Under 18yrs and Groups) aiming for 10,000+ signatures, to be presented to Council at the end October. November 20th 2019 Annual General Meeting A small (11) but supportive group attended the AGM held at Blackburn Hotel. Outgoing president Kathy Leitch reported that ECAM had another successful year leading and collaborating with other organisations six well attended events, reaching approximately 800 attendees. A number of committee members most of whom are founding members of ECAM are taking a break and a new committee of six was voted in. Andrew McKernan has indicated he is prepared to take on a one year term as President with a goal of building membership and setting a new direction for ECAM. This could include ECAM being a coordinating body of volunteer organisations to mirror Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (EAGA) and to support their actions and proposals at local government level.