Geelong Sustainability’s vision is for a world in which people everywhere can enjoy happy, healthy lives within the natural limits of the planet and in harmonious co-existence with wildlife and wilderness: ‘We believe our consumerist society is undermining the planet’s ability to regenerate itself and exacerbating local and global inequalities.’
President Vicki Perrett’s mantra is that ‘less is more’ and she wants us to ‘be makers and doers not buyers and observers.’ Geelong born and bred, Vicki, joined the group in 2010.
‘I studied Textile Science at the Gordon Institute in the ‘70s, which led me to an abundance of interesting roles. I had a 3 year stint in the UK where I was a Textile Technologist for Marks & Spencers. [I was fortunate to tour textile and clothing factories all over Europe.] After returning to Australia my roles includes Garment Quality Manager at Yakka and Education Manager for the Migration Institute of Australia. This diverse mix of skills and experience has provided a sound foundation for the move into community work.
‘My husband and I made a sea-change to Indented Head in 2008. We know how lucky we are to live in such a special location, just across the road from the beach. We also understand the responsibility our generation has towards protecting not only the foreshore but all of our natural environment. As an alternative to retirement I find myself working almost full time as a volunteer for Geelong Sustainability.
‘Geelong Sustainability will celebrate its 10th birthday this year. Our group organises events and campaigns and seeks grant funding for projects. Our biggest and most popular event is Sustainable House Day but we also run a monthly Green Drinks networking event plus arrange seminars, other activities and excursions. In 2014 we adopted the One Planet Living principles, the same year as COGG. Our focus is to network and work collaboratively with other groups and authorities.
‘A key project is the Sustainability Directory, now in its second edition. It was a huge labour of love but everyone who picks up a copy can see its value to our region.
‘Another unexpected highlight of my work for Geelong Sustainability was when Ms Gayle Tierney, MP, Member for Western Victoria in the Legislative Council made a member statement in Parliament on 27th Oct about our hard work coordinating Sustainable House Day for our region
‘In April 2015 Geelong Sustainability in partnership with The People’s Solar launched the first ever community renewables crowd-funding campaign in Geelong – to put solar panels on the roof of South Geelong Primary School. Bendigo Bank contributed to the effort with a donation of $5,000 from the Geelong Connected Communities grant program. In total, $12,000 was successfully raised and a 9.25KW solar PV system was installed in May 2016. The school is delighted with the outcome and is ploughing savings into green programs like bike sheds and a kitchen garden!
‘Earlier last year, we were successful in receiving our first State Government grant through the New Energy Jobs Fund to conduct a scoping study for the CORE (community owned renewable energy) Geelong business case.
‘www.facebook.com/geelongsustainability/ Looking forward, we are also keen to input innovative ideas to the Our Future visioning process being run by Council presently. We no longer wait for people to come to us, we are keen to go where people are and connect with our community.’
Photo: Directory launch, Andy, Sam, Dan, Vicki.