President's Report January 2020

Photo on 19 1 20 at 2.20 pm 2For many of us the eerie image of families huddled on the beach under an orange sky at Mallacoota, sheltering from the fires, will remain the indelible memory that ushered in 2020. Despite Canberra’s shenanigans and climate policy vacuum, as Australia’s biggest bushfire crisis continues to unfold, the public response, both locally and internationally, has been remarkable with fund raising efforts for bushfire relief breaking records. Not that there is any silver lining to be found here. The forecast effects of climate change are happening as climate scientists have predicted for several decades, and the costs, recounted daily in the media, have been devastating: for the natural environment, for our unique and diverse native wildlife, for those whose homes and livelihoods have been lost, for public health, food security and water security, and for the families of those 28 individuals who have died in the fires. As many international media reports have noted, Australia is now at the forefront of climate change – but tragically not at the forefront of fighting it. A testing time for people power.

As an association dedicated to acting on climate change, promoting sustainability and reducing emissions, BREAZE will be looking to increase its impact this year and the Board is open to any suggestions members may have regarding how we might do this. 

In 2020 we will continue to network with other environmental and climate action groups across the greater Ballarat region in supporting initiatives that serve our mission.  We will also continue to support/auspice emerging groups whose purpose coincides with ours. 

Our two ongoing community information programs, Smart Living Ballarat and Green Drinks will continue in 2020. The schedule for the 2020 program for the Smart Living Ballarat lunchtime talks—held every third Wednesday of the month at the Eastwood Leisure Centre from 12:30 to 1:30—will be online shortly. Green Drinks will continue to be held on every second Wednesday of the month at the Lake View Hotel food from 6:30pm – for 7:30 pm start. Again, this year’s program will be available shortly on the BREAZE website. We will also continue our activities on World Environment Day and Sustainable House Day. 

In 2020, BREAZE involvement in expanding the uptake of renewable energy will be maintained via the DELWP-funded Community Power Hub, and via BREAZE’s Social Solar program, which is funded through the BREAZE Public Fund. Please be aware that if you want to donate to a good cause, the BREAZE Public Fund operates the One Dollar One Watt program, which allows you to make a donation that is tax deductible—and to help a not-for-profit organisation in the region transition to solar.   

An Invitation  

The Board invites BREAZE members to attend our monthly meetings as observers. Board meetings are held from 5:30 – 7:30 pm every third Monday of the month. In 2020, due to renovations at the Ballarat Central Library, we will be meeting at another venue, yet to be confirmed.  If you are planning to attend please email me –  — and I will confirm the venue.   We also welcome any ideas you might have about what we should be doing.  

This year promises to be a very challenging one for our environment. Thank you for being part of the BREAZE community and for supporting the fight against climate change.

All the best,

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Mary Debrett, President BREAZE Inc.