BREAZE AGM and President's Report

Ian RossiterDon't forget BREAZE 2016 AGM
7:00pm Monday 21st Novemeber
at the Ballarat Library

Its been an active year for BREAZE.   Please read the President's report below for all the Summary of our major activities and achievements during 2016.

 BREAZE 2016 Annual General Meeting

President’s Report

1. Board membership

The BREAZE Board appointed at the 2015 Annual General Meeting comprises:

  • Ian Rossiter President
  • Tarn Kruger Vice President
  • Paul Duggan Secretary
  • Peter Reid Treasurer
  • Celeste Hevey
  • Rene de Jong
  • Richard Purdy
  • Joe Boin
  • Simon Reid

The board meet monthly on the third Monday of each month and has worked cooperatively to address issues, respond to opportunities and coordinate activities and projects. All board members have been rostered to assist in the operation of the Ballarat Farmers Markets as well as assuming other roles and responsibilities. I would like to acknowledge the individual roles that these members have played throughout the last 12 months.

Tarn Kruger, despite suffering significant injuries early in 2016, has deputised for me when I have been unable to chair meetings or represent BREAZE at meetings and forums. Tarn has also assisted in the management of the Ballarat Farmers Markets and taken an interest in recruitment and engagement of members and volunteers.

Paul Duggan has taken a lead role in the review and relaunch of BREAZE’s website and been a regular volunteer at the Smart Living Ballarat program at the Library.

Peter Reid has played a pivotal role in ensuring BREAZE’s compliance with relevant legislation and regulations, project managed the Social Solar by BREAZE project, participated in the BREAZE Public Fund Committee and greatly assisted in the management of the Ballarat Farmers Markets.

Celeste Hevey coordinated BREAZE’s involvement in the National Sustainable House Day program and certainly cemented this as an essential activity for BREAZE to continue in 2017.

Rene de Jong has assisted in the management of Ballarat Farmers Markets and ensured a presence at Ballarat Green Drinks.

Richard Purdy has provided information technology support to BREAZE and has coordinated our memberships with the valued assistance of volunteer Ruth Bentley.

Joe Boin has been an important link with Ballarat Climate Action Group and has been the Smart Living Ballarat Program Convenor. Through these roles Joe has been instrumental in the success of our Smart Living Expo Stand, World Environment Day Activities, Sustainable House Day and Evening Seminar at Federation University on Solar Electricity and batteries. Joe was a founding Board member of BREAZE and will be unavailable to serve on the Board for 2017. I would like to acknowledge Joe’s considerable passion and efforts in promoting and influencing action on climate change in our communities.

Simon Reid has worked tirelessly in his role as Director of BREAZE Energy Solutions and provided great insight and assistance to the board on technical and regulatory matters relating to investment, installation and operation of renewable energy systems. Simon’s PV and Batteries Presentations at Federation University and Ballarat Central Library attracted significant audiences and have promoted much discussion and interest amongst members.

2. Major Activities and Achievements

2016 08 batteries presentation

(photos from the successful "Adding Batteries" presentation)

During the past 12 months BREAZE has delivered the following events, programs and projects:

  • Ballarat Climate March 27 November 2015 – the largest number of attendees at a Ballarat climate change action rally.
  • Sustainable Living Expo – Buninyong February 2016 – BREAZE provided the “Ask the Experts” stand with a range of experts on sustainable housing.
  • World Environment Day 5th June Energy Efficiency in the Home Workshop
  • Adding Batteries to Solar PV Systems Presentation August 10 at Federation University
  • Sustainable House Day 11 September – Presentations at Ballarat Library and 7 homes opened within our region.
  • Ballarat Farmers Market conducted on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month at Lake Wendouree
  • Smart Living Ballarat Program at Ballarat Central Library with volunteers present at the information kiosk 4 days a week.
  • Social for Solar Project completed in October raising sufficient funds to install a 30kW PV System at Ballarat Regional Industries, which in turn will return a modest income stream to BREAZE and savings on power bills will allow BRI to employ more people with disabilities.

3. Financial Position

As detailed in Treasurer’s Report, we have finished the 2015/16 financial year in a much stronger position and now have for the coming year assured income from the Ballarat Farmers Market and our contribution from the City of Ballarat for BREAZE’s community engagement program. This allows any contributions from the Ballarat Regional Industries Social Solar project to be directed to the Public Fund which can then be used as seed funding for other community renewable energy projects.

4. Relationship with BREAZE Energy Solutions

During the 2015/16 financial year the BREAZE Board negotiated with the sole director of BREAZE Enterprises (BREAZE Energy Solutions) the sale of BREAZE’s majority shareholding back to BREAZE Enterprises, meaning that the sole director (Simon Read) has become the majority shareholder and can therefore manage the business without the need to report and seek approval for major financial decisions. In doing so, the BREAZE Board has registered the BREAZE name and logo as a trademark and entered into an agreement allowing BREAZE Enterprises to use the logo and brand name under conditions that the products and services provided are consistent with BREAZE’s purposes.

5. Acknowledging our Volunteers and Supporters

BREAZE would not be able to function without the considerable effort provided by our many volunteers and supporters. I would like to thank all volunteers who have assisted us in delivery of the events and project previously mentioned and the ongoing operation of the Smart Living Ballarat and Ballarat Farmers Market programs. The following have provided specialist support to BREAZE over the last year:

  • Ruth Bentley – Membership management
  • Jill Clarke – Web and Information Technology Services
  • Mel Stanger – Graphic Design Services
  • Peter Lambert – Graphic Design Services
  • Dean Cinque – Honorary Solicitor – Legal services
  • Jane Lean – Chair of BREAZE Public Fund Committee and Social Solar at BREAZE Project
  • Kerrin Renshaw – Public Fund Committee – Financial Audit advice
  • Steve Burns – In his capacity as Market Manager, Steve has volunteered significant time over and above his allowed hours in contract payments.
  • Peter Wilson of Nevett Ford Lawyers – Legal Services
  • Chris Murphy AC Accounting – Financial Advice
  • Bank Australia Ballarat Branch has formalised its Affinity Program with BREAZE meaning BREAZE receive a donation when members take out housing loans.

6. Challenges for the Coming Year

While the organisation has achieved so much in the last 12 months and is well positioned to continue to deliver a range of events, projects and programs in 2017, our biggest challenge is to activate our members to share the workload, as like many organisations, we want our Board members and volunteers to not feel overwhelmed with workloads and responsibilities. A major focus for the Board in the next few months will be the recruitment of new members and volunteers so that we can be confident that we can continue to deliver these important activities that ensure the Ballarat Region transitions to a carbon neutral future and is equipped to deal with the challenges that climate change raises for our communities. While we are all busy delivering projects, programs and activities, we need to focus on servicing our members in 2017.

AS we approach the end of 2016, I wish all our members, volunteers and supporters a safe and rewarding festive season and look forward to achieving positive outcomes for our community, environment and economy in the coming year.

Ian Rossiter

18 November 2016