President’s Report September 2022

MDClimate change news this past month has been dominated by extreme weather across Europe, the US and beyond. In Pakistan more than a third of the country is under water, with the flash flooding – described by UN Chief Guterres, as 'the monsoon on steroids' – drowning two provinces with more than four times the average rainfall of the last three decades. With 33 million people affected, over 1300 deaths and damage estimated at $10 billion, in a country responsible for less than 1% of global emissions, these floods are emblematic of the global injustice of climate change – as well as evidence of its catastrophic impact. Both reasons we need immediate and radical climate action across all jurisdictions.

'Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s climate change minister, said towns had become “oceans and rivers” but, due to climate heating, she expected the country to go straight into a drought in upcoming weeks. “We are on the front of unfolding climate catastrophe.” The Guardian, 31 August 2022

On the local level, public consultation on the Draft Zero Emissions Ballarat (ZEB) 2030 Plan closed on 28 August. A member of the Steering Group consulted on the Plan during 2021-2022 BREAZE understands that submissions made via the recent MySay Ballarat process will be summarised in the Sustainability Officer's response, when the final Plan is reported to Council for adoption in October 2022. Of course a Plan is only as good as its implementation and we hope members will engage in that process, to demonstrate to Council that the community supports the 2030 Net Zero target. BREAZE hopes to see Council initiatives including solar and heat pump bulk buys, energy audits, and assistance to low income households with energy efficient retro-fits, along with substantial ongoing promotion of the Plan across all sectors of the community. We will publish a link to the Final Plan once it becomes available.


Smart Living Ballarat

The next upcoming talk for September is 'Growing vegetables successfully: Hints on planting and protecting vegetables,' by John Ditchburn. Best known locally as Ditchy, John draws on over thirty years' experience of growing vegetables in Ballarat. Areas the talk will cover include: How soil temperature affects seed germination, what vegetables are best planted as seeds and what as seedlings, soil preparation for different types of veggies, the importance of soil PH, and protecting your vegetables using The Three D’s staged approach to pest control. Come along and get set up to plant your Spring and Summer veggies right!

This event will be presented via Zoom and streamed live onto the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page. A recording of the event will be available on the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page instantly after the event.
To join live and be able to participate in the Q+A, please register for the Zoom presentation here:

In November and December Smart Living Ballarat will shift into face-to-face mode with some practical workshops:

    • 16 NovemberKombucha & Ferments- presenter tbc
    • 21 DecemberMake your own cleaning & beauty products - personal gifts- presenter tbc

Host, Ellen Burns would like volunteers to help with set up etc. If this is something you would like to volunteer for please get in touch - email  

Register here via SLB Facebook  If you miss it, you can still catch it on the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page

Ballarat Green Drinks

On 15 September, Campbell Mercer, owner/manager of Mannahill Estate, an organic olive grove in Mt Edgerton, will talk on Regenerative Agriculture. Campbell, who is a passionate advocate of regenerative farming, will talk about: the impact of agriculture on climate change, the impact of climate change on agriculture, what farmers can do about this, and what individuals can do to help.

Campbell's talk will begin at 7:00pm  but we suggest you arrive at 6:30pm or earlier to grab a drink and bite to eat and join us for dinner. Campbell will talk for about 30 minutes leaving another 30 minutes for Q&A, finishing at 8pm.

The next talks scheduled for Ballarat Green Drinks in 2022 are: 

  • Thursday 20 October: Bob Hartman - Friends of the Canadian Corridor is 10! What we've done and what we are doing 
  • Thursday 17 November- Matthew Turner (Domain Architecture) Our Homes for our Future: Functional, Affordable, Desirable! Shifting mindsets in what we want as a home.

Last month, our August speaker was former BREAZE president, Ian Rossiter whose talk 'Getting off Gas' detailing his home energy efficiency retro-fit was a well-attended event prompting a lively discussion with some interesting contributions and tips shared amongst the audience. Ian's excellent presentation is now available as a downloadable PDF on the BREAZE website. 


Environmentally Sustainable Design Forum

Board members Sally Missing, Pat Hockey and Sue Broadway are continuing with planning for a forum on Environmentally Sustainable Design to be held in October, with ESD workshops for the public to follow in November. Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for updates.

Caring for Nature Expo

BREAZE Board members, Sue Broadway and Sue Nunn will be participating in this Expo on Sunday 11 September 10am to 3pm, Earth Ed Centre 59 Olympic Avenue Mt Clear, Ballarat. Come along and talk to us and find out more about our activities ­– and those of Ballarat's other environmental groups.  

The Caring for Nature Expo is showcasing a range of environmental organisations and initiatives from the Central Highlands region and beyond. Situated beside the beautiful Woowookarung Regional Park on the edge of Ballarat, the Expo is an opportunity to explore new possibilities for nature careers, volunteering, or caring for nature in your own backyard.The Expo will feature stalls and displays, hands-on activities and a range of presentations throughout the day. 

From Garden to Kitchen

On 27 August BREAZE participated in 'From Garden to Kitchen', at  Ballarat Central Library, presenting a 'lightening talk' along with other local environmental groups - Gardens for Wildlife, Food is Free Laneway, Hidden Orchard and CoB Sustainability officers, Tan Ching Tiong and Heath Steward - offering information about living sustainably.

Board Meetings

If you like what we do and think you might like to join in some of our projects, whether for advocacy or practical action or have perhaps have ideas about how you can help BREAZE achieve its mission, please note BREAZE members are welcome to attend monthly Board meetings. Any member interested in attending should email me – 

All the best


Dr Mary Debrett
President, July 2022