Ian RossiterAugust has been a month of mixed emotions for BREAZE members. Delighted by the announcement last month by Victorian Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio of BREAZE’s funding to conduct the Ballarat Community Power Hub, we had a thought provoking inception meeting with stakeholders to plan our structure, governance arrangements and vision for this important regional project.

We were shocked and saddened by the news of the death of Rachel Browning, one of our former employees and committed volunteers.

We have been delighted with the level of interest and attendances at our Smart Living Ballarat Lunchtime Workshops with again in August attracting large crowds to John Ditchburn’s Backyard Food Gardens presentation.

Read more: President's August 2017 Message

Fight back against reforms to Environmental CharitiesThe Climate Council has written to all it's members, as we write to you, to encourage you to protest about the proposed reforms to Environmental Charities.

Can you help us fight back against the proposed reforms that will force environmental groups to spend 25% of their funding on remediation work by sending an email to your Local Member of Parliament?

The proposed reforms include mandating all groups like BREAZE, to spend 25-50% of their funds on direct environmental remediation, such as tree planting and weed control.

In the Ballarat area, groups like Landcare, and BEN, run this type of operation, and we are right in there supporting all that they do, but it is nonsensical to alter our charter to undertake tasks that we have no experience or expertise in, like environmental remediation, and clash or worse, compete with Landcare programs!

Read more: Reforms to Environmental Charities Issue

Rachel BrowningOn the 17th of August, some members of our BREAZE community heard the awful news that our friend Rachel Browning had died the day before.  We are in shock, and so, so sad.

BREAZE sends condolences to all Rachel's friends and family.

Rachel worked with BREAZE, as general and financial admin support when we were big enough to have an office. Everyone who worked with her was impressed by her work, her helpful nature and how warm, passionate, and incredibly patient she was.

When the office closed, and later when the family moved away from Ballarat for Tim's work, Rachel continued to support us as a volunteer, by helping with admin tasks, and the social media presence of the Farmer's market when it started up as the Smart Living Market. 

More details, and go-fund-me information below.

Read more: Vale Rachel Browning

1for1watt transCan you fill out a grant application for us?

BREAZE is looking for a volunteer (or two) to fill in a grant application. In particular, we want to apply to VicWest Telco for funds to advance our Social Housing project. Applications are now open and close on 31 October.

Members may not be aware but, over the last couple of years, BREAZE has applied for at least 20 grants of varying values and has been sufficiently successful that the grant writing team of Peter Reid and Jane Lean are now busy administering the project dollars. As a consequence of this success, more grant writers are needed. What Peter and Jane have found is that writing applications is a lot easier if a team does the work, although this is not essential. So if you are interested in helping out, BREAZE has a lot of material you can use to prepare the application, you just need to let us know by emailing .

Getting to know our volunteers –

Jack Craven - BREAZE volunteer Many of you are shoppers at the Ballarat Farmers Market and know about and listened to the range of musicians and buskers who perform on a Saturday morning by the lake. What you may not know is that it is Jack Craven, a local musician, who volunteers to co-ordinate and develop the schedule of great performers for all of us to enjoy.

Q&A by Tarn Kruger with Jack Craven

Read more: Getting to know - Jack

BUncle Bryan welcomes us all to Woorookarung with a smoking ceremonyREAZE members attended the naming ceremony for our new park - Woowookarung on Wednesday the 19th of July. 

Woowookarung means ‘Place of Plenty’ which highlights its importance to Wadawurrung for food, shelter, medicine and culture.

The Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Ms Lily D’Ambrosio also announced that Parks Victoria is commencing a wide-reaching community consultation which will guide the planning, design and management of Woowookarung.

Read more: Woowookarung

Getting to know our volunteers –

Jill Clarke Many of you would know Jill as she has been involved in many activities over the years for BREAZE and is the one of the team behind the website and facebook, and now runs the local food group as well.

Q&A by Tarn Kruger with Jill Clarke

Read more: Getting to know - Jill

Do you have a large collection of reusable shopping bags, but often still find your self at the shop without a bag?

Buninyong Boomerang BagsJune2017

For Plastic Free July, Buninyong Boomerang Bags want to gather up all of those forgotten and unused woven bags that we all seem to collect.

Donate your extra bags to Buninyong Boomerang Bags and you could be a winner!

All bags collected during the drive will be added to the bags that are already being offered out, free to use, to the Buninyong community.

Not in Buninyong? You could start your own Boomerang Bags for your area.

Read more: Donate Your Shopping Bags?

Getting to know our volunteers –

Megan Megan Williams has been volunteering with BREAZE for about five years. Megan is always keen to assist with planning and helping at workshops for Smart Living Ballart in the Library or spend time at the BREAZE Farmers’ Market Stall by Lake Wendouree.


Q&A by Tarn Kruger with Megan Williams


Read more: Getting to know - Megan