- Arts and Social Hub
- EcoHouse Project
- Family Activities
- Gio's Nest-box Forum
- Port Phillip Baykeeper
- Tawny Frogmouth sightings
- Affiliated Groups
Welcome to Port Phillip EcoCentre
Composting game changer at EcoCentre
13 May 2013
EcoCentre is the proud owner of a new ‘monster composter. And we’re expecting it to be a game changer.
This ‘monster composter’ will allow us to process larger-than-ever volumes of organic waste, from local traders who sign up to the City of Port Phillip’s Green Business Program. What’s more, the aim is to reduce the energy required to aerate our compost - even making it a fun thing to do! Churning the compost all happens at the turn of a wheel.
Self contained, slick and non-motorised, this is the first unit of its kind to be installed in a public setting in Australia. It’s cleverly repurposed from food grade storage bins which once housed, would you believe it, powdered milk. This 2 cubic metre unit has been custom designed and locally engineered and constructed.
And that’s something else we love about our new composter – it’s very much a local innovation.
The ‘brains’ behind the concept, Dane Morrissy, was inspired to provide specialist waste management solutions, after being involved in setting up the Dawkins Reserve neighbourhood composting project in Elwood.
Says Dane (pictured above left): ‘COPP and EcoCentre should be congratulated on taking a lead in adopting this innovative system’
Bird-spotting a winner
29 April 2013
Is it a Pied Cormorant? Or another feathered-friend out there?
Bird spotting was top of the agenda for a small crowd of 44 people who attended our wildlife walk at Elster Creek on 28 April. Two swans from Albert Park even swam in for the occasion.
The walk was led by EcoCentre Youth Wildlife Ambassador, Gio Fitzpatrick. Gio explained that the Elster Creek catchment accommodates a remarkable level of biodiversity for such a densely populated urban area, including migrating fish, waterfowl and birds that are rarely found in other parts of Port Phillip. Another flora and fauna walk will be held by Gio on 5 May, following a planting session alongside Elwood Canal, to help improve habitat. Click here for details.
Bay Care Day strikes the right chord
9 April 2013
Music, games, art and even a touch of drama (think the Litter Fairy stoushing with Captain Trash) were some of the vibrant advocacy tools that made our autumn Bay Care Day a colourful success.
Beach Patrol 3182, Transition Port Phillip, EarthCare St Kilda and the EcoCentre linked up on 9 April to spread the word about all the terrific, local, grassroots action they're involved in to protect our Bay.
And they all learned a thing or two about each other while they were at it - Eg, EcoCentre has just launched a kids' board game quiz about St Kildas iconic little penguins, with proceeds going to EarthCare to support their penguin monitoring and guiding activities.
See a photo gallery on our facebook site.
Pictured above: Bay Care Day volunteers wearing upcycled, single use plastic necklaces made by Patricia Acuna of Transition Port Phillip. Can you guess what they're made of?
Workshop in the Treetops at Melbourne Museum
15 March 2013
The Treetops conference room of Melbourne Museum was standing-room-only during our presentation at this week's Greening Australia Toolbox Conference. The energetic session, Boon Wurrung Stories of the Bay: Linking Story, Place and Action, featured sustainability teaching ideas from EcoCentre Educator April, storytelling by Aunty Carolyn Briggs, and a drama challenge directed by Mary "Jess" Jeyasingham of Mac.Rob Girls' High School. After completing Tomorrow's Leaders for Sustainability (TLfS) with the EcoCentre School Programs team, Jess became an EcoCentre volunteer. At her impressive conference debut yesterday, she encouraged teachers, students and government employees alike to embody characters from an Aboriginal story. (You haven't lived until you see a museum filled with grown-ups miming kangaroos, eagles, and the rising waters of Port Phillip Bay!)
Mac.Robertson Girls' High School has recently commenced the ResourceSmart Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative, with a new cohort of Year 9 and 10 Enviro Leaders enrolled in TLfS, following Jess's inspiring footsteps. We're thrilled to see what projects bubble up from this cohort - watch this space.
EV Festival a great success
24 February 2013
Picture: A member of the public receives instruction on an electric vehicle before going out on a test-drive.
The festival was well attended with over 150 test-drives enjoyed in the 4 Holden Volts, 3 Nissan Leafs and 3 Mitsubishi MIEVs. In addition, 10 people won rides in the Tesla Roadster and experienced its Ferrari-like acceleration.
Visitors also had the chance to experience a wide range of electric bikes of all shapes, colours and sizes. The presenters' talks were well attended and the 40 volunteers involved on the day did a marvellous job of achieving everrything that was hoped for.
EVs and climate change
Attend our EV Festival to hear short talks from speakers such as internationally recognised climate change expert, Professor David Karoly. Professor Karoly will be speaking on 'The world without petrol/diesel cars: Climate and the need for change'.
Visit the event website for the full speaker program.
Check out our facebook page for updates on the cars and bikes
you can test drive.
Electric Vehicle Festival for St Kilda
4 February 2013
The EcoCentre is pleased to announce the first electric vehicle (EV) festival in Australia at which the public will be able to test-drive EVs. The festival will be run on Sunday 24 February in St Kilda. The public will be offered the opportunity to test-drive either the new Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi MiEV or Holden Volt. Pre-Registration for a test-drive is required and booking opens next week. Experts will be on hand to answer questions and will present a variety of talks on issues such as EV range, renewable power for EVs, urban charging infrastructure, trends in cost of ownership of EV vs petrol/diesel and the EV technologies.
A variety of electric bikes will also be available for test-drives.
Elwood Primary - Rising Sustainable Stars!
Congratulations to Elwood Primary School who earned their first sustainability star in ResourceSmart Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative (AuSSI Vic)! This national accreditation framework guides schools in their journey towards 5Star Sustainability. The EcoCentre supported the whole school community including dedicated teachers, parents, and students, and was proudly supported by Elwood Community Bank.
EPS measured their EcoFootprint and created actions for water and energy savings, biodiversity and being waste wise. They considered sustainability in their curriculum, daily operations and community. Each week one standout environmental action by students was recognised with their coveted (100% recycled, student-designed) Golden Tree Award. Now Sustainability Victoria has rewarded the whole school for eco-savvy actions - check out the snazzy new sign next time you stroll down Scott Street! It's modelled here by the Year 6 Enviro Leaders, with their EcoCentre Facilitator April, Principal Rob Csoti and Sustainability Coordinator Lousia Dretzke. Next year: Waste Module focus!
Meet the family...
Meet the latest addition to the EcoCentre's burgeoning scarecrow family - fashioned at our recent weekend HoeDown. Name suggestions welcome via our facebook page, where you can also find photos of the day's activities. If only we'd had him/her in time to accompany us to
Ride to Work Day !.
Buy Nothing New - and get thanked for it
There's no better time to get savvy about consumer choices and environmental impacts than 'Buy Nothing New Month' - October. This Melbourne-born movement is dedicated to thinking about where all our new 'stuff' comes from (finite resources), how much waste all this new stuff we consume produces (from xmas wrapping to e-waste) and embracing rewarding alternatives such as swapping, buying 2nd hand, sharing and making or growing our own. EcoCentre is hopping on board with a 'Buy Nothing New' Xmas giftmaking workshop on 20 October. You'll use less, it'll cost you less, and you may even get praised more for coming up with a non-cloned gift!
Gardening with Kids debuts
The EcoCentre's regular Sunday gardening fun has branched out to include young 'uns.
'Gardening with kids' debuted mid September with bug-catching (children 5, slaters and slugs 0) and baking of fresh rosemary bread.
Our next family-themed, gardening session is scheduled for November.
Call for expressions of interest in PPUFFN Steering Group
Port Phillip Urban Food Network (PPUFFN) connects people throughout Port Phillip who want to grow, access, cook, save and share affordable fresh food. From edible balconies to food and garden swaps; from community kitchens to community gardens, PPUFFN represents a wide range of interests across the food spectrum.
The EcoCentre is looking for [further] individuals to sit on the PPUFFN Steering Committee and help guide the Network's priorities and focus over the coming 12 months.
If you're interested in community food initiatives and/or food security within the City of Port Phillip and would like to make a constructive contribution to the Network, please contact Paula Havelberg:9534 0670.
Strategic Plan released
2 September 2012
At the Annual General Meeting, the strategic plan for 2012-2015 was released.
The new committee for the upcoming year is:
- Pam O'Neil (President)
- Dr Lis Fenwick (Vice-President)
- Tony Flude (Secretary)
- Keith Badger (Treasurer)
- Anne Callaghan, Mark Karki, Steve Pennels, Nicky Petch-Baker & Elaine Wilkinson.
Presentation College Windsor joins program
27 July 2012
One of the more recent schools to join our programs, Presentation College (Windsor) students have published some news about their various sustainability program work with the EcoCentre. Makes great reading... Click here
Award for Neil Blake
27 July 2012
At an award dinner last night, EcoCentre Director Neil Blake was named the winner of the Dame Phyllis Frost 2012 Clean Beaches Award, by Keep Australia Beautiful (Victoria) and Sustainability Victoria. Congratulations, Neil.
Click here to go to the Sustainability Victoria 2012 Clean Beaches Awards page, for more details.
Mission accomplished! HRL funding pulled
27 July 2012
The campaign mentioned below has been successful: see EV's announcement below:
Congratulations! Today, we’ve had a major win in our campaign to Stop HRL – the proposed new coal-fired power station in Victoria >
This afternoon the Federal Energy and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson announced that the federal government is withdrawing their $100 million grant to HRL because the company has failed to meet the conditions of that money for the sixth time. You made this happen! Our legal challenge (that you funded and supported) against the EPA’s approval of HRL resulted in conditions on the power station that made it much more difficult for the company to find financiers for this highly polluting project – one of the key conditions of the federal government grant that HRL failed to meet. In addition to the legal challenge, tens of thousands of Australians have worked together to call on the federal government to withdraw this money for over a year. In February Environment Victoria and our friends at Greenpeace delivered to the Federal Government a petition of 13,000 hand-written signatures calling for the money to be withdrawn. Because of our campaign, Minister Ferguson announced in February that he would limit the extension of HRL’s grant money to a final six month period. But we weren’t giving up. When HRL’s final deadline passed on 30 June our supporters pulled together immediately to call on the Minister to withdraw the funding. And today, we won!
Share your support and thoughts on this outcome with thousand of others who’ve made this campaign what it was >
This decision is not just a nail in the coffin for this proposal, but for all proposed new coal-fired power stations across Australia. While HRL still need to confirm that the project will not proceed, it's very difficult to see how it will get off the ground without government support. It marks an end to the era of business-as-usual for coal projects in this country. Now, it’s time to get on with the clean energy revolution we’ve been waiting for. So thank you. To anyone who signed a petition, attended a rally, donated to this campaign, wrote a letter to a politician or talked to your friends about the problem with coal. Thank you for standing up for action on climate change, for clean energy and for our future. Without you, and tens of thousands more like you, we couldn’t have done this. There are many more battles to fight, and the wins will be just as hard to come by but this outcome is a testament to the fact that people power works, and that ordinary Australians standing up for what’s right can make a difference. Congratulations, well done, and thank you.
P.S. In coming weeks we’ll organising a massive party to celebrate this amazing outcome and thank you all for your support over the years. We hope you’ll join us, but in the meantime, we recommend a little bit of back-slapping and a drink this evening in honour of all that you’ve achieved.
Environment Victoria calls for help
11 July 2012
We commend this appeal from EV:
Together we’ve been campaigning for five years to Stop HRL – a proposed 600MW new coal-fired power station for Victoria – from going ahead. We’ve rallied and protested. We’ve organised over 12,000 people to hand-sign a petition against the proposal that was tabled in Parliament House, Canberra. We’ve even run one of the most significant environmental legal challenges ever mounted in Victoria. And the result? We’re at the final hurdle – now it’s decision time. HRL depends on government grants of $150 million to keep their project alive. But due to our campaign, the Energy Minister Martin Ferguson declared back in February that HRL’s grant money would be cancelled if they failed to meet the conditions of the grant by 30 June. The Minister promised that there would be no more extensions for this big polluter. Now, the deadline has passed.
Please, sign this petition to Energy Minister Martin Ferguson and other key government decision makers to tell them you want HRL’s funding cancelled immediately. Take action to help us Stop HRL once and for all >
Why is this important? HRL is struggling to get together the more than $1.3 billion they need to fund the project. The government funding is the bait they’re using to try and attract outside investors. Without that grant money, it’s almost impossible to see how HRL will get their finance, and therefore the project off the ground.
ERM extends project
28 June 2012
Global environmental consultancy, ERM, has extended its support for a program to inform secondary school students about environmental issues on an industrial scale. Scholarships will be offered to selected students to attend workshops at the EcoCentre at which ERM consultants will present on real world large-scale environmental issues and solutions. Students can return to their schools with new insight into career options as well as with ideas for leadership in their own school communities. The EcoCentre's Schools Education Coordinator, April Seymore, welcomed the announcement and said that schools would be delighted to have this opportunity again made available to their students. Funding is also included to extend the program for upper primary school students.
Bayside Schools visit EcoCentre
18 June 2012
We had a very successful waste audit workshop today with St Joseph's Black Rock, Stella Maris and Beaumaris Primary Schools. Students said some great things:
"I learned... the amount of time a straw takes to break down. Amazing!"
"I learned that healthy compost doesn't smell."
"I learned that polystyrene will probably never break down in landfill."
"I was really interested to learn about the grey water/black water organic system"
"I loved that we got to be with a mix of people from different schools. I really enjoyed it. Thanks!"
"I loved the layout. It was a very enjoyable time. Good way to learn. :)"
Students will implement the waste audit techniques that they learned here today at their respective schools.
Elwood Poetry Prize 2012
24 May 2012
If you like to write poetry or if you are "stirred" by the theme of water, then The Elwood Poetry Prize this year is for you. Closing date is 10 August. Prizes in several categories: see the attached entry form for details.
$100,000 for Marine Education Project
30 April 2012
The EPA today successfully prosecuted an oil spill with a court penalty of $100,000 being awarded for marine education. The EcoCentre's proposed project has been selected as the beneficiary. Other local environmental groups will provide some services as part of the award which will be managed by the EcoCentre. The groups include Rickett's Point Marine Care, Jawbone Marine Sanctuary Care Group, Earthcare St Kilda and the Boonwurrung Foundation. For the media release, please see attached.
"I Love Vegans" Festival shares the love
28-29 April 2012
An ad hoc group of passionate vegans approached the EcoCentre recently to run a festival to promote vegan concepts. The event was held over the weekend and was attended by an extimated 800 people. Vegans promote avoidance of meat, fish or products derived from animals, including dairy products, leather and so on. The lifestyle choice avoids emissions and land clearing from animal agriculture and thus vegans make a significant contribution to a more sustainable planet. And, as was shown this weekend, you can have fun too!
Strategic planning review
30 March 2012
The Ecocentre recently hosted a briefing on current needs and opportunities in the local community as part of informing the Board and staff. Held in the Council Chamber, speakers included Steve Cook, principal of Albert Park College, Jane Stewart of Landcare Australia, Sue Pennecuik MLC, David Spratt, author of Climate Code Red, Matt Wright, CEO of Beyond Zero Emissions and Katrina Reynard of the University of Melbourne. Attending were board members, staff and councillors and guests from adjoining councils, as well as EcoCentre partners.
Many thanks to the Melbourne Community Foundation (MCF) and the Hamer Family Trust who provided a grant to fund our website upgrade.
26 May 2013 - 9:00am
1 June 2013 - 11:30amPort Phillip EcoCentre
2 June 2013 - 9:00am
2 June 2013 - 10:30amAlma Road community garden, Te Arai Avenue, St Kilda East
5 June 2013 - 12:45pmMelbourne CBD- Corner of Bourke and Elizabeth Streets