This month we held our national annual meeting of local & affiliate groups and campaigners on beautiful Darug country in NSW, where we cross-pollinated ideas and developed our capacity for national solidarity in our interlinked efforts for environmental and social justice.
I feel rejuvenated by this shared time and proud to share with you a snapshot of just some of the happenings in the FoE Australia network this month.
If you want to become more involved in this ever-strengthening network, get in touch with your local group or create one in your area! To find out how, drop me a line or get in touch through our website.
REPOWER HEALTH LAUNCH
Saturday 27th of October saw the launch party for Repower Health, an exciting new project from Healthy Futures, the E-NGO for health practitioners who want to take action on climate, on health grounds.
Repower Health will promote the installation of renewable energy, particularly solar, across Australia's health services by campaigning with health practitioners and facilitating industry connections. The launch took place at FAD Gallery, an art space and bar in Melbourne's Chinatown. With a good crowd in attendance, the inauguration was celebrated with live music from Elijah Augustine, food, drink, and plenty of good cheer. A number of special guests from across the health and renewable energy worlds spoke, including MC Dr Margie Beavis from the Medical Asssociation for the Prevention of War; Craig McGregor from VAHPA; Libby Muir of Global Green Healthy Hospitals; GP Dr Malcolm McKelvie of the Baw Baw Sustainability Council and Isaac Harrison, CEO of Bunjil Health. Repower Health's Director Alex Bhathal, who also spoke on the night, said "our sector has led the way on tobacco and now it’s time for us to do the same with coal and gas”.
Repower Health is the latest project of Healthy Futures, an affiliate of Friends of the Earth Australia. Doctors Kate Lardner and Harry Jennens founded the organisation in 2015. Dr Lardner said "There was a real sense of energy in the room. It was inspiring to see the great turnout of health professionals, all keen to know how they can help with the Repower project." You can see what Healthy Futures and Repower Health are up to on their website and Facebook pages:
PLEASE MAKE A SUBMISSION OPPOSING SA NUCLEAR WASTE DUMPING
Please send in a submission to the federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science opposing the plan to establish a nuclear waste dump in SA.
This submission process is important ‒ the government will use it to claim 'broad community support' for the dump if it does not receive lots of opposing submissions.
Please write your own submission or simply add you name to the submission drafted by the SA Conservation Council ‒ it will only take a minute of your time!
Follow this link: www.conservationsa.org.au/ballot
#transformwaste campaign (formerly Waste & Consumption) is gaining momentum, and would love your participation.
Did you know that an average Australian’s landfill bin is 36-50% organic material? And that food scraps rot in landfill, producing methane? And that methane amounts to 23% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions? We need action to arrest this problem, and you can help.
We’re seeking people all over Australia to engage their local councils about taking on organics recycling. You can find out everything you need to know at https://www.melbournefoe.org.au/waste_and_consumption.
FoEA Climate Frontlines has begun a process of lobbying the relevant MPs and Senators in the Federal Government to advocate for Australia to sign on to the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, due to be agreed by member states in Morocco in December. The Pacific Island governments and civil society organisations lobbied hard to get forced migration due to climate change into the compact, and Climate Frontlines was involved in some of the initial lobbying. More information about our advocacy strategy will be available soon.
On Tuesday 6 November Climate Frontlines hosted a public seminar with Prof Patrick Nunn, geographer at the University of the Sunshine Coast, at the Centre for Interfaith and Cultural Dialogue at Griffith University Nathan Campus, Brisbane. The topic of Prof Nunn's presentation was "Climate Change and Faith in the Pacific Islands". Prof Nunn featured as the scientist in the very first feature film on climate change in the Pacific Islands, "Rising Waters: Global Warming and the Fate of the Pacific Islands", produced in the late 1990's by Andrea Torrice (FoE Brisbane held several screenings of this film in Brisbane from 2005). He has been involved in researching this issue for more than 20 years, much of that time based at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, and has contributed to several IPCC reports.
The crux of the seminar was an illustration of how working with local communities in the Pacific on climate change mitigation and adaptation was essentially ineffective if it did not take into account the traditional spiritual and faith-based understandings that form the basis of people's lives. He pointed out the difficulty of communicating this challenge to most outside aid agencies, and as well opened up the drawbacks of fundamentalist Christian beliefs when effective long term action was required.
Among the participants at the seminar were Senator Claire Moore, Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Queensland Police Commissioner and a staff member of the Queensland office of the federal Department of Home Affairs.
CONTACT YOUR ALP MEMBERS TO SAY NO NUCLEAR WASTE DUMP
Wherever you are in Australia, please contact your ALP members to register opposition to the plan for a national nuclear waste dump in SA. The federal Labor Party have their national conference in Adelaide in mid December.
With a federal election just around the corner, we want as many people as possible to contact them to urge them to adopt a strong policy on radioactive waste management.
Conservation SA has set up an online lobbying tool. Just enter your postcode and it will automatically send an email to your ALP members. You can use the existing text, or edit to suit.
Alternatively, you can phone your ALP members
ASEN IS HARD AT WORK FUNDRAISING FOR THE NEXT STUDENTS OF SUSTAINABILITY CONFERENCE
which will be happening in Sydney next winter. We are being supported by the FoE community and are having a great time sharing skills and planning some exciting events!
We are getting creative in designing the menu for our ASEN Big Buffet Dinner coming up in early December in Melbourne. It is a chance for ASEN alumni and supporters to get together to celebrate ASEN and SoS with food, drink, entertainment and an auction of all the amazing skills our current ASENites have to share. Check out here for more details.
AUSTRALIAN NUCLEAR FREE ALLIANCE
The Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) recently held its annual general meeting in the Adelaide hills. The Aboriginal-led ANFA has been fighting and often winning battles to protect country and culture for 21 years. The annual meetings provide an importation opportunity for people from across the country to come together to discuss current struggles and future plans. Some of our Friends of the Earth anti-nuclear campaigners were nominated for the ANFA committee.
A short video of the ANFA meeting is posted online