Join the local climate conversation

Words by Virginia Ruchel

Climate conversations day at Edendale Farm. Photo by Virginia Ruchel

With climate change’s effects being felt around the world in ever more alarming ways, it’s no wonder we are having more conversations about these impacts and related issues locally.

In Nillumbik, many people are keen to gather and talk about ways to reduce our environmental impacts, prepare for change and create a more resilient and positive future. 

Nillumbik Climate Action Team (NCAT)’s Climate and Environment Networking event at Edendale Farm in October, where concerned individuals, community leaders, councillors and council officers gathered to network and exchange ideas, was a great start in energising local activities. 

This event was supported by Nillumbik Council and prompted by council’s endorsement of its Climate Action Plan 2022-2032, which includes a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the shire to net zero by 2035, a target in keeping with council’s Declaration of Climate Emergency in March 2022. 

Climate Café 

A new NCAT initiative is a regular Climate Café to be held at 7:30pm on the last Thursday of the month at Platform 3095 in Eltham near Eltham Station. 

The first Climate Café is on Thursday 30 March. Local resident Lisa Whiston will speak briefly about her work with Climate for Change, an organisation focused on helping people have conversations about the climate crisis as a way to support social change, with informal discussion to follow.  

The topic for the second Climate Café, to be held on Thursday 27 April – same time, same place – is “Energy Efficiency in the Home” with local home energy assessor Lucinda Flynn. 

Future discussion-starter topics from local speakers include climate change impacts on local plants and animals, native forests and climate change, approaches to adaptation, ethical fashion1, soil health, food sustainability and even some craftivism2

Nillumbik Climate Alliance

Another recent initiative is the formation of the Nillumbik Climate Alliance, a nonpartisan network of community groups and individuals keen to learn, share resources and build local awareness about the climate crisis, mitigation, adaptation and regeneration. 

This informal network of individuals and community organisations aims to share ideas and resources, and to inspire and support each other as we continue our work to raise community awareness of climate and environment issues and build knowledge and local resilience. 

Following initial meetings in December and February, the next meeting will be held on Thursday 9 March, at 7.30pm in the meeting room at the rear of the Eltham Court House on the corner Brougham Street and Main Road.  

Whatever our level of awareness, knowledge or concern about the climate crisis, we are all likely to be affected in some way, sooner or later. Discussing, listening, learning and joining with others to work on ways to slow impacts, minimise and cope with negative changes, and reduce risk, will help us all – as individuals and as a community.  

People are most welcome to come to the Climate Café chats, which are informal and open to anyone, and also to participate in Climate Alliance meetings.
Further information: