Community climate action event in Geelong

Climate change forum to highlight solutions

• School students, churches and sustainability groups collaborate about community-focused sustainability event

• A panel of experts at Geelong West Town Hall to provide the latest climate science, solutions and inspire local action

• The event will highlight surprising new developments in local communities in the Blue Mountains, local governments in Melbourne and the United States

There is a hunger in the community for information about what we can do about climate change. Young people have different questions than older generations, but everyone is on the lookout for action and for learning about how we can step up to the challenge.

Geelong Inter-Church Social Justice Network in partnership with local sustainability groups is providing this opportunity for people to get clarity on this in the Geelong West Town Hall this Thursday evening, 11 October.

Invigorate our city
“Do we actually know where we are regarding climate change? Because if we don’t, how can we make the right decisions?,” asks Ian Yule, a former principal and a TESOL teacher, who is the President of the Network and coordinator of the event:

“I don’t believe the people of Geelong know accurately where we are at or what we could be doing. If we want to be Clever and Creative, we have to know our starting point and what our options are. This event with a panel of people at the forefront of their fields will open up opportunities for real action that can invigorate our city. We need to be better informed about what options we have individually and together, and what other people, groups and cities are doing who are leading the way,” he says.

Regardless of faith or spiritual paths, this evening is about inspiring local action on climate change in all sectors – local government and business as well as the community – and in all areas: the arts, health, finance, infrastructure, planning, communications, technology, welfare, food, health and wellbeing, and sport.

Pope Francis: Replace coal, oil and gas without delay
The title of the event – ‘Care for our common home’ – is taken from the Encyclical letter of Pope Francis on this subject. Pope Francis takes a very strong stand in his letter on the view that polluting our common home, the Earth, is a sin. He argues vigorously that this change imposes a heavy moral obligation on humans to care for our environment and to protect those most vulnerable to the impact of climate change.


“Highly polluting fossil fuels – especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser degree, gas – needs to be progressively replaced without delay.”
~ Pope Francis, in Laudato Si’, 165



Thursday 11 October 2018 at 7:00–9:30pm
Geelong West Town Hall, 153 Pakington Street, Geelong West

All welcome to explore the key question of the evening:
“Individually and collectively, what can we do?”

» RSVP on the Facebook event page


Panel, talks and music

Benefit from hearing from a dedicated number of first class speakers:

Graeme Anderson: Climate Specialist-Agriculture Victoria
Liz Bastian: The Big Fix – a solutions-focused media service
Adrian Whitehead: Community Action in the Climate Emergency
Dan Cowdell: Community Energy Project Officer
Mik Aidt: Centre for Climate Safety
Jasper Harris: Geelong College
Alex Marshall: Generation Waking Up
Mick Leahy: ‘Wrap up’

This panel of experts will share ideas about how we can individually and collaboratively take action to restore and preserve ecosystems that life depends on. Followed by Q&A and with information stalls delivering solutions and inspiration.

Music performance by the youth-trio The Solar Buskers
Welcome to country: Naomi Surtee
MC: Margie Abbott

All welcome to this free event.



the organising group: Shirley Carroll, Lou Baker, Monica Winston, Jan Sanders, Mik Aidt and Ian Yule
The Solar Buskers
The Solar Buskers: three students from South Geelong Primary School and Geelong High School



Climate Change and Sustainability Forum – in brief

Seeing that the Australian government keeps failing to act on the climate crisis, more and more people in our community have started to come together and to work together in order to tackle the challenges ahead of us.

Asking the key question “Individually and collectively: what can we do?”, the event ‘Care For Our Common Home – Climate Change and Sustainability Forum’ seeks to deliver the answer to that question at Geelong West Town Hall on Thursday 11 October 2018 from 19:00 to 21:30.

The event is organised by the Geelong Inter-Church Social Justice Network.

Event to inspire local action on climate change

“This Forum seeks to bring a Christian perspective to the crisis of climate change and to work with concerned like-minded people to develop environmentally sustainable and socially just ways to ‘Care for our Common Home’.

A panel of experts will give us some ideas about how we can individually and collaboratively take action to restore and preserve ecosystems that life depends on. The Pope’s encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ urges everyone to do this; the Geelong Inter-Church Social Justice Network’s response to this has been to organise this event in partnership with other local groups to involve everyone in our community, regardless of faith or spiritual path, to inspire local action on climate change.

Primary and secondary school children will also voice their perspective.

The stalls will include, among others:

– Publishers of ‘Laudato Si’ handbook, “Care for Our Common Home”
– Publishers of Bruce Pascoe’s book, “Dark Emu”
– Publishers of Paul Gilding’s book, “The Great Disruption”
– Publishers of Dr Robert Croker’s book, “Someone Else’s Problem”
– Publishers of Paul Hawken’s book, “Drawdown”
– Transition Streets Geelong
– Sustainability Victoria
– Geelong Sustainability & Geelong Community Solar Program
– CACE, Community Action in the Climate Emergency
– Solar Savers
– GICSJN Pamphlets
– Geelong Media
– Centre for Climate Safety

» More details about the event program

The forum is free, wheelchair access friendly, and a waste-free event, held in conjunction with local sustainability groups.

Organiser contact
Ian Yule

Care For Our Common Home – Climate Change and Sustainability Forum
Thursday 11 October 2018 from 19:00-21:30
Geelong West Town Hall
153 Pakington Street, Geelong West, Victoria, Australia

» RSVP: Facebook event page

» A4 flyer for print


“… Sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.”
~ Pope Francis, ‘A prayer for our earth’, page 178 in his encyclical letter ‘Laudato Si – Of The Holy Father Francis On Care For Our Common Home’

32-page magazine to bring Pope Francis’s encyclical’s contents and message to as many people as possible in the Catholic and wider community.

“There has been a remarkable response to the Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’: Care for Our
Common Home. As Jacqui Rémond remarks, it is truly ‘a game changer’. Commentators have greeted
it with widespread praise.

Care for Our Common Home: An Australian Group Reading Guide to Laudato Si’ provides an accessible way to take up the Australian Bishops’ invitation for the Catholic community and the wider Australian community to address the challenges and opportunities presented by the encyclical. This reading guide has been produced with the kind support of Catholic Earthcare Australia.

The original text is some 40,000 words and 184 pages long. We have taken well-known author, Bill Huebsch’s plain English text, linked it to the original encyclical paragraph references, and added Australian commentary and discussion questions from noted Australian educator Trish Hindmarsh. All of this is presented in an attractive full-colour A4 magazine format with quality design and evocative photos that can be shared widely throughout your parish and school communities.

We are confident you will find this truly unique and Australian guide an invaluable resource for reading and discussion within your schools, parishes and the wider community.”

» View a sample chapter

» Read more on the website of Garratt Publishing


Praise of an ecological teaching letter to the world from the Pope

Strong morality wake-up call for Catholic leaders in Australia

» RSVP on the Facebook event page