Enlivening our Present by Illuminating our Past


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POSTPONED – Everyday Climate Action

March 25 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm AEDT


The Wheeler Centre brings Everyday Climate Action to Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute

With progress on climate action sluggish at the global and national levels, many concerned Australians are turning their attention and energy to local activities. 

Ballarat is an example of a local community where motivated citizens are making real change happen. For many years, local action groups have been at the forefront of climate action in the region. Through these various action groups – and through intervention in residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural sectors –Ballarat is working towards a zero-emissions 2030.

In this conversation, the panel will speak about the practical steps that have been taken in Ballarat – what’s working, what’s not and what’s next on the agenda. They’ll tell you about different community-based environmental initiatives across the world and discuss how local climate action can be part of global solutions.

BUY TICKETS NOW https://bit.ly/2SNA2lR


Tony Birch

Tony Birch is the author of Ghost River, which won the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous writing, and Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. He is also the author of Shadowboxing, and three short story collections – Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People. His latest book is The White Girl.

He is politically active in the climate change movement. He donates a portion of any prize money to the Indigenous youth organisation dedicated to climate justice, Seed.

Tony is a frequent contributor to ABC local and national radio, and a regular guest at writers’ festivals. He lives in Melbourne and is a Senior Research Fellow at Victoria University.


Vanessa Petrie

Vanessa Petrie has extensive experience leading policy, strategy and infrastructure planning, specialising in sustainability. Well known for being a collaborator, Petrie brings people, knowledge and ideas together to spark the change we need in a zero-carbon world. Petrie joined Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) in early 2017, and in that time has partnered with her team to successfully launch Rethinking Cement, Electrifying Industry, The 10 Gigawatt Vision, Collie at the Crossroads, Zero Carbon Communities Guide and the 2018 Australian Local Government Climate Review.

Prior to joining BZE, Petrie worked in diverse roles across local and State governments. Petrie is a Board Director of the Goulburn Valley Waste and Resource Recovery Group and a committee member of Climate Emergency Darebin and Keon Park Kindergarten. She has a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering from RMIT and a Master of Environment from Melbourne University.

Kira Dawson

Kira Dawson is a 17-year-old student currently completing Year 12. She has been involved in SS4C (School Strike for Climate) and BA4CC (Ballarat Actions for Climate Co-op) as part of the global youth-led movement towards addressing climate change and reaching climate justice.

‘When I look at the leadership in our country I am left with an overwhelming feeling of despair as we have already done so much damage. In the past two years, a movement of student leaders has arisen. We as students are highlighting the importance of addressing climate change for the sake of our future, our children’s future and our grandchildren’s future. There is a sense of disconnect from the issue with our politicians as they will never have to live in a world facing conditions worse than those of today. But as students we are planning our future, in school we plan our careers but there are no jobs on a dead planet.’

Peter J Reid OAM

Peter J. Reid OAM has been actively involved in the environmental movement for the past six years as Treasurer of Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions (BREAZE). In conjunction with other members of the BREAZE community, Reid has been involved in taking local action through the Social Solar by BREAZE program. Social Solar by BREAZE has facilitated the installation of 70kW of Solar PV on not-for-profit premises. Reid has also been involved in the Community Power Hub project which has seen the installation of 300kW of Solar PV. Prior to joining BREAZE, Reid was involved in the establishment of the Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility on behalf of Ballarat & District Soccer Association. Reid is a past President of Ballarat Trades & Labour Council and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Australia.

Prue Bentley – Host

Prue Bentley is the chief of staff for ABC Ballarat and Southwest Victoria, overseeing the development of broadcast and digital content for two regional Victorian bureaus. As a broadcaster and reporter of 12 years, Bentley has produced and presented local radio programmes across Australia and news programmes syndicated to the Asia-Pacific region. She believes in the power of conversations to bring people together on the important issues, and the value of local communities to make meaningful change. Bentley recently joined the board of the Ballaarat Mechanics Institute with the aim of showing more people this wonderful community resource.

Presented in partnership with the Ballaraat Mechanics Institute and ABC Ballarat.

Bookings for all events are essential and can be made at wheelercentre.com.
For media enquiries, please contact Sallie Butler at the Wheeler Centre on 03 9094 7806 or

Everyday Climate Action – Wednesday 25 March at Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute
Time: 6.00pm – 7.00pm
Tickets: $10, plus a one-off transaction fee of $4 per order



March 25
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


BMI – Minerva Space
117-119 Sturt Street
Ballarat Central, VIC 3350 Australia
03 5331 3042