Sunrise was 4:45am - I couldn’t resist an ocean swim in Queensland, where I recently represented Victoria as a Finalist for Australian Environmental Educator of the Year. While swimming, I met Rob, a fellow celebrating his 74th birthday by surfing, as he did every morning – a delightful retirement plan! Shortly thereafter, I was introduced to 12-year-old Wes, a boy battling neuroblastoma but dedicated to advocating for clean, plastic-free oceans. Wes passed away last weekend, and his family asks us all to continue preventing and removing pollution, sharing photos with the hashtag #inspiredbyWes. Indeed, how could we not be inspired?
Annie Dillard wrote, ‘How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.’  Like Rob and Wes, I hope your days are built on small and cumulative moments of love and action; I also hope when big levers for change like elections occur, you know each party’s climate commitments and you vote for the climate!

Our Sunscreen & Bay Marine Life project aims to understand the impact of sunscreen on the marine life of the Port Phillip Bay.
We need enthusiastic volunteer citizen scientists to help us take sea water samples over the summer months in Rye, Elwood and St Kilda, to get involved in this world-first, groundbreaking research. Volunteer training will be held at St Kilda Beach on Thursday 15th November, 3-5pm, with drinks after. Training is required for all new and previous volunteers.
Registrations are essential - register here or email

This project is funded by the Federal Citizen Science Grant.
WPI interns
We've recently welcomed four interns from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA: Cam, Sam, Brendan and Gina. Their job is to analyse the street, beach, and river trawl data the EcoCentre has been collecting. They'll be modelling the data and looking at human and environmental factors to identify specific sources of plastic pollution.
Interested in helping analyse trawl samples with us? We're looking for more volunteers: email with your available dates, times, and best contact number! Training is provided - just bring a keen eye for detail.
We've partnered with Walks 101 to run Urban Nature Tours. The tours are catered towards both tourists and locals, where participants can engage in citizen science to conduct tests to diagnose the ecosystem health of Melbourne CBD, and take an idyllic boat ride in the Royal Botanic Gardens to understand natural and human-constructed habitats for local wildlife. 

50% of the proceeds from this program go towards the Port Phillip EcoCentre. The first tour was a huge success, and we look forward to continuing this citizen science program.

Book your spot for the Urban Nature Tours.

Students from Albert Park Primary School (APPS) last month had the opportunity to meet with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to share their learnings as Grade 6 Sustainability Leaders. Albert Park Primary School is a longtime participant in the EcoCentre flagship leadership program Tomorrow’s Leaders for Sustainability, supported for local schools by City of Port Phillip. The Sustainability Leaders have worked with EcoCentre teachers and scientists to determine locations for installing nesting tubes in the school grounds and engage with younger students on penguin monitoring projects in St Kilda Pier. 
Read more in our blog post about APPS.

Cool & compelling

Compost vollies
Garden vollies
A massive thank you to Deb and the garden vollies for their mammoth efforts in moving 6m³ of mulch and giving our gardens a lovely face lift. 

Healthy compost needs a healthy carbon-nitrogen mix, which means more than food scraps! We need your pre-shredded newspaper, pre-shredded office paper, toilet paper tubes, ripped-up egg cartons and pizza boxes. Simply add this to our community compost, ideally in equal amount to the food scraps you donate. It eliminates compost flies and superpowers our 'gardener's gold.' 

We're also looking for more volunteers to water the garden during Summer - if you can help, come by any Friday any time between 10am and 2pm and we can walk you through the process.

Annual General Meeting 2018 
The EcoCentre held its Annual General Meeting on 28th October. It was a great celebration of the EcoCentre's achievements in the 2017-18 financial year, and the partnerships and community members who made everything happen. 

The EcoCentre Committee for 2018-19 was elected. We especially congratulate Isabel Robinson for joining the Committee this year and thank exiting Committee rep Dan Coleman for three years of contributions.  
2018-19 Committee
  • Pam O'Neil (President)
  • Dr Lis Fenwick (Vice-President)
  • Tony Flude (Secretary)
  • Keith Badger (Treasurer)
  • Anne Callaghan
  • Jan Cossar
  • Geoffrey Love
  • Isabel Robinson
  • Jo Wallace
The 2017-18 Annual Report was also launched at the Annual General Meeting.
Read the 2017-18 Annual Report
Tree climbing
Repair Cafe
Our educators recently gained their tree climbing certification to help us safely run our nestbox programs for hollow-dependent native wildlife. Tree hollows provide breeding spots and help wildlife keep cool during summer heat waves; with city trees often lacking hollows, our nest boxes provide alternative habitat.
Congratulations to the Repair Cafe for reaching its 1st Birthday on 11th November! In just 36 hours over the last year, Repair Cafe volunteers have fixed over 200 items and diverted over 420kg from landfill. The Repair Cafe runs monthly from the EcoCentre in partnership with the Jewish Ecological Coalition.

Mark your diary

• Fri 9 Nov to Sun 18 Nov - Frog ID Week, Australia's biggest frog count that aims to reach 10,000 frog records in 10 days!
• Thurs 15 Nov 3-5pm - Sunscreen & Bay Marine Life volunteer training. Find out more, or register here. Registrations essential.
• Sat 17 Nov 10am - 2pm - Holy Cannoli ride to Footscray, hosted by MBTC, meeting at Southgate and riding to Footscray for cannoli and cake (24km ride, easy). Book here.
• Tues 27 Nov 7-9pm - Living With Less Waste presentation by Erin Rhoads, aka The Rogue Ginger. FREE. Bookings essential.
• Thurs 29 Nov 6:30pm - Smart Solutions for Apartments workshop - how you can build a strong business case for sustainable changes in your apartment building. FREE. Register here.
• Mon 3 Dec 9:15am - 4pm - Successful Grant Writing workshop, hosted by Coastcare Victoria. FREE. Bookings essential.
• Tues 4 Dec 9:15am - 3pm - Strategic Planning for Volunteering Groups workshop, hosted by Coastcare Victoria. FREE. Bookings essential.
Donate to your EcoCentre
Copyright © 2018 Port Phillip EcoCentre, All rights reserved.

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