EcoCentre News May 2016

In this Issue: The EcoCentre Embiggens! / New Video on Citizen Science / Our Staff Win 2 Educational Awards / EcoCentre Events / Affiliate Events / Volunteer Opportunities

The EcoCentre Embiggens! Growth Milestone of 25+ Affiliates 
Juvenile Eastern Pygmy Possum at Providence Ponds Nature Conservation Reserve
Juvenile Eastern Pygmy Possum embiggens itself on tasty blossom

Spotlight on Affiliates: A Big Welcome to our 26th Member
Our EcoCentre is embiggening! We're proud to announce we have recently cleared the growth milestone of over 25 affiliates thanks to Desert Discovery Inc and Mammal Survey Group of Australia. Stay tuned for our upcoming celebration to share the great work our affiliates do and network. 

With our new monthly spotlight on one of our valuable affiliates, it's time to shine the light on Mammal Survey Group of Victoria. They work to encourage conservation of mammals and their habitat by studying the distribution of mammals, and sharing their results with influential bodies (check out the cute possum they photographed above at Providence Ponds Nature Conservation Reserve).

Their next exciting adventure will be this June to the aforementioned Providence Ponds, a nature conservation reserve in East Gippsland. On previous campouts there they have also discovered Agile Antechinus, White Footed Dunnart, and the New Holland Mouse. They are aiming to use motion sensing cameras, cage traps, harp bat traps, and spotlighting/exploring techniques depending on the weather.

Want to be involved? Contact Kathy Zonnevylle on

Burning Question: What is an Affiliate Anyway?

Think of the EcoCentre as an 'umbrella group' who shelters a host of smaller like-minded organisations. We provide support in the form of facilities, infrastructure, equipment, and expertise. Together we achieve more!

Are you a group or organisation involved in environmental activities? Or community-building activities with an environmental component?

Consider affiliate membership with us. For a full statement of benefits click here

You can apply by downloading our form here and emailing it to

Baykeeper Citizen Science
The Port Phillip Baykeeper working with a Young Citizen!
'Citizen Science' Explained. How YOU can get involved.
Click this image to watch our newest youtube video.
Protect our Beaches with Citizen Science.

Have you heard of 'Citizen Science'? It's simply everyday people recording aspects of the environment so qualified scientists can answer big questions! 

If you're interested in getting to know more about your local beach (and helping us study it) check out our upcoming events here. If you'd like your school to get involved contact us at

We're regularly running events at beaches all around the Port Phillip Bay. 

We believe that we can work together to create a positive future for ourselves and our future generations.


Celebration: Out Staff Win Awards for Educating Youth!
Gio Fitzpatrick and Bronnie Walsh accepting ieLLEN Awards
Gio Fitzpatrick and Bronnie Walsh accepting ieLLEN Awards

Awarded for Improving Education of Young People

Our EcoCentre staff are winning awards for excellence in youth education. They look pretty chuffed! 

Gio Fitzpatrick (Youth Wildlife Ambassador) and Bronnie Walsh (Education Programs and Community Education Facilitator) both won 'Outstanding Individual Achievement of the Year' in their respective age categories

The annual ieLLEN (The Inner Eastern Local Learning and Employment Network) awards celebrate successful education, training, and employment outcomes for young people in Port Phillip, Stonnington, and Boroondara.

If you would like to partake of our excellent education programs for schools email our Education Team at


EcoCentre Events 
Fix Up Your Uke Workshop

Fix Up Your Uke Workshop
Sunday 22 May, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
EcoCentre, 55A Blessington St ST KILDA

It is an honoured tradition of the EcoCentre Executives (first Neil, now April) to play ukuleles rescued from bins and resuscitated. So we were very excited when SKULL approached us for this workshop. Any 'spare' ukes repaired on the day will be donated to local schools.

FREE but bookings essential - just email Let us know what you would like to resuscitate about your uke so SKULL can advise if you need to bring anything extra.

Coastal Erosion Monitoring

Coastal Erosion Monitoring
Tuesday 28 June, 10:00 am
Middle Park Beach, Beaconsfield Pde

Why are the sands shifting? Our beaches are regularly getting renourished yet few people are monitoring and recording how the sand is disappearing. We need to connect with other people interested in learning more about this methodology.

Learn the Port Phillip Baykeeper method of monitoring coastal erosion by profiling a beach. This is a hands-on activity, fun for everyone. Recommended for all ages.

Support this vital work by paying $5 for up to 14 years and $10 for 15+ years. Or if need be come along for free.



Live Mollusc Survey

Live Mollusc Survey
Thursday 30 June, 10:30 am
Hampton Beach, near Small Street

Find out which molluscs call Port Phillip Bay home. Measure coastal erosion using a simple methodology.

Molluscs are a misunderstood yet valuable part of the local food chain. These simple citizen science marine-based land activities will teach participants to recognise a variety of live molluscs.

Cost is $5 for up to 14 years and $10 for 15+ years. Or if need be come along for free.



TEN Teacher Professional Development
Wednesday 25 May, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
EcoCentre, 55A Blessington St ST KILDA

The workshop Indigenous Perspectives on Biodiversity will be facilitated by Boon Wurrung elder Arweet Carolyn Briggs and Gio Fitzpatrick (our award-winning Youth Wildlife Ambassador). You'll venture forth on a local biodiversity tour of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens. Gio will provide invaluable content knowledge and also share activity ideas that work well for all ages. 

The sessions will give us a chance to engage each other on how we might design lessons, with a school's nature places in mind, to enhance student's understanding of biodiversity in their local areas. Appropriate for Primary, Secondary and Early Learning Teachers. 

FREE but please RSVP - just email including your dietary needs and learning goal.

Elwood Poetry Prize 2016
Theme "Beach"
Entries accepted until Thursday 11 August

Fancy yourself a poet and you know it? Read up on our 7th Annual Elwood Poetry Prize (put on in conjunction with City of Port Phillip) and download an entry form here.


Sustainable Schools Festival
Friday 9 September, 9:30 am - 2:30 pm
St Kilda Town Hall & Port Phillip EcoCentre

Don't miss the Sustainable Schools Festival! A fantastic day filled with 'Kids Teaching Kids' workshops (sponsored by Cities of Port Phillip, Bayside & Stonnington), awards and fun. 

We can help you with ideas for your students to run a 'Kids Teaching Kids' workshop. This is also an inspiring day of professional learning for teachers.

Contact Bronnie at for assistance or to book in your student leaders.
Sustainable Schools Festival
Affiliate Events
Westgate Park freshwater lake near windmill

Friends of Westgate Park
Volunteer at Westgate Park

Mon/Tues/Wed from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
3rd Sunday monthly 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

They can tailor the tasks to suit your interests and physical capabilities.  For more information go here.

Earthcare St Kilda
Cleanup St Kilda Breakwater

Sunday 12 June

Every month Earthcare holds a clean up of the St Kilda Breakwater to remove harmful litter from the Little Penguin colony. 

Find out more information here.

Port Phillip BUG
Community Ride for Separated Bike Lanes along St Kilda Rd

Sunday 29 May, 10:00 - 11:30

Port Phillip BUG (Bicycle User Group) is calling for separated bike lanes along St Kilda Road, which was identified in a study by VIC Roads as Melbourne's worst place for accidents involving cyclists.

Ride with Greens politicians and call for change. Find out more information here.

Volunteer Opportunities
Anthony and Treasury Wine Estates Careers Corporate Volunteers restoring penguin habitat
Anthony Gallacher (Volunteer Coordinator) and Treasury Wine Estates Careers corporate volunteers restoring penguin habitat in St Kilda
Wominjeka Garden Working Bee
Monday 23 May, 11:00 am - 1:30pm

Come along to the latest working bee for our indigenous garden. Plant and weed with the community, coordinated by Gill Upton. Please note drop-in volunteers must participate in an earlier safety briefing from 10:40 - 11:00am. 

What to bring: Closed shoes, weather-appropriate jacket, hat.

For more information email Anthony on

EcoCentre Community Compost
Regularly on a weekly basis

Our EcoCentre has had such a massive swell of community interest in our composting project that our compost system has been overwhelmed, and temporarily shut-down.

To compost effectively we need you! Specifically we need volunteers who can donate their time on a regular basis to turn the compost heap. This is physical labour, and provides a good workout. It takes dedication, and a heart to serve the community - especially in the chilly winter months.

If you are interested please discuss your availability with Anthony on We are looking forward to the day when we can reopen our compost to the local community, and cut down on waste.

EcoCentre Community Garden
Regularly on a weekly basis or Fridays with the Team

Our Community Garden is looking for regular volunteers who can donate 5+ hours a week for at least 4 months duration.

Our garden is a shared edible community garden maintained by garden-lovers. It is also an education garden on sustainable planting. We focus on growing heirloom varieties, soil creation, propagation and seed-saving, companion planting, and organic methods.

Our gardeners enjoy being involved in community spirit, learning and practising gardening skills, harvesting and eating healthy and indigenous foods, the health benefits of gardening in nature, and leading the way in community food security.

Are you up for the challenge? Contact Anthony on to discuss your availability, and for more information.

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