- Clr Ken Keith, Mayor, Parkes Shire Council (NSW)
Mayor Ken Keith OAM is a committed champion of renewable energy, and consistently communicates the benefits of solar power across all media. Mayor Keith utilises his public profile, popularity, and access to media to promote this message.
Mayor Ken Keith has utilised many public platforms to do this including public speaking events, radio and television interviews, interviews in local papers and with the ABC and various magazines. Twelve months ago the Mayoral Message proudly announced the pledge to tackle climate change by joining the Cities Power Partnership. This announcement was followed with media releases, and interviews on ABC radio, and with local television stations. He has participated in many meetings and events to raise the renewables profile, but perhaps the most memorable example is his participation in the Climate Council promotional video in his best Elvis jumpsuit, where Parkes was lauded as the “King of Renewables”.
Mayor Ken Keith demonstrates his commitment to renewable energy through his enthusiastic advocacy and has led Parkes Shire Council to be early adopters of solar power. This has been done with a thorough and responsible approach and a focus on learning and knowledge sharing. Parkes Shire Council has implemented several solar initiatives, such as the 2012 Council Rooftop Solar, and the 2013-2015 collaboration with Canada Bay Council to share resources, knowledge, mentoring, and funding. Mayor Ken Keith has also shared Parkes Shire Council’s learnings and experience of council and community solar projects with Centroc, a collaborative collective of Central NSW Councils, with the aim of encouraging these councils to embrace ambitious renewables targets.
- Clr Julia Leu, Mayor, Douglas Shire (QLD)
Douglas Shire Council Mayor Julia Leu is a strong advocate for climate change action and has worked tirelessly over the past five years to embed environmental sustainability into Council’s core values. Douglas Shire Council is a Reef Guardian Council, a Queensland Climate Resilient Council, a Wet Tropics Healthy Waterways Partner and a founding member of Plastic Free Douglas, all of which have a strong focus on climate change action and advocacy. Julia was also at the forefront of Council becoming a proud founding member of the Cities Power Partnership Queensland division.
Under Julia’s direction Douglas Shire Council has installed solar PV panels on a number of council buildings, solar powered streetlights, established a community recycling shop to divert material away from landfill and employed a sustainability officer to calculate and reduce Council’s carbon footprint. Julia is a director of the Australian Coastal Council Queensland, and member of local community group, Douglas Shire Sustainability Group. Julia believes that education is fundamental to empowering positive climate change action, regularly attending community sustainability initiatives and speaking with local schools.
Julia maintains an extensive commitment to raising awareness about action on climate change in the media, spreading the message to both local and interstate media outlets and making sure climate change is firmly on Council’s radar when communicating with the public since the organisation became a CPP Queensland founding member. This has included at least 15 media releases to local media in the past 12 months, several television and radio interviews, as well as attendance at press conferences with the CPP. Her climate change advocacy has filtered through to residents and ratepayers, other councils, politicians and media organisations through the Council’s social media. Julia has also participated in online videos with the CPP and LGAQ to promote action on climate change.
- Adam Clarke, Program Co-ordinator – Corporate & Community Planning, The City of Newcastle (NSW)
Since joining Council in 2012 Adam Clarke has been focused on delivering the 2020 Carbon and Water Management Action Plan across both Council and the Business sector. This has included successfully securing funding for the upgrade of Council facilities and leading the delivery of the Energy Hunter program to over 500 businesses across the Hunter region. The program was awarded the NSW Green Globe for Climate Change Leadership and achieved a reduction in annual electricity consumption across the businesses of 4 million kilowatt hours and savings of $1.1m each year.
Adam has developed a number of case studies designed to encourage other organisations to replicate the process and achieve environmental and financial savings. He has worked with the Tom Farrell Institute at the University of Newcastle and the Office of Environment and Heritage to deliver the Smart Future Cities Conference of which he chaired the Innovation and Emerging Technologies Stream.
He has worked on developing Council’s 5MW solar farm which is now under construction and gaining significant attention for the Council in leading the way and exceeding 2020 targets for renewable energy. Amongst other things this project has required significant level of advocacy, and there has been a strong focus on knowledge sharing with other Councils across Australia as well as at a number of conferences. Promotion of the Solar Farm and other smart energy projects has been distributed through Council newsletters and social media, case studies have appeared in industry magazines and government publications and a number of media engagements have occurred, as well as an OpEd announcing Newcastle as the first council to make their pledges under the Cities Power Partnership.