Forums & Presentations

We run regular large public forums on issues of relevance and interest to the community. We also have regular presentations at our monthly meetings. Where there are slides that may be of on-going interest, or for those who missed a talk, we will put them up here.

Lighter Footprints Forum in Burwood

Tuesday May 1, 2018.

The panel 

Tristan Edis:  Outline of the challenges - View Tristan's Presentation

Nick Aberle:  The role of State and Federal Government - View Nick's Presentation

Emily Peach: A young activist thinking about our future

Matthew Warren:  An industry perspective

If you want to catch the discussion associated with the above slides, go to

FaceBook Live recording of all 4 speakers and question time (Note: broken out excerpts coming soon)


Lighter Footprints Meeting WEDNESDAY MARCH 28, 2018

“Making Canberra sit up and take notice: climate change as risky business”.

David Spratt
David Spratt is a climate activist and Research Director for Breakthrough: National Centre for Climate restoration. He is the co-author of the book “Climate Code Red: The case for emergency action”. His recent work has focussed on the national security implications of climate change, and on the scientific understatement of climate change’s existential risks.            

The Facebook Live Video feed is available here

The slides from David's presentation are available here


Wednesday Feb 28th 2018



The slides from Simon's presentation are available here


Lighter Footprints Meeting 26 April, 2017

Unravelling today's energy policy debate and finding
paths to a clean, affordable and reliable energy future

Alan Pears AM, Senior Industry Fellow, RMIT University

Click here for Alan Pears' presentation


Lighter Footprints Meeting 31st August, 2016

Renewable energy and Australia – can we do it?

Dan Cass and Bruce Mountain

Click the following links for 

Dan Cass' presentation

Bruce Mountain's presentation


"Lessons from Paris"

Here are the slides presented by John Wiseman at our Monthly meeting February 24.

The session gave us an insight into how the outcomes were gained and what the commitments are - and where Australia sits in that. We have very low targets but were perceived not to be the negative force of previous times, indeed to have been helpful in gaining the 1.5 degrees commitment (even if a trade off was gained!)

Overall a positive outcome with 195 countries agreeing to a solid base of targets and a process for funding and to reviewing progress. Still along way to go to avert serious climate change damage.

Or you can get your own PDF copy here



The "Last Climate Tango in Paris" Lighter Footprints Forum - 27 October 2015

 [Jump to David Karoly presentation slides]

Address by Bishop Genieve Blackwell

Thank you for your invitation to speak at this Forum and for the opening words of the Mayor of Boroondara.
It is a privilege together with everyone else to have been able to listen to Professor Ross Garnaut, Dr David Karoly and the Member for Kooyong, Josh Frydenberg. 

I have specifically been asked as a religious leader to respond tonight regarding the moral context of global warming.
This is not new. 
In 1990 a group of scientists from around the globe (including 32 Nobel Laureates and NASA scientist James Hansen and spearheaded by the late Dr Carl Sagan) wrote an open letter to the leaders of religious communities, saying
Problems of such magnitude, and solutions demanding so broad a perspective, must be recognized from the outset as having a religious as well as a scientific dimension. Mindful of our common responsibility, we scientists, many of us long engaged in combating the environmental crisis, urgently appeal to the world religious community to commit, in word and deed, and as boldly as is required, to preserve the environment of the Earth.
[“Preserving & Cherishing the Earth: An Appeal for Joint Commitment in Science & Religion.”,  (cf Dawson and Pope Climate of Hope p 156]

271 spiritual leaders from all different faiths responded and signed that appeal.
And there are many declarations that have been made since by religious leaders and faith communities. There is a long list which can very easily be viewed on the Internet [religious Statements of Climate Change].

They spring from a deep sense of the earth as gift. For some faiths that is expressed in the idea of stewardship – the earth and all that is in it given to care for. Other faith traditions speak of Mother earth. We might differ in cosmology and in how we see the relationship between creation and the divine but we all believe while human beings may be distinct within creation, we are not separate from creation but interdependent.

Significantly this year, leading up to the Paris Climate Conference in December, there has been an Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change []
and Pope Francis has written Laudato Si’ – An Encyclical Letter on Ecology and Climate. 

Why is it so important that we consider this issue not just from scientific, economic, and political perspectives but also from a moral perspective? Because it reminds us of our obligations - not just to ourselves but to others.

And that takes us in two directions. 

1.  Our moral responsibility to future generations, to those who come after us.
We want the best for our children, our children’s children. Yet there is a growing recognition that for those who come after us, our choices now may well mean that is not the case. There is a very short window of opportunity.  A closing window of opportunity. The Islamic Declaration speaks of … the gifts bestowed on us by God … gifts such as a functioning climate, healthy air to breathe, regular seasons and living oceans. But our attitude to these gifts has been short-sighted, and we have abused them. What will future generations say of us, who leave them a degraded planet as our legacy? How will we face our Lord and Creator?

2. Pope Francis has two key phrases in his encyclical: the cry of the poor and differentiated responsibilities. The choices we make here, how we choose to live now, affects not only future generations. They affect the most vulnerable people on our planet now – the poor who are the majority of the planet’s population, billions of people. P 43  
…. we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.  (P 44)

We must continue to be aware that, regarding climate change, there are differentiated  responsibilities. … greater attention must be given to the needs of the poor, the weak and the vulnerable, in a debate often dominated by more powerful interests. (pp 47-48)

So the question for us is not just what is good for Australia but what is good for our neighbour? For example islands in the Pacific and the people who live there. 
The truth is, I can’t stand here and claim the moral high ground. I won’t speak for other faiths but I know when it comes to my own faith tradition, we have not always heeded such calls as we might have.  We have been guilty of marginalizing the issue as an institution.

Yet there are signs of hope. The church has resources – land and building - and I can think of a number of examples in my own experience where the church has moved towards environmentally better policies with buildings (and cars). And we have installed solar panels, energy efficient lighting and excess land has been used for eg community gardens. Consideration is also being given to environmentally responsible investment.

And many individual Christians are taking seriously the choices they make on a day to day basis in the face of the drive of consumerism, people attempting to live more sustainably both as individuals and in community.

Recently I was at a conference in New Zealand organized by the Anglican Missions Board there. Anglican Allliance is a co-ordinating organization for Anglican Aid agencies. Their worker in the Solomon Islands for the Pacific Region facilitated a gathering of women farmers – they were experiencing prolonged dry seasons affecting their crops – they did not have a word for climate change, they were connecting what was happening to traditional beliefs. The workshop was able to give a greater understanding of what was happening.  The Anglican Alliance is also working to get the unheard voices from around the globe heard in Paris. A petition in the form of people telling their individual stories. The church has a role in helping people tell their stories. 

At its heart, the encyclical from Pope Francis is an appeal …  for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet …. a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all. (P 22). Tonight I take it has been very much in that spirit.
A beginning - not an end in itself.


David Karoly presentation slides

Click here to access a PDF of the slides from David Karoly's presentation


10 days that changed the climate debate in Australia.

26th October 2013
David Spratt

Protecting Victorians from climate change - how do we do it?
 26 March  2014
Rob Gell AM

Washington Post - Emissions per Country
Washington Post - Emissions per person

Rob Gell's Presentation  
more to come soon....

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10 August 2011

A panel discussion on why and how we can live in these changed times.

Three speakers brought different perspectives:
Anna Burke - MP for Chisholm
Alan Pears - RMIT, Sustainable Solutions
Dr Brett Parris - Monash University

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8 June 2011

Can we live well without coal?
Can renewable energy provide continuous, reliable power?
Can we escape our dependence on carbon polluting fossil fuels?
Is it nuclear or nothing?

Three speakers on these issues were:
Matthew Wright, Executive Director of Beyond Zero Emissions
Josh Frydenberg, Federal MP for Kooyong
Lane Crockett, General Manager - Australia/Pacific, for Pacific Hydro

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28 April 2011

The forum discussed how we can create sustainable suburbs and take responsible action on climate change while enhancing our quality of life through a sense of local community. 
It was an opportunity to be informed about local council actions and
to engage in conversation about those actions.

Speakers were:
Rob Gell - Environmental scientist and communicator
Jane Monk - Director of State Planning Services DPCD
Ian Goodes - Manager Engineering & Environmental Services, Whitehorse Council
Adam Hall - Manager Environmental & Sustainable Living, Boroondara Council
Ben Stennett - Mayor of Whitehorse Council
Nick Tragas - Mayor of Boroondara Council

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“Meet the candidates” Community Climate Forum for the Federal election 2010
28 July 2010

Walkley Award winning Age journalist Liz Minchin ran a Q&A session that put the climate change policies of the major parties under the microscope and allowed the public and candidates to quiz one another.

Three candidates for the lower house seat of Kooyong, one Senator and two Senate candidates formed the panel that faced tough questioning from both their host and the audience.
Josh Frydenberg (Liberal candidate for Kooyong), Steve Hurd (ALP candidate), Des Benson (Greens candidate), Scott Ryan (Liberal Senator), Richard Di Natale (Senate candidate for Greens), and Antony Thow (Senate candidate for ALP).


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Rewrite the Future: Climate Communities 2010
18 February 2010

Has the political debate left you unsure about climate change? About your role in responding to it? Do we have the solutions needed? How can we make the necessary changes?

Lighter Footprints held a forum in February 2010 to engage with the community with the aims of: improving climate literacy; enhancing people’s respect for climate science; and encouraging a committment to action on climate change.

Presentations from expert climate scientist Professor David Karoly and safe climate campaigner Victorian McKenzie McHarg were followed by a session of group discussions.


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