Put yourself out there for the greater good

By Monica Winston

Thanks to everyone who voted for me and who voted for any Put Climate First alliance candidates or who helped us out in any way including allowing us to put signs outside your house, putting signs up for us, conducting interviews, donating money, graphic design, sharing posts etc. Especially thanks to Mik, Tony and Colin from The Sustainable Hour who supported us hugely as our goals are the same.

Also thanks to anyone else who ran for election with a campaign for immediate action on reversing the climate crisis. Nothing else will ensure the continuity of life on our planet. After decades of inaction, we now have 10 years to complete the bulk of this so we need to start NOW.

As an alliance of 7 women across 4 municipalities, 6 of whom have never run for election before and the seventh Bryony Edwards in the City of Darebin in Melbourne who encouraged a room full of people to run for council in Geelong in March (not to mention her calls to action on many many occasions), our goal was to:

1. Change the pre election conversation to the need for immediate climate action on the climate and ecological emergency and to educate the public and normalise what is needed in our 4 points ie:

*Zero Emissions by 2030,
*Localise Goods and Services,
*Regenerate Ecosystems (to “drawdown” the last few decades of CO2, provide habitat and safe food growing options and regenerate soils away from the current move towards permanent desertification…(see doco Kiss The Ground if you need more info on this)
*Citizens Democracy

2. Give people options to vote to Put Climate First for those who may not vote for a candidate from a political party for various reasons

3. Educate other candidates who may be unaware what the climate status quo is or what we can do about it

4. Get a candidate/s elected to work at local government to ensure we get the action we need now that climate emergency declarations have been made (by 3 out of the 4 councils as Colac Otway have not yet declared it which is why Susan Langridge would have been such a fantastic councillor)

We are delighted that we seem to have achieved all 4 especially now that Belinda Moloney has been elected in Kardinia Ward, Geelong. She is a brilliant professional woman with a PHD and her feet firmly on the ground having grown her own food for many years and also is highly educated and respected in her workplace as an educator. She is hard working, open minded and keen to learn and represent the best interests of all. A great asset to have in council and another woman totalling 4 now.

Congratulations to the people in Torquay Ward who were elected, especially to Kate Gazzard who got the highest vote and stands for Zero emissions by 2030 as a Greens councillor. Also congratulations to Liz Pattinson, Rose Hodge and Paul Barker. May you deliver the action we need and have the insight and courage to say no to anything that is not. Also congratulations to the others who ran, some of whom were previously councillors and devoted many hours of your time to working for the electorate in the way you saw best.

Also congratulations to the others elected in Surf Coast Shire (all women!) and to those re-elected in Geelong. May the Geelong, Surfcoast, Colac Otway and Darebin councils truly deliver inspiring targets and milestones that match what is needed in the climate crisis. Nothing else is acceptable. As elected servants to the people of this region, your job is to make sure you do what is needed to take care of the people and species here. There is literally NO time to waste.

Lastly thanks to our support team which includes my fellow candidates who’ve all been wonderful courageous women who’ve been willing to step up and devote your time and money (with support from family and friends) and to confront your fears in order to do what most people wouldn’t dare ie to put yourself out there for the greater good and to be a conduit for the natural world to have a voice. I can proudly say I have done everything I could possibly think of to do at this point in time and will have no regrets.

Monica Winston, Torquay

Change is coming

If you are supportive of Sandi’s response to Eddy’s creative rewrite of our slogan, ‘Put climate first in every decision’, on the flyer he has letterboxed in the Brownbill Ward, then one thing you can do right away is: share it on Facebook
→ See the full thread on Twitter

Geelong election debate forums

11 Kardinia candidates joined Mittchell’s Front Page for a special candidates forum via Zoom. More here

“I really want to see a better future for Geelong and frankly, I am here to bring it.”
~ Belinda Moloney, Kardinia candidate, in the forum’s closing statement at 1:03:21

All twelve Brownbill Ward candidates joined the program for a special candidates forum via Zoom. More here
All five Windermere Ward candidates joined the program for a special candidates forum via Zoom. More here
Eight Bellarine Ward candidates joined the program via Zoom.

Surf Coast Shire

Shortcut to Monica Winston’s closing statement

Welcome to a seventh member of our alliance

Today we are joined by another inspirational woman, Susan Langridge, who is running as a candidate in the Colac Otway Shire – a municipality who voted this year not to declare a climate emergency when around 1,800 local governments around the world have, (Finland’s capital Helsinki joined the league on Friday) and not to introduce a zero emissions by 2030 goal.

Susan is extraordinary because as someone who’s devoted decades of her life to helping people be happy and well as a nurse and midwife in our health system, she sees the obvious connection between personal and family well-being and the balance and well-being of the systems we rely on for our very survival: the climate and the ecological systems that support life as we know it.

Like the rest of our alliance members, Susan is extraordinary in that she has the courage to step outside the field she has worked in for years into an unknown and public space in the service of something higher than her own personal comfort.

The reason?  To help introduce urgent strategies that increase our security and quality of life and reverse global warming locally in a way that is repeatable by other local governments.      

→ Read more about Susan Langridge’s policies

→ Share this news on Instagram or Facebook

Welcome to a sixth member of our alliance

Six candidates under the ‘Put climate first’ ticket

We are delighted that Bryony Edwards who is running for North East Ward in Darebin Council in Melbourne is joining us.

Bryony has been a huge inspiration for people who work in reversing the climate crisis to step up to run for local government. She and her partner Adrian Whitehead have been active in this space for a number of years, setting up CACE – Community and Council Action in the Climate Emergency, participating in Darebin City Council’s community reference group and establishing the political party called Save The Planet in which they have attracted other candidates and have themselves run for election under.

Bryony Edwards

Thanks to a campaign by a small number of people including Bryony and Adrian, Darebin City Council was the first local government globally to declare a climate emergency and to create a city wide strategic plan in response. There are now 1,780 councils who have followed Darebin’s leadership to declare a climate emergency.

In March 2020, Bryony gave an inspiring talk about why people who want real action on the climate should run for local government at the Sustainable Living Festival in Geelong put on by Transition Streets Geelong. She gave even more detail on this inspiring call to action in an episode of The Sustainable Hour which is available as a podcast.

Bryony has had a major influence on the establishment of our campaign as people realise that climate action in our region depends on having councillors who are prepared to deal with the reality of what we are facing. We feel very grateful for her influence and that she is now joining us with her many years of experience and a track record of successfully influencing her community, her Council and many others around the world.

→ Read about Bryony Edwards’ council policy

→ In detail, What Bryony Edwards will work for if elected