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

Monique Connell in The Sustainable Hour

Excerpt of the interview with Monique Connell in The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse on 22 September 2020

“When water becomes the same price as gold, the wealthy will always be able to afford it. But those people who are on the margins, less wealthy, who are working pay to pay and struggling to put food on the table, those are the people who are first affected by climate change. The people in my ward are such an important group of people, and I really want them to understand that I will represent them in Council. I will be a voice for them – to support everybody to get on board and make a change for the environment.”
Monique Connell, ‘Put Climate First’ candidate for the Windermere Ward at the Geelong Council elections

Elise Wilkinson – Bellarine Ward

Contact Elise Wilkinson:
Phone: 0492 970 317

Make our Council accountable and transparent to all communities in Geelong

Australia has the one of the highest greenhouse gas emissions per capita in the world; and Geelong Council is the biggest regional council in Victoria. This means every decision we make – here – will either increase global warming or reduce it. We have enormous responsibility … and power, when we put climate first.

Our Council needs change. We acted immediately with COVID, and we must do the same with climate. It is an emergency. We also need to support each other and work together. We need our Council to adapt, invest and lead.

We can reach our goals to reverse global warming – in Geelong and everywhere – when enough of us make the shift to put climate first in every decision: roads, rubbish and rates; the arts, heritage and culture; economic development; education and training; health and wellbeing; environmental planning and services; sport and recreation; and transport.

In responding to an emergency, the wellbeing of all citizens and the whole environment is essential. I will hold Council to account to put climate first. This means saying NO to behaviours, projects, industries and business as usual that make things worse – and YES to smart urban and rural design, for buildings, businesses and communities, focused on water, energy, food, transport, waste and consumption, that creates jobs, regenerates nature and enriches lives. 

We can all participate in building solutions. We can be the first Council that truly mobilises, speeding up our climate response on a regional scale, to create an organisation that inspires others to follow. I want to get involved at a local level to make our Council accountable and transparent to all communities in Geelong, now and in the future. Working together we can build a safe, prosperous future for all.

~ Elise Wilkinson


Elise Wilkinson lives in Barwon Heads with her partner and two teenage children. She is passionate about giving particularly teenagers a voice on climate action and in creating a safe world for the next generation. She is a social worker, and actor in local theatre.

The beautiful natural environment and vibrant local community brought Elise here 19 years ago. Elise has a broad network in the Geelong region through her career and volunteering. She is committed to social justice: inclusion, diversity, equity and safety; and its connections to regenerating our landscapes, infrastructure and social systems: emission reduction, localised food, energy and transport.

Climate action, business and community development must work together to achieve a sustainable, fair and prosperous future for all Geelong communities.

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Elise Wilkinson. Right-click on photo to download in high resolution

We’re in the Geelong Addy! Hooray for everything!

Hi legends and welcome to the Put Climate First page!

You’re probably wondering who we are and what we’re about, so let us not beat around the bush. We are four women who have decided to run as candidates in the upcoming Geelong Council elections in 2020.

Why? Honestly, we’re not the type of folks to do this kind of thing, but each of us reached a tipping point somewhere between May 2019 and January 2020 when thousands of people (including us) marched the Geelong streets to try and raise our concerns regarding a lack of action on climate change.

Unfortunately, it took two massive protests, devastating bushfires and 200 people in the gallery during council meetings for the council to declare a climate emergency, despite our position being backed by an incredible amount of scientific evidence.

Somewhere around this time, each of us felt somewhat disappointed in the council’s leadership, and that’s not the first time our council had made us feel like our leaders had not been an ideal reflection of who we are as a vibrant community of amazing people.

Each of us were already trying to tackle the local issues of our community by walking our talk, yet we felt that this wasn’t enough to create real changes to a system that was failing our most vulnerable.

So… here we are, running for council to make a change and fix that we feel is broken.

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. If everyone takes that approach, we can do anything.”
~ Zali Steggall, independent member of the Australian Parliament

Climate change isn’t the only concern we have for Geelong’s future, and we each have expertise in our own different areas, but all of us align on our need for a future that brings sustainable growth, jobs, tourism and technology to our pretty city, for our families, friends and for the environment.

Please join us in our campaign to make a difference.

Please visit our candidate profile pages for more information on our individual platforms and check out our Facebook pages for campaign updates hot off the press.

Thanks for reading.

Authorised by B Moloney, PO Box 38, Belmont.

Sandi Dwyer – Brownbill Ward

Contact Sandi Dwyer:
Email | Facebook

Balance so everyone wins
We can hold the well promoted self interest of big business, the unavoidable evidence of climate change, the palpable fears and desires of our community, and access the profound capacity for creative solutions. We can restore and regenerate natural systems rapidly. Rebuilding our soils with innovative farming practices to repair our landscapes and provide food rich with nutrients is a huge opportunity to create jobs that improve climate, waterways and our own health and that of our city and farming communities. Supplying affordable locally grown organic and biodynamic foods is urgent now. Every solution we need already exists. We just need to commit planning and funding to them.
~ Sandi Dwyer

Committing to values of democracy and transparency

I pledge and promise to always act with integrity to the best of my ability and to have the highest outcome for all concerned as an overriding objective. That climate gets put first in every decision is my first consideration and may at times seemingly compromise jobs that people have become comfortable in, though I am confident that new opportunities will arise for all.

Our way forward out of Covid and into a carbon neutral world provides a rare opportunity for dynamic and far reaching change. I hope we can all hold “the greater good of all concerned” as our primary consideration. Certainly it feels that in the past, big business have had too much control and influence. They too are afraid. Equality and integrity sit close to my heart and I am a working class woman. 


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Monique Connell – Windermere Ward

Contact Monique Connell: Email | Facebook

Recycling and urban farming
A vote for me is a vote for climate action in a time where we are living in a climate emergency. I want Geelong to be a world leader in recycling – harnessing the amazing resources and talent at the Deakin University Technology precinct, and working with local business, industry and the community to create a recycling program which makes recycling as easy and painless as throwing your rubbish in the ‘red bin’. I want Geelong to have community gardens where anyone can grow and take home fresh fruit and vegetables and this will not just foster community, but create jobs.
~ Monique Connell

Media coverage

Monique Connell speaking about the real issues in Windermere Ward. She enters first time at 4:45 min.
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Monique Connell in The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse on 22 September 2020

“When water becomes the same price as gold, the wealthy will always be able to afford it. But those people who are on the margins, less wealthy, who are working pay to pay and struggling to put food on the table, those are the people who are first affected by climate change. The people in my ward are such an important group of people, and I really want them to understand that I will represent them in Council. I will be a voice for them – to support everybody to get on board and make a change for the environment.”
Monique Connell, ‘Put Climate First’ candidate for the Windermere Ward at the Geelong Council elections

Excerpt of the interview as it was recorded in Zoom


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Dr Belinda Moloney – Kardinia Ward

Contact Belinda Moloney:

Email | Phone: 0492 934 474

Creating a sustainable future with local jobs

These are some unprecedented times, folks. Since the last elections, we’ve seen the devastating impact of climate change and coronavirus threatening our economy and livelihoods. Council should lead the way with initiatives to tackle these issues, and while we’re overdue for Council’s emergency recovery plan, we need to fix a broken system. How? Getting behind our local businesses as a priority, establishing food security, reinvigorating our parks, libraries, and investing in our arts sector, childcare and disability services.

We can rebuild our economy through sustainable industry investments, our manufacturing precinct can build renewable energy sources, creating jobs and lowering household bills. The leadership needed to successfully emerge out of a pandemic needs to be strategic, holistic, and caretaking of our most vulnerable, with a focus on keeping communities connected to improve our mental health and wellbeing.

With decades of experience within leadership roles and adopting sustainable practices successfully in our community, I have the knowledge and gumption to put our council to work, repairing our economy by changing the way we do business and care for our environment. Geelong is very unique, in its climate, tourism, industries and its resilient people and with my expertise in technology and experience with massive transformation projects, I will make good choices for the community of Geelong by establishing a true people’s democracy, using technology to keep Council accountable and transparent, so our voices are heard. In my vision for a post-COVID recovery, Geelong will be a front-runner in bringing jobs and environmental benefits to the region, using innovative technology to develop sustainable energy solutions, waste management and education.

I’m trying to be the change I want to see in the world and I hope you can join me in making a difference. Together, let’s strive for a better, more inclusive future for Geelong.
~ Dr Belinda Moloney


Dr Belinda Moloney is an educator, IT professional and experienced leader, living in Belmont, Victoria. As an experienced leader, researcher and expert in information systems, career education and employment, she is committed to fostering sustainable economic growth in order to support job creation, while protecting Geelong’s iconic natural environment and connecting its diverse community.

Belinda currently serves on the Board of the Geelong Region Local Learning and Employment Network (GRLLEN), is a member of Geelong Sustainability Group and Transition Streets Geelong and supports council declaring a climate emergency. She hopes to use her policy and compliance experience to help shape the Geelong council’s Sustainability Framework and encourages residents to do the same at COGG YourSay.

She is passionate about encouraging women to take up STEM careers, and in her spare time, she is an avid gardener, amateur musician and rubbish poet. She has competed as a powerlifter at a national level in two federations, and would probably help you move house in a nanosecond at this point since isolation has temporarily closed her second home – Strong Geelong gym.

Belinda in the media

The Sustainable Hour: “We find out what motivated successful ‘Put Climate First’ candidate Belinda Moloney to stand in the recent City of Greater Geelong elections, and what her plans are now that she is Councillor Moloney, one of three representatives for Kardinia Ward. We hear of her gratitude to the people who voted for her, the responsibility she feels for their faith in her, who she intends to stay connected with them, as well as what she hopes to be able to achieve while on council.”

Belinda Moloney was presented together with 11 other Kardinia candidates in Geelong Indy on 25 September 2020
“Ahead of next month’s council election, the Independent asked Kardinia ward candidates why residents should vote for them.”

Belinda Moloney in The Sustainable Hour


Interview with Belinda Moloney – 18 min.

The Sustainable Hour podcast on 94.7 The Pulse on 16 September 2020

“Local government needs to do something to build onto the growing momentum around sustainable practices.”
~ Belinda Moloney, ‘Put Climate First’ candidate for the Kardinia Ward in the City of Greater Geelong council election

Listen to the full hour: ‘Making the tree change: standing with Earth’

| Podcast webpage | Twitter | Facebook |

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Belinda Moloney. Download photo in A5 size, 200 dpi

Greater Geelong Council candidates

Dr Belinda Moloney
Email | Program and bio


Kardinia Ward – Council Map

Elise Wilkinson
Email | Program and bio


Bellerine Ward – Council Map

Monique Connell
Email | Program and bio


Windermere Ward – Council Map

Sandi Dwyer
Email | Program and bio


Brownbill Ward – Council Map

#PutClimateFirst in Darebin City Council

#PutClimateFirst in Colac Otway Shire Council

#PutClimateFirst in Surf Coast Shire Council

VEC’s list of candidates in Geelong