We are an independent, not-for-profit, community organisation actively involved in a wide range of projects aimed at maintaining the natural beauty and character of our Shire, and surrounding waterways and parks. Our Centre is largely run by volunteers. For a small, volunteer organisation we do a lot: our ability to address issues of environmental concern is dependent on our capacity, the availability of volunteers who can help, and organisational priorities. Overall, we aim to promote sustainability, support environmental education, and we welcome community involvement to help us address environmental issues that affect the Shire and its bioregions. If people or other community groups need support or advice we do what we can to assist.
We also run a range of activities aimed at increasing awareness of environmental issues, protecting our environment, and just having fun. These include film nights, public meetings with guest speakers, and general catch up drinks.
Our Centre has been working with the community since 1991 and has achieved some very significant gains for the environment in that time.
A current focus is advocating for koala and wildlife corridors around the Shire. Another campaign seeks to protect our water supply at Woronora: our recent petition called for the mining underneath our reservoir to be stopped. Through the SO Shire group we act to halt the increasing amount of pollution from plastic and microplastics that is washing up around our beaches and waterways.
And we support a number of other fantastic environmental initiatives, in addition to these campaigns.
If you are interested in living more sustainably at home, or at work, we may be able to help.
Our Sunny Shire, SO Shire, and Plastic Free Sutherland Shire groups liaise with a number of local organisations, schools and businesses, and can offer advice about solar energy, batteries, and sustainable practices.
Sunny Shire has been supporting solar uptake in the Shire for several years, holding public information nights and answering questions from the public. Their advice has helped 170 Sutherland Shire households install 1,200 kW of solar, delivering over $2.5 million worth of investment in local renewable energy.
SO Shire runs educational programs and conducts beach clean-ups, often in conjunction with scientific monitoring agencies, documenting the quantity and types of plastic that pollute our beaches and waterways.
Sutherland Shire Environment Centre also offers innovative, school based environmental education programs through our Speaking 4 the Planet, and Nature and Learning groups, as well as an environmental writing competition, and environmental thesis Award through the University of New South Wales.
We sponsor an annual Sustainable Business Award, through the Sutherland Shire Local Business Awards. Other initiatives include our campaign for World Heritage listing for the Royal National Park, and sustainable transport networks in the Shire.
Our Sutherland Climate Action Network group (SCAN) is a network of residents who are focused on an effective transition to low emissions and other avenues to address climate change.
We are committed to “thinking globally and acting locally”, and are supportive of all others in the community – business, council, government, and residents – who are acting positively towards the environment, and promoting a sustainable future.
Last but not least, we acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of this Land, the Dharawal and Gandangara peoples, who have cared and continue to care for country. We recognise that Aboriginal Sovereignty has never been ceded. It is our goal to build restorative relations between peoples, and we pay our respect to their elders – past, present, and emerging.