SSEC logo Sutherland Shire Environment Centre  

Community Partnering

The Sutherland Shire Environment Centre – A Part of the Community

“The Shire is a wonderful place to live,” said foundation member Bob Walshe. “We knew that unless we took an active interest in how it was developing, we might lose those features that make it special.”

The Sutherland Shire Environment Centre was set up in 1991 by concerned Shire residents. In 2001, the Centre bought its own premises with the help of funding from the LEAF Trust. With more space, the Centre is able to provide more facilities for its work to help maintain and improve the Environment of the Shire.

The Centre’s aim is to work in partnership with community and governments at all levels towards a sustainable environment in the Sutherland Shire and its region by:
  • Supporting those who are concerned about environmental or development issues in their neighbourhood. (Ring the Centre for advice and use our facilities.)

  • Providing information through:
    • An environmental resource library, (available for public use, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.)
    • Information sheets
    • Community forums
    • Extensive website -
  • Becoming involved on Council and State Government decision-making committees and boards.

  • Initiating, leading and participating in activities that promote environmental sustainability:

  • A number of significant environmental groups started as Centre activities and now operate independently, such as People Against the Nuclear Reactor (PANR) and Electromagnetic Radiation Association of Australia (EMRAA)

  • The Centre led the Bushcare team that removed invasive weeds around Weedy Pond on Towra and it organises other cleanup activities

  • It spearheads a project to create a pedestrian and cycleway system along the Woronora and Georges Rivers, and around Botany Bay

  • For ten years, the Centre has promoted and run a recycled arts competition for primary schools.

  • Many significant campaigns continue to operate from the Centre
From the beginning, members of the Environment Centre found themselves hurtled into campaigns and issues:
  • 1992 megatip proposal—withdrawn
  • 1994 offshore mining proposal—withdrawn
  • 1996 development at Helensburgh—rejected
  • 1996/7 Holsworthy Airport proposal—defeated
  • 1996/8 cogeneration plant at Kurnell—modified
  • 1999/00 tip conservation—saved
  • 2002 Enhanced protection for endangered ecological communities
“We ran these campaigns and supported people with many other environmental issues from our first tiny, rented premises in Eton Arcade,” remarked Ruth Zeibots, co-foundation member. “I wonder now how we managed, there was always so much going on!”

But the Centre needs your continuing support to carry out its work for a sustainable community.

Be a part of the Centre… Think Globally, act Locally.

The Sutherland Shire Environment Centre is a totally independent, non-government community organisation. It is an incorporated Association guided by a constitution and governed by a Management Committee elected at an Annual General Meeting by members of the Association. The Committee meets monthly to review issues and Centre management.
Members are eligible to vote at the AGM, nominate for positions on the Management Committee, receive discounts to Centre activities, and receive a quarterly newsletter.
The Centre relies on the support of its members and donors to get its work done, and for funding.
To help get our work done you can:
  • Help out in the office
  • Liaise with groups involved with the Centre
  • Contribute to the newsletter—become a member of the newsletter committee
  • Develop your own campaign or become involved in one
  • Website design and writing
  • Research for information sheets and campaign activities
  • Contribute to the Trails Project and Bushcare
  • Help with fundraising activities
  • Nominate to become a member of the Management Team
The Sutherland Shire Environment Centre
Suite 4, Level 1, 2-4 Merton St
Sutherland NSW 2232
Tel: 02 9545 3077
Fax: 02 9521 1477
We need your participation to effect change, please join SSEC…by sending $27.50
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A Word from the Chair

by Dr Miriam Verbeek

This year’s annual report amply demonstrates the maturing nature of the Sutherland Shire Environment Centre. Each year it builds upon previous years of experience to more effectively react to environmental issues as well as influence the sustainability agenda for the Sutherland Shire and bioregions.

From advising on developments in Botany Bay to making submissions against overdevelopment, active involvement in the design of catchment blueprints and Local Environment Plans, calling for sustainable transport planning, and enthusiastically supporting opportunities for the community to be involved in safeguarding the environment through activities such as the community garden and the Great Kai’mia Way, the Centre’s volunteers and staff have delivered an impressive list of achievements!

It is most appropriate that in this foreword to the report I record my sincerest thanks for effort by all.

In this age of information, I would like to particularly highlight the incredible contribution made by the many volunteers who work in the background at the computers and at the research desk in the office. Their contribution makes possible projects such as the website, the Great Kai’mia Way, forums papers and information sheets, the library facility and even our administrative systems.

Notwithstanding the Centre’s achievements in the past year, it has been a year of consolidation. The Management Committee has begun the work of charting the future course for the Centre, setting goals from which strategies for the Centre’s activities can be developed. I commend Jim Sloan and Jo Winkler for the work they have done to develop financial and campaigns reporting protocols, and on fundraising and website strategies.

A goal with high priority is to continue to foster partnerships with others in the community to achieve sustainability. Sutherland Shire Council has been exemplary among Councils is attempting to provide opportunities for partnerships, and the Centre has benefited from the relationships – as has Council from the Centre’s involvement. The role and cooperation of other community partners is detailed in the pages of this report...

We – members, staff, volunteers and friends of the Centre – have a challenging period before us. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the ever-increasing pressures of urban and economic development. The Centre has built a firm foundation and achieved a credible reputation. Our challenge is to work from that platform and ensure that we continue to speak clearly and persistently on behalf of sustainability.
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Management Committee

Dr Miriam Verbeek

Mr John Nelson

Ms Josephine Winkler
Interim Secretary May03

Ms Anne Long
Management Committee

Mr Neil deNett
Management Committee

Mr Michael Nancarrow
Management Committee

Ms Michelle Zeibots
Management Committee
(Resigned May03)

Mr Don Page
Management Committee

Mrs Ruth Zeibots
Management Committee
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Mr Jim Sloan
Executive Officer

Ms Josephine Winkler
Office Manager

Mr Simon Kimberley
Project & Website Co-ordinator

Mrs Lorraine Foster
Library & Volunteer Coordinator

Ms Becky Lo
Library & Volunteer Coordinator

Ms Michelle Zeibots
Transport Coordinator

Ms Sapna Kamath

Mr Nick Benson
Wornora River
Trails Coordinator

Mr Bob Symington
Georges River
Trails Coordinator
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