March webinar: Community resilience through community-owned renewables by Neroli Raff
Updated: Apr 6
Communities leading the change
Whether it is Totally Renewable Phillip Island, the Energy Innovation Co-operative or the Venus Bay Community Centre, communities have long realised the benefits of moving away from fossil fuels to more reliable energy sources like renewables.
The recent power outages, which lasted for weeks in some areas showed just how vulnerable an island community like Venus Bay is. But residents did not sit still, they quickly set up a working group, drafted plans and applied for funding to create an emergency refuge for their community.
Thanks to grants from Community Power Hub Gippsland and Sustainability Victoria, Venus Bay Community Centre was able to receive solar panels, an inverter and a battery. This week they launched their exciting energy resilience project and residents can now use the community refuge for emergencies and in times of power outages. Whether it is to have a cuppa, use the toilets, wash clothes or charge devices, Venus Bay is now one step closer to creating a micro-grid.
Energy resilience project launch at Venus Bay Community Hub on 21st March 2022
Resilient communities through community-owned renewables
Neroli has volunteered for 40 years in rural communities, she is currently the Chairperson at Energy Innovation Co-Operative EI Co-op and the representative on Totally Renewable Phillip Island Core Group. She is also the Project Officer/Coordinator with the Southern Gippsland Renewable Energy Roadmap project and the Resilient Communities Pilot Project.
Energy Innovation Co-operative Ltd (EICo-op) is a non-trading co-operative, operating since 2009 with a mission of “working together towards a zero emissions community”.
Neroli's vast experience stretches across different sectors and areas including: implementing various major legislation, organisation & policy change and service redevelopment using participatory, cultural and change management principles. She has managed teams of varying sizes for over 30 years in different settings (hospitals, community health, State & Commonwealth Government), including people from other cultures and people with disabilities. Further, she is responsible for the risk assessment, mitigation and projects through the Energy Innovation Co-operative, where she has been the Chair for the past three years.
Support inclusive communities to be empowered to create their own vision and reality for transitioning to sustainability. Champion people living with disadvantage to benefit from the transition to sustainability. Contribute to a cohesive and enjoyable working relationship with other Board members, energy and community groups to achieve our goals. Support the transition to renewable energy in the region.
Further volunteering experience:
Chairperson for Rural Australian for Refugees
4 years Cowes Community Dinner
Wildlife Victoria rescuer
Tuckshop legend Goulburn Valley Grammar School
Parent Volunteer Australian Air Force Cadets (Benalla Squadron)
Inaugural Secretary Swanpool Community Cinema
No Toxic Dump Violet Town
Medical Centre SOS Children's Village
Malawi (Central Africa)
Camp leader & ski instructor Victorian Disabled Ski Association
Chairperson Benalla Adult and Community Education