GECA News and Events
  • GECA Guide: Sustainable Events & Activities to Keep You Inspired While Self-Isolating

    woman-writing-on-her-notebook-Photo by Retha Ferguson from Pexels
    23 Mar 2020 11:59 am

    Last updated on 16/7/2020

    We know that there’s a lot to be concerned about right now. But sometimes you need a break from the latest COVID-19 news and give yourself some mental room to breathe. We’ve put together a list of sustainability-focused events and activities to help keep you occupied, energised and connected.

    Digital Events

    Tuesday 21 – Wednesday 22 July at 9:20am – 1:00pm (AEST) ~ The third annual Waste Strategy Summit 2020 will focus on the innovations, technology and systems that are making a difference in advancing investment, adoption and implementation of smart waste strategies. On Day One, GECA’s CEO Michelle Thomas, will be participating on the panel – “Discussing the circular economy in the real world and the impact it is having on waste reduction and recycling”. Michelle will be joined by representatives of Planet Ark, CSIRO, Close the Loop and Clean Up Australia.

    Wednesday 29 July at 10:30am – 11:30am (AEST) ~ The Waste 2020 Webinar Series – Indigenous Waste Management will feature Blossom Pitt and Keira Green from Embrace, along with Hannah Franklin and Graham Kilby from Veolia Environmental Services. Blossom and Keira will share how to engage with Aboriginal people; how to understand cultural protocols; and why cultural awareness and insight is important. They will also discuss how to identify and connect with key Aboriginal stakeholders and give you a few tips on what not to do! Hannah and Graham will discuss their key learnings in the implementation of Reconciliation Action Plans in large disparate operations; increasing local economic impact though partnership with Our Country; improved business opportunities through innovative models and the power of collaboration and partnerships.

    Wednesday 29 July at 12pm – 1pm (AEST) ~ Unintended Consequences: How we invented the ocean plastic crisis is an online discussion about how we invented the ocean plastic crisis, featuring guest speaker Aly Khalifa, Chief Innovation Officer of Designbox. This is part of Macquarie University’s Incubator virtual series.

    Wednesday 29 July at 2pm – 3pm (AEST) ~ How are cities working on a resilient recovery? Cities across the world are examining their approach to resilience in the wait of the COVID-19 pandemic. This event will explore how cities can build back better to fix their systems and protect themselves from future risks and challenges. From climate change to drought to future pandemics, hear from Lauren Sorkin from the Global Resilient Cities Network about the next stage for urban resilience.

    Thursday 30 July at 10am – 11:30am (AEST) ~ Architecture & Biodiversity: Maximising value through planning presented by the Australian Green Development Forum (AGDF), will feature ZLI Executive Director James Karl Fischer PhD RIBA as he reviews the importance of ecological habitat for animals, identifies key points of architecture affecting ecological habitats, and outlines actionable biodiversity-loss mitigating planning steps that pursue bird-friendly design, natural light leadership and wildlife provisioning.

    Thursday 30 July at 12pm – 1:30pm (AEST) ~ Busting Human Rights and Modern Slavery Myths is a free webinar coinciding with the UN’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. An expert panel will share their experiences working with Australian businesses in the first year of reporting under the Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act 2018 and debunk some of the common myths that have emerged.

    Wednesday 5 August at 11am – 3pm (AEST) ~ Flick the Switch is an online symposium by The Fifth Estate focused on transitioning to a net zero future. This event will feature leading experts – government executives, private investors developers, consultants and professional advisers to see how government levers and private sector action can work together to achieve the outcomes we want and urgently need.

    Every Wednesday at 2pm (AEST) ~ The APCO Community Webinar Series has been launched by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation to bring together sustainability experts from across the business, government and environmental communities to explore a range of sustainability ideas.

    Every Second Wednesday at 4pm (AEST) ~ Banksia Happy Hour will provide you with an inspirational and positive platform showcasing the success of Australian change-makers. The amazing folks at the Banksia Foundation are hosting a get-together through Zoom to bring you inspirational speakers to keep your spirits high. Please contact to confirm your interest.

    Every Friday at 12pm (AEST) ~ Carbon Conversations is an interactive live webinar series developed by the Carbon Market Institute to address key industry, policy, regulatory and community issues regarding the transition to a net-zero emissions economy.

    Online Learning

    Our friends at Supply Chain Sustainability School have a wealth of FREE online courses and resources. Access training on vital topics such as climate adaptation, modern slavery and the circular economy.

    We have created a series of masterclasses on sustainable procurement and driving purchasing that is good for people and the planet. Discover how to identify hotspots in your supply chain and where to start when it comes to looking for modern slavery.

    Travelling may not be an option right now, but one day it will be again. Jump onto our newest webinar where we spoke to Kate Read, Sustainability Engagement Coordinator at City of Sydney and grab some hot tips and tools to amend your travel policy and shape procurement discussions and processes that are better for people and planet.

    Cultural Competence – Aboriginal Sydney is a free online course offered by the University of Sydney that uses Aboriginal experiences and narratives of Sydney to explore the key themes and capabilities of cultural competence.

    The Green Building Institute offers online training in sustainable building and construction. This includes accredited qualifications and CPD training.

    The ISEAL Alliance have published their webinar series relating to credible sustainability standards on Vimeo. Here you can access expertise on living incomes, social auditing and benchmarking.

    Pro-tip! Many libraries offer their members free access to extensive online learning platforms, as well as e-books and audiobooks. It’s worth jumping on your library’s website and checking it out!

    Watch & Listen

    Now is the perfect time to watch those sustainability docos that you’ve never had time for!

    The Ocean Lovers Festival has filmed a series of interviews with experts in the marine environment, conducted by the co-founder of Ocean Impact Organisation Tim Silverwood.

    The makers of Inhabit, a feature-length documentary on permaculture, have now made their film available to stream online for free. Pebble Magazine have also created a great list of films on topics ranging from climate change and ethical fashion to coral reefs and biodiversity.

    During morning coffee, why not kick back and listen to an inspiring sustainably-minded podcast? Here’s just a few to get you started.

    The Dumbo Feather Conversation Series brings you inspirational speakers as they explore how we’re holding the complexity of this time while reimagining what’s possible.

    The ELEVATE Sustainable Journeys podcast features conversations with the leading industry voices on sustainability and responsible supply chains as they share their journeys toward lasting positive change.

    Journalist and VOGUE Sustainability Editor, Claire Press, interviews guests on her podcast Wardrobe Crisis about fashion, culture, sustainability, ethics, activism and the environment. Sustainability Defined is a podcast that focuses on a single topic each episode that pushes sustainability forward.

    The Minimalists Podcast is all about how to live better with less stuff, whereas Think Sustainability digs into the impact of consumption across all areas of life.

    The Sustainable Jungle Podcast explores solutions for the world’s sustainability and conservation challenges. And lastly, Direct Current combines humour and cutting-edge energy science.

    Stay Involved

    A wonderful example of what we can achieve when we work together is citizen science. The Atlas of Living AustraliaCSIRO and the Australian Citizen Science Association have joined forces to create the Citizen Science Bushfire Project Finder. By getting involved you will be providing bushfire researchers with information they otherwise wouldn’t have access to.

    The Conversation has also put together a list of amazing environmental and health-related projects that need your help!

    Explore & Have Fun

    Thanks to the Australian National Maritime Museum, you can now explore the icy realms of the Arctic while staying at home! Elysium Arctic is a breathtaking visual journey through sub-zero temperatures, sea ice and spectacular wildlife.

    Enjoy the iconic Sydney Opera House from the comfort of your living room thanks to a wealth of digital experiences for kids and adults alike.

    Make best friends with your backyard, balcony or window and become familiar with the creatures in your neighbourhood! BirdLife Australia is encouraging us all to snap a photo of any backyard bird sightings and post them online tagged with #BirdingatHome. BirdLife has also released a range of resources specifically designed to keep the kids chirpy!

    The always effervescent Costa Georgiadis has teamed up with Junior Landcare Australia to ask – what’s in your backyard? Kids are invited to explore their backyard, take photos and share what’s in their backyard and why it’s important to them.

    Thanks to Google Arts & Culture, you can visit some of the most famous art galleries and museums in the world from the safety of home. Whether you’d like to peruse the National Gallery of Australia, visit the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, fly through the Orion Nebula or stroll around Angkor Wat Temple, there’s something for everyone.

    Remember to follow us here on the blog, and via Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter as we continue to bring you resources to make, buy and do better for people and planet!

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