Renew Geelong Picnic 2014


The CO2 Earth Day walk through central Geelong

“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion”
Paulo Coelho


Doug Rolfe from ATA and Cr Eve Fisher live on air on 94.7 The Pulse

Surf Coast Councillor Eve Fisher (4:27 minutes)

» To open or download this mp3-file, right-click here (Mac: CTRL + click)


Earthworkers’ stall

Dave Kerin from Earthworker Cooperative (3:56 minutes)

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A model of The Sea Dragon

Doug Rolfe from ATA [start: 0:00] • Christian O’Halloran from JOH Architects [start: 2:35] & lawyer Andrew Senia [start: 5:30], The Sea Dragon • Erwin Boermans from ComfortID [start: 7:30] • Leigh Ewbanks from Friends of the Earth [start: 11:35] (Duration: 14:44 minutes)

» To open or download this mp3-file, right-click here

Corio Bay Action Group: Teaching Kids How to Fish (2:49 minutes)

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Peter Reeves from ATA Geelong EV Branch (2:29 minutes)

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What follows below is the text which was posted to promote the event.


Click on the poster to open PDF in A4-size for print

What is ‘Renew Geelong Picnic’?
It is a public, not-for-profit, community- and family-oriented event around Earth Day held in Eastern Park on Sunday 27 April 2014.

You are invited!
We are a number of organisations and individuals in Geelong who would like to invite you to take part in the ‘Renew Geelong’ initiative.

Those who like a bit of physical activity first are invited to take part in a Walk – Cycle-Ride – EV-Cruise which will take place at 10am, starting from the Waterfront in Yarra Street, following a special route through the CBD, and ending right at the venue in Eastern Park.

More about this below.

Sunday 27 April will be a good day for families, schools, businesses, artists, organisations and decision makers in Geelong to meet each other in an informal way and mark this year’s Earth Day and its Green Cities theme with exploring and exchanging sustainable experiences, ideas and visions, and in particular: solutions to the carbon emissions problem.

Your presence on the day will have significance for the spirit of solution-building and optimism which we hope to create.

The idea
The idea is to boost the new and optimistic narrative around how we deal with the employment crisis which Geelong currently is confronted with. We propose that the strategy dealing with Geelong’s employment crisis is combined with addressing the problem which is caused by our collective air pollution. That we can kill two birds with one stone, so to say.

Scientists tell us that our carbon emissions are causing the climate to change with devastating consequences for every one of us in just a few decades from now.

We hope the Renew Geelong event can contribute to create inspiration and a higher sense of consensus on the issues of both the city’s employment possibilities and the renewable energy solutions which we as a community and as individuals can implement right away.

We encourage all Geelong businesses, chambers, unions, organisations, artists and community groups – across all the various differences and disagreements – to become involved and actively take part in making this event a success.

For businesses in Geelong the event offers an opportunity to showcase their initiatives, ideas and strategies within the field of sustainability and renewable energy in an informal way.

The floor – or rather: the grass – is all yours.

We also encourage artists to engage in this conversation because artists play in important role in cross-promoting the solutions to carbon emissions to a wider public.

This event is about raising awareness about our carbon emissions and the realities of climate change, but it is deliberately focused on carbon emission solutions and how we address the problems, rather than on explaining and dwelling on the scientific documentation of the problems.

» Read more:  Why should I involve myself in this?

» Give a hand:  How you can help promote this event


“Analysts at French based energy components company Schneider Electric have concluded that extending or expanding Australia’s renewable energy target would lead to lower electricity prices, lower carbon emissions and increased competition.”

Article in RenewEconomy by Giles Parkinson on 14 April 2014: ‘Schneider study finds boosting renewables will cut energy costs’

» More about the  Renewable Energy Target


Who will participate?

We hope the event will attract around 200-300 people of all ages from Geelong and districts, and from all sectors of society. It will be a good day for families, schools, businesses, artists, organisations and decision makers in Geelong to meet each other in an informal and casual way – and in beautiful surroundings open the open sky with trees and a view to the sea – as well as to the Shell refinery.

The event has three elements:



1) Geelong families ‘walk the talk’

A two kilometres walk through the CBD for families with children.


We start with a photo opportunity at 10:00am at the waterfront, near the end of Yarra Street (see photo above), and then we walk on the pavement on the following route:

Route: Walk west along Western Beach Road, turn left into Gheringhap, then left into Malop and walk up Malop on the left side, across Garden Street and into Eastern Park.

We expect it will be possible to purchase organic refreshments at the shop Organic Larder which you will be passing on the way.

If you are driving in car to the event, we recommend that you park the car at the parking area on the seaside of Eastern Park between 9:00 and 9:30, and then walk from there to the meeting spot at Yarra Street. It is a nice walk along the waterfront which takes between 12 to 15 minutes, depending on your walking speed.



2) CO2 Cycle Parade and EV Grin Cruise

A five kilometres cruise following a route which will draw the letters CO2 when using an online GPS-device and app.

The drive starts at the same place as the walk, near the end of Yarra Street, with a photo opportunity at 10:00am, and it is separated in two groups of vehicles:

a) Electric vehicles, ‘EV cruisers’ (cars and motor bikes) in one group, and
b) Bicycles and other muscle-powered vehicles in the other group.

The drivers and bike riders are not to be disturbing the Sunday traffic.


GPS app for CO2 painting
Participants with a smartphone or iPhone should download the app called ‘Green Drive’ in advance.

Via GPS, the app will track the holder’s route. As the holder moves along the route, a line will be registered on the city map, slowly painting the letters ‘C O 2’ in case of the EV-drivers and cyclists, and slashing the CO2-letters through the middle in case of the pedestrians.

When you have downloaded the app, you need to write either ‘walk‘ (for pedestrians) or ‘drive‘ (for cyclists and drivers) in order to log in and be able to see the 2014-route as shown on the photo above.

Similar ‘CO2-paintings’ have been produced in connection with Earth Day in cities around the world. On 22 April 2014 New Yorkers on bicycles produced a similar painting in the streets of the busy American metropol.

About CO2 Green Drive
CO2 Green Drive is an international Art, Climate and Technology Project conceptualised by the Danish artist Jacob Fuglsang Mikkelsen. More information about it can be read on and on

In 2013, 25 Geelong residents walked the same route on Earth Day, and their collective GPS-‘painting’ was praised by the Green Drive organisers in Denmark as being the best-looking ‘CO2’-letters of all cities involved:



» Print map of the routes on A4 paper

3) Picnic in Eastern Park


We gather near (but not under) the big aleppo pine. Park Authorities have asked that we don’t set up underneath the canopy of the tree.

The picnic is held in Eastern Park from around 11:00am to 1:00pm, opposite Play Space and the BBQ area.

We are expecting nice sunny weather so participants will be able to sit on the grass around the big tree on the top of the hill with a beautiful view to the sea, enjoy the food which they have brought from home while chatting and networking with the other participants.


Activities from 11am to 1pm

• African drum soundscape with Mark. Soak up the rhythms and dance to the beat.

• Speeches, unplugged, at ‘Speakers Circle’

• Exhibitions and stalls, for instance
‘The Sea Dragon’ – a wind-powered icon for Geelong
Earthworkers – who wants to start a solar pump factory in Geelong
The Imagine Community Solar Project
– Launch of the booklet ‘The Solution – a vision for our city’
‘The Solution’ School Program
– and hopefully more renewable energy projects

• Ideas brainstorm ‘summit’ – broadcasted live on 94.7 The Pulse

• Signing of the ‘Renewable Energy Declaration of Geelong’ which will be posted to Mayor Darryn Lyons, and a Joint letter to State Premier Dr Denis Napthine.

• Signing of personal letters to Sarah Henderson, Member of Parliament, Federal Member for Corangamite • Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Communications • Joe Hockey, Treasurer

• Signing of various petitions, such as the VIC Wind petition to protect the Renewable Energy Target, the RET petition by Friends of the Earth and the Move Beyond Coal petition by Environment Victoria.

pirate-map-eastern-p250For kids:

• Kite Flying (if wind allows)

• Windmill Treasure Hunt

• Production of Lanterns for M~M2014 Steampacket Labyrinth

• Teaching Kids How to Fish – by Corio Bay Action Group

“Come along to Limburners boat ramp between 8am and 10am where the Friends of Corio Bay Action Group is holding a kids fishing education fun morning. Any parents wishing their children to paticipate, please bring them along. All rods and tackle, and bait will be provided. We will fish off the rocks at the boat ramp.”

If there is interest, family groups are encouraged to head off at 1pm with either the Corio Bay Action Group who will take you to the water and Teach Kids How to Fish, or for a walk in the park to take a look at the thousands of bats who are taking a nap nearby. Sign up at the info tent.

Bring: Food and water/juice, frisbee, ball, music instruments, moskito spray.

Do you have another idea you would like to contribute with? Or do you have something special you would like to bring to the picnic? Contact us!

The event is held off the grid. If electricity is needed, it must be provided with stand-alone solar power.

Tents can be raised for stalls and meetings, but are to be wired with weight, not plugs, since there are electrical wires in the ground. Set-up time between 9:00am and 10:30am same day.

Clean-up: Leave no trace!

Everyone cleans up for themselves. We leave no trace. We intend to leave this beautiful green ‘breathing space’ in Geelong even cleaner than we found it.

The date

The reason we organise this event on 27 April is that we would like it to be Geelong’s tribute to Earth Day – an annual global event which this year has the theme: ‘Green Cities’ and which is always on 22 April. But we thought it would be best to do it on a Sunday.

» For information about Earth Day, see:


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Publicity for the event
This is a “crowd-organised” event, which means that you will be inviting those who you would like to see take part in this.

You can distribute the poster via email or Facebook – or print it and post it on a bulletin board at your work place, school or university, local café or supermarket:

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» Would you like to join the organising team as a volunteer? Contact us!

» More ideas to how you can help promoting this event

Initiating partners

The event has been initiated and is directed by Geelong Sustainability Group, Transition South Barwon and Transition East Geelong in cooperation with a growing list of partners, among which are listed here.

Audio report

A seven-minute audio report from the venue in Eastern Park. By the presenters of The Sustainable Hour, Mik Aidt and Anthony Gleeson:

– A chat about the idea with the event and the venue of the event.

Sponsors and media partners

We are looking for advertisers, sponsors and media partners, in particular to finance and/or assist with in-kind publicity work, advertising, and printing of posters. It that could be you – or if you have an idea – please contact us.

A vision for our city

cover_200w-shadowThe 36-page booklet ‘The Solution – a vision for our city’ which currently is being printed in 100 copies to be distributed for free to schools in Geelong, outlines how it is possible to renew Geelong and create a cleaner, greener and more prosperous city when only we have reached a critical mass of citizens who subscribe to this idea.

» Read more about the booklet:

» Open or download the 36-page booklet: (PDF)


We hope this could become an annual event for at least three to five years, which could then grow from one year to the next.

We look forward to further discussion with you on all this.

“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion”
Paulo Coelho

Photo material

» High resolution PR-photos for print:

Facebook event page

Facebook event page

Would you like to take part in this event on 27 April?
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