Upcoming events

Urban Heat or Cool Green: Shaping Port Phillip’s Future Tree Canopy

Urban Heat or Cool Green banner

The Port Phillip Climate Emergency Network (PECAN), Port Phillip EcoCentre, and City of Port Phillip invite you to a pivotal community forum: Urban Heat or Cool Green: Shaping Port Phillip’s Future Tree Canopy.


Dive into the science and practical considerations for Port Phillip’s draft Urban Forest Strategy, and how we might reach 30% canopy cover by 2040, as set by other cities

Two Futures, One Choice:

In one scenario, our city’s tree canopy diminishes, exposing our community to the harsh reality of urban heat. In another, a lush tree canopy transforms Port Phillip into a cool green haven. Let’s explore the path that ensures a thriving and resilient future.

Expert Insights:

Jen Witheridge (City of Port Phillip Coordinator Urban Forest) and Dr Greg Moore (Senior Research Associate, University of Melbourne) will reveal the benefits of canopy cover and address challenges on the journey to a cool green future. Gio Fitzpatrick (Local Naturalist) will talk about the importance of planting for increasing local biodiversity.

Community Dialogue:

Engage in a dynamic Q&A session, sharing your visions for the City of Port Phillip in the years ahead. Be part of the discussion shaping a more sustainable and resilient urban environment.

Meet the Experts:

  • Jen Witheridge: A multidisciplinary urban greening specialist leading the City of Port Phillip’s Urban Forest Strategy.
  • Dr Greg Moore: A distinguished Senior Research Associate with expertise in arboriculture and environmental services.
  • Gio Fitzpatrick: A local naturalist and biodiversity commentator well known for his work at Yalukit Willam Nature Reserve.

Join the Movement:

This is not just a forum; it’s a call to action. Be part of the movement to cool our city, green our streets, and secure a vibrant future for Port Phillip.

  • Date & Time: Tuesday 19 March 2024 6.30pm – 8pm
  • Location: Victorian Pride Centre Theatrette, 79-91 Fitzroy St, St Kilda

Let’s sow the seeds of change together!


Macnamara Candidates Climate Forum

We heard from our local Federal Macnamara candidates and asked climate change and energy questions.

The Q&A forum was hosted by PECAN in association with other local climate groups.

Guest Speaker. Prof. Kathryn Bowen, Melbourne University. Lead author IPCC.

The candidates:

  • Josh Burns (ALP)
  • Colleen Harkin (LIB) Declined
  • Steph Hodgins-May (GRN)

Forum Details:

  • Tue 26th Apr 2022, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm AEST
  • St Kilda Town Hall 99A Carlisle St, St Kilda VIC 3182, Australia
  • COVID-Safe event. Vaccination certificate check.

Vote Gas Out: Renewables are our future

As the federal election campaign is upon us, this webinar aimed to inspire and assist us to challenge the Governments’ gas expansion schemes in our local federal election campaigns.

Details: Online webinar Tuesday 5 April, 7pm – 8:30pm


  • Freja Leonard, Lock the Gate
  • Saul Griffith, author of ‘The Big Switch’
  • Bruce Robertson, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

This action webinar will remind us, that Governments’ policies for massive gas expansion across Australia will be devastating for climate and environment. It will also bring to our attention that a renewable path is not only possible but of great benefit to us all. Most of all, as the federal election campaign is upon us, the webinar aims to inspire and assist us in our local federal election campaigns to challenge policies promoting gas expansion.

Launching Port Phillip’s Partnership with the Metro Community Power Hub

Wednesday 22 September 2021, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

PECAN has partnered with the Metro Community Power Hub to showcase the role of community batteries in transitioning the grid to one that supports a zero carbon future.  We were joined by guest speaker Chris Wallin, the community battery project manager from the Yarra Energy Foundation. You can hear how you can take actions towards an ‘all-electric home’ and how the newly established energy hub can assist you. The event was run in partnership with the newly established Metro Community Power Hub (MCPH), a one-stop hub helping more people access practical renewable energy solutions. The MCPH is led by the Yarra Energy Foundation, which has been awarded funding for a 12-month period by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government.

Listen here.

Your Money Matters: Divesting For Our Climate

Wednesday 16 September 2021, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Over 80 people attended the Port Phillip EcoCentre climate action webinar on divestment. There was discussion and Q&A with special guest speakers – industry experts from Ethical Investment Services and Market Forces, and local community panelists on how they invest their personal assets to get the best return in protecting their futures by financing smart solutions that safeguard our planet’s future.

Will van de Pol, Asset Management Campaigner, Market Forces
Adam Carey, Financial Planner, Ethical Investment Services
Deborah Sykes, Community Activist, Port Phillip Emergency Climate Action Network (PECAN)
Josh Solomonsz, EcoCentre mate, recent Masters grad and socials wiz @heyimjoshlol

Local Climate Action Now!
Thursday 9 September 2021
Ironbark Sustainability works with councils and their communities to reduce greenhouse emissions, tackle climate change, and implement sustainability projects and programs. They have recently published their 2021 Australian Local Government Climate Review. Guest speaker Alexi Lynch from Ironbark Sustainability shared ideas regarding the report with locals.

More than 80 people attended this event, which can be viewed here.

At the meeting, a resolution on Local Climate Action Now was proposed and accepted

Big New Gas, Big Mistake
Tuesday 18 May 2021

The Gas Fallacy
Tuesday 15 September 2020


Heat, Fire & Flood
Saturday 29 February 2021

Professor Nigel Tapper’s presentation

Professor Nigel Tapper

Professor Nigel Tapper completed his PhD on urban climate, a subject matter that was distinctly unsexy at the time. Now, thirty years later and on a warmer planet, Nigel is involved in an expert panel on infrastructure and settlement of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the Cities as Water Supply Catchments program, helping to bring down the mercury in our urban areas and the planet as a whole. The Cities as Water Supply Catchments is a multi-disciplinary, multi-faculty program funded by the state science agenda and the federal water.

A PDF of Rob Gell’s presentation


Rob Gell is a geographer and specifically a coastal geomorphologist, specialising in the environmental processes that continually shape our coastlines. As such, he has an expert understanding of the Victorian coastline and its formation.

In his professional life he works as an environmental and communications consultant and is an Executive Director of ReThink Sustainability Pty Ltd. and a director of Attentis Technology, an advanced, real time, sensor and intelligence network technology.

A PDF of Lalitha Ramachandran’s presentation

Lalitha Ramachandran

Lalitha Ramachandran was Senior Project Manager in Sustainability at the City of Port Phillip between 2005 and 2015. She operates her own environment consultancy, Ecosens, and for the last two years she has been based in South East Water as Technical Project Manager.

Lalitha was instrumental in work carried out by the Port Phillip Council on both heat and flood issues, and her work since then has built on this experience in addressing these complex issues.

Questions from the audience

The complete two hour video of the forum