Olivia Earl, better known as Livvy, is an ambitious ten-year old helping the community with her self-made enterprise ‘Luv Livvy’.
Earlier this year when COVID began to spread in Tasmania and wearing face masks became mandatory, Old Beach resident Livvy was scared when she realised how many single use masks were going into landfill every day. She told her mum she had to do something about it and that she was going to “change the world”.
Livvy dug out an old sewing machine from her mum’s garage, and with the help of Google and YouTube videos, she taught herself to sew. After much practice, Livvy began to produce beautifully-made reversible and reusable face masks. Her mum started advertising them on a local Facebook page, and orders for the masks began to roll in.
With the help of her mum, Livvy then created her own Facebook page @LuvLivvyMasks, where she regularly shares updates on new products to her nearly 200 followers.
She has since received orders from the mainland as well, and even all the way from Canada! Customers can choose the type of fabric, pattern and colour they prefer, and the masks come in four different sizes. Livvy also sews fabric keyrings, drawstring pouches, wire headbands, and knotted headbands.
But what Livvy does with the proceeds, is where her community spirit really starts to shine through. She splits the proceeds of each sale into three parts. One third is used to buy materials to create more masks, another third goes into her savings, and the rest is donated to local charities.
Always thinking of others, Livvy also recently purchased personal care items such as shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and sanitary items, totalling nearly $200, and donated them to the Salvation Army to be distributed.
Livvy is currently raising funds to buy socks for Hobart City Mission’s Safe Space program, a 24-hour service for people who are experiencing homelessness. During the period of Lent leading up to Easter, Libby will be donating 100% of her profits to purchasing socks for the program. Her Easter products include drawstring bunny pouches, bunny scrunchies, and elastic bookmarks.
A staff member from Brighton Council was recently announced as a finalist in the Climate Council’s Community Choice Award for an innovative switch to electric outdoor maintenance equipment such as blowers and hedge trimmers.
We’re proud of the innovation Tim Pursell has shown to improve the health and wellbeing of fellow co-workers and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The all-electric equipment is used out in the field to maintain street trees, parks, tracks and trails, heritage gardens and for general cleanliness. By charging the equipment from the Brighton Council Depot, which is powered by a 30kW rooftop solar photovoltaic system, and from Tasmania’s low emissions factor grid electricity. This produces 150gm of carbon dioxide for every unit of electricity, compared to 980g carbon dioxide or kWh in Victoria. The emissions are lower than burning diesel and petrol fuel mixes through traditional combustion powered handheld equipment.
This small switch is not only reducing emissions, but is also improving the health and wellbeing of workers from a reduced exposure to polluting fumes. If councils across Australia were to do the same switch to all electric hand outdoor maintenance equipment, the savings would be significant.
This project involved a great team of people at Brighton Council led by Tim with support from Scott Percey from the outdoor staff through to senior management and the General Manager. Brighton Council was the only project from Tasmania represented nationally via the Climate Council Awards and was one of eight projects nominated for the Community Choice Award, out of 145 local government areas and 500 cities and towns.
For results on all the climate change action award winners visit www.citiespowerpartnership.org.au/2021
Brighton Council in partnership with the Derwent Estuary Program and UTAS officially unveiled a suite of informative signs along the Old Beach Foreshore trail in February.
At the unveiling, Mayor Leigh Gray presented the signs, titled Tidal Treasures of the River Derwent, to the community of Old Beach. The saltmarshes and Derwent River foreshore are an extremely valuable natural asset within the Brighton Municipality and provide a great place for connecting with nature to learn about the many ways they benefit our wellbeing.
CEO of the Derwent Estuary Program, Ursula Taylor spoke at the event and explained, “Saltmarsh is not only beautiful, it plays an important role in filtering water to keep it clean, it’s a place for fish and birds to breed and we now know it is very efficient at capturing carbon. Recently we surveyed 15 saltmarsh sites across the estuary to assess conditions and recommend management options, including at Old Beach.”
The official unveiling of the signage was followed by an informative ‘walk and talk’ along the saltmarsh foreshore led by Dr Vishnu Prahalad, University of Tasmania geography lecturer and renowned expert in coastal wetlands. Dr Prahalad said, “Nature in our backyards is increasingly being embraced by communities around the world as an important part of our lives. It offers
endless fascination, enriches our experience, and keeps us healthy in many ways. We are lucky here in the Derwent to still have these remnant patches of nature in the midst of suburbia, such as the Old Beach Saltmarsh. We will do well to look after this special place and let it look after us in turn.”
Mayor Gray described the gratitude Brighton Council has for its partnership with the Derwent Estuary Program and UTAS when it comes to caring for and understanding the true value of our saltmarsh areas. “Each sign features a different species of bird and plant that you will find here and includes tips on helping to protect and improve the saltmarsh area. We particularly want to
educate everyone to always keep their dogs on lead when walking, stay on the trail and keep clear of the birdlife,” he said. As part of Brighton Council’s Climate Resilience Strategy and Corporate Adaptation Plan, Council also works in partnership with the State Government and the Derwent Catchment Group to manage the foreshore and consider the impacts of sea level rise on the vulnerability of the saltmarshes themselves. It’s hoped that the new signage might be a catalyst to get even more members of the Old Beach community involved in caring for the foreshore area and grow a local Landcare group, currently in its infancy.
As part of the roll-out of FOGO, the program was extended to include a free FOGO service to schools, supported by a Brighton Council-run sustainability and waste education program.
The goal was for students to become FOGO-savvy and start using FOGO caddies at school, then take that knowledge and experience home to create better organic waste management in both settings. Personal waste management is mainly a habit-driven behaviour, an ‘automatic’ activity that you don’t have to think too hard about.
Changing personal habits such as putting food scraps into a caddy instead of the rubbish bin, requires awareness, education and emotional satisfaction derived from performing the new habit. Importantly, it’s repeating the behaviour numerous times before it will become the new default habit. Fostering environmentally sustainable habits early, such as in childhood gives it the best chance of becoming the default behaviour, without having to work too hard to ‘teach an old dog new tricks’ as an adult.
Gwen Harper, from JustWaste Consulting, was contracted for eight hours a week during school terms to take on the role of Brighton’s Waste Education Officer, working in tandem with Brighton Council’s Climate Resilience Officer Alison Johnson.
So far, all six primary schools in our Municipality were introduced to the new Council role and free FOGO offer and all six primary schools completed a waste management survey. Three schools have already agreed to start a FOGO trial in early 2022 and two school trials pencilled in for Term 3.
The focus is to encourage schools to sign up to FOGO, engage in more sustainable waste management practices at school, and to support teachers and students by running educational and fun activities on FOGO, waste and sustainability.
Schools can strive for three levels of recognition. 1. Waste-Aware, 2. Waste-Beware and 3. WasteWise, with each level dependent on the number and type of activities and/or policies they have at school that supports better waste education and waste management.
FOGO TOP TIPS
Here are some great tips for reducing smells in your FOGO bin:
• Put your FOGO bin out every two weeks, even if it’s not full.
• Wrapping food scraps in newspaper can help reduce smells.
• Layering food waste with dry materials, like leaves, shredded paper and soiled cardboard will help absorb liquids.
• If possible, let lawn clippings and garden cuttings dry out to prevent moisture build up.
• Freeze particularly odorous food scraps, like seafood and meat, and put them in the organics bin the night before collection.
• Keep your bins in the shade and ensure lids can close properly by not overfilling the bin.
For more tips and information on your FOGO service visit: www.brighton.tas.gov.au/property/fogo
Last month community groups and friends came together across Australia to do their part toward Clean Up Australia Day. Local groups took to our natural areas to collect rubbish. Brighton Councillor De La Torre assisted in getting people along to the Bridgewater foreshore Clean Up Australia day event.
The strangest find on the day was a stolen motorbike which has now been returned to its owner! He also thanked Salt Jordan Valley Anglican and Bean to Brew for providing free drinks on the day and Bluegum Trailer Hire for collecting the rubbish for appropriate disposal. Old Beach Neighbourhood Watch were joined by local scouts and cleanup enthusiasts from as far away as Bagdad at the Clean Up Australia event on the Old Beach foreshore. The group removed a ute load of rubbish!
Justin from the Derwent Catchment Project was also on hand at the Old Beach clean up to help budding weed removalists get started on tackling a big patch of boneseed on the foreshore. Boneseed is one of thirty two Australian weeds considered to be of National Significance. It easily invades natural bush and farmland, particularly in coastal areas. Its bone-like seeds can remain viable in the soil for 10 years. It has bright yellow flowers and grows to a height of around two to three metres.
A message from the Mayor – Leigh Gray
As part of our 2050 Vision, we have committed to ensuring we do all we can to support initiatives that achieve our goal of a truly sustainable environment for our people, wildlife, plants and waterways.
I’m pleased to see great steps towards this in the last six months and we can pride ourselves on the partnerships Council is forging in the community to make this happen both at a grass roots level and with dedicated organisations who specialise in supporting communities and councils achieve their sustainability goals.
In this edition of the Brighton Community News, you’ll read about many of these initiatives but I would like to highlight just a few here that we should acknowledge and celebrate as great steps forward.
Towards the end of last year, we saw the creation of the 300th Landcare Tasmania group, brought together in time to celebrate National Tree Day. The Bridgewater based group marked its beginnings by planting trees and shrubs in the Bridgewater/Green Point foreshore area to create wildlife habitats.
Council has long had a very valued relationship with the Derwent Estuary Program and UTAS in caring for our wetland areas and the recent launch of new signage at the Old Beach Saltmarsh highlights the importance of this partnership in ensuring the area is cared for and protected into the future, illuminating why our saltmarsh environments are so important to the health of our environment overall. I strongly encourage you to take a walk along the Old Beach Foreshore walking track and immerse in the saltmarsh area and all there is to learn from the new installations.
This year Council has commenced working with the Derwent Catchment Project (DCP) to improve the way we manage our natural resources. A Natural Resource Management (NRM) strategy will be created by the DCP to help manage and improve our land, water and soil quality as well as habitats for plants and animals. A focus for us as a Council will be foreshore restoration through a weed management plan. The DCP will also advise and support awareness and education in the community and have already been active in this space working with the Old Beach Neighbourhood Watch group on Clean Up Australia Day to identify and clear a dense patch of boneseed on the Old Beach Foreshore.
I’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of our community members who participated in Clean Up Australia Day or have a clean-up scheduled for later in the year. We were fortunate to have a group in Bridgewater cleaning up the foreshore there and the Old Beach Neighbourhood Watch group working on the Old Beach Foreshore area with the Derwent Catchment Project, learning a little about the effective removal of boneseed.
Council’s dedicated Climate Resilience Officer, Alison Johnson, continues to manage some exciting projects that really push us forward including ongoing ‘Greening Brighton’/ tree planting initiatives, solar energy installations and overseeing our WasteWise Schools Program in conjunction with Gwen Harper, from JustWaste Consulting. It’s truly gratifying to observe the effectiveness of our FOGO service and the great results being achieved at all levels with very low opt-out rates and absolutely minimal contamination.
Congratulations to all of our residents on embracing this important initiative to save thousands of tonnes of waste from landfill and keep our waste management costs down in an environment where costs are rising.
All of this work is testament to our commitment to ensuring we do the very best we can as a Council in climate adaptation and working towards being legitimately sustainable into the future. After all, we all know there is no ‘Planet B’.
You may have fond childhood memories of playing in the great outdoors, and the childlike wonder felt while being fully immersed in nature. According to NaturePlay Australia, outdoor play has proven to be beneficial to children in their cognitive, social, and emotional development, as well as in building their creativity and resilience.
That’s why schools such as the East Derwent Primary School in Bridgewater have started to hold nature play sessions as part of their curriculum. Senior staff member Libby Garlick had expressed concern about the school’s limited natural settings and environment, so she, alongside assistant principal Nicole Wilson, decided to collaborate with Kara Spence, the founder of Nature. Be in it. to deliver nature play sessions. “We don’t want kids to see their school as a barrier,” said Libby. “We don’t want children to grow up with only screens. We’re really excited about doing something positive for our students, as well as upskilling ourselves as teachers.”
Libby expressed her belief in the importance of risky play to develop confidence in children, and that the positives outweigh the negatives. “We’re developing confidence in children to have that risky play, and thereby increasing their resilience, and problem solving and communication skills.” East Derwent Primary will hold their nature play sessions off site, close to the school.
Since 2020 Lauren Sheppard has worked as the General Manager of MooBrew, Tassie’s largest independent craft brewery and produced here in Bridgewater. We interviewed Lauren about what got her into the role, what the beer industry is actually like, and her advice for young people.
When you were growing up,
did you see yourself being in this kind of role?
I was born and raised in Tassie, so I’ve always been really proud of working for Tasmanian-owned businesses. When I was little, I wanted to be a lawyer for quite a few years. But when I got to university, I realised I didn’t actually want to be a lawyer! I’m a numbers girl, so I pivoted straight away to my strengths, and worked in superannuation and finance and have followed that strength ever since. I spent a lot of years working for a private Tasmanian-owned car dealership, and then I worked for Frogmore Creek, as Andrew Hood started to transition out of that business. So, for the last 16 or 17 years I’ve worked for private Tasmanian-owned businesses and I wear that badge with pride. I’m not sure that I ever knew I would work in this particular industry, but what I did know, and what I tell my daughters and my son, is that
it’s really useful to have skills that can apply to any industry. As a business and finance driven person, I’ve had the joy and luxury of being able to explore lots of different industries because my skills transfer easily.
What’s it like working in the beer industry?
I think it’s an exciting time for anyone working in the beer industry in Tasmania right now. It’s a growth industry for our state, and it’s still growing every day. There are more breweries up and running all of the time. Per capita, we have more breweries in Tasmania than any other state in Australia. So, I think it’s an exciting time to be part of that growth period. I’m really passionate
about women not being able to be what they can’t see. I’m really proud of my business acumen and that’s where my greatest skills lie, and that’s what I hope people notice about me. But I’m also really mindful that if I can be a bit of a figurehead for women that go “oh that’s an industry I hadn’t thought of” or
“that’s an industry for skills I have and could apply to,” then that’s a bonus.
What did you do prior to your role as General Manager of MooBrew?
I’d been working for David Walsh for a couple of years before coming to MooBrew. Then in March 2018 he purchased Domaine A, a winery in the Coal River Valley, and I worked there for a number of years as the manager. When he bought Domaine A, he basically inherited me. I moved across to the Mona family and then worked with Domaine A under the new ownership, and also with Moorilla, which is Mona’s wine brand. Then Covid hit, and we all went home, around March 2020, and we pivoted the wine business to an e-commerce platform with a home delivery service. It was a really busy time, and then while I was in the first Covid lockdown, I received a call asking if I’d be interested in taking over MooBrew. So, it was a very strange time to take on a really big role. I was very lucky because I knew that Jack [head brewer at MooBrew] would have the brewing side well under control and I could focus on the business side.
What advice do you have for young people wanting to pursue a business career?
Be open-minded to how your skill sets apply. If someone had said to me ten years ago when I was working in car finance, that I’d end up managing a number of businesses for David Walsh, I would have laughed. I think the important thing, especially for women, is to believe the value in your skills, to be open to being ambitious – that that isn’t a negative in a woman. If you are
ambitious, don’t be afraid to let people know that you’re ambitious. I think it’s kind of been drilled into us that being ambitious makes us difficult or that it’s a negative, and I think that’s wrong. I would also say that it’s a lot to do with self-confidence. When you believe that you’re good enough for a job, quite often someone else will too.
Have you noticed any new metal springs on your wheelie bins lately? These are part of the Brighton Council’s new trial for bin springs – gravity-fed clips designed to keep bin lids closed after collection. The clips should assist in reducing spilled bins, unpleasant odours escaping from the bin, and general damage to your bins.
The clips are made from 100% recycled material and attach to the back of the bin lid. They use gravity and a torsion spring to flip the bin lid back into place after collection. BinSprings are currently being trialled in our local area and if the trial is successful, will be distributed to all households in the Brighton Municipality.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how the innovative gadgets work head to www.binspring.com.au