10-year-old quietly changing the world

Livvy with one of her beautiful Easter scrunchies.

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.

An Easter Bunny scrunchie.

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.

Climate champion at Brighton Council nominated for national award

Tim at work with the electrical equipment.

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

New ʻTidal Treasureʼ signage unveiled

L-R: Ursula Taylor, CEO Derwent Estuary Program, Cr Aaron De La Torre, Dr Vishnu Prahalad, UTAS, Cr Phil Owen, Mayor Leigh Gray.

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.

Ute loads of rubbish removed on Clean Up Australia Day

Old Beach Neighbourhood Watch group clean up the Old Beach Foreshore. Pic: OBNW Facebook.

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 teaching the group about weed removal. Pic: DCP Facebook.

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.

East Derwent Primary School to run Nature Play sessions

Two young Nature Play participants.

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.

Kara Spence from Nature. Be in it. running the East Derwent Primary School Session.

Interview: Lauren Sheppard, General Manager at MooBrew

Lauren at work.

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.

Lauren Sheppard

BinSpring being trialled

BinSpring in action.

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

New rules for cat owners


On March 1, 2022, changes to the Cat Management Legislation came into effect. If you own a cat or are considering getting one, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the new rules.

A key rule change is that all cats over the age of four months must now be microchipped and desexed. Exemptions to microchipping and desexing can only be given if a vet certifies that it may adversely affect the health and welfare of a cat. Cats owned by registered breeders for the purpose of breeding are exempt from desexing.

Cats don’t need to stay contained to their owner’s property, however, it’s greatly encouraged. Outdoor cats are at risk of car accidents, dog attacks, and injuries from cat fights. Cats also pose a threat to native wildlife.

Households can no longer keep more than four cats over the age of four months, unless an exemption is granted. There are a few reasons you can get an exemption, for example if a person holds a Multiple Cat Permit, is a registered cat breeder or holds a Cat Breeding Permit, is operating a cat boarding facility or veterinary establishment, is fostering a cat for a cat management facility
or an approved organisation or is minding someone else’s cat for less than six months (and the owner of the cat doesn’t reside on the property, and no payment is made for keeping the cat).

To get a Multiple Cat Permit, you need to microchip your cats, desex them, and keep them contained to your property. The living conditions at the property must not cause or be likely to cause harm to the health and safety of cats or people. Anyone wishing to breed cats is required to be a member of a recognised cat organisation or to apply for a conditional permit. Under the Act, it’s an offence to abandon a cat. If you do need to rehome a cat, you can sell it or give it away if the cat is at least eight weeks old, microchipped, desexed, vaccinated, wormed, and has been checked by a vet. Alternatively, it can be taken to a cat management facility.

For more information, visit the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) website www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au

24 Carrot Program at Jordan River Senior School Boosts Attendance Rate

Preparing the feast.

Nine Tasmanian schools have been included in the next round of participants in the 24 Carrot Gardens program this year. Founded by Kirsha Kaechele and Mona in 2014, the program aims to teach children how to grow, harvest, prepare and share healthy produce, with a focus on creativity, architecture, the arts, and sustainability.

The Jordan River Learning Federation (JRLF) Senior School in Bridgewater has been announced as one of the schools to participate in the program this year. Students will learn about health and nutrition in an immersive outdoor environment where they can learn to grow, cook, and eat
healthy produce. “Our state is proud of its strong foodie culture, and so much of our economy is centred upon it. We want to see all Tasmanians benefit and contribute to this, and this will not happen without investing in children in the neighbourhoods where it matters most” said Kirsha. She hopes that eventually every school in Tassie will have a learning garden, and that people will shift away from its current health and obesity crisis, and towards a healthy and positive future.

Assistant Principal at JRLF, Chantel Barnes, said JRLF first became involved with 24 Carrot Gardens last year. A miniature garden was started, along with weekly cooking lessons for the Grade 7 students. “We’re really fortunate that Kirsha was in the classroom. Jack Lark (program partner) came over every week with Kaechele, and they supplied us with all the materials to cook with.”

Program participants and partners.

According to Chantel, since the implementation of the 24 Carrot Gardens program, the school saw a significant improvement in student engagement and attendance. Grade 7 student Josh* began last year with an attendance of around 40%. But by the time he finished term four that year, his attendance was at 70%. “He made a 30% gain just by feeling a connection to the program,”
Chantel shared. At the end of each term, the students hosted a feast for the rest of their peers, which saw an impressive attendance of 80-85%. “We’re really fortunate that 24 Carrot Gardens could support us by providing opportunities for our learners to do hospitality with industry mentors,” said Chantel. The students who chose to participate in the cooking classes in term four received their own personal cooking knife with their name engraved on it.

This year students will again be working in a special masterclass. Two students will also have the chance to do work placement with Vince Trim, Mona’s executive chef. “We try to explain to the students that success isn’t just this linear line that just happens. There’s swings and roundabouts, and it’s how we use those skills to deal with or bounce back from situations that don’t always go
our way,” Chantel said.

The eight other schools joining the 24 Carrot program this year are Montrose Bay High School, Glenorchy, Bayview Secondary College, Clarence, Kingston High School, Kingborough, Montello Primary, Burnie, Romaine Park Primary, Burnie, East Devonport Primary, Devonport, Ravenswood Heights Primary, Launceston, and East Tamar Primary, Launceston. The 24 Carrot Gardens project has been made possible by a major grant from the Tasmanian Department of Education, as well as the generosity of private donors.

For more information visit www.24carrot.mona.net.au

*name has been changed for privacy

Picking beans.

New solar panels to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Mayor Leigh Gray with solar panels at Council Offices.

Next time you’re going past the Civic Centre, look up at the roof!

The latest solar panel installation on a Brighton Council managed building is now complete. A 26.5kW system with 68 solar panels has been installed on the roof of the Civic Centre and will generate electricity for roughly a third of the building’s annual energy use.

Mayor Leigh Gray said, “Using electricity generated onsite lowers Brighton Council’s greenhouse footprint and helps us to reach our climate action goal to reach zero emissions from our operations by 2040. Even though Tasmania has a high percentage of renewables in the electricity mix we are still saving 103,600 kilograms of carbon dioxide over the life of the Civic Centre system.”

Council rooftop solar investments have paid off in more ways than one. Solar electricity generation is doing a considerable amount of work to provide for daily energy needs. In the summer months this can provide over half the energy use, as was the case at the Council Offices in February this year. Brighton Council also contributes to increasing solar electricity for everyone using the grid by exporting over 30,000 units each year. At the same time our rooftop solar is buffering the impact of electricity price hikes and commercial penalty tariffs for using too much power at the one time.

Solar panels on roof.

“It’s just a win win situation and I urge consumers, where it is appropriate, to install solar if you can while national subsidies for smaller solar systems are still available as they are being phased out over time”, said Mayor Gray. “Every bit of greenhouse gas emission reduction matters to reduce the impact of global warming.”

For further Brighton climate change action visit www.brighton.tas.gov.au and for more information on Australian Government subsidies head to www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au