The Rotary Club of Hall’s Environment team held its inaugural meeting on 8 August 2021 with eight of the nine members in attendance, together with a guest speaker, Julie Armstrong, from ACTforBEES.

We agreed that the committee will focus on biodiversity issues and in particular flora and pollinating insects and birds rather than climate change, built form, water and air quality or plastics.

It was also agreed that we should take advantage of the work by other like-minded organisations and investigate how we can co-operate with them to achieve meaningful outcomes and avoid duplication of efforts.

Organisations considered included the Wheen Bee Foundation, ACTforBEES, Rotarians for Bees, the Australian World Bee Day steering committee and other ACT Rotary Clubs such as Belconnen, Aurora Gungahlin, Ginninderra and Woden Daybreak who each have existing programmes in place that include flora plantings.

We discussed our existing network connections over the past three years. A summary sheet will be produced for each for further discussion and follow up. In particular, the concept of a Melbourne to Sydney pollinator corridor as espoused by John McCaskill and his team from the Rotary Club of Camberwell would be worth pursuing as it could become a District-wide project that would be environmentally beneficial and a visible tool for the promotion of Rotary Clubs to the general community.

Julie Armstrong accepted an invitation to assist with the committee whenever appropriate. She has been a strong advocate for pollinating insects and their role in our lives for the past five years. She succeeded in having the ACT Government change its recommended planting lists for new developments so that the flora would be more bee-friendly. The Rotary Club of Hall recognised her efforts with a Community Service award two years ago.

Finally, it we agreed that this year the primary focus of the Environment Action Group will focus on exploration and planning together with some ‘on the ground’ work.