Dear AEGN members and friends,
A very warm hello from chilly Melbourne. So much has happened since I last wrote.
I’ve had the great privilege of travelling to Japan over the school holidays with my family. There are many wonderful things about Japan including healthy food, spiritual connection to land, capacity to sort waste so that much of it is reused, and fantastic bird diversity. But the best thing for me about Japan is the public transport system which is fast, well-connected and regular. If you are looking for a fun holiday, I suggest getting a Japan rail pass and cruising their rail system with a bento box and your binoculars!
Holidays aside, forefront in my mind is the inspirational and leading contribution that David Thomas, and his late wife Barbara have made to environmental philanthropy in Australia. In June we gathered in Sydney with over 150 funders, recipient environmental organisations and other leading figures to honour the impact that David’s funding has made to our environment and to celebrate his pledge to bequest much of his wealth to environmental causes. David’s giving over his lifetime totals $60 million, making him Australia’s biggest ever donor to the environment.
At the AEGN we have flurry of events coming up, starting with a field trip to RayGen’s manufacturing facility in Melbourne on Tuesday 2 August. RayGen produce a world-leading form of super-efficient solar collector. Over the next few months we will hold events in Melbourne and Sydney to explore and learn about environmental impact investing, capacity building, biodiversity, climate change and more. We hope that you can join us.
By the way – if you are wondering whether you can use your PAF funds for field trips, conferences or AEGN membership, please read this short guide sharing the views of John McKinnon, David Ward and Trevor Thomas on the question of your expenses and PAFs here.
Since our last newsletter Australians have been to the polls – we have gathered some insightful comments from leaders in the environment sector on the likely approach of our newly configured Federal Parliament here.
Happy reading and I look forward to catching up with you soon.