Human signs across Australia -and across the world?

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At the Climate Council’s City Power Partnership conference held in Kiama on October 18 2018 CEFE President Matthew Nott was a keynote speaker. In his presentation he floated the idea of communities across Australia each making part of a human sign calling for action by politicians on climate change. The idea was enthusiastically taken up by the councils and community groups present. Compared with the human signs crafted in CEFE’s early days (you can check some of them out here) where it was an expensive business chartering an aircraft to capture the sign and hard to synchronise the sign formation with the aircraft arrival, drone technology has made the process a whole lot simpler.

The intention is to spell out the message MAKE THE SWITCH NOW … 100% RENEWABLES …IMAGINE. There will be multiple versions of each word, each done by a different community. Play the video above to see how the project is developing. The NOW sign being constructed at the beginning of the video was for a sign on the lawns of old Parliament House that the conclusion of the ‘Human Face of Climate Change – an Urgent Climate Briefing’ event held on Novemeber 29 organised by the Multifaith Association of SA and others. Founding CEFE stalwart Philippa Rowland is now President of the MultiFaith Association of SA. You can read the coverage from the Guardian here

Tathra’s call to Australia

About 2000 people turned up at Lawrence Park in Tathra on a warm Sunday at the beginning of Spring to send a strong message about global warming to the Australian community. They, along with 14 RFS trucks formed a giant animated sign spelling out initially “Keep Tathra Cool”, “Reduce CO2” and ultimateley “Climate Action Now” – 34 letters in total.


Tathra is a town like no other, it really understands the threat of climate change and how it can be turned into an opportunity. The town has been at the forefront of solutions to climate change since 2006, when CEFE formed two human signs on the town’s beach with 3000 people that read “Clean Energy For Eternity” and “Imagine”.

Since then, 250 kilowatts of renewable energy had been installed in Tathra, coming from such locations as the solar farm at the sewage treatment plant, the primary school, the football club and many businesses.

Speaking to the media following the sign CEFE President Dr Matthew Nott said it was a “disgrace” and a “dereliction of duty” that Australia did not have a national emissions policy and the sign’s message to “politicians of all colours and stripes” was they needed to come together to develop a strong national policy to reduce emissions.

“Renewable energy is now cheaper than coal-fired electricity, so why do we focus on coal as a form of energy? It doesn’t make any sense to me,” Dr Nott said.


Nick Graham-Higgs, the founder of environmental consultancy NGH Environmental, who spent March 18 fighting to save his home and neighbouring properties when a bushfire hit the town participated in the sign.

“We are lucky that no lives were lost that day, but it took several months to recover from the emotional trauma as well as the smoke inhalation,” Mr Graham-Higgs said.

“Everyone is extremely uneasy about the coming summer, as a hot day and strong breeze could set off the nightmare for us once again.

“The clean energy solutions required for climate action are already technically feasible, affordable and available today.

“Making the switch away from fossil fuels is just a matter of political will.” .

David Gallan, President of the Far South Coast branch of the National Parks Association and member of the RFS, who sustained severe damage to his solar-powered home in the bushfire.

“In addition to renewable energy, protecting forests is also one of the cheapest and most effective ways to cut emissions and reduce bushfire risk,” he said.

“Our leaders must act in the best interests of all Australians and support climate solutions such as renewable energy and forest protection.”

Thanks to ABC South East for this coverage

20171020 Solar for Tathra Public School

A 17 kW kW solar system was installed on the roof of Tathra Public School in October 2017. The School’s principal, Lisa Freedman said the project showed what can be done when a community works together towards a common goal. “Its not only the benefits of having the panels but all the community groups working together”. After 18 months the project was completed with funding from the IMAGINE community solar farm, Enduro mountain bike event, a community concert and a NSW Department of Education grant.

20180729 Solar for Evans Park amenities block

Thanks to the hard work of Adam Wiggins and his Kalaru Sports Complex Steering Group, this project is coming into fruition. The concrete has been poured for the floor of the amenities block and thanks to CEFE, with the assistance of a $5000 grant from the IMB Bank Community foundation, the amenities block will be powered by a stand-alone solar + battery solution. The total cost will be $8000 of which $3000 was provided by CEFE through funds raised via the sale of electricity from the IMAGINE solar farm. The photo shows IMB Bega branch manager Sharon Shepherd and CEFE’s Prue Kelly at the award ceremony.

20180803 Solar for Tathra AFL Football Club

12 kW of solar has been installed on the roof of the Tathra AFL Football Club in Lawrence Park Tathra. The solar power will be used to energise the heat pump based hot water system as well as for refrigeration. CEFE provided a grant of $12,000 from the proceeds of electricity sales from its IMAGINE solar farm in Tathra with the balance coming from a joint fund raising initiative conducted by CEFE and TAFLFC.

Those in photo L to R are:
John Turville – Recreation & Natural Assets Co-ordinator, BVSC
David Howard – Treasurer, Tathra AFL Club
Cr Liz Seckold – Deputy Mayor, BVSC
Prue Kelly – CEFE Project Manager
Peter Cross – Secretary, Tathra AFL Club
Ben Scales – Sunny Afternoons Solar
Cr Kristy McBain – Mayor, BVSC
Greg Coman – President, Tathra AFL Club
Dr Mike Kelly – Federal Member for Eden Monaro