August 12, 2013

Divestment Training in Tasmania

As 350 Hobart coordinator, I am part of one of the newest divestment movements in the country. It may be early days yet but things are already looking strong. Our group first met, only a month ago, at the Students of Sustainablity Conference in Launceston.  Some of us had already worked together, but there were new faces too.  Between us there was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm and we all felt that this was the start of something

Since that first meeting we have been planning our strategy for the campaign to make the University of Tasmania fossil free and were given a huge boost when 350 Australia’s campaign director Charlie Wood arrived in Hobart to run a divesment training workshop on 4th August.   Charlie arrived at the airport full of energy for a day-long workshop, infecting us all with her strong commitment. There was an impressive turnout of people from a wide variety of backgrounds: uni students, people in the workforce and retirees.  All were there willing to give up their Sunday to learn more about the Go Fossil Free Movement. It was a heartening sight.

Thanks to Charlie, we now know more about divestment and finance than we thought possible.  Being a medical student, I knew nothing about finance! Charlie was excellent, presenting all the information in a very clear and easy to follow manner.  We all walked away feeling better armed with the knowledge to move forward with our divestment campaigns.

Excitingly, the training day also saw the formation of a new Hobart City Council divestment campaign.  We also considered ways to help people divest within their superannuation investments.

With the Hobart Divestment Forum being planned for 18th September it is onward and upwards for divestment here in Tasmania.  Confirmed to speak on the day are include Stuart Barry, senior financial advisor from Tas ethical and Dr Frank Nicklason, who will discuss the health impacts of the continued use of fossil fuel.  It should be another information packed day to fuel our campaigns.

It is amazing to see how quickly things have moved in just a month.  As the support from Tasmania and the rest of Australia continues to grow it holds much promise for our work in the future.  GO FOSSIL FREE.