Geoff Gourley elected to Board of United Nations Association of Australia


Geoff Gourley elected to Board of United Nations Association of Australia

On Wednesday 21st November 2012 at the Victorian Division Annual General Meeting for United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA), Founder and Executive Director of Shape Our Future, Geoffrey Gourley was elected to the UNAA Board.

Mr Gourley said “I am privileged and honoured to have been elected to one of the vacant positions and look forward to making a lasting contribution to the fantastic work the UNAA is undertaking in Australia”.

In addition to Mr Gourley’s appointment, Magdalena Roal Batchelor, Andrew Stevens and Bruce Coyne were also elected by the members to the vacant positions, and Mark Pizzacalla was elected as Treasurer and Murray McInnis was elected as President.

The new board now consists of the following…

  • President: Murray McInnis
  • Immediate Past President: Graham Hunter
  • Vice President: Graeme Worner
  • Treasurer: Mark Pizzacalla
  • Secretary: Patricia Collett

Board Members:                 

  • Kevin Childs
  • Bruce Coyne
  • Geoff Gourley
  • Ian Howie
  • Magdalena Roal Batchelor
  • Andrew Stevens

At the AGM outgoing president Graham Hunter thanked all the members for their support for the activities of the Association throughout the year.

Please find attached below the Annual Report outlining all of the programs and events for the past financial year.

UNAA Victoria_Annual Report_2011-2012

Please feel free to forward this report on to your contacts and networks. Any assistance in promoting our work would be greatly appreciated.

About the UNAA

The United Nations is an international organisation founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.

The UNAA Victoria is a non-profit, non-government, membership-based, community organisation working to promote the aims and ideals of the United Nations and seek support for the UN and its programs and agencies.

The UNAA is committed to building a strong, credible and effective UN. We advocate support for the UN in the Australian community and seek to demonstrate why the UN matters to people everywhere.

Our primary purpose is to raise awareness about the UN and its work and engage the Australian community on key issues on the UN agenda.

We play a critical role in connecting Australians with the United Nations and educating the community on key international and local environmental, human rights and social justice issues.

United Nations Associations represent a vital link between the United Nations and citizens of its member states. In Australia, the Association is represented in every state and territory through its divisions and national body.

The divisions work together to campaign in support of the UN and its current priorities such as the Millennium Development Goals, human rights, gender equality, the environment, global health, sustainable development, peace and security.

Help rewrite the users manual – 2012 CSL Fellowship


Help rewrite the user’s manual – 2012 CSL Fellowship program

Applications for the 2012 Melbourne and Sydney Centre for Sustainability Leadership Fellowship Program are now open!

This is a fantastic opportunity to become a change maker and influence the future direction of global sustainability.

In 2008 I completed this fellowship and acknowledge it assisted me a great deal, helping me to communicate and influence change across the globe.

Once a year the Centre for Sustainability Leadership runs the Fellowship Program for 25 ambitious sustainability change makers in both Sydney and Melbourne.

This is a unique training opportunity where the selected individuals develop the skills, networks and knowledge needed to be effective in forging a more sustainable future.
The 7-month evening and retreat-based program is packed full of practical, immersive and challenging thinking and activities designed to grow each Fellow’s capacity to influence positive change in their areas of passion.

The program consists of the following core areas which participants are required to participate in;

26 workshops from April to November
Three residential retreats: (1) April (2) September (3) November
Participation in mentor and coaching meetings
Preparation for the workshops and complete weekly assignments
Contribute to a group or individual project
Attend the graduation evening
Join and contribute to the CSL Alumni Program.

Click here for more information about the program.

Click here to make an application.

Shape Our Future – An Introduction

What is Shape Our Future?

In 2008 our founder, Geoffrey Gourley, Social Entrepreneur and Environmentalist from a young age, was selected to undertake a fellowship in sustainability leadership. Realising long ago the planet is not an infinite natural resource; Geoff understands the urgency needed to address climate change, environmental and ecological issues if we are to sustain humanity.

Shape Our Future was conceptualised and launched in 2008 with a vision to lead, develop and influence business and community to a sustainable future.

 “we invite you, to join with us, in shaping our future, making a contribution to preserving our beautiful planet and create a pathway for all future generations to live sustainably”. Geoffrey Gourley – Founder.

Our Vision

Lead, develop and influence business and community to a sustainable future through visioning, fostering and funding ecological, environmental and sustainable initiatives.

Our Objectives

• Develop ecological, environmental and sustainability projects in general with an emphasis on climate change and offsetting the deleterious effects of burning fossil fuels and global warming.

• Advise on, fund and influence business and the wider community to develop ecological, environmental and sustainability projects.

• Respond to the climate change crisis and its impact including developing a vision for a sustainable future that is feasible and able to be implemented by business and the community.

• Address and re-evaluate traditional thinking by looking differently at social, economic and environmental issues.

• Foster the creation of regions for the growth and protection of flora and fauna by the community in general or various sub-sets of the community where people can contribute, learn and assist with restoring our ecology and biodiversity.

• Foster effective management of land and reserves including the control of pests and the minimisation of damage caused by climate change.

• Offer services to business, community, government and other organisations including future and visionary thinking, consultancy, assessment, leadership, innovation, marketing, planning and strategy in relation to the objects set out above and related issues.

Our Values

Respect – Integrity – Courtesy – Honesty – Ethics – Support

Our Green Credo

As a social organisation we lead by example, it is not enough to simply undertake a few good sustainable practices and call yourself ‘Green’. We here at Shape Our Future take our reputation and our environment seriously.

You won’t see us partaking in unsustainable activities. We walk the talk and have the evidence to back it up. Below you will find details on our actual ‘Green Credo’ and Environmental policy. We have put in place a voluntary reporting and monitoring process along with a set of guiding principles to ensure everything we do is as sustainable as it can be.

Environmental Principles and Aspirations

Shape Our Future accepts that it has a moral obligation to ensure that its current and future projects, developments and operations work towards the goal of restoring balance to the ecosystems and global community’s sustainability – rather than just sustaining a degraded world.

We will respond to the climate change crisis and its impact including developing a vision for a sustainable future that is feasible and able to be implemented by business and the community.

“Restoration is a more productive, imaginative, and innovative path forward.” Paul Hawken

As Shape Our Future Executive Director, Geoffrey Gourley, said in
July 2009:

“We face a global climate crisis, more than ever before, we need innovative and immediate change in paradigms to unlock sustainability as a pathway for future generations. Global and local communities need leaders to outline and vision a future, we need to consider and value our environment as an integral part of any sustainable society”.
Under the Sustainability Policy ratified by the Board in July 2009, Shape Our Future has set principles and aspirations including:

  • Our aim to lead, develop and influence environmental and social management through sustainable business principles and practices to minimise our impact on the environment and increase contributions we make to the community.
  • Shape Our Future encourages the use of environmentally-friendly transport options, and limits the amount of interstate and overseas travel our management, staff and volunteers make in fulfilling their work duties.
  • Shape Our Future has committed to improving energy efficiency across all our projects and developments, eliminating the use of unsustainable forms of energy, ensuring energy is purchased through green power accredited sources and that energy use is CO2 neutral or off set where required.
  • Our aim to achieve a zero-waste target by reducing, reusing and recycling materials, minimising the purchase and use of consumables, and when purchasing goods we choose environmentally friendly options that produce the least amount of waste and are efficient in their consumption of energy and resources.
  • Shape Our Future aims to exceed the minimum requirements, for Commonwealth, State and Local environmental regulations, policies, legislation and voluntary initiatives.
  • We encourage and support our employees in volunteering activities for other organisations, acknowledging the contribution volunteering makes to the community.
  • We support our employees in balancing personal and work commitments in recognition this contributes to employee health, satisfaction and well being. All Shape Our Future management, employees and volunteers are encouraged to allow sufficient time for each aspect.
  • We choose our partners, service providers, consultants and stakeholders which are aligned to our vision, values, principles, aspirations and objectives and demonstrate environmental leadership in their sector.
  • All our company tenancies are carbon neutral (greenhouse gas emissions which have been reduced through efficiencies are offset via carbon trading).
  • Environmental considerations inform all our investment decisions.
  • All business operations are zero net carbon, water & waste as a minimum.
  • All projects we develop and/or operate are independently rated as achieving good environmental status.



Through our commitment to the principles of ecologically sustainable development we will contribute to creating a sustainable future and lead, develop and influence improvements in environmental performance. This undertaking is an obligation of the board and management team and the responsibility of every staff member and volunteer.


Shape Our Future is committed to providing a high quality environment in the Not-for-Profit Environmental and Sustainability sector, which meet the requirements and expectations of Clients, Statutory Authorities, Employees and Community Groups.

Shape Our Future affirms its commitment to applying sustainable business and development principles to all facets of our organisations processes and to continually improve our performance in minimising the impact on, and pollution of, the environment.

In achieving this Shape Our Future is committed to the implementation, maintenance and improvement of a Management System meeting the requirements of Australian and International Standard AS/NZS ISO 14001.

The Board of Directors will review environmental objectives and set performance targets each year. Managers through their line management structure are accountable for ensuring all employees and volunteers achieve these objectives and targets.

The Company’s Environmental performance will be monitored against established performance targets and the results reported to the Board of Directors on a regular basis.

Shape Our Future affirm that they have a legal obligation to comply with relevant environmental legislation, standards and codes of practice as the minimum level of performance and a professional obligation to acknowledge the views of Environmental and Community Groups.

Shape Our Future acknowledge that environmental excellence can only be achieved and maintained by a clear unequivocal direction of all levels of management, stimulating a participative atmosphere and sense of pride in our environmental achievements by all employees and volunteers, and through recognition by concerned groups in obtaining this.

Why we do it.

Seeing firsthand the earth’s changing climate, humanities impact on the natural environment and depleting resources this generation is at or past a tipping point which could affect all future generations’ ability to inhabit the earth as we know it.

The environment is central to developed and developing countries and a communities continuance, without a balanced and sustainable environment we, as a race, will not be able to survive the future.

Our generation will be judged on the decisions we make at this time, as Al Gore once said to me ‘this is a time of turning, we don’t want future generations to say, ‘what were you thinking, didn’t you care enough to change’, we want them to ask, ‘how did you find the moral courage to rise to the challenge’.

Shape Our Future was formed as an organisation that leads, develops and influences others to make changes, we encourage, educate, and support people from all walks of life to find that moral courage needed to ensure sustainable prosperity for all.

We do it because we care, we are a group of passionate people with a common goal, and a desire to make a real and lasting difference, the greatest legacy we can leave is a healthy planet and a sustainable pathway for future generations.

Become a Sustainbaility Change Maker – Applications now open!

Dont just sit there! Become a ‘sustainability change maker’ and lead the change to a sustainable future.

Applications are now open for the CSL 2011 Fellowship Program.

I completed this scholarship based fellowship in 2008 and wholly endorse the programme run by Centre for Sustainability Leadership.

Find out more by visiting Applications close on 27th March.

If you would like to personally discuss my experiences with this program please contact me on +61428 317 387 or email

CEO – Centre for Sustainability Leadership

Are you up for an exciting career challenge?
Could you be the CEO we are searching for?

The Centre for Sustainability Leadership is searching for a CEO to consolidate our amazing achievements to date and to take the Centre to new heights.

We will actively consider candidates of all ages, and especially CSL Alumni, who have demonstrated clear leadership ability and are looking to grow into a CEO role.

See the position description for details.

If this opportunity is not for you – perhaps you know the perfect candidate? Please pass on to your networks.

Please contact me on 0488 031 896 or to discuss further.

Climate Leadership











Climate leadership

I want to share an example of climate leadership that helps make the case for a bold and fair treaty from the Copenhagen climate talks next month. Last year Johson Diversey joined WWF’s Climate Savers by making a commitment to directly reduce its greenhouse emissions by 8% by 2013, against 2003 levels.

Due to investment, research, planning and because their employees rallied around the cause, the company was able to announce that it will triple its absolute emissions reductions commitment to 25% over the same period. Climate Savers is a World Wildlife Fund program comprising 22 leading corporations that have made exact commitments to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

Over the past ten years, Climate Savers companies have prevented the emission of 50 million tons of CO2, the equivalent of Switzerland’s annual emissions. If a multinational corporation like JD can achieve this, imagine what will happen if all of us triple our commitment. Different ways to do this—for businesses, individuals, families and students— are listed at (click on the banner at the top). Climate Savers companies have shown that absolute greenhouse gas emission reductions do not impede business growth.

Environment versus economy is no longer a justifiable argument. Saving the planet can make good business sense—even in the short term: for a $12 million investment in emissions reductions, JohnsonDiversey will reap $32 million in cost savings.

There are two messages associated with this development: – The bottom line and tackling climate change can go hand in hand – We need a bold and fair climate change agreement out of Copenhagen To help share these messages, we have created an Electronic Press Kit, which includes embeddable banners, videos, MP3 files and other digital assets, at: .

The Press Kit also contains a copy of this year’s Green Building Market and Impact Report by Rob Watson, “father” of the LEED green building standard. This report was released during a Webinar with Johnson Diversey President & CEO Ed Lonergan. Please feel free to use and distribute this content and links freely, including posting it to any of your websites.

Let The Clean Economy Begin The Let The Clean Economy Begin campaign unites Climate Savers companies with a common message that it is possible to grow business while reducing carbon emissions. These companies are calling on both their peers and political decision makers to make the changes necessary to move the world toward a clean economy; and for COP15 to deliver an ambitious, fair and effective agreement to cut global greenhouse gas emissions.

An introductory video can be found in our EPK at: . The world’s leading companies are saying to world leaders, We are implementing changes—now it’s your turn. It’s time to exhibit true climate leadership in ushering in a new era of possibilities. The future is calling.

Defining Sustanability Leadership Article

CSL Alumni 2008

Defining Sustainability Leadership

Firstly let’s define ‘Sustainability’, there are a number of common principles which are embedded in most definitions of sustainability, these are…

The conservation of biodiversity and ecological integrity.
Constant natural capital and sustainable income.
Ensuring intRAgenerational (within generations) and intERgenerational (across generations) equity.
It is recognising and responding to global circumstances at a local level
It is dealing cautiously with risk, uncertainty and irreversibility
It is ensuring appropriate valuation of environmental assets
It is integration of environmental, social and economic goals in policies and
it is the activities, social equity, community engagement and participation which deliver results.

Sustainability Leadership is about creating a collaborative learning environment to motivate, empower and educate the community who, with new skills and understanding and by applying the above principals, will lead business and community into a sustainable future. We face a global climate crisis, more than ever before, we need innovative and immediate change in paradigms to unlock sustainability as a pathway for future generations.

Global and local communities need leaders to outline and vision a future, we need to consider and value our environment as an integral part of any sustainable society. Leadership in sustainability can make this a reality, by developing and delivering sustainability leadership programs to a range of individuals we will ensure our circle of influence is great and lasting.

We are aware of the urgent need to address climate change, carbon emissions, water, energy, biodiversity and environmental challenges, through a range of programs and initiatives it is possible for sustainability leaders to vision and influence a sustainable future and assist with the shaping of a sustainable planet.

By taking a leadership philosophy we are able to connect people from diverse backgrounds, whether from developing communities or already developed societies we need to engage and re-connect them to the natural environment, through sustainability leadership we can have a lasting impact on behaviors, mind sets and long term actions which can lead to more sustainable habits.

Last year I successfully completed a Fellowship in Sustainability Leadership, a program which was delivered by Centre for Sustainability Leadership, founded by the 2008 Environment Minister’s Young Environmentalist of the Year Award recipient Larissa Brown. This program gave me the tools to influence and inspire others; there are many more graduates that have gone on to become the leaders they imagined, however, we need more inspired leaders.

Inspired leadership is evident, yet, it is not evident everywhere, a positive approach is to develop inspired sustainability leadership within every part of society, every community, every sector, every country. It is my belief leaders are not born but they are identified, developed and made.

A good leader knows when it is time to change shape because they are highly attentive to those around them. Coming from a position of strength, a great leader takes risks by freeing up the creative genius in their followers to build their capability and multiply the talents of the community. This leads to a sense of community and to greatness.

It is true that inspired leaders share a number of qualities. Some of which are… Integrity, the ability to be courageous, having a social conscious, being able to understand others, facilitating cooperation, identifying and fostering innovation, ensuring collaboration amongst organisations and individuals, being creative, caring and maintaining a sense of humor.

We need Inspiring, venturous leadership to connect caring communities, caring people to begin influencing cultural, behavioral and attitudinal changes at a local level. Sustainability Leadership is needed across all sectors of business and in all types of communities, urban, regional, outback, beachside, farming, high country every corner of Australia needs leaders who are visionaries, leaders who care, leaders who can act, leaders that understand, leaders who make changes and leaders who want to shape our future.

Engaging with the community

Community engagement is certainly not new; in my research it is clear many of our best leaders have fantastic, all encompassing community engagement strategies, principles, goals and commitments. How leaders engage with their local community with regard to sustainability, environment, planning and emissions reductions is an interesting discussion point.

I believe most future sustainability leaders already know how to effectively engage with their community, in fact, for some people, that what they do best, consider those people you know who seem to know everyone and everyone knows them, then consider diving a bit deeper and ask yourself the following questions…

At what level do sustainability leaders engage with the community and what real results have been achieved?

Has the community’s youth been fully engaged or has the focus been around political and business leaders?

Focusing on the second point put yourself in Gen Ys’ shoes; there are plenty of unknowns, lots of things are changing around them, and they are neither fully aware of the rationale – nor in control of – those things changing. Even in times of more positive change, the first to buy-in are those who either, control and direct the change, or are experiencing change that is positive to them personally.

Remember? Our youth are trying to perform, succeed, and persevere – they deserve our respect. Those who aren’t? Well, now’s a good time for a change – it has never been more important than during challenging social, environmental and economic times.

We all need to pull our weight – the quicker we can get youth engaged as future sustainability leaders the faster we will become sustainable communities and a sustainable race? Now is the time to find out more, time to stand up and become a leader of your own future and in the process you can shape the future of humanity.

Article: Sustainability Leadership
Date: 20 August 2009
Author: Geoffrey Gourley
Publication: Victorian Association for Environmental Education (VAEE)

Keynote Speech National Camps Conference

Keynote speech delivered at National Camps Conference 2009

Good evening and thank you for attending the National Camps Conference here at Kindilan Outdoor Education and Conference Centre.

I arrived in Brisbane this morning to beautiful blue skies and a warming sun, I decided to go for a walk and explore the CBD and river area. I came across the Brisbane Botanical Gardens and lied on the soft grass, surrounded by native tropical trees and plants for a couple of hours enjoying the sun, the smells and sounds of the natural environment; and would like to share a thought I had while reflecting…

Make me a bird so I can fly away; take me to my sanctuary, my place of peace, my harmony.

Let me lose myself to the simple thoughts running through my head, it seems so right here.

I wish 1000 wishes that everyday could be the same. Today is my day to dream of blue skies. 

I think we could all afford a little time to reconnect with our environment.

For years now society has tried to get people in positions of power to care that has not worked; now we are going to get people who care into positions of influence.

We need strong, venturous leadership, we need people who will lead, develop and influence our communities and business toward sustainable future prosperity

The Australian Camps Sector, I believe, are just the passionate and caring people that we need to deliver real action and systemic change.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead made that statement which rings true to the challenges we currently face.

Sustainability Leadership is about creating a collaborative learning environment to motivate, empower and educate the future leaders who, with these new skills and understanding will lead us to a sustainable future.

Socially, economically, environmentally and culturally we determine what our environment and planet looks like, what the world sees, how we want to live and what future we leave for generations to come.

I recently attended dinner with Hon Al Gore, as part of the Climate Project Asia Pacific Summit, Mr Gore delivered a motivational speech, in which he called on us as a society and as a sustainability leaders to “find the moral courage to rise to the challenge” we don’t want future generations to say “what were you thinking?, didn’t you care”

We need innovative and immediate change to unlock sustainability as a pathway for future generations.

Camps can be at the leading edge of innovation in youth leadership, regional and community development, camps have the ability to quickly respond to community and market demands and through partnerships we understand we can cause a greater change to society and the environment.

Can we be the future shapers of Australia…Yes we can.

Thank you. Please enjoy the rest of the evening and the remainder of the National Camps Conference.

Recession Proof Leadership

5 Keys to Leading Through Challenging Times

There are 5 keys to leading effectively during challenging times. They aren’t necessarily difficult, but to ignore them will certainly make your life more difficult.

We know for certain that burying our head in the sand and pretending that nothing is going on is positively insane. It’s like a 2 year-old child closing their eyes and saying, “you can’t see me”. Of course there’s something different in “business land”. In fact, it’s that very difference – the current challenges we face – that we need to use as a call to action.

  1. Credibility is a mustIf ever leaders needed their credibility to lean on, it’s now. The simplest definition for leadership credibility is to simply “do what you say you’re going to do”. Your employees – now more than ever – need to look to you for guidance, leadership, and appropriate behaviour.The bigger statement, of course, includes making sure you take a definitive stand on those things that bring comfort during turbulent times – and then following up (doing what you say you’ll do) on those strong statements.In other words, take the tougher route. Make difficult calls, step up when no one else will, and take command of an otherwise un-led situation. Be in charge! Your employees need it, and the organisation could stand the leadership.

  2. See and be seenVisibility is a big deal. Now’s not the time to hide out in your office, pining away the days or lamenting for better times. Get out, be seen, be available, and most importantly, be heard. High visibility, coupled with credibility, is a near-guarantee of success in uncertain times.These times are challenging; challenging for the business, for employees, and for you. But there’s opportunity in challenge … you’ve just got to be there when it happens. And “there” is out in the open, in front of the troops.Back when we had real warrior generals, “Brigadier” Generals led a brigade of men … from the front of the brigade. Not back at some remote headquarters location, sitting in air conditioned comfort while others went to battle. No, they were visible, and literally out front. 

    Those leaders led. You can to. “Management by walking around” is a good concept for current times. Get out there.


  3. Remember – you were young once

    Put yourself in employees’ shoes; this is uncomfortable, and there are plenty of unknowns. Lots of things are changing around them, and they are neither fully aware of the rationale – nor in control of – those things changing.Even in times of more positive change, the first to buy in are those who either:

    1. Control / direct the change, or
    2. Are experiencing change that is positive to them personally

Cut them a break – you’re not always easy to live with either, remember? Your employees – at least those sticking with it, trying to perform, succeed, and persevere – deserve our respect.

Those who aren’t? Well, now’s a good time for a change – dead wood never has a place in a successful organisation; it has even lesser status during challenging economic times. We all need to pull our weight – who wants to lug around someone else’s gear?

  1. Want cheese with that whine? No open complaining, commiserating, or whining. Not now (assuming it was ever ok – which you know, of course, that it isn’t) especially. Your staff don’t need to know that you feel as out of control as they do. It doesn’t help them, or you, to believe that things are hurtling out of everyone’s control.Better to convince them that hard work, strong performance, and effective leadership will prevail. Because, of course, it will. You must know – and believe – that. Or bail out.Face it – if you believe your organisation has one foot in the grave, leave and go somewhere else. Otherwise, you believe it will emerge from these times, and in a better place.

    Either / or – but make a call one way or another. If you’re sticking around, never forget to “work for whom you work for”. And as a leader, that means “no whining”.

  2. Sit down and focusFocus is paramount, especially when there’s an unseen drag on earnings called “the economy”. Help people understand as best you can, explain why things are happening (when you know), and why we’re taking this specific action.But in the end, they’ve got to do what’s necessary to help your organisation weather this storm, so just do it can become the fall-back phrase of choice. Don’t allow so much discourse that we forget why we’re here.They want to vent? Ok, we’ll allow that. Employees want to complain a bit, because petrol prices are high and milk has doubled. Ok, fine. Now, get back to work.

* Authored Kevin Berchelmann,
   Human Capital Expert .
0434 185 933

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