SYDNEY, May 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Australia's leading climate action organisation for parents, carers, and families, Australian Parents for Climate Action (AP4CA) is celebrating expansion of the schools solar program that was born out of its campaign and petition for State and Federal funding to introduce solar and batteries into all Australian schools and early childhood centers.
The NSW Smart Energy School Pilot Project (part of $71m awarded across TAS, WA and NSW) came into existence after a two-year AP4CA campaign attracted 12,000 signatories, pledges from 135 federal election candidates (including 23 elected representatives from all major parties and the crossbench), and strong support from the City of Sydney and NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell.
The AP4CA campaign also achieved public support from Mike Cannon-Brookes, actress Georgina Haig, TV presenter Osher Gunsberg, and The Chaser writer and comedian Craig Reucassel.
The project will now provide solar and battery energy systems to an additional 18 public schools across NSW, coming to 79 schools in total that will be equipped with around 4,600 solar panels and 3,200 kilowatt hours of battery energy storage capacity.
The expansion comes amidst growing support for AP4CA's solutions-focussed, relationship-building approach targeting the millions of climate-concerned parents in Australia, and forward-thinking state and federal politicians across the political spectrum, with the non-profit growing rapidly to 17,000 active members and surpassing $1 million in funding raised in just a few short years since inception.
This rapid growth and support for its cause has driven AP4CA to make a series of recent board appointments to become better equipped to scale its funding and impact even further, including the appointment of several non-executive directors (NED) and a new chair.
Dr Harriet Fesq has joined as NED and Chair, alongside her role as co-founder of B Corp certified social innovation consultancy Rethinkable and member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.
Joining as NED is former Australia President of G20 Young Entrepreneurs, climate and tech investor, and Executive Director of impact tech and finance PR firm Third Hemisphere, Jeremy Liddle.
Jeremy has served on multiple boards and global governance committees over the past 20 years including RioLife, CP Ventures (CapitalPitch), Phoria, and the G20YEA, and will be joined as NED by Edwina Munns, Head of Internal Communications at Canva, who brings experience in change management, communications, and fundraising.
The newly-expanded board will be tasked with generating additional funding, exposure, support, and climate policy change strategy, while leveraging pre-existing support from a series of high-profile climate advocates and business leaders.
These include an advisory board composed of the likes of Daisy Turnbull, Dr. Rebecca Huntley, Charlie Wood, and Genevieve Smart, as well as support from the likes of the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation, members of the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network, and Groundswell Giving.
Nic Seton, CEO of Australian Parents For Climate Action, said: "NSW has made another smart investment by increasing the number of NSW schools set to receive cost-saving solar and battery systems. As energy costs continue to climb, clean energy upgrades will lower costs for schools, stabilize local energy supply, and provide cheaper energy for NSW. All state governments should take note and follow the lead of NSW, Tasmania and WA. This really is a no-brainer policy with widespread public support."
Dr. Rebecca Huntley, chair of the Australian Parents For Climate Action advisory board, said: "Parents are a powerful force for climate action, especially by engaging more parents to talk about how it affects their children. There are millions of Australian parents concerned about climate change with the potential to participate in more ways than before. Australian Parents for Climate Action is helping to shift politics by building connections on the issue of climate change, not as politicians or climate scientists, but as parents, with their own voices, connecting with their communities. And this has the potential to move the nation."
Dr Harriet Fesq, incoming Australian Parents For Climate Action Chair and NED, said: "It's an honour to join the Australian Parents for Climate Action Board as NED and incoming Chair - an organisation I have long admired for their parent-led, effective climate action. I am excited to support and steer Australian Parents for Climate Action to educate and empower the millions of climate-concerned parents across Australia to address climate change and amplify their voices to decision-makers."
Australian Parents for Climate Action (www.ap4ca.org), is Australia's leading climate action organisation for parents, carers, families, and all who care about a safe future for kids. It educates and empowers supporters to make the climate safer for every child. Founded in 2019 by six regional, rural, and urban mums in four states and territories, it has grown rapidly to fill a critical gap in the climate movement. It is a parent organisation run by parents for parents.