The Ecohouse Vision
To transform the house and garden on the corner of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens into a model sustainable building that will provide education and inspiration to the wider community, acting as a seed for further change. In addition to the redesigning and refitting project, audiovisual displays and other educational programs will be developed to assist the general public in putting sustainable living ideas into practice.
Today, the Port Phillip EcoCentre is a place where environmental solutions are hatched and nurtured. The EcoCentre is a not-for-profit, community-managed, environment group, providing a base for affiliate groups involved in activities that promote biodiversity, environmental sustainability and community action.
April Seymore serves as EcoCentre Executive Officer since 2015, previously coordinating EcoCentre Education Programs for five years. April brings innovative, integrated expertise with over 15 years of community development, tech projects, sustainability initiatives and school teaching experience in Australia, Ireland and the USA.
April applies improvisation, citizen science, music and digital storytelling to teach Early Years, Prep to year 10, secondary specialist programs and adult education. She brings a global systems perspective, and is committed to empowering meaningful action across our whole community. She is also a ResourceSmart Schools facilitator and assessor, a Board member for Tomorrow's Leaders for Sustainability Inc, and a member of the global Waterkeeper Alliance.
April is available for keynote speaking, workshop facilitation, media appearances, MC-ing events and panel discussions/facilitation.
Pam has led the EcoCentre’s Committee of Management since 2009 and brings to the role over 20 years’ experience in governance, strategic planning, policy development and community building. She has served on numerous boards of governance throughout her career including the Social and Community Services Industry Training Board and the Moorabbin Institute of TAFE Council.
Beginning her career as a computer programmer with the Australian Government, she worked for 3 years in Europe and then transitioned into education as a teacher and manager in schools and TAFE. Pam then worked for the Victorian Department of Education and Training in management roles, overseeing major projects in Adult, Community and Further Education and Policy and Planning. She holds tertiary qualifications in Economics, Education, Arts and Visual Arts. Her skills in governance, policy development and planning, financial management and organisational leadership, plus her experience working with all levels of government, are an ongoing asset to the EcoCentre.
“I believe in the ethos of “think global, act local,’” says Pam, “that If humans are to tackle the global climate emergency, we need to join with others and start at home. This is what the EcoCentre does so well. It is genuinely part of the local community and empowers people to take actions that cultivate long-term environmental wellbeing. I’m proud to lead the organisation towards this goal.”
- ‘We’re running out of space’: Turf wars heat up over synthetic grass, April 2021. Port Phillip Baykeeper Neil Blake has a portable cooler full of fake grass tufts that have blown from a synthetic oval in Melbourne’s north and could have ended up in Darebin Creek.
- Rising Rivers of Plastic Polluting Port Phillip Bay, March 2021. Port Phillip EcoCentre has conducted 113 litter trawls over a five-year period to estimate the total amount of rubbish on the surface of each river.
- Litter and plastic pollution found in Yarra and Maribyrnong skyrockets, March 2021. The research – conducted by the Port Phillip EcoCentre between July 2017 and June 2020 – found more than 2.5 billion litter items flowed into Port Phillip Bay each year from the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers.
- Rising tide of plastic choking Port Phillip Bay, July 2019. Port Phillip EcoCentre released updated data, showing that 1.4 billion pieces of rubbish are flowing into the Bay annually. Over 1 billion of these litter pieces are microplastics, almost double what was previously calculated.
- Tons of litter fished from Yarra every year as native species suffer, March 2019. Microplastics accounted for about three-quarters of the waste flowing into the Bay.
- Microplastics bad for bay, October 2018. Tiny plastic pieces a huge threat to ecosystem. Article written by Port Phillip Baykeeper, Neil Blake.
- Greens to grow eco hub, October 2018. Port Phillip's popular EcoCentre will be given a $2.75 million cash injection if the Greens win at November's State Election.
- Call for science superheroes, October 2018. The Port Phillip EcoCentre team needs people to help protect our bay, by collecting information and photos of what you see by the seaside. Through citizen science, beachcombing becomes a superpower.
- A tale of two beaches and their rubbish problem, July 2018. Any way the wind blows, streams of rubbish will be dragged to the shores of Port Phillip Bay.
- Millions of plastic pieces choking Port Phillip Bay, June 2018. Port Phillip EcoCentre released data calculating 800 million bits of rubbish are flowing into Port Phillip Bay annually from just two rivers, painting an alarming picture of pollution on Melbourne’s much-loved coastline.
Student Placement (Next intake term 4, 2021)
The EcoCentre provides a range of opportunities for university and high school students to complete their work experience or student placement.
Current opportunities include (but are not limited to):
Since 1999, the EcoCentre team has been recognised through over 35 awards from local to Victorian, Australian and international.
Finalist, Community Award, Premier's Sustainability Awards December 2020|
Living Water Workbees (nominated with Werribee River Association)
The EcoCentre acknowledges the Kulin Nations, including the Yalukut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung language group, traditional owners of the land on which we are located. We pay respects to their Elders past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Elder members of our multicultural community.