Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

Manilla will become a creative hub this weekend with a two-day celebration of sustainability and innovation.

Running from Friday 19th to Saturday 20th April, Renewable Manilla is a festival to promote the transition to renewable energy. Renewable Manilla will showcase the benefits of working with the environment and utilising resources in innovative ways in a weekend of creativity, fun, open discussion and forward-thinking.

The festival atmosphere is a fun and inclusive way to educate around environmental sustainability and to build a stronger, more sustainable regional community. The event is centred around the community owned solar and battery project, Manilla Solar, which has been openly embraced by locals.

 “We want to build communities of co-operation around projects and approaches that improve outcomes for our environment, communities and people,” said Manilla Community Renewable Energy Inc. President, Emma Stilts.

“Innovation and technology are opportunities to improve our sustainability – adoption of new approaches is embraced more readily when people understand the situation and opportunities that exist.” 

“The Manilla Solar Project received many letters of support during the development process.

“We understand this is because of its grass roots nature, a project developed by and for our local community.” 

On Friday evening, the community will come together at the Town Hall for the ‘100 Mile Dinner’. This event is a great opportunity to meet likeminded people or catch up with old friends, feast on fantastic local produce and celebrate the first day of the Renewable Manilla festival. 

Guests will enjoy a beautifully catered three course meal, designed to celebrate the flavours of the local region, and support local farmers, producers, makers, bakers and cooks. This family event will include live music from Kirsty Larkin and children’s entertainment.

The event has grown in popularity and support since its inception in 2022.

“Each year, we attract more people and community organisations,” said Ms Stilts.

“This year we will be hosting a number of community conversations with organisations and groups that speak to themes like electric vehicles, clean energy jobs and improved mental health.”

The ‘2346: Change Makers’ event, on Saturday morning, brings together local individuals who are passionate about innovation, collaboration and building a stronger community. By sharing their insights, experiences and innovative ideas, organisers hope to inspire positive change and encourage other individuals to embrace and actively contribute towards sustainable outcomes.

Speakers include Regen Farmers Gavin Heywood and Zoe Burke, Moore Creek Urban Native Garden spokesperson Eliza Weekes, and Environmental Advocate Jaqueline Cronin.

Tamworth Regional Landcare and Ozfish will co-host a community conversation about the ecological importance of the converging Namoi and Manilla rivers. ‘Where Two Rivers Meet’ is an opportunity for all river users to have their say about what the rivers mean to them, to connect with other river users and learn about the work that OzFish has been doing across Australia to restore rivers, riverbanks and revive fish populations.

The Manilla Solar Project will host a ‘How to be Involved’ information session on Friday afternoon, providing an opportunity for community members, contractors, investors, and power users to learn how they can be involved in the project. They will also provide an opportunity on Saturday afternoon to meet in a relaxed environment, with the Manilla Solar Social event at Molly May’s Café. This is a great space to meet the directors of the Manilla Solar Project and hear the latest project updates.

Other community conversations will focus on Renewable Energy Jobs, Ethical Investing and The Blue Tree Project.

For more information, see the Renewable Manilla website or Facebook page.

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