Dec 12

The Good Earth Podcast November 2014

I have finally posted the November edition of The Good Earth podcast on the website


Click on the link, turn up the sound and re-live the madness

Remember you can find all the previous podcasts at



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Dec 09

Google Grant for Timor Leste Work – The Result


You may recall, I posted recently here about the ATA entry in the Google Impact Challenge and asking for your support.



Well the good news is that the judges at the presentations in Sydney were so impressed with the standard of entries that they awarded grants to the six finalists who did not receive the main awards. The ATA received a $250,000 grant to continue the good work ATA is doing in Timor Leste.





This result is a tribute to all the hard work the ATA and their supporters (like you) do and everybody involved should be congratulated!

You can read more about the result on the ATA website.



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Oct 04

The Good Earth Podcasts

The Good Earth Podcasts!

What? You have a Podcast? Yes, I have a Podcast!

tge-bannerMany will be aware that I have a monthly gardening show on 3WBC 94.1 FM community Radio in Melbourne ( called “The Good Earth“. This show as part of a larger group of programs and shows at Wonderful World Media (WWM). Most of the Good Earth shows are podcast on the WWM site ( and I thought it was about time I shared them here as well.

I will provide a link to the latest show at when they are put up and I have also provided a link to the previous shows here as well.

So sit back, and enjoy the madness that is my gardening show with my Co-host Kathy Smalley on

“The Good Earth”

The Good Earth – October 2014

And you can find all the shows here (



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Oct 01

Google Grant for Timor Leste Work

Hi everyone,

Exciting news! The ATA (Alternative Technology Association) is a finalist in Google Impact Challenge and hopes to be able to use the grant to continue the good work in Timor Leste.


This grant is substantial ($500,000) and the ATA is one of the finalists in the running to receive one of these grants. This money would make a significant impact on thousands of peoples lives in Timor Leste by allowing the ATA and their local Timorese partners to roll out 2000 PV lighting systems and train 75 technicians to support those (and other) PV system through the remote areas in Timor Lest.


You can help by voting for the ATA here

Some more words from Donna Luck the ATA CEO.

“Our plan is to install 2000 solar lighting systems and train 75 village-based installers in the next two years, delivering an overall 60kW of low-emission solar energy.

The Google Impact Challenge rewards not-for-profit organisations using technology to improve lives.

We need you to vote for us to ensure we get the grant.

Thousands of people in East Timor have no electricity and are unlikely to ever have access to it. We think that’s wrong and are doing something about it.

VLS training 1 copy

Since 2003, we have installed solar lighting in more than 1000 homes, community centres, hospitals and orphanages in remote Timorese villages. We have also helped train local technicians to install and maintain solar systems.

Vote here to bring solar lighting to more people in East Timor.

Voting closes on October 13, so vote for us and help spread the word!”





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Sep 27

Appropriate Technology Talk

Back in July, at the, “Working Together with Timor Leste: The Next 10 Years” conference held in Melbourne, I was fortunate to be a co-presenter with my very good friend and colleague, Simão Baretto, the Director of CNEFP, a vocational training facility in Timor Leste. This was done in my capacity as Convenor of the IPG (International Projects Group) for the ATA (Alternative Technology Association).

One of our members recorded the event and created this video that features the ATA’s You-Tube site



One of the interesting things about the talk was that the presentation technology on stage failed giving us a perfect opportunity to talk about the need to have comprehensive training and maintenance capabilities to cope with the inevitable failures and maintenance requirements associated with any technology.

It was a great experience presenting to senior Australian and Timor Leste officials, NGO’s and volunteers and we all came away with much more knowledge and renewed drive to continue to help the people of Timor Leste in their efforts moving towards a more sustainable and stable society.


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