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Byron Shire
April 14, 2021

Leading on localisation, plastic free

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A group of Southern Cross University graduates who have made extraordinary global achievements in research, community building, healthcare and environmental issues have been acknowledged with the 2020 Alumni Impact Awards.

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Leila Clarke and Annabelle Deacon with Kate Pearce, the Eureka club secretary. Photo Jeff ‘Cupcakes’ Dawson.

Paul Bibby

Standing proudly in the Eureka Football Club canteen is a poster emblazoned with the words ‘Eureka FC – Playing for the Planet’.

It’s a motto the club proudly lives by.

This season, the club has introduced a range of inventive measures to drastically reduce the  canteen’s environmental impact, and to have a positive influence on the world outside of selling delicious pies, cakes, and coffee.

‘We were a bit disturbed by the amount of plastic and waste being produced last year and we wanted to do something about it,’ club member Francesca Hart says.

‘And it was also a really great way to spread the message.

‘We’ve got clubs coming here every week from as far afield as Casino, as well as from Lennox, Ballina, and Lismore.

‘It’s a great way to show people what’s achievable.’

The club has gone completely plastic-free, even introducing Gatorade tablets so that those in need a post-match pick-me-up can get it in an environmentally friendly way.

All of the cans and bottles produced each Saturday go into a special recycling scheme where the money raised is used to buy Woolworths vouchers, which are then given to refugees.

‘We work quite closely with Federal Loves Refugees, as well as a group called Romero for Refugees,’ Ms Hart says.

Food miles cut

In a bid to cut down on food miles and buy local, the canteen is sourcing most of its food locally, including Moonshine Coffee and Byron Bay Pies. It also co-ordinates a different baking team from within the club each week to provide homemade cakes and treats.

Leading the charge are Ms Hart’s 13-year-old daughter Leila Clarke and her friend Annabelle Deacon.

‘They run the canteen,’ Ms Hart says.

‘They’ve really been the driving force behind a lot of this.’   


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