Meet Katerina Gaita, “climate communicator and a deep thinker.” 

[Gaita] says she cried for months when she read Philip Sutton and David Spratt’s book, Climate Code Red: The Case for Emergency Action.

“I remember waking up in the middle of the night in finding my cheeks were wet,” she said.

“I guess it is the same as any grief; there’s a strange loneliness that comes from being amongst other people who aren’t feeling the same grief that you are.”

Gaita, a committed if not successful greenie, did not give up hope:

“Then I knew what I had to do from now on was everything I can to realise that hope. [Despair] has never struck me in quite the same way.”

Ms Gaita had tried many approaches to tackling climate change, from living green herself, to running a green cleaning business and teaching people how to clean green. 

But as she struggled with how to minimise her individual impact, she found herself distracted from engaging as a citizen in a democracy.

And then the getting-people-involved stroke of genius:

“So we borrowed the party plan model from Tupperware.”

Ms Gaita now runs climate change themed dinner parties under the umbrella of Climate for Change.

The idea is to not just talk about green living, but also action, and becoming “an active participant in democracy”.

“Party” is something of a misnomer:

The gatherings of up to 10 guests are facilitated by a volunteer, with the aim of at least one or two attendees going on to host their own parties.

Each event starts with a video presentation about global changes like sea level rises and extreme weather events.

Climate change videos, vegan food and thoughtful lefty discussion: sounds like a fun evening. Plenty of free booze would be a plus. The only plus.

Update: Profiles of Climate for Change board members:

Luke is Chair of the Climate for Change Board.

He is also a social entrepreneur who is particularly passionate about working with social enterprises and start-ups. He has a range of experience appropriate to governing a start-up not-for profit.

Justin helps organisations create value through strategy development, conceptual innovation and outcomes delivery. He is motivated to help build lasting competitive advantage by re-thinking how business is done – encompassing environmental responses, social responsibilities, and economic growth.

Venesha progressed from recycling to climate action in 2007 when she learned about the severity of climate change and the immediate action required of society. She first joined Friends of the Earth’s Climate Justice Collective, and then became active in her local community initiating and supporting a number of local food and environment initiatives. Venesha joined Climate for Change in 2012 and is inspired by the models of engaging people through conversation and community.

A former corporate lawyer turned successful Network Marketer, Penny Pellier-Cuit spent 12 years in corporate law and made a leap out of the law, seeking more flexibility, choice and financial reward. In 2012, Penny became an Arbonne Independent Consultant and was promoted to National Vice President, Arbonne’s top level of management in just over 18 months. As a top 10 income earner in Australia and with over 1000 consultants in her downline, Penny leads her team by coaching, teaching and training on key network marketing skills. Thanks to the success of her Arbonne business, Penny has the freedom and flexibility to run her multi-million dollar online global business around her young family.

CEO, Climate for Change Katerina is a climate communicator, specialising in community engagement. Her passion and expertise are in helping lay people to understand the problem and challenges we face in climate change then inspiring and empowering them to make a difference.

Catherine Symons is a Barrister and has a Masters of Law, specialising in workplace relations. Catherine practises predominantly in employment, discrimination, administrative and commercial law. In 2008, Catherine was awarded the Justice Pagone Prize for Tax Disputes and Written Advocacy. Catherine is also a sessional instructor in administrative and federal court practice at the Leo Cussen Institute and was previously a tutor in law to student at Ormond College, University of Melbourne.

Lena is currently the Fundraising Officer for Environment Victoria. Lena has had a number of years experience in the climate action movement in Europe, and also as a board member.

Imogen Jubb is a communications specialist, climate change advisor and Climate Reality leader. She has worked with Australian Conservation Foundation, Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO, including co-authoring reports with some of Australia’s leading climate change scientists. She is a parent of young children and passionate about strategies that will work our way to a sustainable world.

So much talent in one organisation.

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