WHO ARE WE?
We're glad you asked! Plastic Free Cairns is a project run by The Boomerang Alliance, and we've been doing this kind of work for a while.
Boomerang Alliance is a national peak not-for-profit formed in 2003 with the aim of a zero waste society - to give local communities power in their struggle to stem the massive waste of discarded resources polluting our environment.
We have run successful campaigns around container deposit schemes, plastic bags, E-waste, toxic toxic tyre dumping, mircroplastics and microbeads.
Plastic Free Cairns is the fifth community of our Plastic Free Places Program. Our other communities are Noosa (Qld), Byron (NSW), Perth (WA) and Adelaide (SA). Townsville has it's own program which started alongside Cairns.
THE PLASTIC FREE CAIRNS TEAM
Our team works on the ground (and behind the scenes) to deliver to our members the best advice, information and solutions to help them switch away from single-use plastic. This may sound simple, but in fact it takes a lot of work, knowledge, experience and passion to deliver this program!
Meet the Boomerang Alliance staff that make up this awesome team:
Helen Reilly - Project Coordinator
A Cairns local, Helen is an advocate for positive change in the urban community and environment. She is keen to provide support to the community who both depend upon and play a role as custodians of the reef, whether they are locals or visitors.
Helen has a background in Town Planning and Urban Design, and as part of her studies in Counselling she actively supports the community through regular volunteering with a number of local agencies.
As a former mobile coffee cart and cafe owner, Helen understands the challenges that businesses may face and looks forward to assisting businesses in finding suitable plastic-free, compostable and reusable alternatives to suit their business needs.
Kellie Lindsay- Plastic Free Places Program Manager
Kellie oversees the management of the Plastic Free Places program (which Plastic Free Cairns falls under) and helps develop the systems and partnerships that drive it. Kellie obtained business and science degrees before pursuing an environmental career, further obtaining a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management. She has managed the program since its inception in early 2017, and prior to this, helped to implement successful campaigns for a container refund scheme and plastic bag ban in Qld.
‘The key to the success of this program has been direct engagement with our members and the behind the scenes work we do to make it easy for them to switch. We work to support them, to make it straight-forward, and deliver real solutions to these businesses'.
Toby Hutcheon - State Manager
Toby has worked on environmental issues for 30 years. He started at Greenpeace on the Nuclear Free Seas campaign, dividing his time between the office and the bows of nuclear warships. He was Greenpeace Australia’s first Action Coordinator, managed the Communications Division, and helped initiate the ‘green’ Sydney Olympics. Toby moved to Europe in 1996, working on the Chernobyl Campaign for Greenpeace International in Moscow.
Since then, Toby worked with the NSW Government on waste issues and ran a consultancy business, advising government on zero-waste initiatives.
Toby was the Executive Director of the Queensland Conservation Council from 2004-2014, and has tertiary qualifications in education, marketing and journalism. He believes that we can all make a difference.