June 7, 2008

SGS - when you need to be sure

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Philip Hocking from SGS in Melbourne organized us media, public - and school presentations in the greater Melbourne region. Thanks to his phenomenal organization and coordination skills we were able to talk to more than 2000 people and had articles in 3 newspapers and have been 45 minutes on air! But often our kids steal us the show...

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Thanks to Swiss Ambassador Christian Mühlethaler, Tony Hall and Philip Hocking from SGS-Australia we have a new main sponsor together with Victorinox. SGS
This is one of our major highlights on the expedition so far!
The announcement took place at the Swiss Club in Melbourne on the 29th of May. Read more...

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Presentation at the Burrinja Community Center

By a glass of Heidiland mineral water I met Terry Leeding at the Swiss Club and SACCI event. - The source of this mineral water is 2 km away from my parent's home in Switzerland! - Terry's company ZEST UNIVERSAL distributes innovative Swiss products like the Swiss "Sigg" boatels we will test on the expedition.

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The day before we were the key speakers at the Victorian Outdoor Education Conference, where we opened this event with our presentation. In the afternoon we were talking in front of 650 students from Tintern Girls Grammar School. There and in Alexandra we met the best teachers so far when it goes to motivate young people for sports and the environment: Rebecca Guggisberg and Jennie de Freitas.

We were invited to stay in Jennie and Greg's house during our presentations in Alexandra and Yea and the cooking was just excellent!

Thanks to the wonderful back bags from phil&ted (see the joy of Andri), we have had also the opportunity to climb in this beautiful staate of Victoria with the extended Hocking family and friends.

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Salina climbed to whole way up to the TOP!

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Victoria is full of parrots, Cockatoos and Kookaburras laughing like a clown and we had a wonderful time in the schools:

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We visited:
- Tintern Girls Grammar
- Alexandra Secondary Collage
- Yea High School
- Little Yarra Steiner School
- Mater Christi College

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... Emerald Primary School was just great: Great environmentaly active teachers and students, congratulations!

Posted by dario at 11:56 AM

June 16, 2008

Sovereign Hill - Ballarat - Ararat


The old gold main town Sovereign Hill invited us to stay in their village. It was very interesting to go underground, do candles and find some gold.


In Ararat we did a presentation in the Mary's School, where they have a great receicling project. Another good example to reduce CO2-emissions is the wind farm of Pacific Hydro where we did an interview to the local newspaper.

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In Ballarat we had an interview with ABC radio, an article in the Courier and a presentation of Ballarat West Rotary Club, where we met David A. Goldsmith. He is a Dental Surgeon and runs an aid program in Tonga and told us of another interesting example he just visited:
"...I mentioned to you that I recently visited a small desert Outback town in Australia called Birdsville which impressed me with its sustainable ecology (as well as its rugged desert scenery and people)
- it sources all its hot and cold water and electricity from an underground bore. Birdsville is an iconic spot in Australia (population 60) that everyone knows for its pub, its horse racing day (4000 people turned up to last year's races and had a fun time at the racecourse even though there were no horses there due to an equine flu virus scare!) and its people's ongoing struggle with nature; but most visitors never notice the "world's smallest hydro-electric plant" - some pictures attached that may interest you. However not the sort of place you could walk or cycle to very easily!


Also I just wanted to say how wonderful it was to meet up with you the other night and thank you again for telling our Rotary Club about your amazing exploits around the world. I think it is a wonderful educational adventure you are in the midst of and I will follow your web page as you move around the world. You have given yourselves quite a challenge but I wish you all the very best in your
endeavours.- Good Luck.!

Your beautiful children Andri and Salina I am sure will be raised to appreciate the wonders of this planet and appreciate the values that their parents share and in turn pass these on to their next generation, just like you are both doing to other children around the world. I believe the human race still has to come to terms that we belong to this one planet, which we are abusing by our hunger for exponential growth, and we will all eventually need to forsake our parochialism and to think globally if the planet is to evolve into a sustainable system. But we have a big task ahead of us.

I hope you have enjoyed your stay in Australia and best wishes to you and your family and your project in the future - I have bookmarked it and I will follow it with interest. Personally I found it a privilege to meet you.

David Goldsmith"

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Thank you so much Ballarat West Rotarians for your donation!

Posted by dario at 3:18 AM

June 18, 2008

Mount Arapiles

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Clive Curson and Louise Shepherd invited us to their house in Natimuk, close to the best free climbing spot in Australia: Mount Arapiles. Louise runs the Climbing Company. She was one of the first women to regularly onsight grade 25.


We have done a presentation in the Natimuk Primary School and a public presentation in the community hall. Louise was busy putting announcement posters everywhere and talking to ABC radio about our session. In Nautimuk we found a sustainable house producing all its energy (4 kW) with sun and wind power.

Thanks to Great Southern Railways we arrived now in Adelaide, Southern Australia where we are again busy with schools.

Here some pictures about the classic route at Arapiles, Tiptoe Ridge. Salina was amazing! She climbed all 5 pitches to the very top and had a lot of fun: Andri and Dario, Salina in the overhang; Salina and Sabine showing the next project; Andri, Salina and Dario on a top; Salina and Sabine climbing; securing; family Schwoerer in action

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Read the feedback from Emerald Primary School and their new toilet system:

"Hi Dario
Where are you now? NZ?? Here the direct link to the news story in the Pekky - and the Barwick Gazette.

Find on our school website the link to the TOPtoTOP school event (i put your link right there on the front page)...
You will be pleased to know we are about to order our new toilet flushing system for all the kids toilets (which account for about 90% of our water usage) The system will collect water from the school roof, then pump to a header tank via a windmill. - no unsustainable energy used and only onsite water used! How good is that!? It wont get us to mt everest but it will help us also do something for the planet it was wonderful meeting you and your family
best wishes and safe travels
emerald primary school"

Check Marbach's movies about TOPtoTOP!

Check the article in The Ararat Advertiser.

Posted by dario at 11:36 PM