‘Be seen to go green’

Posted on 04 Apr 2022

By Matthew Schulz, journalist, Our Community

Cairns Little Theatre Facebook

A Queensland theatre group with a flair for the dramatic and responding to its critics has been rewarded for its snappy suggestion about community climate action.

Our Community is building a case for a better deal for NFPs from suppliers of clean energy and electric cars and this month surveyed the sector to get a sense of current needs.

Asked “What is the single biggest contribution the Australian community sector can make to combatting climate change?” the Cairns Little Theatres’ Paul Hynes put forward a convincing argument that community groups must show the way, and won $1000 for his group.

Paul Hynes
Paul Hynes' gift of the gab has paid off for the group

“Be seen to go green: Community organisations are prominent by the contributions they make to our communities. They can use this prominence to lead by example to make visible commitments to a better environment, such as with signage promoting the organisation's actions, for example: ‘We are now fully solar!’, ‘We don't use plastic in our bar’, or ‘Our security lights are solar-powered’,” he wrote.

Judges said the group’s catchy slogan highlighted sensible and practical ways of transitioning to zero carbon, showed how groups could take responsibility and lead by example and demonstrated the power of community.

Mr Hynes said the group would consider ways of spending the $1000 at its April meeting but said the win “has certainly got us all thinking about the subject of going green”.

“I think this is just the start and will be a catalyst for further action.”

The group had already begun pursuing environmentally friendly practices, having recently adopted biodegradable drinkware after an earlier shift to plastic prompted negative feedback from the audience at its Rondo Theatre

“This was an extra cost but did satisfy some of the critics,” he said.

“Audience members want a greener approach from us, but don’t want us to increase prices as a result. This was also made abundantly clear!”

The theatre hopes its green cred will bring more visitors to its community-based productions at The Rondo, a unique playhouse in the Cairns suburb of Edge Hill, which has been showing plays every year since 1953.

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