The committee

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Gavin Gilchrist Project Manager

Gavin is our project manager, responsible for managing residential sales rounds, liaising with solar installers, delivering community-owned solar projects, keeping on top of the politics of energy and climate, and generally pushing the group along. He is an experienced clean-energy professional. He ran his own energy-efficiency company for 15 years, and was a consortium partner in both the Adelaide and Blacktown Solar Cities. In 1994 he published a book on energy and climate issues, The Big Switch: clean energy for the 21st century. Gavin lives and works in the Inner West.

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Kathy Bluff Chair

Kathy Bluff is a professional musician who has lived in Annandale  for more than 20 years. As a clean energy enthusiast she was disappointed to learn how low the uptake of solar energy is in our area and decided it was time to get involved at a local community level to support and advocate for the clean energy transition in our community.

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Barb Matchett Treasurer

Barb is an Ashfield  resident who is committed to increasing  solar uptake in our local community and in making solar more available for fixed and low income households. Her home has had the benefit of solar energy for over 7 years, with greatly reduced electricity bills for her household which is now largely self sufficient, having recently added a solar battery. Solar can be the energy system of the future for all Aussie households.

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Rafael Chemke

Rafael is an environment and sustainability practitioner with over 25 years experience in the private and government sectors. He is an enthusiastic advocate for residential solar  as a means to reduce energy bills as well as carbon emissions and their impacts. Rafael’s particular interest is in exploring opportunities to establish community energy sites to benefit residents of the inner west with limited roof-space or those living in apartments.

Dr Ben Slee

Dr Ben Slee has been a passionate advocate of sustainability as a positive, constructive and economic choice since he helped found the Environmental Society at school 31 years ago. Now, Ben is an Architect, teacher and researcher, specialising in developing socially, environmentally and economically sustainable solutions to the wide variety of challenges faced by communities. Ben has a particular interest in developing community energy networks that enable people to have a stake in solving the environmental and economic challenges of energy production in their own communities.


Susie Coates & Schnitzel

Susie became involved in Inner West Community Energy because she feels that doing whatever we can to improve the long term viability, sustainability and affordability of energy is a very important issue. She is passionate about the strength that community action has and how if we all work together we can move mountains. As Susie puts it, “the environment is intrinsic to our survival, and energy consumption and production have a profound effect on it, negatively at present, but with all of us working together we can change this.”