Energy Innovation Cooperative

Our Story

The Energy Innovation Co-operative was formed in 2009 as a community response to climate change and peak oil. The Co-op was formally registered as a trading Co-operative in August 2009, and a board of nine. By July 2011 the EICo-op was managing projects with $310,000 in grants and almost 200 members/shareholders.

Board Members

Michelle Isles


Board member from 2021. Michelle has 20 years sustainability experience across Asia Pacific with training in journalism, economics, sustainability, and law, and experience in communications, governance and finance.  Michelle is passionate about solutions that enable whole communities to meet the challenges of climate change.  She has previously served as Co-Chair of Reconciliation Victoria, trustee of a carbon fund, Director of the Sustainable Living Foundation, Collaborative Philanthropy and a Housing organisation. She has led sustainability innovation and integration initiatives at City of Melbourne, engagement at ClimateWorks and most recently as Head of Community Engagement at Bass Coast Health.  Michelle lives in Cape Paterson with her young family and plays soccer with the Inverloch Stars.

Robbie Gray

deputy chair

Board member 2010-2015, 2021 – present. Robbie is interested in developing regional programs to draw down carbon, adapting to climate change through enhancing agricultural resilience, localising renewable power generation and distribution, and electric vehicles.

Background: Robbie has worked in environmental conservation, mostly with community based not for profits, developing projects and teams. After completing a Bachelor of Science at Melbourne University, Robbie worked in central Australia for 3 years before moving to Cape Paterson in 2007.

Bruce Hydon


Board Member 2009. Bruce as Treasurer of Energy Innovation Co-operative plays a lead role in ensuring appropriate oversight into the financial management and reporting. Background: Certified Practising Accountant (CPA), 38 years running own financial/ tax accountancy business, Director & Treasurer Bass Coast Community Foundation (hon).

Dr Sharon Willcox


Board Member from 2023. Dr Sharon Willcox is a former independent health policy consultant, Commissioner on health and hospitals reform and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. Sharon retired in Inverloch and is a passionate EV owner, convenor of Edible Gardens and advocate for climate action.

Andrew Inglis

board Member

Board Member from 2021. Andrew has extensive experience in project management and coordination, knowledge of statutory & legislative frameworks especially re planning, construction , peri-urban & rural  design. B. Arch,  (Melb Uni). M Eng (Proj M’g’t. He has extensive experience in Education & training:  ASQA & national training standards, experience at running seminars/ workshops/ formal and informal learning including experience with mature aged, culturally diverse and special needs students of all ages and gender identification. RMIT, Grad Dip Ed (Melb uni) TAE 40410 Cert in Training & Education 2019.  He has an abiding curiosity and interest in history & philosophy of science and sustainability.

George Fairlie

board member

Board Member from 2016. George has a wealth of practical experience in the solar industry and advises the Co-op on new and upcoming technology. Background: Accredited Solar Installer with Burra Electrical, previously ran own solar installation company (GF Solar).

David Barry Macaulay

board member

A board member since 2020, David is a geotechnical engineer with extensive experience in both large and small scale geotechnical engineering projects. David runs his own consultancy. Prior to that he worked in Christchurch New Zealand guiding earthquake recovery and securing ground for residential development. Dave previously worked on large scale geotechnical engineering projects in Australia, Papua New Guinea, India and the UAE.

David Mawer

board member

David is Director of the Performance Attitude, a strategic coaching consultancy.

David served as Managing Director of Westernport Water then later as Managing Director of Gippsland Water for nine years and as Director for the Committee for Gippsland.

Earlier David worked in senior roles in oil, gas and electricity distribution for 15 years in New Zealand before moving to Bass Coast. 

David is passionate about the Energy Innovation Co-operative’s role to deliver positive community outcomes and is keen to see the learnings shared with schools and in other learning settings. David volunteers with his wife in central and northern Australia for a month each year and enjoys living in San Remo for the rest of the year.

Sarah van Stokrom

executive officer

Sarah van Stokrom is known for her contributions to the not-for-profit sector and natural resources management. With skills in community engagement, facilitation and executive support, she fosters sustainable future initiatives and climate action. Residing in Inverloch, Sarah is committed to empowering communities, enhancing their capacity to navigate and implement strategies for a sustainable and resilient future.

Sarah’s contributions to building sustainable communities are deeply rooted in her belief in collective action and empowerment. Her holistic understanding of the environmental sector, combined with her ability to unite government, NGOs and community stakeholders, underscores her role as a key advocate for climate action and sustainability.

We welcome inquiries from people interested in potential board vacancies. Please download and fill in the Director Nomination Form to return to us.  If you have any questions or would like to discuss this please contact us at

Download a copy of our rules here.

Annual Report 2022/23

Members at Coal Creek

electric vehicle exhibition

Let’s move to action

Our electric vehicle exhibition at Coal Creek Park and Museum in Korumburra is a terrific example of our role to show what climate actions looks like in our communities.

There were quite a few different EV’s on offer and the proud owners happily answered any questions, showing all the different specs and features of their cars and bikes.

We really enjoyed having our friends from Grow Lightly there as well as Gippsland Climate Change Network, Bass Coast Climate Change Network and Steve Fuery with his super cool electric motorbike

Looks like a great start to South Gippsland’s vehicle electrification. We are currently exploring if we can set up monthly meetups for electric vehicle owners to gather and inform community members about their awesome experience on the electric side:

No air pollution

No noise pollution and just 100% of fun when accelerating to 100km/h in ~3 secs 💯💯💯

We really could not have asked for a better day and having this event at Coal Creek Community Park and Museum, Korumburra was definitely the perfect setting to highlight the clean energy transition.

Annual Report

Strategic Plan

  • Develop opportunities to increase access to unbiased information and grow community awareness and education about clean energy and climate resilience solutions, through the establishment of resource hubs and publishing community resources.
  • Build our stakeholder engagement and advocacy capacity through a clear strategy that documents priority partners (e.g. like-minded groups) and target audiences (e.g. policy and funding decision makers) for key policy, funding and engagement asks, and improves efficiency and effectiveness of relationship management across EICo-op.
  • Enable and encourage membership participation in Project Working Groups, by implementing effective collaborative working structures and promoting opportunities to get involved.
  • Increase the public visibility of EICo-op by hosting more events and public engagement opportunities, and publicising our achievements and wins.
  • Strengthen EICo-op’s governance capability, in line with the size and scope of the co-operative, by developing policies, processes, performance measures and reporting structures at all levels of governance and leadership (i.e. Board, Sub-Committees, Project Working Groups and Executive Officer).
  • Ensure sustained Board effectiveness by training and upskilling members and engaging advisors, as required, and working towards engaging a younger, more diverse membership base that better represents the diversity of the Bass Coast and South Gippsland Shire communities.
  • Build effective mechanisms to increase communication and  engagement with members and ensure members, community representatives and stakeholder voices are heard and considered by the Board.
  • Deliver at least five renewable energy projects per year, that achieve community benefit (4 small claim fund projects and one large fund project per year).
  • Install EV charging stations in priority community locations, that also raise the profile of EICo-op and contribute to EICo-op’s own investment model.
  • Prioritise focus on energy solutions including electric transport (cars, buses, bikes), industries (farming, education, small businesses, community groups), renewable energy including solar and wind energy, home energy efficiency.
  • Improve operational and governance sustainability by growing an engaged membership base, through a targeted membership engagement plan.
  • Increase volunteer engagement and ownership of projects, by promoting the aims and intentions of EICo-op and our Project Working Groups, and opportunities to get involved.
  • Grow and diversify our funding, by implementing a business development and income generation plan. This includes consideration of how to grow the size of the CORE Fund funding pool; implementing an investment model to advance funds to the installation of EV stations; and expanding opportunities for engaging with grant makers and public donors.

Funding Partners

The Co-op appreciates and thanks all its members and friends, whose volunteer effort, participation in activities, annual subscriptions and/ or additional donations enable the Co-op to just keep on ‘working together towards a zero emissions community’. The organisations listed below help us build on and multiply the impact of this volunteer effort. We offer our sincere thanks to them also.




BSB: 633 000, ACCOUNT NUMBER: 158 983 528

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We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands we now share and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

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