• Last night, 28 November was CEN’s End of Year get-together where we celebrated together the achievements of this past year. We also presented the 2019 Be a Team (BAT) Awards and CEN Staff gave a brief update on their activities for the year.

    The 2019 winners are:

    • Most outstanding all-rounder “BAT” Award– Gary Blaschke for his dedicated work with Disabled Surfers Association, Coal-ash Community Alliance and as a vocal spokesperson on local issues.

    • Most outstanding community based organisation– Grow Urban Shade Trees (GUST), founders Melissa Chandler, Debbie Sunartha and Jennifer Wilder for their tireless work promoting the benefits of trees and community planting events.

    • Rookie of the year– Justin Estreich, for his inspirational marine debris clean ups across the Central Coast for Sea Shepherd and bringing people together in these events.

    • Best 12thperson –Carla Robertsfor her dedication and commitment to Wildlife ARC caring for injured native animals for more than 30 yearsBAT AWARDS

  • On Sunday the 20 October at the Marine Discovery Centre in Terrigal our CEN Youth partnered with the Central Coast High Schools Competition, ‘Human Rights in an Age of Climate Change, So What’s the Action Plan?’ In which the winning student entries of this distinctly Central Coast Competition were presented their awards in an intergenerational presentation by CEN Youth.

    Also launching our next generation of Community Environment YOUTH Network leaders. CEN Youth presented winning finalists from Wyong High School which dominated entries in the junior category. Brisbane Water Secondary College together with Narara Valley High School dominated winning entries in the senior category and were presented with native/wild plants from our CEN nursery, as gifts to all our finalists and supportive teachers from each of these schools.

    Our CEN Youth also read out some of the winning entries to the audience. It was an inspirational afternoon, supported by our Deputy Mayor Jane Smith and Marine Discovery Centre Chair John Asquith leaving us full of hope for the future.

    CEN YOUTH outdoor shot



  • living Systems

    The recent catastrophic fire conditions have highlighted the deep disconnect we have with nature and lack of understanding of our interdependency with this living system, of which we are a part. This ignorance at all levels of our complex societies, has detached the connection between deforestation leading to soil erosion and without the “deep root of trees to bring moisture from deep underground eventually replenishing the atmospheric moisture from our oceans, the droughts tend to be longer and drier,” as described by Charles Eisenstein in his book Climate a New Story. He describes how deforestation results in higher clouds, which produce less rainfall in total but in greater intensity, aggravating the drought/flooding cycle.

    This living system also includes our wildlife, such as our Koala’s, whose interdependent relationship with native eucalyptus trees are vital for other wildlife and so any catastrophic change to their population can trigger an ecological chain reaction. That’s why we are in a critical stage in human civilisation and why more than ever, we need to protect our Coastal Open Space System (COSS) and native forests from being cleared. Also, continue to protect our biodiversity, essential for the resilience of our living system, such as Porters Creek Wetlands on the Central Coast, so it is not only protected but thriving. Join us at our monthly Sustainable Saturday’s to Protect, Reconnect and Regenerate our living human communities so dependent on a healthy ‘living system’.

    Hale Adasal CEN Chair

  • Nature is diverse, connected, interdependent, restorative, and regenerative which has with time generated resilient communities of species and natural wonder. Those of us who do enjoy spending time in our natural environment would recognise this quality about being human, we are aware of nature’s beauty and bounty.

    Maitland Bay

  • Health Crisis?

    The recent outbreak of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) has forced authorities to take measures to practice self-isolation and physical distancing. So hence CEN has had to cancel its upcoming events, that engage us with our natural environment and each other through our numerous programs. As well as being a human health crisis this is also an environmental health crisis. Let me explain.

    Our natural environment has evolved to be the only planet in our universe, where our oceans and forests provide us with the oxygen to breathe, sustain us with fresh water and nurture us with the foods we eat from trees and plants and in effect regenerating populations.

    Several researchers today think that it is humanity’s destruction of our biodiversity that has created the conditions for new viruses and diseases such as Covid-19. Hence there is a call world-wide, for an overhaul of current approaches to urban planning and development, that is cancerous in its approach to unsustainable development and out of balance with the natural environment.  Sustainable development is essential if we are to keep our biodiverse wetlands and native forests across the Central Coast and beyond intact and in equilibrium to provide us with the clean air, fresh water and clean soils, plants/ trees to sustain us.

    The United Nations, Environment executive director Ms Inger Andersen, in a recent article in the Guardian newspaper titled, ‘Coronavirus, Nature is Sending Us a Message’ is quoted as saying. “There are too many pressures at the same time on our natural systems and something has to give. We are intimately interconnected with nature, whether we like it or not. If we don’t take care of nature, we can’t take care of ourselves. And as we hurtle towards a population of 10 billion people on this planet, we need to go into this future armed with nature as our strongest ally.”

    health crisis

    On the Central Coast we are privileged enough to have, in our back and front yards the beaches, lakes and wetlands, native forests and parklands, all essential to human health and well-being. Once the physical distancing and crisis passes, which it will, it is important we reconnect with one another and our natural environment. Recognising the role nature plays in our lives and doing all that we can to protect her from unsustainable cancerous development.

    CEN regularly holds planning submission workshops for ecologically sustainable development. Educating our community in ways to reconnect with nature through our Waterwatch, Habitat for Wildlife and Land for Wildlife programs. Visit our Marine Discovery Centre, plant native trees by supporting our native/wild plant nursery. Most importantly build the resilience of our future leaders in practising regeneration through our Youth. Encouraging and supporting them to be involved with our CEN Youth program, related events and initiatives.

    We are all in this together.

    Hale Adasal CEN Chairwoman

  • Whenever I go into the CEN office located at Ourimbah campus, to attend meetings or catch up on tasks as the volunteer in chief, I am always greeted by the wonderful energy of community members in our centre.

     It is great to catch up with staff and the inspirational work that they do. But I also love speaking with our other volunteers, who like me spend numerous hours of their week, working to make our Community Environment Network the success story that it is. Whether it is caring for the plants, getting them ready for our monthly plant sales. Or in the nursery, developing the plants from seedlings. Or it could be designing logos for our programs and events or data entry for our community nature programs. Not to mention our front-line volunteers who answer our phone calls and respond to our emails. They are all members of our Central Coast Community who realise that Connecting with people who have the same vision for their community and our local environment is key for our well-being. Once we make this Connection, we can Collaborate, bringing our thinking together to Create models of how our community should look and function. So, it makes sense, the energy I feel when I speak with volunteers like myself who share their skills and passions volunteering for CEN. We connect to something bigger than our individual selves in which everyone has a role to play.CEN Youth National Tree Planting Day 2020

    The current Climate the way it is and the inevitable Change that will take place whether its forced on us or we prepare our human communities to face these Challenges. All we will have, are these relationships, that Connect us with one another and our natural environment. An essential first step to ensure the Collaboration and Creation of community models follows. The stakes are high, but the rewards will be world changing.

    Community is Everything

    Hale Adasal

    CEN Chair

Contact details

CALL 02 4349 4756

FAX 02 4349 4755

PO Box 149 Ourimbah NSW 2258

The Manor, Central Coast Campus
University of Newcaste
Brush Road Ourimbah