Pictured above Haritima Bahuguna one of the two 2022 Mike Hill Fellows.
Mike Hill was a community leader, activist and visionary thinker across environmental sustainability and local government.
In 2021, Merri-bek City Council and the Australian Energy Foundation jointly founded the annual Mike Hill Fellowship to honour Mike’s contribution to Merri-bek and beyond, and to continue his work building local champions for climate change action.
Daisy Day was the inaugural Fellow of the program and concentrated her Fellowship on energy innovation pilot programs.
The 2022 Mike Hill Fellowship
In 2022, the Mike Hill Fellowship has been awarded to Sue Izmir and Haritima Bahuguna.
Sue is an experienced strategist, researcher, design leader and practitioner with a focus on creating sustainable strategies, social innovation, organisational design and transformation in both public and private sectors.
“Being a long-time resident of Merri-bek and a strong advocate of community-driven work, I feel privileged to be the next Mike Hill Fellow,” says Sue.
“I believe the Fellowship Program will be key to connecting with community members, amplifying unheard voices and encouraging others to work towards creating a zero-carbon society together.”
Haritima is a third-generation environmentalist from India. Born and raised in the northern Himalayas, Haritima witnessed the growing impacts of climate change in her home state at an early age which motivated her to pursue a career in sustainable development.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and an interdisciplinary masters in environment from the University of Melbourne. Her recent focus has been sustainable development and building ground-level resilience to climate change for local and vulnerable communities.
Engaging local communities
The 2022 Mike Hill Fellows will support Merri-bek residents who speak Turkish, Hindi and Urdu by providing energy education and literacy advice, bill reviews to identify better rates and tariffs, applications for bill relief grants, where required, and energy efficiency advice.
Throughout his career, Mike Hill was Mayor of Brunswick Council and inaugural Mayor of Merri-bek where he oversaw the founding of Australia’s first kerbside recycling scheme and was responsible for Moreland’s defining slogan ‘One Community, Proudly Diverse’.
He was the ‘founding father’ of the Merri-bek Energy Foundation (now Australian Energy Foundation) as the first Chair of the Board.