Ray Peck in Hawthorn

Local Climate Action – Hawthorn

Ray Peck’s story

Ray was born in Melbourne and taught in Hamilton for 30 years where he met his wife. The couple moved to Hawthorn 20 years ago because their kids were all in Melbourne.

What is it like living in Hawthorn?

I enjoy a good cup of coffee and there’s some great cafes around Hawthorn. We’ve got The Faculty near us and they’re nice guys, so we get most of our coffee from them. We also like Laurent, mainly for the cakes and it’s close to Readings. 

I love the proximity to the Yarra and I’m a keen walker. I walk through Grace Park and St James Park and along the Yarra every couple of days and kayak on the river. 

Studley Park is a unique place. You don’t know you’re in a city because you are nestled among the gum trees on a bend in the river. 

The Studley Park Boathouse is one of our favourite places to go in Melbourne. It is great for a barbeque or a picnic. We like eating on the veranda and take our grandkids there to feed the ducks. 

Studley Park Boathouse in Hawthorn
Ray Peck with his grandchildren in Hawthorn

What is your motivation for joining a local climate action group?

I have a love for nature and nature is bearing the brunt of climate change. I was devastated by the fires, and more recently the floods and the effect on Australia’s biodiversity. It guts me that my generation has been a major contributor to species going extinct.

“I feel an element of guilt and want to make sure future generations have some natural world left to enjoy. I’ve got six grandkids. My family has a love of the environment, and we go bushwalking and camping. I feel if I wasn’t active about climate change, how could I look them in the eye?”

When did you join the local climate action group Lighter Footprints and how are you involved with them?

I started going to events eight years ago to find things out. 

Three years ago, I joined the committee. I help organise events and take an active interest in the website. My main responsibility is leading the letter writing group which I have been doing for about two years.

When I took over, we were mainly writing to the Melbourne newspapers. Now we are getting published in regional, interstate and national papers and are hoping to have 1,000 letters published this year.   

Our letters give the other side of the story to some of the very biased opinion pieces in regional newspapers, add to the debate and provide polite, factual responses to the climate deniers.

Ray Peck kayaking with his grandchildren on the Yarra River in Hawthorn

What would you say to someone who is interested in taking climate action and thinking of joining Lighter Footprints?

You will be made most welcome and find a very interesting group of people, a lot of whom have been very successful in their professional lives. They’re smart, committed and there’s plenty of opportunities to get involved from simple things like helping at events through to talking to MPs and organising speakers.

“It’s a local opportunity that should be taken advantage of if you want to make a difference on climate change.”