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EditorialLiving Well


Enjoy a glimpse into the marvellous mind of Henry O’Clery and learn his vision for a Venus Bay microgrid.

Aug 16, 2022

Words: Andrea Lane

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When I jumped in the car to Venus Bay, having my mind blown was not exactly the plan.

I’d been hovering among renewable energy conversations for the last six months, but every meeting was hard going for an arts-loving meandering-mind. Struggling with the ‘khz’ and talk of microgrids.

I realise now how much I have learned by dancing at the edge of genius.

“My mind just wouldn’t stop, so I proposed that we can design a solar-powered microgrid that can keep Venus Bay pumping through every conceivable outage.”

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Meeting Henry O’Clery, I was a little worried I’d struggle (fail) to understand the technicalities shared by the notable Irish-born engineer with a career that’s taken him around the world a few times over in his 80-odd years.

What flowed was the most exhilarating conversation I’ve had in years – a wild journey of posh Irish roots, producing a very poor student (a familiar theme I have discovered).

Henry, a self-professed petrol-head, then enjoyed a wildly successful engineering career in New York, then again in Dublin. A marriage or two. The impossibly ambitious launch of a contemporary gallery resort in Byron Bay, and then ultimately ‘retiring’ to the reclusive Venus Bay to offer his services... perhaps originally to the Men’s Shed?

But Henry’s restless mind wandered to the more scintillating allure of the Venus Bay Community Centre with their talk of solar panels, microgrids and the energy resilience that all of Gippsland craves in these ‘unprecedented’ times.

“My mind just wouldn’t stop, so I proposed that we can design a solar-powered microgrid that can keep Venus Bay pumping through every conceivable outage.”

And that’s just what they did.

Come meet Henry and the other leading lights at the REGENEROSITY launch to hear their stories in person. The photography exhibition is a sustainability highlight of the East Gippsland Winter Festival, thanks to the endless support of the Gippsland Community Power Hub.

The Gippsland Community Power Hub and FLOAT are proud to have begun a visual community story through the camera lens of highly acclaimed Mallacoota photographer Rachel Mounsey.

Regenerosity by Rachel Mounsey

A photographic celebration of Gippsland’s sustainability landscape and leading lights.

From: Mallacoota to Inverloch, Yallourn to Mt Ellery, Venus Bay to Briagolong, Cape Paterson to Goongerah, and Moe to Metung.

Launch: 5pm, 18 June 2022.
Iceworks Studio
at 5 Carpenter Street, Lakes Entrance.

Gippslandia - Issue No. 23

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