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Localising Leanganook, established as a community initiative in 2016, emerged out of the Local Lives Global Matters conference held in Castlemaine in October 2015. Centred in Mt Alexander shire, Localising Leanganook brings community members together to further explore themes central to the conference: sustaining viable local economies; acting on social and ecological justice; reclaiming democracy; and revitalising spirituality.
Community conversations are held every six weeks. These include presentations which challenge existing paradigms, which showcase creative and sustainable local initiatives, and which incubate ideas and strategies to strengthen community connection and resilience.

January/February 2018 e-news

It’s time to call the housing crisis what it really is:

the largest transfer of wealth in living memory.”

Laurie Macfarlane

This e-news includes information about:

  • our next community conversation– political economy of housing and real estate;
  • a talk on radical mycology with internationally renowned Peter McCoy in Daylesford;
  • an upcoming conversation on democracy, March 21st;
  • a film clip on community participation in transition to Zero-net energy across Europe, Scandinavia and the UK
  • Castlemaine Rites of Passage for boys and men
  • Sustainable Living Festival throughout February
  • Democracy4Dinner
  • Castlemaine Repair Cafe
  • Mount Alexander Ecohousing Group meeting

Our next community conversation:

Political economy of housing and real estate

Our next community conversation is the first in a series focused on affordable, ecological and socially-just housing. Warwick Smith will lead a discussion about the political economy of housing and real estate in Australia and discuss the main factors driving up prices. This will include a discussion of the distributional impacts of government policy. He will finish by briefly outlining some things we can do to improve housing affordability and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of current approaches (such as first home buyers grants and concession).

When: 5.00pm, Sunday February 4th, 2018

Where: Ray Bradfield Room, b/w IGA carpark and Victory Park, Castlemaine

Local Castlemaine resident, Warwick Smith, is Senior Economist at progressive public policy think tank Per Capita and an honorary fellow at the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of mainstream press articles on housing policy and economics in Australia, including at The Conversation, The Guardian, and the ABC.

Come along and join in the conversation. Share a simple meal afterwards and continue the conversation in an informal way.

Some more reading related to this topic by Laurie Macfarlane

Radical Mycology with Peter McCoy

Hepburn Relocalisation Network is hosting this event at 7.00pm on Thursday February 1st, 2018 at Daylesford Town Hall. Peter’s talk will be followed by a shared supper -bring a plate of local food . All HRN events are waste free so no plastic please.

Upcoming conversation on democracy

When: 7.30, Wednesday March 21st

Where: Phee Broadway, Mechanics Lane, Castlemaine, adjacent to library 

Localising Leanganook, in collaboration with Democracy4Dinner, are hosting a conversation on democracy. The conversation will focus around two key questions:

  • What does a successful democracy look like?
  • And how do we get there?

In conversation will be:

Richard Walsh, author of Reboot: A democracy makeover to empower Australia’s voters;  

Cam Walker, local Castlemaine resident and Campaigns co-ordinator with Friends of the Earth; and

Genevieve (Gen) Barlow,  communications and engagement director with Renewable Newstead, a group working on a commercially viable model for switching Newstead’s stationary energy supply to grid-connected, locally generated, renewable energy.

Put the date aside and our March e-news will have more information.

Film clip- community transition to zero net energy with Taryn Lane

Our November 2017 community conversation with Taryn Lane was filmed.

If you missed the session, check out the Conversation with Taryn

Taryn inspired us with stories, from her Churchill Fellowship research, of ‘lighthouse’ communities like Samso Island in Denmark, 100%  renewable in 2008, and the village community of Saerbeck in Germany, now 350% renewable.

Biomass projects have been significant in the transition, generating  heat and electricity and this has been an opportunity missed in Australia. Taryn outlined two major drivers towards zero net energy-  the road map (including mapping potentials, developing strategies, concrete actions, having political and community support) and leadership, including political leadership willing to set and adhere to ambitious targets.


In a snapshot of learnings, Taryn emphasised the following:

  • The role of setting targets and having a localised community blueprint;
  • The role of lighthouse communities as well as regional approaches;
  • The role that biomass and bioenergy plays in the European energy transition;
  • Communities can take back the power and transition older commercial generators into community assets;
  • How technology is changing the game in regards to community grids and local load consumption;
  • The social risk of high renewable penetration if community benefits aren’t fundamental to each project;
  • Community groups or councils can lead, but the fastest transitions occur when there is a complimentary partnership.
  • Read Taryn’s full report about Zero-Net Energy Villages


Castlemaine Rites of Passage for boys and men

This is a local group committed to running a community based Rite of Passage here in Castlemaine. We believe it is important to mark the transition of our children’s journey from boyhood into manhood.

We are planning a camp in April this year. If you want to find out more, please come to our information night.
Men, women and teenage boys welcome. Supper provided.

When: 7.00pm, Wednesday 28th February, 2018

Where: TBA

Contact: Stewart Carter: 5473 4105 or John Terry: 0432 593 514


The next Democracy4Dinner event will focus on: Digital inclusion – understanding, measuring, and closing the digital divide

Cafe re-PUBLIC (back room), 26 Templeton St Castlemaine
When: Wednesday, 14 February 2018 from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm

About: Join Chris Wilson and Adam Meehan for our first event of 2018, exploring digital inclusion, what it means for our local community, and implications for our democracy now and into the future.

Sustainable Living Festival

Check out the month long program from 1st to 28th February 2018. A huge array of workshops, films, markets, demonstrations and talks including Daylesford’s David Holmgren who will speak on Transforming the Suburbs and launch his new book (Sunday February 11th, 3.00pm at Birrarung Marr, alongside the Yarra river in Melbourne) and Castlemaine’s Repair Cafe (see below). Many events are free of charge or low cost.

For more info and program go to http://slf.org.au/

CastlemaineRepair cafe

February’s repair cafe is part of Melbourne’s Sustainable Living Festival

When: Sunday 10.30am to 4.00pm, Sunday February 25th, 2018

Where: Ray Bradfield Room, Castlemaine

Bring along broken household goods and learn to repair them. Electrical repairs are observed for safety reasons but with other types of repairs we encourage people to have a go. Sewing, darning, electrical, mechanical, bicycle.

Have a cuppa while you wait or after the repair.

Boomerang bags will continue from 1.00pm to 4.00pm. Anyone wanting to help sew bags is welcome.
There’ll be a one year anniversary celebration at the April cafe.

Mount Alexander Ecohousing Group meeting

The next Mount Alexander Ecohousing Group meeting will be at 7.30pm Monday 12 February at the Ray Bradfield Room. We now have a solid cohousing group of some 12 people who will report back on their recent development and we need to establish a committee for activities during 2018.
Contact: Anitra Nelson anitra.nelson@rmit.edu.au
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November 2017 e-news

We need stories which guide us…

stories which can dream us back into 

proper stewardship of the earth (1)

Welcome to the November 2017 e-news. In this edition you can read about :

  • our next community conversation with Taryn Lane on Sunday November 19th.  Taryn will share stories about her recent visit and research into zero-net energy villages and rural regions across Europe, Scandinavia and the UK.
  • Democracy4Dinner: Talking Treaty with Rodney Carter
  • Council of All Beings gathering on November 25th
  • Central Vic Climate Action a week of action on Adani
  • Mt Alexander Eco Housing group– a community of dwellings
  • November Repair Cafe and end of year BBQ
  • A brief summary of Tammi Jonas’ presentation on La Via Campesina, food sovereignty and the free range farming campaign

Our next community conversation with Taryn Lane

What: Community participation in the transition to Zero-net energy across Europe, Scandinavia and the UK

When: Sunday November 19th, 5.00pm

Where: Ray Bradfield room, Castlemaine, between IGA car park and Victory park

Taryn undertook a Churchill Foundation Fellowship through May and June on zero-net energy villages and rural regions through Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Germany and the UK. The focus of the fellowship was on communities with a high level of community participation in the transition and a complexity of models and partnership arrangements. She will share some of the insights from this trip at the community conversation.

Taryn has been the Community Manager of Australia’s first community-owned cooperative wind farm Hepburn Wind for more than six years part-time, delivering industry best community engagement around wind energy. The wind farm has pioneered the community energy movement in Australia, which is so common in Europe and has been recognised with national and global awards for its unique approach to community engagement, including the WWEA award for best global wind project 2012 awarded in Bonn, Germany (read more here)

Taryn conducts research around the emerging community energy sector in Australia, was the lead author for the Guide to Community-Owned Renewable Energy for Victorians for the Victorian Government, and has co-authored the Best Practice Guide to Community Engagement in Wind Energy for the ACT Government (2014) and been a member of the research team for the ARENA funded National Community Energy Strategy (2014) and the ARENA funded Finance and Funding Toolkit for Community Energy and Small-Scale Solar (2017).

Taryn worked part time for five years at Embark Australia, a not-for-profit set up to kickstart the community energy sector in Australia and through that supported other communities to build their own renewable energy projects for the benefit of their communities.

Taryn is a founding director of the Australian Wind Alliance, a founding advisor and current Chair of the Coalition for Community Energy and holds a BA in International Studies and a MA in Sustainability and Social Change. Taryn has also worked in the CE sector in Japan within communities such as Fukushima four times.

November Repair Cafe and end of year BBQ

Castlemaine’s next Repair Cafe on November 26th will finish off with an end of year BBQ outside the Ray Bradfield room at 1.00pm.

Ideas for 2018 repair cafes will be discussed.

For catering purposes please advise Chris if you’re coming on 5470 5508.

Council of All Beings

When: Saturday November 25th, 2.00pm – 6.00pm Where: Campbelltown (near the boundary of Mt Alexander and Hepburn Shires)

Based on the work of Joanna Macy and John Seed, the Council of All Beings involves stepping aside from our usual human identity and speaking on behalf of other life forms (i.e. non-human being such as trees, animals, birds, land or water). In a guided process, we speak as if we were that life form in a sharing circle. It is a heartfelt and powerful way to bring awareness to our deep connection with the natural world, to recognise our human impact and heal our relationship with nature.

Place: Gathering Site, Campbelltown
Donation: Suggested payment $50 (a share of Council of All Beings proceeds is donated to environmental regeneration projects)
What to Bring: All seasons bush clothes, sturdy shoes, water bottle
Facilitators: Erica Bear and Laurel Freeland will be your guides.
Program: Includes the circle gathering, time alone in nature, mask making, and participation in a ‘Council of All Beings’.
A hearty late afternoon tea will ground and complete the Gathering.
RSVP: You must book for this event as you will need to get directions and be met at the gate. To register please email your details to Laurel Freeland laurel@share.asn.au with ‘Council of All Beings November 25’ in the subject line or call Erica on 0417 139407 or Laurel on 0498 066 660.

Mt Alexander Ecohousing Group- next discussion

The final Mount Alexander Ecohousing Group meeting for 2018 will be held at 7.30pm, Monday 13 November, at 12 Penhallurick Street, Campbells Creek.
Martine will outline her circumstances and preferred options, having bought a large block on several titles in a central location in Campbells Creek where she intends to live and develop a small community of dwellings. She will go into conversation with local architect and MAEG member Trevor Scott to discuss some of the building and planning hurdles of such a development.
For further information contact Anitra Nelson on: anitra.nelson@rmit.edu.au or via mobile- 0426 766 755


November: “Talking Treaty” with Rodney Carter

Date: Wednesday November 29th

Time: 7pm for a 7.30pm start

RSVP: https://d4dnov2017.eventbrite.com.au/.

 A very special D4D event this month where we welcome Aboriginal leader Rodney Carter who will explore what a treaty with Indigenous Australians means, and why it is important from a Traditional Owner’s perspective.

Rodney is a Dja Dja Wurrung / Yorta Yorta man and CEO of Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation. In 2013 Dja Dja Wurrung entered a Recognition and Settlement Agreement with the State of Victoria which recognises the Dja Dja Wurrung (or ‘Jaara’) people as the Traditional Owners of Country from north of the Great Dividing Range near Daylesford, to Castlemaine, Bendigo, Avoca, Boort and more. The agreement settles native title claims dating back to 1998, acknowledges past wrongs and seeks a new partnership between Dja Dja Wurrung and the State.

However it was only a first step.

In February 2016, Aboriginal people in Victoria called on the Victorian Government to negotiate a treaty. At the same time, this year’s Uluru ‘statement from the heart’ calls for, among other things, the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.

It is an fascinating time for our country. A time of potential, a time of change.

 Come along and hear Rodney’s perspective on what it’s all about. And maybe you will be inspired to think about what role you can play. After all, it is about all of us.

Full event details, suggested readings and RSVP via Eventbrite: https://d4dnov2017.eventbrite.com.au/.

Signup for newsletter via D4D website: https://democracy4dinner.org/.

Central Victoria Climate Action

A Shake up week of action on Adani:

Thursday November 23rd at noon-  Lisa Chester’s office rally- Black Lungs anybody rally. Come in white t-shirts, lab coats/medical garb and let Lisa know that workers rights to health are important and that coal is fatal.

Friday November 24th at noon- Climate Crime Trial at Bendigo Mall. Focusing on Bridget McKenzie and proposed $1B government loan to Adani.  A family-friendly fun action to demonstrate how our system allows politicians to give public money to corrupt corporations to pollute our climate.

Sunday November 26th at noon. Stop Adani Family picnic, Crook St Park, Bendigo.

Mel and Bendigo ACF & Bendigo Sustainability Group  event- more details on the BSG website https://www.bsg.org.au/
Longer Term plans are being made to assist people who may wish to attend a blockade of Adani infrastructure in Central Qld. For more information or to assist contact Dean on 0403 160 091

A brief summary of Tammi Jonas’ presentation

On October 15th the Ray Bradfield room swelled with locals to join Tammi in conversation about food sovereignty and La Via Campesina congress in Spain earlier this year. The international peasants movement was founded in 1993 by farmers organizations from Europe, Latin America, Asia, North America and Africa and every 4 years there’s a global gathering of members. Tammi also alerted us to the free range farming campaign which the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance has initiated in response to new state government regulations.

Tammi was inspired by the sense of solidarity among farmers from around the world sharing the struggle, their motto:  “Globalise the struggle and localise the hope”. She spoke of two million people protesting in South Korea, taking to the streets, using solidarity to further their cause, and also acknowledged that farming, in many countries  around the world, is a matter of life and death, particularly when there is a lack of land tenure, which can result in enforced removal.The Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance recognise the importance of collectivising.

Tammi shared some learnings and challenges associated with taking up farming. Food is central to everything and animals need to be raised in fresh air. By looking after the soil we look after the animals, so animal welfare is linked to land care. She stressed the importance of being embedded in the community, through programs such as Community Supported Agriculture, so farmers are connected with community. Solidarity is important and the need to work together otherwise small farmers will be rolled over. Going solo leaves farmers vulnerable.

In Australia, abattoir access is a major problem for small scale farmers like Tammi who doesn’t want to rely on third parties for processing her free-range pastured pork. In Victoria there is now only one processing plant which will accept chickens from smaller scale producers. We need to grow the number of growers, said Tammi, to challenge the transnational corporations.

A thank-you hamper for Tammi

There are current concerns in Victoria at proposed new state government legislation which treats small scale farmers in the same way as intensive feed lot farmers. As Tammi says, why should small-scale pastured pork and poultry farms be treated like intensive sheds while cattle feedlots of 1000 cattle do not require a permit? The Victorian Government’s proposed reforms to planning controls for animal industries could mean the collapse of pastured pigs and poultry farms in Victoria. The request is that that small-scale pastured pig and poultry farms be treated under the Farming Zone like other low-risk grazing systems that rely on supplemental feed such as the majority of Victorian beef and dairy cattle.  The Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance has a petition running at http://afsa.org.au/ . The petition closes on November 14th.

There was reference to the book Big Farms Make Big Flu in which Rob Wallace tracks the ways influenza and other pathogens emerge from an agriculture controlled by multinational corporations.(2)

Tammi also drew our attention to the recent Asia-Pacific Regional conference which saw a new back door opening up for genetically modified crops, with the use of bio-technologies and new plant breeding techniques.



(1) Thomas Berry, cited in Murphy, Susan: Minding the Earth, Mending the World, Picador, 2012, p.208

(2) Monthly Review website, November 2017


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October e-news

The inherent weakness and fragility in the current wasteland that is our food system

is the size of its ecological footprint, the resources needed to sustain it

and the exploitation it requires (Raj Patel- 1)


This October e-news includes:

  • the next community conversation- Food Sovereignty and La Via Campesina with Tammi Jonas, Sunday October 15th at 5.pm;
  • Mt Alexander eco-housing group, Monday October 2nd;
  • Democracy 4 Dinner, Wednesday October 11th;
  • Rockin’ for West Papua fundraiser, Saturday October 7th ;
  • Collaborative housing for seniors, Wednesday October 11th;
  • Plastic bag free Daylesford and Castlemaine- boomerang bags;
  • Michelle Maloney’s talk- Australian Earth Laws Alliance– a summary.

Food Sovereignty with Tammi Jonas and the global Via Campesina gathering

‘Globalising our struggles and localising our hope’

When and Where: Sunday October 15th, 5.00pm

Ray Bradfield Rm, Castlemaine (b/w IGA carpark and Victory Park)

As Australian farmers and eaters struggle with a highly centralised food system controlled primarily by two major retailers, loss of access to processing facilities for all kinds of farmers, unfair and scale-inappropriate regulations and planning, and an increase in food insecurity in spite of wasting up to 40% of all food produced, our issues are mirrored elsewhere on the globe.
President of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA) and local small-scale pastured pig and cattle farmer and butcher Tammi Jonas is recently returned from the gathering in Bilbao, Spain of La Via Campesina, the global movement of peasant farmers and fisherfolk, indigenous people, women, youth, and the landless, where she heard of the negative impacts of so-called free trade on smallholders everywhere, and the shared experience of loss of land tenure and access to processing facilities as fewer and fewer multi-national corporations own more and more of our food and agriculture systems.
Tammi also attended meetings of the Food & Agriculture Organisation of the UN in Kuala Lumpur in early September on the use of biotechnologies in sustainable agriculture, where civil society expressed grave concerns at the abuse of power by corporate giants like Monsanto and CropLife that is destroying smallholders’ livelihoods globally.
On a more hopeful note, Tammi has much to share on the strength and coordination of the global food sovereignty movement, and the hundreds of millions of smallholders working to feed their local communities fairly in the face of the challenges of industrialised food and agriculture systems and its proponents.

Let us not forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labour of man

When tillage begins, other arts will follow

The farmers, therefore are the founders of civilisation  (Daniel Webster- 2)


Eco-collaborative housing

When: 7.30pm, Monday October 2nd, 2018

Mt Alexander’s  Eco-housing group will scope legal options, challenges and processes for eco-collaborative housing with local expert George Ryan. Discussion will focus on real life examples of people wanting to share their land and/or subdivide with the intention of neighbourly connection and mutual support.

Liz from Musk and Margaret from Castlemaine will describe their quite different land situations, visions and questions. George will discuss some of the practical and theoretical details that they might need to consider. There will be time to discuss ideas and examples raised by those attending.

RSVP to anitra.nelson@rmit.edu.au would be useful

Collaborative Housing for Seniors

Where: Ray Bradfield Room, Castlemaine
When: Wednesday, 11th  October
Time: 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Cost: Free. Contact Anitra Nelson for more details on 0426 766 755

‘What housing would be ideal for you in ten years time?’
Mount Alexander Eco-Housing Group present a talk, facilitated workshop, and discussion with survey. “Collaborative Housing for seniors: Self-management and mutual support.”

For further information go to: Mount Alexander Ecohousing Group Blog


Rockin’ for West Papua

A night under the stars at beautiful Lot 19 with some of our finest local acts supporting our West Papuan friends, to raise awareness of the genocide and human rights abuses in West Papua, Australia’s closest neighbour.

Come and meet members of the West Papuan community who will be coming up from Melbourne to play music and share their stories and a couple of short films.

Listen to a collection of local performers as well as the West Papuan group from Melbourne featuring members of the Black Orchid Stringband.

Locals include The Gooses Bridle (harmony based, quirky, uke driven music from Guildford), The Chick Peas (seven havoc makers wielding anything from ukes to trombones), Brighton Whitely (the inventor of synthetic cabaret), Chris Scott (playing his song for West Papua), Kestral (harmonic singing & unique rhythmic guitar) and local DJ Wasabi will be joining MC Izzy (from Combat Wombat) for some edgy hiphop.

When and Where: Saturday October 7th at Lot 19, Langslow St, Castlemaine

Dinner served from 6pm

Cost: Tickets $20- All funds raised go to the Free West Papua Campaign 

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/342621106156522/

Contact:  Rose Turtle Ertler:  roseturtle@gmail.com


When and Where: 7.30pm, Wednesday October 11th at Cafe re-PUBLIC (back room), 26 Templeton St, Castlemaine.

This month’s focus will be: The Republic- an opportunity to do democracy better,  with Cathy Wheel and Michael Scott.

For more information and suggested readings email: lexi.lestrange@gmail.com

Plastic bag free Castlemaine and Daylesford- boomerang bags

Locals living in Daylesford and Castlemaine, along with many other communities around Australia, are sewing and distributing boomerang bags. Join others seeking a plastic bag free world by sewing boomerang bags after Castlemaine’s Repair Cafe, from 1.pm to 4.pm, on Sunday October 29th, at Ray Bradfield Rm in Castlemaine.

For those living in the Daylesford area, email Michelle: info@bedesigns.com.au

Australian Earth Laws Alliance in Castlemaine- Michelle Maloney

Localising Leanganook was delighted to welcome Dr Michelle Maloney to Castlemaine in August. Co-founder and National Convener of the Australian Earth Law Alliance (ALEA),  Michelle commenced her presentation by describing current challenges in the global context,  reminding us that humans are pushing the limits of numerous planetary boundaries, that designate a safe operating space for humanity within the living earth system. These boundaries include biodiversity integrity and global freshwater. Four out of nine boundaries have been crossed.  She drew on the example of climate change thresholds being breached, where in the summer of 2013 extraordinary heat levels required a new colour to be added to BOM maps.  She also reminded us that by 2030 we would need 4.8 planets to support the global population if everyone consumed at the rate of Australians.

How did we get into this situation?  She said the perfect storm started with the industrial revolution, with great acceleration taking off in the 1950’s driven by exploitation of ‘cheap’ fossil fuels.

The crisis we face is inspiring the emergence of new ideas to achieve harmony with nature, in science, art, politics and law and governance.  The emergence of Earth Jurisprudence is one bloom, now flowering on the tree of humanity at this time of crisis.  Jurisprudence is a theory of law.

The ‘father’ of the earth jurisprudence movement was Thomas Berry, who inspired thousands of people to find new relationships with earth, drawing on the deep wisdom on Indigenous cultures. He called for Rights for Nature.Berry pointed to ideas that lie beneath political, economic and social/cultural institutions –  the anthropocentrism and pro-growth hegemony that is embedded within current societies.  He called for Earth Jurisprudence,  shifting our governance systems from human-centred to earth-centred.  Governance must be a central focus as we move forward, both formally and informally, within families, organizations, governments.  In 2002 Cormac Cullinan developed the ‘Wild Law’ manifesto answering the call of Berry for the development of Rights of Nature.

While our current system of environmental law has made some progress, according to Michelle ‘it just mitigates around the edges of the problem’. Because it is based within the existing anthropocentric/pro-growth paradigm, the earth continues to deteriorate.  Meanwhile the Earth Law movement is burgeoning with a growing list of laws being implemented around the world. ALEA is leading the movement in Australia with five core areas of work: building community, creating alternatives (e.g. new economy network), transforming law (e.g. GreenPrints project, ecocide), reconnecting to what matters (e.g. science, ethics) and changing culture (e.g. education, earth arts).   Michelle shared stories of ALEA initiatives, including the recent Earth Law Tribunal in Brisbane this year.

Finally, Michelle introduced us to the Green Prints initiative, which is being designed for civil society and advocacy. Green Prints weaves together existing successful approaches including ecological footprint, new economy, transition towns etc., within an Earth systems science, earth law framework and using a bioregional/localisation approach to develop templates for living with harmony with nature. Those who attended came away inspired.


  1. Patel, Raj: Stuffed and Starved- markets, power and the hidden battle for the world food system, Black Ink, 2007, p.294

2. Webster, Daniel, cited Abelman, Michael: Fields of Plenty- A farmer’s journey in search of real food and the people who grow it, Chronicle books, 2005, p.9

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August e-news

As dreams are the healing songs

from the wilderness of our unconscious-

so wild animals, wild plants, wild landscapes 

are the healing dreams from the deep singing mind

of the earth (David Pendell) 1


Welcome to the Localising Leanganook’s August e-news. In this edition you can read about:

  • Our next community conversation with Dr Michelle Maloney, National Convener of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance;
  • Castlemaine’s burgeoning Repair Cafe;
  • Film screening in Daylesford: Our Power: Reconnecting Our Communities;
  • Liz Elliott’s publication- ‘A new way now‘- exploding the money myths that keep us stressed;
  • Central Victorian Climate Action’s challenge to COMMbank;
  • Castlemaine’s next Democracy 4 Dinner event;
  • John Terry’s Rites of Passage presentation held in early July;

Our next community conversation

Localising Leanganook has the pleasure of hosting an inspirational speaker from Queensland, Dr Michelle Maloney, National Convener of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA).  Michelle is co-founder of AELA and one of the driving forces behind this paradigm shifting initiative.  Michelle will introduce us to Earth jurisprudence, or ‘Earth laws’, which calls for us to shift the underpinning structures of industrial society to nurture, not destroy, the natural world.

When: 4.00pm, Saturday August 12th, 2017

Where: Ray Bradfield Room, Castlemaine (between IGA carpark and Victory Park)

For more information contact Mahesh on mobile- 0435 802 464 or via email mahesh.kandasamy.10@gmail.com

Note: this conversation is on Saturday, rather than our usual Sunday afternoon.

As we face a climate changed world and transition away from our destructive reliance of fossil fuels, human societies have an opportunity to create new ways of working together and nurturing the wider Earth community.

Michelle will discuss how Earth laws offer a grounding for new forms of social and ecological governance, economy and community. She will discuss a range of practical projects that enable communities to engage with Earth centred laws, governance and ethics, including: The Green Prints project, the New Economy Network Australia, the Australian Centre for the Rights of Nature, AELA Education, Earth Arts and other projects.

There will be an opportunity for questions and discussion after Michelle’s presentation.

About Michelle Maloney 

Dr. Michelle Maloney has a Bachelor of Arts and Law (Hons) from the Australian National University and a PhD in Law from Griffith University.  As Co-Founder and National Convener of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance, Michelle manages the strategic direction and governance of AELA, including the extensive partnerships and networks that AELA has with the legal, academic, indigenous and environmental advocacy communities.

Michelle also designs and manages AELA programs and events, including AELA’s Rights of Nature Tribunals, and coordinates the work of more than 25 multi-disciplinary professional and student volunteers around Australia.  Michelle has edited two books and written a dozen or so articles and chapters.

For more information about Michelle’s work visit her profile page.

What are Earth Laws & Earth Jurisprudence?

The Australian Earth Laws Alliance draws its inspiration from an emerging theory of law called Earth Jurisprudence – also known as ‘Earth Laws’ or ‘Wild Law’.  Earth jurisprudence is a new legal theory and growing social movement.  It proposes that we rethink our legal, political, economic and governance systems so that they support, rather than undermine, the integrity and health of the Earth.

Earth Jurisprudence stresses human interconnectedness and dependence with the natural world.Recognition of human interconnectedness with nature is a prerequisite for ecological sustainability and should be recognized as the foundation of our legal system. Historically, the environmental conditions of civilizations have been altered by geographical, cultural and socio-economic changes. However, contemporary industrial civilization has altered its environment to such a degree that its own existence has been placed in jeopardy.

What is the Earth Laws Alliance AELA

The Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) is a national not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to increase the understanding and practical implementation of Earth centred law, governance and ethics (or ‘Earth jurisprudence’) in Australia.

AELA works to build long term systemic change, so that human societies can shift from human centred to Earth centred governance.  ALEA’s vision is to create human societies that live within their ecological limits, respect the rights of nature and enjoy productive, sustainable economies that nurture the health of the wider Earth community.

AELA website:  https://www.earthlaws.org.au/

Film screening: Our Power- Reconnecting Our Communities

When: 10.45am, Sunday August 13th, 2017

Where: Daylesford Cinema, the Rex Arcade, Vincent St, Daylesford

With panel guests- Latrobe Valley Community Leaders joined by Director and Producer.

A new publication: A New Way Now 

Dr Liz Elliott’s book combines ecology, community and finance and explodes the money myths that keep us stressed. Liz presented at the Local Lives Global Matters conference. She has donated a book to Localising Leanganook which is available for loan. Electronic as well as hard copies are available from Liz via email: cloud_catcher1@optusnet.com.au

Castlemaine’s Burgeoning Repair Cafe

Photo: Vee Kay, shared on Castlemaine Repair Cafe facebook page

A report from Chris Hooper:
What a great July cafe! Lots of people, fixers and those learning to fix and people eating soup or drinking tea/coffee. The next cafe on
August 27th will include a bicycle puncture repair workshop – please bring a repair kit, and sewing machine maintenance – bring oil if you can. You need to book for this due to space – facebook or ring Chris on 54705508. Puncture repair and knife sharpening from 11.00am. Sewing machine maintenance will be at 11.00am and sewing repairs from 12.15pm to 1.00pm. Darning and electricals as usual.
The Repair Cafe is from 10.00am to 1.00pm at the Ray Bradfield Room on the last Sunday of each month.

Castlemaine’s Democracy 4 Dinner

 The next D4D event will be Wednesday September 13th. To get an alert when tickets are released, make sure you are signed up to the D4D newsletter.

Central Victorian Climate Action’s challenge to COMMbank

On July 14th, a crowd ranging from young to old, gathered at Bendigo Commbank with tape measures. CommBank does not measure up to what Australians expect from a major bank.  We expect banks to be financially and morally responsible and to rule out financing destructive new fossil fuel projects like the Adani Mine that will destroy our chances or restoring a safe climate.  So, we’ve got your measurements now, and we know how many people we can cram in your doors at our next protest if your climate policies fail to measure up again in the coming weeks.

John Terry’s Rites of Passage presentation

At Localising Leanganook’s July community conversation John Terry, a member of the facilitating team for Castlemaine’s Rites of Passage, spoke about giving boys and men a different experience, an experience of connecting to something bigger. Rites of passage are intrinsic to many cultures around the world. Puberty is traditionally acknowledged as an important transition, one to be acknowledged rather than ignored. For the past seven years young men from around the Castlemaine area have welcomed the opportunity to spend three days and nights in the bush. This opportunity comes at a time in their life when there are changes in relationships, questioning and doubts, and the potential for young men to get into trouble.

John spoke of the young men being present and connecting to self, community and nature. The men face challenges to their physical body, to thoughts and to each person’s being. The young men are acknowledged, supported/mentored and celebrated for who they are. Being able to develop and maintain supportive relationships in the local community is a key strength.

The program is also evolving women in the process in response to the need from mothers and partners.


1 cited in Buhner,S.H: Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm – Beyond the Doors of Perception into the Dreaming of the Earth, Bear and Company, 2014, p.373

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The third Localising Leanganook e-news- June 2017

Localising Leanganook

To see things in the seed, that is the genius


This June edition includes information about:

  • the next Localising Leanganook conversation focused on Castlemaine’s Rites of Passage;
  • Castlemaine’s Repair Cafe;
  • a summary of Renewable Newstead‘s  conversation starter with Genevieve Barlow;
  • A farewell to Rod May;
  • Central Vic Climate Action;
  • Democracy 4 Dinner.

Next community conversation: 

Castlemaine’s Rites of Passage for Boys & Men

When: Sunday July 2nd at 5.00pm

Where: Ray Bradfield room, between IGA carpark and Victory park, Castlemaine

This event is the next in a series organised by the Localising Leanganook network. The sessions commence with a brief talk, opening into a circle discussion on topics that re-localise our economy, social connections, our ecology and our public life.

John Terry will share with us some of the philosophy and experiences of Castlemaine’s Rites of Passage program with boys and men, which has been operating over the past seven years.

John attended the first rites of passage event seven years ago and has been part of the facilitating team since then. Rites of passage are intrinsic to many cultures around the world. In these traditional communities boys, on reaching puberty, are taken into rites of passage both to acknowledge significant transition they are moving through and to acknowledge each young person’s uniqueness.

There is ample evidence that young men could well find their own ways, often involving risk taking behaviour, if adults in their community don’t provide rites of passage experiences for them. Many boys do not relate to images of being a man commonly portrayed in media and on the internet, which can leave them feeling unseen and trying to play out roles that are not authentic to themselves.

Castlemaine Rites of Passage is a group of local men, all volunteers, who have seen the lack of rites of passage in our community and chosen to do something about this. In 2010 and 2011 men from a community group in South Australia were invited to Castlemaine to run rites of passage events for boys and men with the intention of seeding a local group. Since that time the local process has continued and evolved, focusing on acknowledgement, support and celebration of participants as guiding principles.

The program centres around a long weekend shared together out in bush in the Mt. Alexander area. Participants are challenged in different ways whilst spending time connecting with men, the natural environment and themselves. Participants are supported to be present to the challenges as well as joys of transitioning into manhood in our society. The program involves families and the broader community in support of the boys and men participating.

Join us on July 2nd for this conversation followed by a shared meal.

Castlemaine’s Repair Cafe

Don’t toss it away, bring it instead to the Repair Cafe- held on the last Sunday of each month.

The next repair cafe is this coming Sunday  June 25th from 10.00am until 1.00pm in the Ray Bradfield room. This cafe includes knife sharpening.

Renewable Newstead conversation

Genevieve Barlow stimulated our May conversation by sharing some of Newstead’s  journey to renewable energy since their 20/21 summit in 2008.  Acknowledging ‘those whose shoulders we stand on’ and committing to ‘do no harm’, Genevieve reflected on local people taking the initiative, allowing time to really form ideas, meeting only when necessary so energy levels can be maintained over what has been a ten year period. Renewable Newstead is committed to the creation of commercially viable, locally generated, renewable energy for the town, commercial viability being one of the trickiest aspects.

At the ten year mark, the project is in a critical phase and Genevieve emphasized the importance of deepening community engagement and of having a mix of people and skills in the group. Choosing not to go down the energy retailer path, partners have been sought. Community discussion ranges over a variety of issues including the creation a business case, energy audits for houses, the value of the grid in Newstead, how to make the energy price lower than now, bringing down peak use, battery options, education, buying and selling energy within the community and energy use. With significant public monies from the Victorian State government Genevieve acknowledged risks of this project from the government’s point of view and the potential  impact that Renewable Newstead’s experience may have on other communities, particularly where the network needs upgrading. ‘Whilst it makes so much sense to generate local energy’, Genevieve said, ‘there remain questions and complexities about the grid’s capacity’ to integrate significant quantities of local renewable energy.

In reflecting back, Genevieve’s summary words of wisdom were: always get social licence from the community; draw on local people; don’t over-meet, acknowledge initiatives such as these are a long haul; remember we stand on others shoulders; and go where the people are at.

Farewell to local farmer Rod May

Recently, Daylesford Town Hall filled to overflowing with people, from central Victoria and beyond, whose lives have been enriched by local organic farmer, greens politician and environmentalist Rod May. Many of us have been nourished in body and in spirit by Rod. Here are Rod’s hands and an excerpt of Steph Hodgins-May’s eulogy to her father, Rod.

Dad was a proud farmer who lived a modest life but was free and independent, with a presence that said he belonged in this place in the world. My first memories are of planting trees with him and my last memories are of selling organic veggies with him at the Creswick Farmers Market days before we said goodbye. We were a formidable team. Losing our dad, best friend and hero feels so unjust but I know he would have wise and comforting words for us. Probably a little something like this from the last book he recommended we read, The Shepherd’s Life:

‘There is no beginning, and there is no end. The sun rises, and falls, each day, and the seasons come and go. The days, months and years alternate through sunshine, rain, hail, wind, snow and frost. The leaves fall each Autumn and burst forth again each spring. The earth spins through the vastness of space. The grass comes and goes with the warmth of the sun. The farms and the flocks endure, bigger than the life of a single person. We are born, live our working lives and die, passing like the oak leaves that blow across our land in the winter. We are each a tiny part of something enduring, something that feels solid, real and true.’

Working bees are happening at Rod’s farm in Blampied. Contact Nikki if you are interested in helping out.

Democracy 4 Dinner- next event

Save the date – Wednesday July 19th 7.00pm

Democracy 4 Dinner will meet to discuss “Uluru Statement from The Heart”. Format and venue to be announced in the coming weeks.

Subscribe to the D4D newsletter to ensure you get this and future event updates – http://eepurl.com/b8jIDX

Central Vic Climate Action

An action is planned at the Bendigo Commbank on Friday July 14th at midday with people “measuring themselves up” inside  the bank in case the bank board meeting in August rules in more coal.  This action will include school aged children and occur during the school holidays.
CommBank board met on June 13th to discuss their proposed climate policy. The board required more work to be done on policy to be submitted in August 2017.

A new report compiled by international environment groups, and published recently in marketforces.org.au, graded 37 banks on four aspects of their fossil fuel lending policies: extreme oil (including tar sands, ultra deep water and arctic drilling); coal mining; coal power; and liquified natural gas (LNG). Commonwealth Bank has been given FAIL grades in all four categories of a new study into international banks’ fossil fuel lending policies. With no publicly disclosed policies to restrict coal mining, coal power, LNG exports or extreme oil, Commonwealth Bank found itself at the bottom of a pile of 37 international banks, receiving an F in all four categories.’

Keep up the pressure by placing ‘Out of order’ stickers on CommBanks ATMs across Victoria and sign the community letter to be presented to Federal MPs expressing community concerns regarding the proposed Adani mine and requesting MPs oppose funding this disastrous mine.

Plans are afoot for a Stop Adani Network Meeting hosted by Central Vic Climate Action- possibly July 29th in Castlemaine.
To get up-to-date information, add your name to Central Vic Climate Action’s email list and follow their facebook page.
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The second Localising Leanganook e-news- May 2017

How can we wrap our minds and hearts around something so vast as the destruction of the biosphere and, instead of going mad, grow alert and very interested?

(Susan Murphy- Minding the Earth, Mending the World, 2012)

This May edition includes information about:

  • the next Localising Leanganook conversation with Renewable Newstead;
  • Central Vic Climate Action;
  • Castlemaine’s Growing Abundance;
  • a summary of Ian McBurney’s conversation starter and reading list- the commons, the cooperative and the wardrobe;
  • Castlemaine’s new Repair Cafe;
  • Democracy 4 Dinner;
  • and a brief report on Deep Play for our Common Futures.

Next Localising Leanganook conversation- Renewable Newstead

When: Sunday May 21st, 5.00pm

Where: Ray Bradfield Room, Castlemaine (b/w IGA carpark and Victory park)

The speaker will be Genevieve Barlow, communications and engagement director with Renewable Newstead. Gen’s short talk will take us through some of Newstead’s journey towards grid-connected, locally-generated and renewable energy for the town. The town’s 2009 community summit nominated energy as a key focus for change and since then a group of locals has worked steadily on how to make the switch. In 2015 the Victorian government provided funds for Newstead to create a commercially viable model for running the town on locally generated, renewable energy. Work to date has focussed on community engagement and on overcoming constraints in the current grid system and in community-wide renewable energy. Newstead’s wider vision is to care for our community.

Renewable Newstead’s experience may inform further thinking and discussion about a Citizen’s Congress for Central Victoria.

Join us on Sunday May 21st at 5.00pm for another hearty conversation followed by a shared meal.

Central Vic Climate Action- Westpac result, further action and a film

A win for climate action and collective power thanks to community action. Westpac has effectively ruled out funding the Adani mine.  Releasing their new climate policy update Westpac says the bank will “limit lending to any new thermal coal mines or projects (including those of existing customers) to only existing coal producing basins” – meaning that they couldn’t invest in the Galilee Basin. Westpac has also committed to only financing new power projects that lower the emissions intensity of the grid which, for Australia, is a de facto exclusion of new coal power stations.

Dean delivering a thank you cake to Westpac Bendigo

The Central Vic Climate Action team encourage you to pop in to Westpac, or write to them, and thank them yourselves, or send a message via this link.

Also  to let Resources Minister, Matt Canavan (Minister.Canavan@industry.gov.au, www.facebook.com/SenatorCanavan), know that it’s not just ‘noisy activists from Sydney’ who were putting pressure on Westpac.  Australians from all walks of life are enormously opposed to the Adani mine.

Further actions and events during May include:

  • a Peaceful rally in Bendigo- Politicians for a Dead Reef, highlighting our federal politicians ongoing support for the Adani Coal Mine (Friday May 12th, 2.30pm) – meet at Senator Bridget McKenzie’s office, Hargraves Mall Bendigo, then moving onto Lisa Chester’s office;
  • Sign the group’s letter to Bendigo federal MP’s;
  • Film Screening and Greens fundraiser- Guarding the Galilee: a 30 minute documentary on the battle to stop the biggest coal mine in Australian history- Adani’s Carmichael project. Meet those engaged in the fight and find out exactly what mining billionaire Adani has planned for Australia. (Thursday 26th May 2017, 7.30pm at Senior Citizens Hall, Castlemaine. Includes a bite to eat and opportunity to meet others concerned about the Adani mine.$10 full, $8 concession).
    Film Trailer link here.

For more information email: centralvicclimateaction@gmail.com or join their facebook page.

Castlemaine’s Growing Abundance: Local Café fundraiser and upcoming events

Growing Abundance seek support for their newest project, The Local– a social enterprise café where all their work on promoting local food with no waste, (including Harvest & Garden Enterprise,  Hub Plot, Seed Library, Canteens, Workshops, and Catering) can coalesce.

Growing Abundance focuses on:

  • growing and eating delicious and healthy local food;
  • harvesting from orchards and backyard sharing and the produce we harvest with the community;
  • being intimate with where our food comes from;
  • growing the food economy through supporting our local growers;
  • feeding our children in local schools through the canteen;
  • sharing our skills and knowledge through workshops, and…
  • we really do love to cook good food (and of course, eat it).

Here’s a link to The Local’s campaign page.

Check out Growing Abundance for upcoming events during May including community apple press, apple harvesting, apple and cider vinegar making, biochar making, and winter pruning.

Ian McBurney’s conversation starter – a summary, reading list and notes

Ian generated another hearty Localising Leanganook conversation with his presentation on the commons, the cooperative and the wardrobe in April. Ian reminded us that the bottom line is not economic growth but breath and connection. We live in a connected biosphere, we are the earth and we are each other. ‘Conspire’ means to share breath together. He acknowledged Suzuki and Goodall inspirations and informed us that he brings questions rather than answers.

In ‘Entering the Wardrobe’ Ian discovered a whole other world, two parallel systems that cannot understand each other- the old neoliberal or the ‘Age of Me’ stories, which are broken but being trumpeted louder. These are characterised by central top down power and control, patriarchy, global wealth extraction, Jobson Growth, social and ecological limits leading to fear, nationalism, fundamentalism and collapse. In parallel are early draft new stories- the Commons or the ‘Age of We’, characterised by local, community, makers, markets, sustainability groups, fix it stores, community gardens, solar bulk buys, freewheeling fun, food hubs, stuff swapping and even local brewing, cheeses, restaurant menus and place making.

We need ‘the Age of We’ because it is who we are. Ian drew on Lisa Berkman’s research- that it better for our health to have strong community links than it is to give up smoking, alcohol and fat; and on Hugh McKay- that belonging can be created where we are and the Good Life is a life of connected service.

Ian took us on a journey from Hardin’s ‘tragedy of the commons’ to Ostrom’s Nobel prize winning research, which demonstrated that communities following her governing the commons rules are more successful than businesses or governments. He cited examples of Indigenous Australians management of the land as a commons; Denmark’s Samso Island which generates 100% renewable energy as a commons; and Bhive- Bendigo’s sharing economy cooperative, creating an ecosystem of local work, local enterprise, local spending, and based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity.

According to Ian the best thinking on the Commons is coming out of here: https://p2pfoundation.net

For Ian’s notes, suggested readings/podcasts, info on Bhive Coop, click here!

Castlemaine opens a Repair Café

Castlemaine’s first Repair Café kicked off on 30th April at the Community House. ‘It was great’ says organiser Chris Hooper, ‘just all fell into place- everyone just started fixing stuff, darning etc’.

Contributions and ideas are welcomed.

The next repair café will be on May 28th – the last Sunday in the month- from 10.00am til 2.00pm at the Ray Bradfield Room and will include a knife sharpening demo. Soup, tea and coffee available.  The café is weighing items repaired as a record of what’s not going to landfill.

For more information email Chris Hooper on: chrislhooper1050@gmail.com

Castlemaine Democracy 4 Dinner 

D4D events are held on the second Wednesday of each month in the back room (not band room) at Bridge Hotel.  The next event is June 14th. One or two attendees are invited to nominate a topic in advance, learn through teaching and share the burden of being informed, engaged citizens with fellow attendees. Events are held over dinner in a relaxed, conversational environment, and offer a way to engage with locals in your area.

Sign up to the monthly newsletter and find out about events in Castlemaine, including a suggested reading list and possible topics: http://eepurl.com/b8jIDX.

More info contact Lexi Randall-L’Estrange: lexi.lestrange@gmail.com or newsletter via: facebook.com/democracy4dinner (no FB account required)

Here’s a relevant link.

Deep Play for Our Common Futures- a brief report

In a Deep Play encounter at Maldon Victoria on April 8, a group of 16 people came together to play with, in and on behalf of the future. The day was hosted by Mahesh Kadasamy and Neil Bowker at their retreat The Elms. This beautiful place set the scene for the workshop run by Dr Jose Ramos and Dr Marcus Bussey. The aim of the day was to play deeply with our future assumptions and to unlock possible routes to futures beyond our current horizons. As Jose put it — this was about exploring our ‘aspirational futures’. Embodied play and the Cosmic Story were introduced by Marcus who uses InterPlay as a method for unlocking our creative selves as cultural workers.

photo- David Dalziel

In summarising the workshop approach Marcus Bussey draws on Dutch historian Johan Huizinga: ‘Play is older than culture, for culture, however inadequately defined, always presupposes 211human society, and animals have not waited for man to teach them their playing.’ This is so, continues Marcus, because play is an embodied process in which playfulness meets consciousness and, of course, we cannot claim that only humanity is conscious in a world filled with the evidence of animals at play.

For more reflections on the workshop click here.


Email through to Nikki any events, information or food for thought you would like included in the next e-news or on the Localising Leanganook website.
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The first e-news from Localising Leanganook

The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. 

The paths to it are not found, but made;

and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.

Peter Ellyard, Australian Physicist (1)


Welcome to the first e-news from Localising Leanganook

 This first edition includes information about:

  • Our next community conversation: The Commons, the Cooperative and the Wardrobe with Ian Mc Burnie, Sunday April 2nd , 5.00pm, Castlemaine;
  • Upcoming Central Victorian Climate Action non-violent protest, Friday April 7th, 12.30pm, Bendigo;
  • An experiential learning energiser- Deep Play for our Common Futures– Saturday April 8th, Maldon
  • Summary of Cam Walker’s conversation starter in February;
  • Democracy 4 Dinner event, Wednesday April 5th, Castlemaine;
  • Art of Facilitation workshop, March 29th to April 2nd , Melbourne.

See below for more information.

NEXT COMMUNITY CONVERSATION:  The Commons, the Cooperative and the Wardrobe

 When: 5.00pm, Sunday April 2nd, 2017

Where: Ray Bradfield Room, Castlemaine, between IGA carpark and Victory Park

This event is the next in a series organised by the Localising Leanganook (Dja Dja Warrung name for Mt Alexander) network as follow on from some of the hearty presentations and discussion generated by the Local Lives Global Matters conference, hosted by the Castlemaine community in October 2015.

The speaker will be Ian McBurney on “The Commons, the Cooperative and the Wardrobe”.

Ian’s short talk will set a framework for a hearty and challenging discussion about ownership, money, stuff, the future of work, the mythical Mr. Jobson Growth, relocalisation and respect for people and place.

“Its 2017, the planet is still being wrecked, wealth inequality is staggering and the economy is stagnating. No wonder politics is either inaction or fundamentalism. The stories we tell about who we are and how we work together are broken. What new stories can we create? Once upon a time Lucy stepped through the Wardrobe into a whole new world. Lets do the same with the Commons and the Cooperative.”

The talk and discussion will be followed by a meal (please bring a plate to share if you can) where we can continue our talking informally.

A gold coin donation is welcomed if possible.

Note: April 2nd is the first day after the end of daylight saving!



Visit our new website which has become live this week. Click here to visit!

Send through notifications of upcoming events, other groups and links. Also, suggestions for readings, video clips and talks to be included in our ‘food for thought’ tab.

Spread the word about our e-news and invite others who might be interested to register so they can be in the loop.

We’re looking for good quality photos of local people to add to the home page slider.



When: Saturday April 8th, 9.00am to 5.00pm

Where: ELMS Retreat, Maldon


For more information- http://actionforesight.net/deep-play-for-our-common-futures/

For bookings- Eventbrite – https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/deep-play-for-common-futures-tickets-32718513956



A non-violent protest

When: Friday April 7th, 12.30pm

Where: Westpac Bank, 49 Mitchell St Bendigo

Public transport: from Castlemaine join the group on the 11.34am train to Bendigo

 A new group, but with many faces familiar to the re-localising network, “Central Victoria Climate Action”, is staging a nonviolent protest on Friday April 7th at the Westpac Bank, 49 Mitchell St, Bendigo.  We hope you can join us there at 12.30 pm in our campaign to stop Westpac from funding the Adani mega coal mine and associated Barrier Reef ports, rail lines etc.

This carbon time bomb, described as “game over for the climate” would be the biggest coal mine in the Southern Hemisphere and make viable a huge complex of coal mines throughout central Qld. Requiring one of the ‘big 4’ banks (who even post Paris have invested $billions in fossil fuels !) to fund it, Westpac is the only one to have remained completely silent on ruling out funding.  The fact that it is supported by the Federal Coalition and Queensland Labor Government, means that early 2017 is a defining historical moment for a people’s uprising to stop this before funding for Adani is signed off on.

Banks are extremely vulnerable to public pressure and reputational risk and we’ve already pushed the Commonwealth Bank away from Adani once in 2015.

To receive action updates, email us at centralvicclimateaction@gmail.com

Also search #stopadani or Galillee Blockade, or https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/14/adani-coalmine-activists-gear-up-to-fight-this-will-dwarf-the-franklin-blockade


Democracy from the ground up

Thanks to Cam Walker, who kick-started Localising Leanganook’s conversations off in February this year. A local Castlemanian, as well as Campaign Coordinator with Friends of the Earth, Cam reflected on his recent trip to post-Trump-election USA; on the importance of how we frame issues and the narratives we use; on learnings from the anti-fracking campaign; on the credibility of the local community and the importance of identifying common ground, moving our focus away from divisions of us and them.


Generating lively conversation Cam’s presentation inspired thinking and discussion around the notion of a ‘citizen’s congress’ or a ‘community council’ for the shire or the region; also learning from Newstead’s community planning journey and  the renewable Newstead project.

These will be topics for future Localising Leanganook conversations.  Watch this space.



Sharing the burden of democracy

Democracy4Dinner is an event series where 1 or 2 attendees nominate a topic in advance and learn through teaching, and share the burden of being informed, engaged citizens with fellow attendees.

Events are held over dinner in a relaxed, conversational environment, and offer a way to engage with locals in your area.

Sign up to newsletters and to find out about D4D events in Castlemaine, other interesting events in central Victoria, and a monthly reading list here: http://eepurl.com/b8jIDX.

Join us on Facebook: facebook.com/democracy4dinner

And if you would like to run events in your own town / city, please contact Lexi: lexi.lestrange@gmail.com.

Here is the link to D4D’s most recent newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cGigjH.



What: Workshop-Whole people cooperating in a sustainable world

When: Wednesday March 29th to Sunday April 2nd, 2017

Where: The Campion Centre, 99 Studley Park Rd, Melbourne

For more information go to:  www.zenergyglobal.com

Note: the workshop is expensive but there are scholarships available as well as discounts.


Hope to see you on Sunday April 2nd at 5.00pm in the Ray Bradfield Room for conversation with Ian McBurney

from the Localising Leanaganook team: John, Emma, Mahesh, Ian, Carolyn, Richard and Nikki.

1.(Peter Ellyard, cited in Bollier, D and Helfrich, S: The Wealth of the Commons, Levellers press, 2012, p.340)

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The Commons, the Cooperative and the Wardrobe

What: The Commons, the Cooperative and the Wardrobe

When: Sunday April 2nd 2017, 5.00pm

Where: Ray Bradfield Room Castlemaine (between IGA car park and Victory Park)

This event is the next in a series organised by Localising Leanganook (Dja Dja Warrung name for Mt Alexander) as follow on from some of the hearty presentations and discussion generated by the Local Lives Global Matters conference, hosted by the Castlemaine community in October 2015.

The speaker will be Ian McBurney on “The Commons, the Cooperative and the Wardrobe”.

Ian’s short talk will set a framework for a hearty and challenging discussion about ownership, money, stuff, the future of work, the mythical Mr. Jobson Growth, relocalisation and respect for people and place.

“It’s 2017, the planet is still being wrecked, wealth inequality is staggering and the economy is stagnating. No wonder politics is either inaction or fundamentalism. The stories we tell about who we are and how we work together are broken. What new stories can we create? Once upon a time Lucy stepped through the Wardrobe into a whole new world. Let’s do the same with the Commons and the Cooperative.”

The talk and discussion will be followed by a meal (please bring a plate to share if you can) where we can continue our talking informally.

A Gold coin donation will be welcomed if you can.

Note: April 2 is the first day after the end of daylight saving!

About Ian McBurney:

Ian is an ecological sustainability practitioner who has inspired and enabled tens of thousands in business, manufacturing, government, schools and communities to move towards a better future. He believes passionately that at this time in history when every natural system is in decline, it is people and therefore culture change that will gift us a sustainable society. That society will be better for us in nearly every way. We’ll be more local and connected, happier, healthier, more profitable and more proud of who we are.
How do we inspire others around us, Ian asks? Ian spent 5 years in the early 2000s at Vox Bandicoot in Melbourne, delivering the famous environmental theatre program to ten thousand students, workplace culture change training to six thousand staff in local government and manufacturing. He was responsible for the expansion and delivery of the Sustainability Street Approach to over 40 local governments around Australia. Ian helped to establish the Bendigo Sustainability Group in 2007, Bendigo a Thinking City in 2012 and the Synergize CoWorking Hub in 2013. He published Talking ecoLogical in 2014. He has worked with over 60 local governments in four states and two countries. You can find him on twitter, facebook, Linkedin, or at www.ianmcburney.com. He is currently working on www.bhive.coop, a collaborative economy platform for Bendigo.

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