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A brief May 2020 newsletter

Covid-19 is showing us that when humanity is united in common cause, phenomenally rapid change is possible. None of the world’s problems are technically difficult to solve; they originate in human disagreement. In coherency, humanity’s creative powers are boundless. A few months ago, a proposal to halt commercial air travel would have seemed preposterous. Likewise for the radical changes we are making in our social behavior, economy, and the role of government in our lives. Covid demonstrates the power of our collective will when we agree on what is important. What else might we achieve, in coherency? What do we want to achieve, and what world shall we create? That is always the next question when anyone awakens to their power.

Charles Eisenstein- from ‘The Coronation Essay’ (https://charleseisenstein.org/essays/the-coronation/)


This brief early May edition of our e-newsletter includes information about several inspiring central Victorian initiatives emerging out of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Our next newsletter, scheduled for later this month, will share information about these as well as other initiatives in our region including: local food and community supported agriculture; creative ways of self provisioning; staying socially connected while physically isolated; diversifying economies; food for thought to expand our sense-making of this time in human history; and much more.

Email Localising Leanganook with any relevant information and stories to be included in the next edition.


Castlemaine Commons-A Pandemic Pivot for Climate Justice?

When: Wednesday May 6th, 8pm

Youtube live Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv8wT4Ryj_g5mU_-7BaRYQg?view_as=subscriber

This project is rapidly responding to the pandemic situation in our rural community. Fostering new ways of communication, community connection, sense making, catalysing action and creating the future. Be in the audience of the next Castlemaine Commons Show.

The pandemic lockdown has given the world a chance to stop and think. We know that big oil and other government and corporate interests will be working for a return to the neoliberal norms of exploitation, injustice and greed. But we have a real opportunity to make the recovery a transition to sustainability and justice and there are some inspiring and important conversations happening nationally, globally, and locally.
This week Castlemaine Commons will be looking at the pandemic and its consequences through the lens of climate action. What have been the positive effects of the lockdown on the environment? What social and cultural shifts have been happening? How do we build forward locally to emerge from this crisis on a stronger footing to tackle climate change?
We’ve got some great speakers, and the Show includes the opportunity to contribute and ask questions in the chat. We look forward to a Show that makes a real contribution to the conversation in Central Victoria about how we transition to a just and sustainable future, and hope lots of people will join us live at 8pm on Wednesday at 8pm.
Each Wednesday night’s show is recorded so if you can’t tune in live you can catch up later at the same url.
This Wednesday’s speakers will include:
Emilia Vellacott and Jack Neilson Bridgfoot, young local representatives of School Strike for Climate
Cam Walker, local resident and Campaign Coordinator at Friends of the Earth
Allie Hanley, Mount Alexander Sustainability Group
with more to be confirmed.
We also encourage ideas and feedback by email, on the YouTube Channel comments sections, or our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/castlemainecommons/

Central Victoria Mutual Aid

This new group has emerged as a regional hub to organise enabling platforms and online tools, and to support community exchange systems that meet local needs. There are many local groups up and running in the region – but many people don’t know about them. Some are semi-formal, some informal. Central Vic Mutual Aid will create a database of these resources for the community to access, via open mapping. The group will build on and incorporate some of the existing localisation groups like Hepburn Relocalisation Network and Localising Leanganook, but will go beyond Hepburn and Mt Alexander shires to include other initiatives across the central Victorian region. 

The next newsletter will include links and resources in Daylesford, Kyneton, Malmsbury, Castlemaine, Bendigo as well as other towns in our region.

 If you’re interested in being part of this group and/or contributing to the resources being developed and mapped go to: https://join.slack.com/t/cvmutualaid/shared_invite/zt-dvrzdcqp-PSVlGTTc~RCUFgxv9kB5cQ 

The next gathering of Central Vic Mutual Aid will be 3pm, Friday May 8th. This will be an on online working gathering where we add to our online tools; share community group resources and add to existing list, as well as add local growers and food providers to resource map; audit existing skills, knowledge and links of group participants; and learn more about the Community Exchange System.

Woodland Birds Photography competition

Connecting Country is organising this photo competition, open to all Connecting Country members and people of the Mount Alexander region. The aim of the competition is to highlight our special woodland bird community and share the passion and skills of local photographers, as well as produce a beautiful printed calendar for the year 2021.

Diamond Firetail- Photo: Geoff Park

The calendar will be available to purchase and will feature the top 12 photographs, as selected by the Connecting Country team. There will be a limit of two entries per photographer. The competition opens on Monday 20 April and will close at 5 pm on Monday 18 May 2020. Both experienced and amateur photographers are encouraged to participate. Simply email your chosen images to ivan@connectingcountry.org.au by 5 pm on 18 May 2020.

Photos must be relevant to the theme of woodland birds and taken in the Mount Alexander region in central Victoria.There is a maximum of two photo entries per photographer. Entries must be submitted by email to ivan@connectingcountry.org.au, including the location, date and subject of the photo. Original photos must be at least 3 MB for image quality, but to enter please email files under 1 MB. There will be no commission paid to competition winners, but full recognition of your work will be featured and acknowledged.

Mt Alexander Eco-Housing Group

To keep connected and the co-housing conversation alive, Anitra has set up a public
Facebook page for all those in the MAEG to be in regular contact, for members to post inspirational messages, questions, references to event pages (in a world beyond coronavirus) and other news.
Please go there, browse, add and Like the page
Contact Anitra (anitra.nelson@unimelb.edu.au) if you need to be alerted to events some other way, i.e. you don’t do Facebook.

New Economy Network 2020 Annual Conference- Call for Proposals

Conference date: 20-22 November 2020

The New Economy Network Australia (NENA) is pleased to invite proposals for NENA’s Annual Conference, planned for November this year.

The theme of NENA’s 2020 Conference is “New Economy—Work in Progress” and the intention is to share the amazing work being done by individuals and organisations across Australia, to build a new economy, focused on ecological health & social and economic justice.

This year’s conference will bring together people from around Australia, to discuss topics as diverse as food, energy, housing, health, sustainability, local economies, commons, local currencies, cooperatives, social enterprises, universal basic income, creating systems change, degrowth and the steady state economy, participatory democracy, Modern Monetary Theory, alternatives to GDP and much more.

NENA’s Annual Conferences offer a space for NENA members and the wider community to meet up, share experiences, ideas, research and project updates, spark connections and collaborations and work together to progress our network and shared vision for a new economy.

If you have any questions, please email us anytime: events@neweconomy.org.au

For more information: NENA 2020 Conference Organising Group

Visit NENA 2020 Annual Conference webpage for update

Food for Thought

  • A degrowth perspective on the corona virus,  by Anitra Nelson and Vincent Liegey, published in the Ecologist:
  • An interview conducted by Robert McLean earlier in the year, discussing crises and their solutions before the coronavirus response had hit Australia. Podcast here:
  • A thought provoking essay on the global corona virus pandemic- The Coronation by Charles Eisenstein:



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