[ Random Image ]


April 2024 Newsletter

Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone. It has to be made like bread. Remade all the time. Made new. 

(Ursula LeGuin, cited in Milkwood Newsletter,  March 2024)

Welcome to the April edition of Localising Leanganook’s e-newsletter. There’s lots of local news and events as well as a thought-provoking feature article, in podcast format, on Cycles of Renewal – an interview with permaculture co-originator and Hepburn Springs resident David Holmgren.

Cheers, Nikki, Keppel, Laurel, and Samantha

Note to Contributors and Readers

As you can see, Localisising Leanganook’s e-news grows from strength to strength reaching more than 700 subscribers. The monthly newsletter  includes an ever expanding range of localising events, programs and creative initiatives  in  our central Victorian region.  If you’ve got items for inclusion in the May or future editions, let our editing team know – (nikki.marshall@mmnet.com.au). To help our editing team please email through information you’d like included in the following format:

  • program/project/event name plus date, time and location if relevant
  • summary of event/issue/program, in word format,
  • accompanying photo as a jpeg or png

April’s edition includes:

Feature Article: Reskillience Podcast

  1. Arts and Culture
  2. Food Growing, Farming and Food Security
  3. Ecology and Environment
  4. First Nations
  5. History, Books and Libraries
  6. Sustainable Living Resources
  7. Building Community
  8. Local Government News
  9. Workshops and Courses

Letters – 

Food for Thought

Feature Article- Reskillience Podcast

Looking for fresh ear food? Reskillience is a podcast born and raised in Hepburn featuring lots of familiar voices. It explores the intersection between permaculture, rewilding and non-irksome self help, highlighting the hard and soft skills that’ll help us stay resilient into the future. Hosted by Catie Payne and released every Monday, Reskillience brings you provocative and peace-loving convos with people like David Holmgren, Meg Ulman, Suzy Muir, Su Dennett, Patrick Jones, Devon Harris and many, many more. David’s episode “Cycles of Renewal” is a great place to start. 🎧 Have a listen on iTunes, Spotify or wherever podcasts bloom.

Arts and Culture

CresFest- Creswick’s Folk  and Roots Festival

When: Friday April 5th to Sunday April 7th

Where: Assorted venues in Creswick

This CresFest World Podcast created by Neil Adam. What other festival goes to this much trouble to tell you the stories behind the music – ten episodes and more coming weekly, with in depth interviews with artists past and present.

For more information and to book: https://cresfest.com.au/


Northern Arts Hotel

THE COOLROOM DIARY [Click on links for event details] MUSIC GIGS  [Usually at 7.30pm, Sunday 2.30pm]

Friday 29 March | The Cartwheels
Saturday 30 March | The Great Unknown
Friday 5 April | The Duck Downpickers
Saturday 6 April | Jack Pantazis Group
Friday 19 April | Michael Plater + Friends
Saturday 27 April | The Anticlinal Fold 
Saturday 18 May | Dave Graney & Clare Moore
Sunday 31 March | Secret Movie Matinee
Thursday 28 March, 4pm | Maine-ly Ukes
Sunday 21 April 2.30pm | Pride Secret Movie
Monday 22 April 7pm | Pride CFU: LBGTiQA + Asylum Seekers
Thursday 25 April 7pm | Best of BQFF Short Films
Friday 26 April 7.30pm | Kaiyah Mercedes + Candice Alisha

Newstead Arts Hub

Through My Eyes: Exhibition – Dawn Robinson 
Weekends Sat 6 – Sun 28 April, 10am-4pm
In this exhibition, sculptor and artist Dawn Robinson, explores the interplay of natural and urban environments. Her new series of limestone sculptures and abstract expressionist paintings are full of contrasts; movement & stillness, solidity & emptiness, negative & positive, light & dark. Dawns’ captivating works explore and test these dualities. Sat 6 April, 2.30pm: To celebrate the opening of Through My Eyes, Dawn has arranged some special treats for us.
There will be tastings of award winning Macedon Ranges gin from Travelling While Standing Still and gorgeous sounds by Smith & Appleby Duo Jazz

Slow Stitching: Workshop
Sat 14 April, 10am-3.30pm – $110 Full $100 Members 

Scrap Piecing in the ‘boro’ style with Liz Sardone. Boro stitching is an art form that grew out of necessity in medieval Japan. Using slow, meditative stitches, scraps are transformed into something beautiful and practical. In this workshop you will use  pre-loved fabric scraps to construct your own piece of cloth, then turn it into a small bag.  BOOK HERE After a brief outline of the history of Boro, you will select your fabric scraps and decide how they go together. Liz will teach you different stitching techniques and you’ll be on your way to creating a beautiful piece of fabric. This workshop will suit people who have done some stitching and who have access to a some old and used fabrics (or you could visit your local op shop!).The ultimate in upcycling and repurposing.

Finding your Creative Self Through Experimentation
Workshop:  Sat 27 April, 10am-3pm – $135 Full $120 Members

A fun, mixed media workshop for beginners, facilitated by the fabulous Julie Patey. Julie will guide you in exploring colour, texture & materials. Using wet and dry media to create abstract imagery which could lead to paintings, fabric design, cards or artworks. Come for the joy of playing with materials in a friendly environment. No pressure to create a finished piece. It’s all about enjoying the process. Ages 12-100! No experience necessary. BOOK HERE  Julie is a Central Victorian artist who exhibits regularly across the country.The love of paper and its potential to take stains, textures and colours is endlessly fascinating to her. She concentrates on mood and texture and the memory of the landscape. Natural pigments are combined with both collagraph and etching to create textual nuance.

Radius Art Gallery- Hepburn Springs

  • Peter Sparkman’s Photographs delve into the lives, loves and interactions of our local queer community.  The images span the past 15 years of ChillOut Festival. MORE INFO UNTIL SAT 13TH APRIL
  • Julian Assange Film – “The Trust Fall” at Radius.  27th & 28th April from 7pm  Tix will be $15 with some $ to Julien (also to Radius and the film company).  P.  Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcYOv2SorgY
  • Spoontastic – again some details below.  A quirky culinary exhibition as Radius is transformed by giant spoons hanging from walls & ceilings.  A long table will be laid out for a meal in the middle: set with hand crafted bowls, cups and plates. During the exhibition a number of dining-performances allow audience members to sit at the table and partake in a shared meal and story together. REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

76, Main Rd, Hepburn Springs


Food Growing, Farming and Food Security

The Orchard Keepers

Harcourt’s fruit is still available at market and online sales for a couple more months! The Farm Shop will still be open for collection of pre-ordered fruit. Please note, it will only be staffed until about 1pm Wed-Fri, but if you’ve ordered a box it will be in the black fridges (inside the door to the left) with your name on it. Thanks so much to everyone who has visited the farm this season.

Hepburn Wholefoods

Opening hours: Mondays 9.30-11.30am
Wednesdays 2-4pm
Thursdays 3-5pm
Saturdays 11am-1pm

Location:   11 Perrins Street · Daylesford.  Find us here,


Mt Franklin Organics

Give your garden beds a boost with green manure seeds – fava beans and oats&peas $8/500g. Also broad bean seeds.
A range of organically gown fruit and vegetables,  as well as trees and organic seeds.
Available at Daylesford’s Sunday Market or  PICKUP from farm on Saturday, (180 church Rd, Mt Franklin, come down the driveway and park at shed, your order will be there).   Please pre-order produce by FRIDAY EVENING.

Ecology and Environment

Support Local Climate Activists


Dean Bridgfoot, Laura Levetan and Bernie Tonkin, – 3 Castlemaine Climate Activists, who occupied the Bendigo NAB, were tried for trespass at the NAB bank in Bendigo during the first week of  March. They have  each been fined and welcome contributions from other concerned climate activists to help pay their fines

Please contact Bernard- bernard.tonkin@gmail.com if you can help out.

Wildlife Nest Boxes- Newstead Landcare

Newstead Landcare and Wildlife Nest Boxes are installing twenty new nest boxes. Meet us at Rotunda(less) Park from 9:30am on Sunday 7 April 2024 for a short on-site talk from Miles Geldard of Wildlife Nest Boxes. Miles will talk about the importance of nest boxes and hollows for our local wildlife, share some of his learnings from years of experience building and installing nest boxes, and answer questions from the audience. Hollow dependent fauna can be found throughout Australia, however, some of them are on the threatened species list. It’s generally understood that species decline is primarily driven by habitat loss. Installing a nest box helps restores this habitat – it is a form of emergency housing for wildlife.

Food and organics collection starting in Hepburn Shire  


A weekly food and garden organics bin collection is coming for township households in Creswick, Trentham, Daylesford, Hepburn and Hepburn Springs, following on from the successful trial held in Clunes since 2021.  The new lime green-lidded bins and kitchen caddies will be delivered in mid-to-late-March, with the collection starting just after Easter on 8 April. Here’s a short video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01fO0jXNEP4


2024 Nest Box checks

Connecting Country is seeking volunteers to monitor the Brush-tailed Phascogale during April and May  2024. This nest box volunteer role involves: Travel within the Mount Alexander region, Following safety procedures, Carrying ladders and equipment to sites, Helping to navigate to sites, Writing observations and recording data, and Taking photos. For more information on our nest box monitoring – click here

If you are interested send a brief email to anna@connectingcountry.org.au

 Photo by Geoff Park

Safeguard Harcourt’s wildlife corridors: Petition

Harcourt Valley Landcare Group have been busy working on a campaign to protect Harcourt’s wildlife corridors and biodiversity assets from inappropriate development, for future generations. Harcourt is a special part of our region, and has significant vegetation that is critical habitat for threatened species such as the Brush-Tailed Phascogale, Brown Toadlet and Sun Moth Orchid, as well as many majestic large old trees and habitat corridors. The Harcourt Valley Landcare Group have started a petition on Change.org, to request the Mount Alexander Shire Council protect such natural assets from inappropriate development and ensure our wildlife and biodiversity thrive into the future.

Posted by Connecting Country:  https://connectingcountry.org.au/

Join Harcourt Valley Landcare Group’s call for Mt Alexander Shire Council to protect wildlife corridors that allow safe passage for our precious native species from Leanganook (Mt Alexander) to the Walmer Forest. These wildlife corridors include roadside vegetation corridors like Elys Lane, Douglas Lane, Shady Lane and Eagles Rd; and waterways such as Barkers Creek and Picnic Gully Creek. We call for strong protections for Large Old Trees, habitat for the Brush-tailed Phascogale, Brown Toadlet and Golden Sun Moth Orchid. Click hereto sign the petition and for more information.

Bird of the Month

Bird of the month is a partnership between Connecting Country and BirdLife Castlemaine District.

Varied Sitella (Daphoenositta chrysoptera): The Varied Sitella is a small grey bird that is often hard to see, although it is widespread in our region. One distinguishable behaviour is that it often runs down a tree trunk or branch or hangs upside down as it searches for food. A gregarious species, it can usually can be seen in groups of 2 up to 20 when foraging in its preferred woodland haunts.

As the name implies, plumage can be quite variable within the species and there is extensive and complex variation in different geographical areas. DNA evidence supports a few distinct subspecies, and there is widespread hybridisation between these different subspecies – all in all a bit confusing!

It can be found across Australia (but not Tasmania) in a variety of habitats from southern Victoria all the way up to Cape York, in Western Australia and is also lightly spread throughout the inland.

At times it can be found foraging in mixed species flocks which include Buff-rumped and Striated Thornbills and occasionally Scarlet Robins. It is rarely seen on the ground, preferring to move along tree trunks and in the foliage. It tends to favour higher spots on trees compared to other bark-feeding species such as Treecreepers and Crested Shriketits and can be seen 8-14m above ground level, which of course makes observation that much more tricky.

The Varied Sittella is a small songbird native to Australia. Photo: Damian Kelly

Sustainable Living Resources

Repair Cafes

Castlemaine: Last  Sunday of each month, 10am to 1.00pm  at Castlemaine Community House, 30 Templeton St.  For further information join our Facebook group, visit our website or call Chris on 5470 5508.


Repair Cafés are about keeping things out of landfill, saving you money, and giving members of the community the opportunity to volunteer. Bring along broken household appliances, sewing repairs, toys, etc. Learn bicycle maintenance. Join the Mending Circle and swap tips on crochet, darning, knitting, hand sewing, etc. or learn to do these so your clothes continue to be usable. There’s also help with mobile phones, wiping information before recycling, settings etc.

Daylesford: Third Sunday of each month, 1pm-4pm _ Tner April Cafe will again be  at Radius Gallery,  76 Main Road, Hepburn Springs, For further information: Nikki 0432 232 073 or  https://www.facebook.com/daylesfordrepaircafe/

Gold Coin donation.

Creswick Repair and Share : Third Sunday of each month at Creswick Community House and hall


Degrowth Central Victoria

Degrowth Central Victoria has been meeting regularly over the past few months. Degrowth aims to achieve socio-political equity and ecological sustainability in our everyday practices. Degrowth addresses questions such as — How can we be more ecologically efficient? How can we care for one another and Earth more?

Degrowth has become an international movement in the last couple of decades. Degrowth embraces many principles and aims of other environmental and social movements. But, degrowth is unique in its focus on the growth fetish – as in growth of monetary GDP (gross domestic product), productivity and profits. Market economies are driven by an abstract concept of limitless monetary growth at the cost of human lives, quality of life and Earth’s regenerative capacity. Think out-of-control carbon emissions threatening our futures. Degrowth is about transforming our everyday practices towards respecting and working with the fragile, limited, yet bountiful Earth on which we rely to exist. Degrowth aims to reframe our economies away from socially and ecologically destructive growth. The regenerative capacities of Earth and of ourselves need to be restored and preserved. Everyone’s needs – and more general ecological needs – must be met, neither more nor less.

Degrowth Central Victoria is a collective of people supporting degrowth aims by experimenting with degrowth practices in our local area. Here is the new Website — https://degrowthcentralvic.org/ which offers details of such activities, and how to get involved in them or engage with us, along with resources to learn more about degrowth. There’s also regular articles published via substack:  https://degrowthcentralvictoria.substack.com/

Castlemaine Community Investment Cooperative

The Castlemaine Community Investment Co-operative was launched on the 6 of March with about 60 founding members joining in singing and playing Big Yellow Taxi with Lena Mitchell and Meg Corson. There were community guardian sculptures by Eliza Jane Gilchrist. Directors – Warwick Smith and Angus Gratton – provided updates on the preparations for the the co-ops proposed first investment in the Hub, and the board answered questions from the audience.

The co-op is aiming to collectively purchase and manage profitable local properties, taking them out of the speculative real estate market for good. It will offer locals a way to invest in their own community to protect and support the things we value. Our community members democratically determine the direction of the co-operative and we are nearly 100 members strong. You can join for $40/$20 at  https://castlemaine.coop/join/. New members welcome!
You can find out more at https://castlemaine.coop/ or follow us on Facebook for details https://www.facebook.com/castlemainecoop. 

Solar offer for Hepburn Shire locals

Have you heard about our Hepburn Solar and Battery Bulk Buy? We are working with long-term solar partners Solar Savers to offer a bulk buy on solar PV, and also batteries.

Get in touch on 1300 548 598 to discuss with one of the Solar Savers team or visit www.solarsavers.org.au


Free Mulch

Are you looking to give your garden some extra TLC? Hepburn Shire  transfer stations have mulch ready and waiting in Daylesford, Trentham and Creswick. And guess what? It’s absolutely FREE if you roll up your sleeves and load it by hand.

If you need assistance loading, our trusty front loader machine at the Daylesford site is on standby for just a small charge of $12 per load.  The mulch comes from the green waste you all shared during our free disposal period in November. Your contributions are coming back to help your gardens grow.

Affordable Housing

The issue of housing affordability is a concern for many people in Mt Alexander (and other ) shire, and the shire is committed to making more homes available for more people. Find out what actions we’re taking to address affordable housing in a bi-monthly e-newsletter.

Visit Shape Mount Alexander and click ‘Follow’ for updates on what we’re doing : https://shape.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/affordable-housing

Sign up for affordable housing updates

Castlemaine Seed Library

Next working bee- April 4th, 11am at Castlemaine Library

Join our friendly group for seed packing and gardening chats. All welcome.

On the board for March there are Western Red carrots, Mustard, Coriander, Flat leaf parsley, radish, Globe Artichoke, Painted lady lettuce, Brocolli, Tuscan black kale, Broad beans, Mixed lettuce, Spring onion, Red and Green Silverbeet, Wasabi mustard, Mizuna, Beetroot and Russian kale.


Building Community

Castlemaine Free University

In collaboration with Castlemaine Pride 2024, CFU hosts a LGBTIQA+ Refugees & Asylum Seekers event on Monday 22 April 2024, 7pm,  Norther Arts Hotel —

For Palestine Fundraiser

Gaza is unsafe, with Palestinians living in tents or temporary shelters, lacking essentials like water, food, and electricity. Aid is
insufficient for the over two million residents due to blockages.On the 21st of April 2024, join us at the Theatre Royal as we show our solidarity and raise much needed funds for the people of Gaza. All proceeds will go to providing much needed food, water, and electricity for the writers (and their families) from We Are Not Numbers (WANN), who—despite the very real fear of being killed—are continuing to write and tell their stories.This will be a peaceful event with music from The Double Dole String Band, Eliza Hull, Baby Velvet, Charlie Needs Braces, Angie Hart, Nokomi Achkar, and The Freedom Singers. With poetry by Andy Jackson and Declan Furber Gillick.There’ll be an art auction and a raffle made up of donations by Castlemaine’s incredible local businesses. There will also be screen
printing on the day, so bring along your t-shirts!Food and drinks at bar prices.Auslan Interpreted. Accessible Venue.


Children are free entry.

This project is an initiative of We Are Not Numbers, supported by the Middle East Children’s Alliance, a registered non-profit organisation.
Tickets –

Jumpleads- Programs to grow your community impact

FREE programs: For creatives, local leaders & regional communities.
A feast on offer! With lots of practical & supportive initiatives for you to: progress ideas, take care of yourself & others, grow your community impact.

All delivered by Jumpleads, Make a Change & Pop Up Art

Programs include local leadership, big weather, supercharging community energy, and climate conversations.

Local Government News

Community Grants

There are three grant opportunities currently open via Hepburn Shire for community groups.

Council’s Quick Response Grants – support community groups who may have experienced an unforeseen disruption, urgent issue or to facilitate small projects. Grants of up to $1,000 are available until the allocated budget is exhausted.

Biodiversity grants – for  community-based projects that enhance and protect the biodiversity of our Shire.

Sustainable Hepburn grants – for community-based projects and initiatives that aim to reduce future impacts of climate change.

Biodiversity and Sustainable Hepburn grants close on 8 April. More information on grants here. 

Workshops and Courses

Alexander Technique Workshops in Daylesford

Foot Workshop | Walk with Ease     + Smart Yoga Workshop

When: Sunday, 14th April, 2024

Where: Daylesford Neighbourhood Centre

Cost: $80 per workshop or $140 for both

Bookings:  https://www.alexanderschool.edu.au/daylesford

Highly engaging & interactive workshops.  David Moore is an Alexander Technique of 35 years experience,  Director of the School of FM Alexander Studies in Melbourne, and  an internationally renowned yoga teacher and author.  His book, Smart Yoga brings fresh and practical insights into how the Alexander Technique can contribute to yoga practice: https://www.alexanderschool.edu.au/smart-yoga-by-david-moore

Smart Yoga book will be available for sale ($45).  David is available for Introductory One Hour Lessons, $110 (GST Included). Lessons will be held in Hepburn Springs, on Saturday 13th April.

For all lesson bookings, contact Peter O’Mara 0439 761 150  Any enquiry/chat is welcomed.


NAB Climate Protesters on wrong side of law and right side of history.

 Three climate protesters fined in court in March maintain they are on the ‘right side of history’, even though found to be on the wrong side of the law. The magistrate said they had a moral not a legal case. Bernard Tonkin, a carpenter and domestic violence men’s counsellor; Laura Levetan, retired lecturer in carbon economics and senior corporate strategy advisor; and Dean Bridgfoot, a veterinarian, appeared in the Bendigo Magistrate Court this week charged with trespass.

Following a vigorously contested three-day trial – in which the 3 protesters represented themselves in court, without a lawyer – Magistrate Joanna Metcalfe today found the trio Guilty of trespass. Unusually for a charge like trespass, the Castlemaine residents all pleaded Not Guilty and employed a rarely used defence. In at-times emotional testimonies in court the protesters said they had had no choice but to escalate their campaign of non-violent direct action as all previous efforts – such as writing letters, to stop NAB bank’s financing of coal, accelerating climate change – had failed.

The trespass charges and trial stem from a protest at the Bendigo NAB branch on 31 March, 2023 – part of a wave of protest action at more than 60 NAB branches nationwide to ‘Move Beyond Coal’.  A group of Central Victorian citizens, including the three defendants, entered the Bendigo NAB branch asking to talk to a bank manager about their climate concerns. They also intended to show a film highlighting NAB’s ‘greenwashing’ while funding coal projects with billions of dollars. The group handed out popcorn to customers, and asked to speak to the bank’s senior management, a request which was refused. The Bendigo 3 defendants were arrested when they refused to leave the bank and were charged with trespass. Four months later NAB withdrew its planned financing of Whitehaven Coal.

The accused 3 sought to establish that their refusal to leave the NAB Bendigo bank branch during the March 2023 protest was reasonable and necessary conduct when faced with the threat of harm caused by climate change, and by NAB’s $1b financing of new coal projects in particular.

Magistrate Joanna Metcalfe permitted the 3 to use the defence of Duress never before used in an Australian environmental court case.

Contact Defendants: Laura Levetan, 0412 887 835; Dean Bridgfoot, 0403 160 091; Bernard Tonkin, 0459 472 558; bernard.tonkin@gmail.com

Food for Thought

Deep Time Diligence: Tyson Yunkaporta in conversation with Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee in Emergence Magazine-  https://emergencemagazine.org/interview/deep-time-diligence

North Central Chat- Information from North Central Catchment Management Authority:

North Central Chat March 2024 | North Central Catchment Management Authority (nccma.vic.gov.au)

Milkwood’s Recipe for growing green manures for our gardens: 


Local Futures- lots to read and listen to about promoting localisation globally including Planet Local Voices- podcasts and video clips 


Transition Network Australia-Inspiring and supporting local communities as they build a sustainable future- You can subscribe to their newsletter.


Ballarat Gold Mine put on notice after tunnel collapse


Stories of Transition- Transition Australia

Online Stories of Transition for 2024, on the theme of exploring community land use. Monday 8 April 2024 8.00pm- 9.15pm AEST (6.00pm WA, 7.30pm SA) 

Read more and register here for zoom link

Agrariansim and the Relocalisation of farming – Chris Smaje

Chris Smaje is an author, small-scale farmer, social scientist, and food system analyst. In this episode, Chris explains how the organization of food systems is ultimately an energetic question; one that, in the modern era, has been answered by an over-reliance on cheap fossil fuels. He argues that, in a future of lesser energy abundance and mounting crises, localized food systems will be vital for survival. Listen to the podcast or  Watch the video


Scroll to top