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February 2019

“We need hope but the one thing we need more than hope is action. Once we start to act, hope is everywhere.

The climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions. All we have to do is to wake up and change.

What we do or don’t do right now will affect my entire life and the lives of my children and grandchildren. What we do or don’t do right now, me and my generation can’t undo in the future.”

Greta Thunberg, 16-year-old student climate activist https://www.ted.com/talks/greta_thunberg_the_disarming_case_to_act_right_now_on_climate?

The February edition of our e-newsletter includes information about:

  • Next Community Conversation- Climate, System Change  & Young Voices February 25th
  • Sustainable Living Festival-February 8th -10th
  • Repair Cafes– Daylesford & Castlemaine
  • Central Vic Climate Action
  • Third Terra Nullius Breakfast in Daylesford
  • Bush Tucker Workshop, Castlemaine
  • Farm Day Out – Eganstown
  • The Allure of Fungi book launch
  • Daylesford Culture Club
  • Housing for Degrowth book launch
  • New community supported bakery- Daylesford
  • Castlemaine State Festival
  • Vegetable Boxes and bulk foods- Hepburn Springs
  • Community Climate Change Adaptation (3CA) Grants
  • Food for Thought- Ian McBurnie & Richard Flanagan

Next community conversation:  Climate, System change & Young Voices

When: 7.00pm, Monday February 25th, 2019

Where: Senior Citizen’s room, Castlemaine, Mechanics Lane, next to library

Young people from the Castlemaine area have played a leadership role in the students’ climate strikes. Come and hear the stories they have to tell. Come ready and willing to take action along side these young ones – they want action not just talk. Encourage other young students and people to attend so this grass roots movement for our climate can grow. (Photo: Castlemaine 350.org)

This community conversation will re-frame the climate crisis from young people’s perspective and will introduce research focused around re-calibrating ‘deep frames’  for a hyper-response to climate and environmental change.

The students will be joined by Creswick resident Dr Elizabeth Boulton, whose research focuses around reframing Climate and Environmental Change as a new type of security threat, a Hyperthreat. This involves a new way of thinking which draws upon a new field called post-human philosophy. A “Hyperobject/threat” lens allows us to think in a quite different way.  Elizabeth is currently developing a cutting-edge community model for mobilising climate action and sees young people cutting through rhetoric and calling it as it is.

Elizabeth’s research has found that the deep framing problem is larger, more entrenched and multi-faceted than expected. However, some new conceptual ‘life-rafts’ do exist. These new ideas are embryonic and experimental, nonetheless, in accordance with ‘Real Options analysis’, they may still expand the responsive space humans have at their disposal.

Elizabeth commenced her career with 15 years as a logistics Officer in the Australian Army. Her interest in logistics and sustainability saw her complete a Masters in this area at the University of Melbourne in 2007, where she thereafter worked in the areas of sustainable transport with the Victorian State Government and City of Melbourne. She later moved into climate risk communication with the Bureau of Meteorology. She has worked in Africa, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East and East Timor. While completing her PhD she has done part-time research work for Defence in the area of ‘women, peace and security.’

Sustainable Living Festival

When: Throughout February, Big weekend: Feb 9,10 and 11

WhereBirrarung Marr, Melbourne plus variety of locations

Cost: most events free

Program : http://www.slf.org.au/events

This year’s theme  is disruption–  emerge with solutions for sustainability. Festival events will be held throughout February across Melbourne central and suburbs, as well as country Victoria. During the big weekend, (February 9th, 10th and 11th), you can to hear Helena Norberg-Hodge (Saturday 9th, 1.30pm) make the case for a radically different paradigm in the face of rampant consumerism, ecological destruction and spiritual poverty. You can hear the students striking out for climate (Sunday 10th, 1.30pm), including one of our own Castlemaine young people – Harriet O’Shea-Carre, and the ways young people are changing dynamics of the climate movement. Bruce Pascoe (Sunday 10th, 3pm) will reveal the hidden histories of how Aboriginal people across Australia used domesticated plants and engaged in complex harvesting and irrigating, and explore how this can be applied today. The Great Debate (Friday 8th, 6.30pm) will explore the best game plan for large scale rapid change. In Animism Respoken (Saturday 10th, 3pm), three environmental story tellers, including Daylesford’s own Patrick Jones, along with Maya Ward and Claire Dunn, will explore rewilding the urban soul

The Housing for Degrowth book launch is also part of the Sustainable Living Festival, with Castlemaine’s Anitra Nelson . More information below.

Repair Cafes

Daylesford Repair Cafe- a special cafe in February connecting young students with repairers, held at the ARC alongside  Daylesford Secondary College

When: Sunday February 17th, 1-4pm

Where: Note- Temporary venue change for February- The ARC, Smith St Daylesford, alongside Daylesford Secondary College (back to usual venue at Victoria Park Pavillion in March)


  • Learn how to repair and maintain your bike and fix a puncture;
  • Fix your favorite clothes- have you got a favorite garment that you can’t wear any more? Don’t throw it away. Bring it along and find out how easy it is to repair clothes.
  • Repair school equipment and school uniforms
  • Learn and share repairing skills

Castlemaine and surrounds Repair Cafe
When: 24th February, 10 am to 1 pm
Where:  new venue- Castlemaine Town Hall
Bring along broken household appliances, broken picture frames, book binding, furniture, sewing, darning etc. Repairs, tea, coffee and food all for a small donation.
Note: No Cafe in March due to State Festival.
Further info from Chris 54705508, facebook: castlemaine repair cafe or web: castlemainerepaircafe.wordpress.com

Central Vic Climate Action

Global School Strike: Save the date- Friday, 15th March 2019. Adults, in addition to parents are welcome to attend. Sign up for this at https://www.schoolstrike4climate.com/

Climate Emergency, Mt Alexander Shire Council:After an initial meeting with mayor Bronwyn Machin, the aim is for the shire to adopt “Climate Emergency” status. Council has to date divested only 60% of its investments away from fossil fuels. We want to know what Council is going to do with remaining 40%.

Fund Raiser film: The Reluctant Radical is a heart warming, but hopefully not global warming, American story about long time environmentalist and activist, Ken Ward. Plans are for this film to be a Castlemaine Fringe Festival event.

 Letter Writing Cafe: Keeping the pressure up to Stop Adani, targeting Labor politicians. Every 2nd and 4th Fridays, 10 am at the North Kitchen, Hunter Street, Castlemaine. Writing paper, envelopes and stamps supplied. (Photo- Castlemaine 350.org)

Grey Power Climate Protectors: Former Greens leader Bob Brown helped to launch this new movement which plans to lead a convoy to Bowen in Far North Queensland. Should Adani start work on the proposed coal mine, the convoy will depart Hobart and head northwards, stopping at cities and towns along the way to hold rallies and public meetings. These events will be co-hosted by FLAC and Sea Shepherd. Draft itinerary of the route can be found at https://www.bobbrown.org.au/stopadaniconvoy

Third Terra Nullius breakfast in Daylesford

Locals gathered for breakfast on the footpath outside the Daylesford Town Hall on January 26th for the third terra nullius breakfast. This gathering “is an overdue acknowledgement of our history, a ‘fessing up to what the state of Australia stands upon”, says Patrick Jones- Artist as Family

Photo courtesy- Artist as Family
Patrick Jones sums up the rationale for the gathering:
“Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet of eleven convict ships from Great Britain, and the first Governor of New South Wales, arrived at Sydney Cove on 26 January 1770 and raised the Union Jack to signal the beginning of the colony. The legal basis for this invasion of Aboriginal lands was called terra nullius which translates from the Latin as ’empty land’ or ‘no man’s land’.
Stone and timber villages, swidden agriculture, elaborate aquacultures and diverse bioregional culture making was trammelled and disappeared so as this imperialist legal term could be employed back in England. The employment of the term was so obviously an opportunistic fabrication by the British state and yet the day, January 26, is still used as a day of national celebration in Australia. To redress this colossal deception, the annual Terra Nullius Breakfast was started in Daylesford in 2017, and was a first of its kind in Australia, joining the ever growing Change the date and Invasion Day movements.
While the breakfast is an acknowledgement of the great lie of terra nullius, which this nation state is founded on, it is also a standing with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters who have more than survived the invasion and who are rebuilding their lives and their cultures after generations of oppression by the various Australian states.”

Bush Tucker Workshop- Castlemaine

When: 10am – 3pm, Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd of March

Where: Castlemaine Community House, 30 Templeton Street

Fee:$200 for full price, or $180 with the Early Bird Discount if booking and payment is made before the 1st February. All bookings must be made by the 27th February.

Spend two days with local bush tucker expert, Aunty Julie, as she introduces you to the diverse edible native plants, fruits and herbs of Australia. The workshop includes morning & afternoon tea, plus lunch, over both days. A unique learning experience, sure to ignite your interest in creating with local ingredients.

Download the Workshop Outline here: Bush Tucker Workshop

Places are limited! Bookings https://cch.weteachme.com/classes/1030199-bush-tucker-workshop

Farm Day Out- Eganstown

When: Sunday March 17th, 10:00am – 6:30pm
Where: Jonai Farms, Eganstown VIC 3461
The Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance is hosting their inaugural fundraiser Farm Day Out  at Jonai Farms, with a stellar line up of Australian bands, local food, booze, and mineral water, and the launch of their revolutionary book Farming Democracy: Radically transforming the food system from the ground up! 
As we all watch in horror as our rivers die from mismanagement and greed that is built into industrial capitalist agriculture, there’s never been a more pressing time to work towards agroecological futures.
All encouraged to attend so that those of us in the engine room for radical transformation can catch up to some tunes and raise a toast to the future we’re trying to grow!
If you’re keen to attend but living on a tight budget there’s room for more volunteers. Contact admin@afsa.org.au

Note that AFSA members get a 10% discount on tickets – just email admin@afsa.org.au for the discount code.

The Allure of Fungi Book Launch

When: Thursday 28 February 2019, 6pm
Where: The Woodshed, 21a Raglan Street, Daylesford.

RSVP: alison@alisonpouliot.com

The Allure of Fungi brings together two decades of research
by ecologist and environmental photographer, Alison Pouliot.
The book presents fungi through multiple perspectives from
mycologists and naturalists, to foragers and philosophers.
Through a combination of text and visual essays, it explores
how a history of entrenched fears about fungi has led to their
near absence in Australian ecological consciousness.
Please join us for a glass of champagne and to hear some
excerpts from the book.
Discounted copies of the book will be available for purchase.
This event is supported by Wombat Forestcare.

Daylesford Culture Club

When: Saturday March 2nd, 9.30am -12.30pm
Where: Senior Citizens room, rear Daylesford Town Hall
If you missed out on February’s summer ferment session there’s plenty more fermenting sessions coming up in 2019, always on the first Saturday of
the month.

Making your own fermenting crock

When: Saturday 9th of February,  9.30am – 3.00pm.

Where:  Clayspace East Street Studio (opp. cnr of Standbridge St), Daylesford

Cost: $150 which includes all materials and tutorials

Register via email: daylesfordcultureclub@gmail.com

Local ceramicist Kim Haughie will show participants how to make a lidded fermenting crock pot using coil and slab construction techniques. The pots will then be dried and bisque fired and participants will then return for an additional one hour session (time and date TBA) to glaze their pots which will then require another firing.

Kim Haughie has been working for over 10 years in her clay medium as a ceramic artist and makes refined yet earthy functional pieces with a sculptural element. Kim is also passionate about creating a stimulating and supportive environment for others to explore their own innate creative abilities in clay. Kim is excited to be able to present this workshop as she has studied the ancient technique of Korean ongii (earthenware pottery) making in South Korea which she will briefly discuss and demonstrate.

We need a minimum of four participants for the workshop to go ahead, and a maximum of eight.

Housing for Degrowth Book Launch

When: Thursday, 21 February,5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Where: RMIT University, Swanston Academic Building (Building 80), Level 2, Lecture Theatre 7,445 Swanston Street,Melbourne

Cost: A free event. Register via eventbrite Housing for Degrowth: Melbourne book launch Tickets, Thu, 21/02/2019 at 5:30 pm | Eventbrite

What’s ‘degrowth’ and a degrowth approach to future sustainability?

As part of the National Sustainable Living Festival 2019, the Melbourne launch of Housing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities follows 29 housing for degrowth book events in Europe. This Routledge Environmental Humanities Series book has 25 international activist-scholar contributors, including four Australians.

Explaining and debating ‘degrowth’ in cities and housing is lead editor (and Castlemaine resident) Associate Professor Anitra Nelson; Professor Jago Dodson, Director of the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University; Libby Robin, Emeritus Professor at the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University; Brendan Gleeson, Director of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at Melbourne University; and Terry Leahy, conjoint in the School of Humanities and Social Science, University of Newcastle.

Time for audience participation with questions and comments.

Signed paperback copies for sale at the discounted price of A$35 — as part of the National Sustainable Living Festival 2019.

New community supported bakery in Daylesford

TwoFold Bakehouse is starting up a community supported bake (CSB) subscription in March, meaning fresh bread mid week (Wed) and a loaf (or two) with your name on it.

Here’s how it’s going to work:

Committing to a month of bread with us represents much more than bread. As a member you complete our small bread family of bakers, farmers and millers who believe in regeneration and real bread. Join us in saying no to waste, by baking only to order.

Our first month of once weekly bread starts Wednesday 6 March. We’ll be baking a Light Khorasan loaf (wholemeal) (see picture below for the lay of the loaf) for $7 each.

Pick up is from Daylesford from 3:30 – 7pm each Wednesday.

For the rest of your specialty bread, TwoFold Bakehouse will still be at the Daylesford Sunday Farmers Market each week.

As a bread family member, the bakehouse will also guarantee that your Sunday Market loaves are put aside so you don’t miss out – just make a note of this in your sign up email.

Email: twofoldbakehouse@gmail.com to express your interest

Follow on Instagram! @twofoldbakehouse

Castlemaine State Festival

When: March 22nd to 31st

Where: Castlemaine and surrounds

An inspiring array of music, performance, dialogues, film, visual arts and more. Many events cost but there are free events as well.

For more info: https://castlemainefestival.com.au/

Vegetable boxes 

Serge at Blampied  is preparing delicious organic veggie boxes, available weekly for $40. Pick up from Hepburn Springs. A great way to support our local organic and regenerative  farmers.

For more information or to order a box email: relocalisehepburn@gmail.com

Community Climate Change (3CA)

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is delivering a small grants program to build resilience to climate change impacts through community-driven
adaptation activities that address identified gaps and priorities in Victoria’s regions. The Community Climate Change grants program is now open. Grants from $25,000 to $75,000 are
available and applications must be submitted by
Sunday 31 March 2019.

The Community Climate Change program will support projects that:
• identify and support practical projects focused on adaptation activities with clear community benefit;
• foster partnerships between communities, local governments and regional stakeholders on adaptation; and
• generate and share lessons on good practice approaches to community adaptation.
Two categories of projects will be funded:
Building Adaptive Capacity: these projects will build the capacity of communities or regions to better plan for, coordinate and deliver actions that support communities to adapt to current or future climate change impacts.
Delivering Adaptation Action: delivering adaptation action projects will implement practical actions that will support communities and regions to adapt to current or future climate
change impacts.
For more information:  https://www.climatechange.vic.gov.au/…climate-change…/community-climate-change

Food for Thought

In the Live Ecological newsletter, prepared by Bendigo’s Ian Mc Burnie, (sustainability practitioner, one of the founders of Bhive Cooperative), Ian shares a poignant letter to his young nephew-  Dear Alexander- about a future that people are worried about.


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November 2018

We think the climate change strike is important because it’s a huge problem. The Earth is already too hot, with droughts in winter in NSW and the coral reef is dying. I would like our politicians to acknowledge climate change is an emergency and take the necessary steps in order to have a sustainable world. 

We can’t vote, we’re too young to vote but you (politicians) are making decisions that affect us, so we want you to listen to us and hear our concerns and be our voice.

(Milou Albrecht, Year 8 student, Castlemaine)


Welcome to the November edition of Localising Leanganook’s e-news. In this edition there’s information about:

  • Fire Resilience Workshop– Fryerstown;
  • Repair Cafes in Daylesford & Castlemaine;
  • Youth Strike for Climate Change– Central Vic;
  • CVCA No More Coal Letter Writing Cafe– Castlemaine
  • Fabulous Fauna of Wombat Forest– Castlemaine
  • Cicada Community Story Slam– Daylesford
  • Mount Alexander Sustainability Group– Renewable Energy in Bavaria, Castlemaine
  • Art Exhibition -Small Works from a Big Place– Castlemaine
  • Talking Fire Conversations- Newstead
  • Growing Abundance AGM– Castlemaine
  • Daylesford Culture Club;
  • Food for De-growth book Call for Abstracts
  • Milkwood Workshops for 2019- Hepburn

Fire Resilience at home & in the community

 When: 10am – 12.30pm, Sunday November 18th, 2018

Where: Burke and Wills Mechanics Hall, Fryerstown

Organised by: Fryerstown Rural Fire Brigade

This talk will cover practical steps you can take with garden design, retrofitting your house, and community engagement that will assist in fire disaster resilience. This session features popular permaculture designer David Holmgren and community fire expert from Kinglake, Daryl Taylor. The talks will focus on positive steps that you can take to prepare for the fire season.

David will talk about what can be done around the home, including landscaping and retro-fitting to assist the protection of property. Daryl will focus on what practical steps that our community can take that will assist in our resilience.

David Holmgren is the co-Designer of Permaculture and has a long connection to Fryers Forest in Fryerstown. RetroSuburbia is his latest book that, put simply, looks at ways to live sustainably and resiliently into the future.

Daryl Taylor and his family survived the Black Saturday firestorm. His focus now is very much on the cultivation of personal, household, neighbourhood and community preparedness/resilience in relation to risks and threats of all kinds. Daryl was an elected member of the Kinglake Ranges Community Recovery/Resilience Committee and the Convenor of the Combined Community Recovery Committees of Victoria. He is preparing a forthcoming book on place-based and community-led disaster preparedness.

Repair Cafes: Daylesford and Castlemaine

When: 1.00pm to 4.00pm, Sunday November 18th

Where: Victoria Park Pavillion, Daylesford


When: 10.00am to 1.00pm, Sunday November 25th

Where: Ray Bradfield room, Castlemaine

Daylesford’s Repair Cafe got off to an enthusiastic start in October with local fixers and supporters applying their skills to repairing items ranging from toasters to whipper-snippers to bicycles to clothes to cordless drills, as well as a good number of tools and knives being sharpened. With all items being weighed, the cafe stopped 63 kilos of repairable items being added to landfill.

Held on the third Sunday of each month, come along to the next Repair Cafe on November 18th, from 1pm to 4pm at the Pavillion, Victoria Park. Learn and exchange skills, meet with other locals concerned to reduce our waste, and share a cuppa, cake and conversation. For further information contact Danny Kinnear on 0488 604 231 or Nikki Marshall on 0432 232 073.

Castlemaine’s Repair Cafe goes from strength to strength and Chris has generously shared their learnings to help with the set up of Daylesford’s Cafe. Castlemaine will be moving to the Town Hall next year.

No Repair Cafes in December but both will open again in January.

Youth Strike for Climate Change

Central Victorian students who went on strike in early November have struck a nerve as news of the strike hit the front page of the Bendigo Advertiser and spread nationally (The Age, Sydney Morning Herald) and internationally (Geographica UK).

A group of 30 + mostly Castlemaine primary and secondary students tried to meet with Senator Bridget McKenzie on Thursday without avail. Senator McKenzie’s staff would not address the concerns of the students or meet with them. They did allow a small delegation to write to the Senator. The students spent their striking time painting a large banner and chalking climate emergency and environment messages on the mall footpath.

Later that day they received a different reception at Lisa Chester’s office (Federal member for Bendigo) who invited the 50 students into her (now crowded) office for a full discussion which lasted for nearly one hour. She promised to take their concerns to Canberra and seemed genuinely moved by the striker’s knowledge, passion and commitment.

As a response to the Bendigo Strike, students across Australia are planning their own strikes with news of students in Sydney, Cairns, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth and regional centres taking up the idea. A national school student strike has been called for November 30th and already word is spreading that a large contingent of students from Central Victorian Schools are keen to attend in Melbourne. For more details see schoolstike4climate.

We’re the only Aussie kids who are striking much more than just on the 30th November, which makes us pretty determined !  We would like to keep that up and hopefully inspire more kids to get out of school and strike before going the National day of school strike on Friday 30th November.

For more info on the big Nov 30th Walkout or other school strikes see the School strike 4 climate website

Some of the central Victorian students  on strike have been interviewed by the Guardian Newspaper (November 7th) and the UK Daily Mail (November 10th). Here are a few excerpts:

Hundreds of students around the country are preparing to strike from school because of what they say is a failure by politicians to recognise climate change as an emergency.

They’ve been inspired by 15-year-old Greta Thunberg, a Swedish student who has been sitting outside the parliament in central Stockholm to draw attention to the fears younger generations hold about the global climate crisis and the failure of countries to take urgent action.

Fourteen-year-old Milou Albrecht, a year 8 student at Castlemaine Steiner school in Victoria, her classmate Harriet O’Shea Carre, and 11-year-old Callum Bridgefoot from Castlemaine North primary school, started by protesting last week outside of the offices of their local representatives, the Labor MP Lisa Chester and the Nationals deputy leader, Bridget McKenzie. They’ve been joined by 50 students from local schools and are planning weekly events.

On their second day of striking, the Aussie teens visited Labor Bendigo MP Lisa Chesters’ office with at least 50 others, all aged between 10 and 18. “I first felt that level of frustration – ‘the decisions you’re making in Canberra will affect us the longest because we’re the children’,” Ms Chesters told AAP.

“They said: ‘We can’t vote, we’re too young to vote but you’re making decisions that affect us so we want you to listen to us and hear our concerns and be our voice.'”

The group named inaction on climate change, the use of plastics, clean energy, deforestation and the proposed Adani coalmine as their top concerns. Ms Chesters will relay their message to the next Labor partyroom meeting and speak up in the House of Representatives when parliament resumes on November 26.

“When people take strike action, when they stop doing something, that’s quite serious and that takes guts,” she said. Ms Chesters was struck by their focus on environmental issues while not siding with any political party and feeling disenchanted by party politics. “They’re wanting to vote, they’re wanting to have a say. There was a real sense that our democracy isn’t working,” she said.

“Maybe if we had been bold enough to take strike action in the 90s, then maybe today we wouldn’t be in the dire place that we are.”

School strike for climate day 3 press conference (jumpin for action) on the steps of Victorian Parliament

Events to organise school strikes for climate action towards the end of November are springing up on Facebook. Hundreds of students have indicated they want to attend protests outside state parliaments in the capital cities on 28, 29 and 30 November.

No More Coal Letter Writing Cafe 

When: 10am – 11am, Friday November 16th, 2018 (and thereafter every 2nd and 4th Friday morning)

Where: North Cafe, Barkers St, Castlemaine

Central Vic Climate Action encourages adults to support the young people on strike for climate change.  The Letter Writing Cafe recommences this Friday morning and thereafter every 2nd and 4th Friday morning. Let our politicians, and the media, know what you think and how you feel.

Greater Gliders and other fabulous fauna of Wombat Forest

What: Who lives in the Wombat Forest?
Tuesday 20 November 2018,  6.00 to 7.30 pm
Where: Ray Bradfield Room, Forest St (next to Victory Park), Castlemaine 

A short presentation on the amazing wildlife and threatened species of the Wombat Forest (located between Woodend and Daylesford). Gayle Osborne will speak on ‘Citizen science with motion-sensing cameras’. Wombat Forestcare has spent years learning about, promoting and protecting this stunning forest. The group has used camera traps and spotlighting techniques to map populations of beautiful and endangered Greater Gliders, Powerful Owls and more.

A Greater Glider in a spotlight – as these are large animals this tree is massive! (photographed by Toby Hudson in NSW)

Using  this information, Wombat Forestcare members have worked incredibly hard to protect the forest into the future, including gaining assessment as a potential National Park.

The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council’s (VEAC) Central West Investigation just released a Draft Proposal report. New protection of public land has been recommended for Wombat forest (near Daylesford), Wellsford (near Bendigo), Mount Cole and Pyrenees Range forests (near Beaufort and Avoca) and dozens of smaller public parcels in the investigation area. This is a great opportunity to protect this land and its wildlife.

VEAC seeks community submissions regarding the proposal. Coming along, learn about the forest, and write a quick submission on the night if you wish.

Tea and cake and chat provided. All welcome! To download the event poster, click here. To read about Greater Gliders in the news, click here.

Cicada Community Story Slam

When: 7.00pm, Thursday November 22nd, December 6th and December 20th

Where: Senior Citizens hall, rear Daylesford Town Hall

Daylesford’s local storyteller Anne E Stewart is working on a project to tell the diverse stories of the people living within Hepburn Shire. The Cicada aims to collect and record the personal stories of the Hepburn Shire community.

The range of stories we have had so far has been incredible. Some of the stories have been humorous. It doesn’t matter what type of story it is, as long as it is in keeping with the theme and tells the story of a journey a person has been on, said Anne E.

Each story slam focuses on a different theme, with storytellers being given five minutes to share a personal story in an engaging way, without notes or props. The themes for the eight different story slam events highlight the diversity of the people who live within the shire.

 The Cicada story slams will culminate in a grand finale where heat winners vie to take home the Rodney Maurice May Storytelling Trophy.

The thing we wanted to do was to chronicle the history of the Hepburn Shire. The main thing is to get people to tell stories locally so we can record and collect them to develop a sense of community that can sometimes get lost in a tourist town.

All stories are being recorded for a podcast which will be broadcast on Hepburn Community Radio.

Next story themes and dates:

  • Thursday 22nd November- Local Heroes
  • Thursday 6th December – Queer Stories
  • Thursday 20th December – Grand Finale-  Everything is Connected

Mt Alexander Sustainability Group AGM – A Bavarian village transformed by Renewable Energy 

When: Thursday 22 November 2018 at 6.30 pm

Where: Senior Citizens Centre, Mechanics St, Castlemaine.

How renewable energy totally transformed a Bavarian village.
This presentation will tell their story and highlight where their lessons might apply to Mt Alexander Shire.  There will also be a brief walk through the streets of one of the worlds greenest most sustainable suburbs.

Deane Belfield is the presenter.  He is a Castlemaine sustainability advisor, bio-energy engineer and regenerative agriculture farmer – with a passion for “doing more with less”.  In recent times he has visited a number of renewable energy communities and operations in Europe, North America and South America and is motivated by working with nature rather than against it. He strongly promotes the opportunity and need for regional communities and businesses to embrace circular economy thinking and transition to a Zero Net Emission, Zero Waste future.

There will be a simple meal available at $5 a plate, with vegan and gluten free options. Drinks will be at bar prices.

RSVP by Monday 19 November by email to info@masg.org.au or phone the office on 5470 6978.

Art Exhibition: Small Works from a Big Place

When: Friday 23 November 2018, 6.00pm – 8.00pm
Where: Platform 1, Castlemaine V/Line Station (Templeton St & Kennedy St) *****************************
When:  Saturday 1st – Monday 10th December

Where: Bendigo V/Line Station

A gathering to celebrate the exhibition, the visual artists and the fabulous contribution creative communities make in Mount Alexander, Macedon and Bendigo. It is an opportunity for creatives to network and forge greater connections.

To RSVP: https://popupart.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2783220105c51013a2fb47b53&id=7b6fa8db70&e=38a88f0424

 2019 Exhibition touring and viewing:

Bendigo Marketplace
Tuesday 15th January – Tuesday 12th February
116-120 Mitchell St | Bendigo

Arnold Street Gallery
Thursday 14th February – Tuesday 19th March
189 Arnold Street | North Bendigo

Castlemaine State Festival | Open Studios Program
Thursday 21st March – Monday 1st April
Castlemaine V/Line Station | Castlemaine

Two Talking Fire conversations

Talking Fire, a local initiative designed to create different kinds of community conversations about fire, invites you to two events on 29 & 30 November.

When: Thursday 29 November, 7.30pm

Where: Newstead Community Centre

WhatReturning Cultural Burning to Country–Djandak Wi

Come and hear Scott Falconer (Assistant Chief Fire Officer with FFMVic) share his experience in the United States and Canada where he explored the involvement of Indigenous people in land and fire management, with a focus on how Traditional Owners are working with agencies to reintroduce cultural burning to Country, establishing strong relationships with Traditional Owners and creating employment opportunities.

Scott’s research was supported through The Lord Mayor’s Bushfire Appeal Churchill Fellowship. He was accompanied by Trent Nelson, Dja Dja Wurrung man and Parks Victoria Ranger Team Leader for part of the research trip. Read more here .


When: Friday 30 November, 9am-5pm

Where: Newstead Community Centre

What: Reviving Indigenous Burning Practices in a Changed Landscape: Community Search Conference

All welcome. Free event but please book your place by Monday 26 November via Eventbrite.

How we manage fire is an important conversation for rural and bush communities. What can we learn from how Aboriginal people used fire? Are those techniques applicable today in local landscapes that have changed a lot over the last 200 years?

At this one-day event we will discuss how we can connect Indigenous fire traditions with current approaches to fuel reduction and planned burns to shape new ways to protect our landscape and communities.

This event is for everyone with an interest in this topic: community, government, academics, researchers. Read more here

For more information go to Talking Fire on Facebook or our website or drop us a line at newsteadtalkingfire@gmail.com. Read more about the 2016 Talking Fire event.

Talking Fire is an initiative of the Muckleford Forest Friends Group. For more information: Chris Johnston 0354762457, 0418 512 471

Growing Abundance AGM

When: 6pm, Thursday 29th November 2018

Where: Castlemaine Botanical Gardens  

Daylesford Culture Club

When: 6pm to 9pm, Tuesday December 4th, 2018

Where: Daylesford Senior Citizens room, rear Town Hall

What: Miso making

After an inspiring sharing of ideas, recipes, experiments, successes, failures, stories, microbes and our love for the alchemy of life on the first Saturday in November, the next Culture club will focus on miso making.

Thanks to Mara Ripani for beautiful photos of November’s favourite ferments.

Food for De-growth Book- Call for Abstracts

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS FOR BOOK CHAPTERS: Food for Degrowth: Principles, Case Studies and Challenges.

Abstract deadline: 15 December 2018

How can we produce, consume and preserve food for degrowth in urban settings? To what extent is urban food sufficiency and resilience possible? How can we redesign food provisioning in cities and towns to overcome current limitations?

Understanding food for degrowth as sets of practices along the food chain, this book will explore actual and possible degrowth projects in cities and towns that reduce energy and material consumption while re-valuing the social and environmental values and practices that make us human and sustain us. Following the publication of Housing for Degrowth, the planned Food for Degrowth book seeks to examine how food is experienced in and across the city, joining with other urban elements such as water, energy, waste, built form, mobility and planning. We propose a scholarly-activist book on food for degrowth exploring many environmental, social, political and economic issues. Contributions will interrogate existing models and potential alternatives. We plan to include diverse examples from villages and cities around the world that showcase exemplary food for degrowth practices, identify lessons from key experiments, and analyse and reflect on how we can vastly improve how urban food systems can be experienced and performed.

The co-editors, Ferne Edwards, (Research Fellow, RMIT Europe, Barcelona) and Anitra Nelson, (Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University Melbourne) welcome abstracts that show chapters exploring:

– how food practices can be simplified, e.g. substituting energy-intensive take-away meals to low impact local and homegrown alternatives;

– how those in precarious situations can eat well by applying degrowth principles;

– how to overcome limitations for achieving sustainable urban food practices;

– how concepts such as permaculture’s home as Zone 0 can enhance degrowth’

– collective and convivial degrowth food activities;

– traditional and modern approaches from the Global South and North;

– more ideas from you!

Along the food chain, topics may include:

– production of specific foods, such as bees, chickens, fruit trees, fish, and insects;

– processing opportunities, such as cheese making, preservation and fermentation;

– factors for growing, hunting and gleaning food, such as soil, water and forests;

– aspects of consumption, such as ethical eating;

– storage, waste and redistribution, such as re-using surplus food and compost.

Would you like to contribute a chapter?

From this initial call for contributions we will select proposals based on the relevance, strength and depth of the topic or theme and overall fit to the book project more broadly. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss how your abstract would best suit this publication. We expect to decide on successful contributors by February with first drafts of 4000/5000 words due in at the end of May. Meanwhile, we co-editors will submit a proposal to a reputable publisher such as Routledge (Environmental Humanities series). A peer-review process will inform second draft revisions during 2019, with final drafts due in September. We are looking for contributions from social science researchers in any relevant disciplines and fields such as: environmental humanities, sociology, anthropology, geography, environmental studies, design, political ecology, permaculture and political economy.

We encourage you to engage by email with us with any questions regarding the formation of your abstract.

Contacts: Ferne Edwards, Research Fellow, RMIT Europe, Barcelona: ferne.edwards@rmit.edu.au

and Anitra Nelson, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, Melbourne: anitra.nelson@rmit.edu.au

Milkwood’s courses- December 2018 and 2019

What: Biointensive Growing

When: 9am to 5pm, December 1st and 2nd

Where: Hepburn School

Other local courses during 2019 include gourmet mushroom cultivation, and introduction to permaculture.

For more information: https://www.milkwood.net/



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October 2018 newsletter

There was a sense of hope for the future and awareness that change is possible. We learned that by working together with courage, respect and with achievable goals, ordinary people could make a difference.

The Voices 4 Indi process was inclusive, welcoming, respectful and empowering. It created a diverse community of differing ages, viewpoints and skills, who were invited to participate, have conversations, get involved and be creative. People were asked what they thought and were listened to respectfully. People saw the strength of diversity and inclusiveness and the importance of
respectful engagement.



Welcome to Localising Leanganook’s October e-news. In this edition you’ll read about:

  • Voices 4 Indi come to Castlemaine– uncovering issues that matter to a broad cross section of our community;
  • Daylesford opens its Repair Cafe;
  • Castlemaine Repair cafe- i-phones & i-pads
  • Compassionate Communication course in Castlemaine;
  • Land for life – a forum in Daylesford;
  • Meet the candidates for Bendigo West;
  • The Art of facilitation to change the world;
  • Growing Abundance Hub plot garden garage sale;
  • Rusted off– Gabrielle Chan in conversation with Cate Kennedy in Castlemaine
  • Newcastle coal port blockade– a front line report from Central Vic Climate Action;
  • Victorian Greens Plan for Energy– a forum in Castlemaine
  • Central Vic Climate Action- school strike in Bendigo and Stop Adani signs
  • Voices4Indi– history, policy platform and where to from here;
  • Commons and collective action workshop- what’s next;
  • conversation about travelling– streets for people, in Bendigo

Voices for Indi come to Castlemaine

When: 1.30pm Sunday October 28th, 2018

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

Following on from our ‘How can we do democracy better’ community conversation earlier this year, Denis Ginnivan, president of Voices4Indi, and Alana Johnson, past president, will talk about the people powered movement which led to the election of Independent MP Cathy McGowan to the Federal Parliament. Voices4Indi continues to be a key community voice in the seat of Indi.

This community conversation will explore if central Victoria might use the Voices4Indi approach in our district, not necessarily to elect politicians but to help identify opportunities for community-led and community-wide change, and to find local solutions for local issues.

We believe this project will be strengthened by including a cross-section of those voices. We are calling on community and business leaders and influencers who can open doors to achieve a whole-of-community approach, engage other key individuals and organisations, and hopefully join us to lead the process.

This is an opportunity to learn from Voices4Indi’s experience and explore whether the ‘kitchen table’ model of engagement could work effectively and inclusively to address key matters in our region that affect us all – things like energy, water security, health, housing, employment. Castlemaine and surrounding area is a diverse community of established and emerging groups, varying lifestyles, and disparities in the opportunities available to residents. Including a cross-section of these diverse voices is critical to this process.

About the speakers:

Denis Ginnivan has always lived and worked in rural and regional Australia. His early work in disability and community services; rehabilitation, and support services for farmers in financial difficulties was followed by a career in leadership and Director roles across community services, research, and allied health. Since Voices 4 Indi formed in 2012, Denis has shifted his efforts to effective engagement and strategic community building through Voices for Indi, Totally Renewable Yackandandah and his company ‘Events That Matter’.

Alana Johnson is recognized nationally and internationally for her work in rural development, women’s advancement, leadership training and community activism. In 2014 she was named in the inaugural 100 Women of Agribusiness in Australia and in 2013 the inaugural 100 Women of Influence in Australia. Alana is a founding member of Australian Women in Agriculture, former president of voices4Indi and former President of the Foundation for Australian Agricultural Women. Alana is a member of a fifth generation farming family, breeding cattle and growing trees near Benalla in Victoria.

This community conversation is jointly convened by a group of local people keen for a community-led vision around the issues that matter and who wish to adopt or create a process of local governance and engagement that appeals ‘beyond the usual suspects’. We wish to create space for diverse voices, build understanding and trust between individuals in our community, and for the vision to provide a framework for collective, collaborative action. 

Daylesford opens its Repair Cafe

When: 1.00pm to 4.00pm, Sunday October 21st (third Sunday of each month)

Where: Victoria Park Pavilion, off Daylesford-Ballan Rd

Bring your tools and bring your items for repair to the inaugural Daylesford Repair Cafe. Repair tables will include sewing – hand and machine; mechanical and electrical repairs to household items; bicycle repair; as well as sharpening – knives, scissors and hand tools. There’ll be cuppas and cake, time to learn repair skills as well as to get together with other locals keen to reduce our waste.

Castlemaine Repair cafe -iphones & ipads 

When: 10am -1pm, Sunday October 28th (every 4th Sunday of the month)

Where: Ray Bradfield room Castlemaine

In addition to the usual repair cafe tables, this month there will be someone repairing and advising on i-phones & i-pads, from 11am.

Compassionate communication  course in Castlemaine

When: Wednesday nights 6.30 – 8.30pm, 10th Oct – 12th Dec

Where: 30 Templeton Street Castlemaine

Cost: $170 concession, $250 full price

During this 10 week course you will learn how to more easily be understood and to understand what others are trying to communicate. Based on Nonviolent Communication (NVC) by Marshall Rosenberg, this course will teach how our patterns of communication serve to either connect or disconnect us from ourselves and others. Gain understanding of why we react and how we can speak honestly whilst also caring for others.

For more information:  stocco.sonia@gmail.com OR lucymcch@gmail.com

Land for Life- a forum in Daylesford

When: 6.00pm, Sunday October 21st

Where: Senior Citizens Room, rear Daylesford Town Hall

Tickets: $5,  available at the door only. Please bring a plate of supper to share

Land for Life is the second in a series of talks based on land, economy, indigeneity and social ecology. The first event was Land Cultures: Aboriginal economies and permaculture futures.
Organised by Hepburn Relocalisation Network in conjunction with Eva Perroni and Future Feeders.
About the speakers

Rebecca Phillips is a proud Pangerang and Jaara woman. She believes the preservation and revival of her culture is important to uphold what her ancestors paved the way for and what we must build on for future generations. Bec was an active and valued member on the Dja Dja Wurrung Negotiation Team, negotiating a Recognition Settlement Agreement with the State of Victoria and her People and currently sits on the Dhelkunya Dja (Healing land) Land Management Board, setting the direction for the Management of the 6 Parks and reserves to be jointly managed by the State Government and Jaara people. Bec has been involved in the revival of her traditional language (Dja Dja Wurrung), through Djalli Bunjil (Language Knowledge) and is reviving traditional and modern day, songs and dances.

As the permaculture co-originator, David Holmgren is a leading thinker, writer and teacher on how societies and communities can become more resilient with a lower impact on the planet. Together with his partner Su Dennett, David lives and works at Melliodora, in Hepburn, one of Australia’s best-known permaculture demonstration sites. David has spent a lifetime developing a sustainable and fulfilling way of living. His latest book, RetroSuburbia, shows how Australian suburbs can be transformed to become productive and resilient in an energy decent future. It focuses on what can be done by an individual at the household level.

Eric Holt-Giménez is an agroecologist, political economist, lecturer and author. As the current Executive Director of Food First, Eric’s work informs and amplifies the voices of social movements fighting for food justice and sovereignty across the globe. Food First’s frontline publishing approach brings researchers, writers, and social movements together in a collective effort to amplify the voices of frontline communities fighting for food systems transformation. Food First generates research and education for action, bringing the perspective of community-based struggles to broader development and policy debates. In his latest book, A Foodie’s Guide to Capitalism, Holt-Giménez asserts that the food system cannot be transformed without addressing the economic system of capitalism. Using the wide-angle lens of political economy, Holt-Giménez delves into the economic and political context of the current corporate food regime, exploring the commoditisation of food and land as well as issues of power, privilege, and exploitation across the food chain.

About the MC:  Eva Perroni is an Australian-based researcher and writer reporting on the frontline of food and farming issues. Her expertise lies in telling stories that delve into the hidden fabric of our food system: exploring the ways food is produced, distributed, exchanged and consumed and its impacts on the environment, global health, communities and culture. Eva is committed to food justice and promoting solutions that pave the way for ecologically sustainable and socially just societies, and is an advocate for life-enhancing farming methods and amplifying the voices of community-based movements and organizations working to effect change in the food system.

The event will include an update from Tammi Jonas, President of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA). Former vegetarian academic Tammi Jonas is now the meatsmith at Jonai Farms, where she and her family raise pastured rare-breed pigs and cattle, transforming whole carcasses into a range of fresh cuts, smallgoods, charcuterie and salumi in their on-farm butcher’s shop. Together with AFSA, Tammi is working towards everyone’s right to nutritious and culturally-appropriate food grown and distributed in ethical and ecologically sound ways, and our right to collectively determine our own food and agriculture systems.

Meet the candidates for Bendigo West

When: 6.30pm, Wednesday October 24th

Where: Castlemaine Senior Citizens Centre, (next to library and Phee Broadway)

Democracy4Dinner is hosting a meet the candidates  with Incumbent MP Maree Edwards, and Greens candidate and former Bendigo mayor Laurie Whelan. If the Libs put a candidate forward they will be invited too!

The questions put to the candidates will be put forward and voted on by our community members and should reflect issues that are important to us.

Please contribute by asking questions, coming along, spreading the word, and voting for your favourite questions.

1. Please take a moment to participate by putting a question forward: https://oursay.org/democracy-for-dinner/what-are-your-questions-for-the-candidates.
2. RSVP to come along to the event: https://bendigowest2018.eventbrite.com.au 

3. Closer to the event jump online again to vote for your favourite questions.
If you have any questions contact D4D Convenor Lexi Randall-L’Estrange on info@democracy4dinner.org or 0458 922 220. 

The Art of Facilitation- to change the world

When: October 26th

Where: Castlemaine – venue to be advised

Cost: low cost option for community from $125 to $175,  auspiced by Sustainable Hepburn Association.

Master Facilitation trainer and regenerative practitioner, Akasadaka Robison, is in Australia. Local facilitator, Laurel Freeland, is organising a couple of one day workshops on how to run great meetings.

This workshop is for regional and regenerative practitioners whose job role includes facilitation.

In collaboration with Zenergy Global, Laurel wants to strengthen the cohort of community, business and government facilitators who can help any group achieve their purpose – for the love of Humanity and the Earth.

“This is such powerful work! …Time was fluid and negotiated. Support was epic. I felt truly held by the coaches…”  (Simonne Liley, Owner of Uptraining)

Please contact Laurel on 0498 066 660 or email laurel@share.asn.au.

Zenergy Global is a network of facilitators with the vision of Whole People Co-operating in a Sustainable World’. The group have has been running whole person facilitation training for 25 years. 

Growing Abundance Hub Garden Garage Sale

When: 9am-12pm, Saturday 20th October

Where: The Hub Garden, 233 Barker St, Castlemaine

Join The Hub Garden Plot & The Friends of Lolatoe for the annual garden themed garage sale. A fantastic range of plants, herbs, natives and much more, so come on down to the Hub Garden plot  grab yourself a garden bargain and help raise much needed funds for the community garden projects we support in East Timor with the Friends of Lolatoe. Wild Timor Coffee and delicious cakes for sale on the day too.

If you’d like to help support this great cause we would appreciate any donations from your own spring clean out of plants, garden items, tools etc.

For more information contact hubplot@growingabundance.org.au

Gabrielle Chan in conversation with Cate Kennedy about Rusted Off

When: Sunday October 28th, 5 00pm for a 5.30pm start
Where: New Northern Art Hotel, 359 Barker St, Castlemaine 3450
Bookings and cost:  Tickets $5 (to cover venue cost) and drinks at bar prices.Bookings essential: https://www.trybooking.com/YSUP

 Northern Books presents Gabrielle Chan in conversation with Cate Kennedy. Join us to discuss Guardian journalist and writer, Gabrielle Chan’s new book, Rusted Off.

Telling the story of Australia as it is today, Gabrielle Chan has gone hyper-local. In Rusted Off, she looks to her own rural community’s main street for answers to the big questions driving voters. Why are we so fed up with politics? Why are formerly rusted-on country voters deserting major parties in greater numbers than their city cousins? Can ordinary people teach us more about the way forward for government? 

“The definitive account of life on the other side of city-country divide. Written with a soft heart and a hard head, this is one of the most important books about Australia today.”George Megalogenis .

Newcastle coal port blockade– a front line report from Central Vic Climate Action

Locals join mass NSW coal protest – an article in the Castlemaine Mail

Last month a number of people from the Central Victorian Climate Action group travelled to Newcastle, NSW, for a week of national action to end coal production in Australia. Group members joined activists from across the eastern seaboard for rallies, workshops and street theatre including a mock court with coal ‘on trial’, a funeral for coal, a wedding for renewables, and spontaneous outbreaks of Knitting Nannas.

The week culminated in a mass action on September 15, forcing the world’s biggest coal export terminal to stop production for a day. In this mass action many protesters climbed mountains of black coal, ran on to a giant coal loader, locked on to the enormous machine with heavy pipes, unfolded banners with slogans such as ‘Enough is Enough’ and ‘Coal Kills,’ and chanted songs until police arrived. Some were arrested while others were detained and released without charge.

CVCA member Trevor Scott, 71, tore a calf muscle in the mad sprint to the loader but gamely pushed through the pain to support his team. Outside the coal-terminal fence, a noisy group of Newcastle health professionals wearing scrubs & stethoscopes protested about the health impacts of coal.

Mr Scott said he had joined the mass action for his grandchildren. “Coal is a leading cause of carbon emissions that cause climate change, and Newcastle is the biggest export coal terminal in the world,” Mr Scott said. “Not only do we continue to dig up this deadly stuff for ourselves, but we are exporting it to other countries and contributing to global emissions.”

Mr Scott said when he first entered the Newcastle coal terminal he was overwhelmed by its vast scale:  mountains of coal stretching as far as the eye could see, overshadowed by “a monstrous machine that gobbles up coal in its huge revolving jaws and spits it out on to a conveyor that takes it to huge coal ships” in the harbour nearby.

He said the Federal Coalition had consistently demonstrated it was incapable of bipartisan policy on climate or carbon emissions. The latest Department of Energy and Environment figures (secretly released on the Grand Final Day holiday!) show Australia’s emissions have risen 1.3% in the year to March 2018.  i.e. a rise in emissions when we desperately need them to fall. “Australia is in danger of becoming a major contributor to global warming and may not be able to honour its commitment to the Paris Agreement,” Mr Scott said.

“We have signed petitions, and we have written many unanswered letters to our politicians. When governments do nothing, when talk leads nowhere, the only option is to put our bodies on the line.

If we continue with ‘business as usual’ the world is on track for catastrophic warming of 4 degrees or more by 2100 – less than 90 years away – unless we drastically cut emissions by ending coal. That is frightening. That is in the lifetime of my grandchildren Zoe, Nina, Miles and Arlo. They face living in a hot, damaged environment that will be unrecognisable – in this century”.

“I’m doing this for them.”

Victorian Greens Plan for Energy- a forum in Castlemaine

When: 6.30 for 7pm start, Monday October 29th

Where: Senior Citizens Centre, Castlemaine, (along side library and Phee Broadway)

Find out about the Victorian Greens energy plans and policies at a forum with:
  • Ellen Sandell, Greens MP
  • Nicole Rowan, Upper House candidate for Northern Victoria
  • Laurie Whelan, Lower House candidate for Bendigo West
  • and Ralf Thesing, Lower House candidate for Macedon.

Central Vic Climate Action- school strike in Bendigo and Stop Adani yard signs

A group of brave young students from central Victoria will take their classrooms to the streets of Bendigo on November 1st and 2nd, to draw attention to the urgent need for climate action and the total disregard by our elected representatives for the science. These students are inspired by the 15 yo Swedish student, Greta Thunberg, who spent 2 weeks on strike before the Swedish parliament to draw attention to the climate crisis and the lack of action by Swedish MPs.

“I am doing this because nobody else is doing anything. It is my moral responsibility to do what I can,” Greta says. “I want the politicians to prioritise the climate question, focus on the climate and treat it like a crisis.”

When people tell her she should be at school, Greta points to the textbooks in her satchel.“I have my books here,” she says in flawless English. “But also I am thinking: what am I missing? What am I going to learn in school? Facts don’t matter any more, politicians aren’t listening to the scientists, so why should I learn?” “If grown-ups don’t give a shit about my future, I won’t either.”

For more info: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/sep/01/swedish-15-year-old-cutting-class-to-fight-the-climate-crisis?CMP=share_btn_fb

Following up on the latest IPCC report from Soul (see here for a good analysis from UK think tank carbon brief link of the report)


The recent IPCC report calls for a fast reduction in fossil fuel usage starting immediately, a 5 x scale up of investment in alternatives and a massive campaign of reafforestation if we are to have any chance of saving the Great Barrier reef and keep hundreds of millions of people from falling into poverty.

CVCA is calling for a group of support adults to be on a roster for the time the young climate strikers are in Bendigo. They will need adult accompaniment and supervision to stay safe, well fed and focussed on doing some study while they hold our local MPs to account.

If you would like to support the strikers or know of any young people who would like to participate for an afternoon, a day or both days please contact Dean on 0403 160 091 or Susie on 0430 042 087

Stop Adani yard signs: CVCA has a supply of colourful A4 corflute yard and fence signs that need to be out and visible. If you want to stop Adani and show your support grab a sign off the stall at Wesley Hill market on Saturday’s or call Trevor on 0412 250 392 and arrange to pick some up.

Voices for Indi- history, policy platform and where to from here

When: 11am, Sunday October 28th,
Where: Castlemaine District Community House, 65 Templeton St.

Following on from Commons Transition workshop in Bendigo

After an inspiring session with Michel Bauwens in Bendigo last month, along with commons advocates from central Victoria and further afield, different recordings of Michel’s visit to Australia are being sorted out and will be available in the form of either a video of Michel’s reflections on his visit or a written article based on an interview with him.
A contact list of workshop participants is being prepared that will contain a brief description of the participants area of interest and email contact. This list could then become the basis of a Commoners Contact List.
Email Elsie if you are interested in being on this contact list: elsie@commoners.coop

A conversation about travelling: for work, study, shopping and play in Bendigo.

When: 6.30 – 9:30 pm, Thursday 15th November
Where:  The Engine Room, 58 View Street, Bendigo

Register now for this FREE event. Places are limited

Safer streets for ALL

Future Movers 1, held in October 2017, brought together 100+ people to share challenges and solutions to create safer, more enjoyable travel for all. Future Movers 2, will take this conversation further. 


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September 2018 Newsletter

“Many people planning ahead are already questioning the notion that the future will be a faster, shinier version of the present. And even if this future were possible, people are also questioning whether it would be what they want for themselves or their children. Some recognise the need for urgent changes to the way we live, and no longer have faith in governments or markets to show us the way. The 9-to-5 treadmill looks more and more like the path to permanent debt slavery despite the lowest interest rates in modern history. Financial, geo-political and climate instabilities threaten, while tempting glimpses of better ways to live are popping up in unexpected places.”

(Holmgren, David: Retrosububia, Melliodora, 2018, p.17)


Welcome to our September 2018 newsletter.

In this edition you will find information about:

  • David Holmgren & RetroSuburbia to Castlemaine;
  • Michel Bauwens to Bendigo- the commons & collective action;
  • No-more-coal letter writing cafe;
  • Repair Cafes – Daylesford, Woodend  and Castlemaine;
  • Eco-Housing tour and alternative dwellings talk at Chewton land;
  • Community campaign – Vic Roads and western highway expansion;
  • Daylesford Culture Club- ferments;
  • The Art of Facilitation workshop in Daylesford;
  • Democracy Working Group;
  • Democracy4Dinner;
  • Central Vic Climate Action-Newcastle coal port blockade;
  • Upcoming event mid October: Land for Life in Daylesford

David Holmgren, permaculture co-originator, to speak in Castlemaine

When: 7.00pm, Thursday 6th September, 2018

6.00pm for display, networking, food and drinks

Where: Phee Broadway Theatre, Mechanics Lane, Castlemaine

Cost & Bookings: Free event, bookings via Sticky Tickets essential

Leading Australian environmental thinker and permaculture co-originator, David Holmgren, will present his highly engaging multi-media talk ‘Aussie Street’, a speculative eco-narrative, seen through the microcosm of four adjacent houses.‘Aussie Street’ presents a realistic and light-hearted portrait of our shared suburban history, outlining a gutsy, and essentially hopeful, scenario of our shared future. It provides inspiration and ideas for anyone wanting to create a fulfilling and sustainable life.

‘Aussie Street is my way of illustrating both the changes that have occurred in suburbia over many decades, and the potential for positive, realistic changes into the future,’ Holmgren says.

Holmgren is the author of RetroSuburbia; the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future, which shows how Australians can downshift and retrofit their homes, gardens, communities and themselves to be more self-organised, sustainable and resilient.

Holmgren will also participate in a panel discussion and Q&A with local thought leaders and sustainability advocates. Local community and environment groups will hold an information display, with supper and drinks available for sale from 6.00pm.

This special event is hosted by Mount Alexander Shire Council as part of its Sustainable Living Workshop series, in partnership with Mount Alexander Sustainability Group (MASG) and supported by Localising Leanganook.

“David is a leading ecological thinker, writer, teacher and we are looking forward to hearing his thought provoking ideas, as well as the panel discussion amongst our local sustainability leaders about how we can move forward locally,” said Mary Blain, Deputy Chair, MASG.

Website:  http://stks.be/retrosuburbia  

For more information on Council’s sustainable living workshop series visit www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/SustainableWorkshops

Michel Bauwens- Collective Action & Creating a Common Plan with your Community

When: Sunday 16th September 2018, 10am to 4pm
Where:  Bendigo,  venue to be advised
Registration: $50 (includes lunch)

A one day workshop with Michel Bauwens, Peer to Peer and Commons Transition  advocate, for activists, community leaders and local government representatives. Michel will provide an overview of the Commons Movement and worldwide initiatives currently transforming the social, economic, political and technological landscape.

The workshop will be held in Bendigo but is open to anyone active and/or interested in ‘the Commons’, new governance, sharing/solidarity/new economies, peer to peer programs, food and housing security, organic/regenerative farming, sharing platforms, ethical business, sustainability, renewable energy, earth law, worker owned co-operatives, block chain, crypto currency and sharing cities in a post capitalist future.

This event is presented by Commoners Coop, auspiced by Bendigo Sustainability Group and supported by City Of Greater Bendigo.

No more coal letter writing cafe

When: Friday mornings, 10am to 11.am

Where: North Kitchen Cafe, rear 325 Barkers St, Castlemaine, cnr Hunter St

Join other concerned locals for a cuppa and chat while writing a letter to your MP and other members of the Labor party. Three letter-writing-cafes have been held in August. If judged on effort, facts, creativity and passion, these letters sent by members and associates of the Central Vic Climate Action Group have been of the highest standard, imploring our MP’s to take climate change seriously and rule out the proposed Adani mine.

The coffee is good and the cause is just. Come along for an hour or so and bring a friend or neighbour too.

For more details Trevor Scott
t. 0412 250 392

Burgeoning Repair Cafes: Daylesford, Woodend & Castlemaine


Plans to start a cafe in Daylesford are well underway with the first expected in mid to late October, on Sunday afternoon . Watch this space for start date, time and venue. If you’re interested in contributing to the organising group or offering your skills as a fixer or supporter contact Danny Kinnear on mobile 0488 604 231.

The organising group will meet next Thursday September 6th, 1.30pm at Victoria Park.


Woodend’s inaugural Repair Cafe starts this coming Saturday, September 1st. On the first Saturday of the month, (Farmers’ Market Day) from 10am to 1pm, the Cafe will operate out of the Undercroft at the Woodend Neighbourhood House.


Next Cafe is Sunday September 30th, 10am to 1pm at the Ray Bradfield Room. There’ll be 2 workshops as well as the usual Cafe activities – sewing machine maintenance and ceramic tiling. Bring along your machine so Ginny can teach you how to maintain it. Want to do some tiling and don’t know how? Paul will show you and explain about glues, grout etc. He’s been doing it for years.

Here’s a link to Karen and Danny’s story on ABC Open. They travel around and visit different Repair Cafes. https://open.abc.net.au/explore/270498

Really Really Free Market is planned for Sunday 30th September, in Victory Park alongside the Repair Cafe, most likely from midday til 2.00pm.

Eco-Housing tour and alternative dwellings talk at Chewton land

When: 2.00pm,  Saturday, September 29th

Where: near crn Browns Ave and Fryers Rd, Chewton

Daria Healey-Aarons has 16 acres of land in Chewton suitable for sharing. The tour will show people over this land and you will hear about Daria’s history of creating alternative dwellings, including homes from school portables, and a tiny house from a stripped cabin. Best to park in Fryers Road near the Browns Ave turnoff. Wear walking shoes and clothes, and bring a water bottle.
 For further information: anitra.nelson@rmit.edu.au

Community campaign – Vic Roads and western highway expansion

For the past four years the Ararat based community group KORS (Keep the Original Route Supporters) has pleaded for Vic Roads to re-route the western highway expansion. The campaign is founded on 5 key points: indigenous heritage; environmental damage; minimising contribution to climate change; reducing cost; and moderating future impact.

The community argues for the road to be widened parallel to the current highway, preserving the roadside remnants and using a power line easement as the lowest impact route. Re-routing the western highway extension will avoid damage to a significant Aboriginal place with artifacts, with proximity to rock art, and with known dreaming. Fewer large old trees and rare habitat will be lost and natural corridors broken. There will be less critically endangered Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act listed Box-Gum Grassy Woodland lost, as well as less Golden Sun Moth habitat lost. There will be fewer emissions from less earthworks on a shorter, flatter route – around 600,000 cubic metres of cut earthworks will be avoided. The cost will be reduced by approx $25million with less invested in climate damaging, resource-heavy activities. And there will be less splintering and fragmentation of the land compared with a large new road that brings traffic into a new place.

Vic Roads paused the project in mid 2015 when the tree count error became obvious. The original environmental data was inaccurate  and new information has been ignored. There is evidence that Victoria’s second largest Yellow Gum, which is on the planned route, has been poisoned .

It is KORS’ experience that VicRoads provides for the driving public who increasingly seek effortless, safe, high-speed, individual transport. In doing so, VicRoads favours current energy-blind and environment-blind habits and investments, current priorities in project management, as well as current construction job-types and road-making habits, as opposed to a more circumspect road planning process that puts higher priority on minimal impact and which requires careful machinery use in construction.  The un-priced costs of current practices are dismissed as being impractical to consider in project planning and a narrow definition of “safety” in road design is marketed as trumping all other concerns.

KORS believes there is scope to build this road with much less damage even within Vic Roads narrow, short-term definitions of safety. However this scope is well hidden in technical language and expertise that is hard for lay people to penetrate.

KORS has growing community support with a few thousand facebook followers, 5000 petitioners, and a 250 strong email list. Some wins thus far are registration of two significant trees with the National Trust, the progression of a court case and at least five professional reports.

For further info and ways to support: go to www.fixfreewayfiasco.org.au or contact KORS via: fixfreewayfiasco@gmail.com  You can also send emails to Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio, Roads Minister Luke Donnellan, and VicRoads CEO Michael Malouf.

Daylesford Culture Club- ferments

When: 9.30am – 12.30pm, Saturday October 6th
Where: Senior Citizen’s Hall (behind the Daylesford Town Hall)
Cost: Free event
Monique Miller will be teaching some of her favourite ferments.

Monique is a generalist and divides her time between running Joe’s Market Garden in Coburg, facilitating edible weed, fermentation workshops and the permaculture design course at CERES in Brunswick East. She has been teaching fermentation for more than 4 years.

Democracy Working Group

Since the forum in March this year: How can we do democracy better? a group of locals continue to explore ways to improve our democracy and initiate a process of visioning with and for our community and bio-region. We have been liaising with Voices for Indi, and plan a series of around the kitchen table community conversations.

We welcome fresh ideas and energy.Email if you’re interested in contributing to this process : nikki.marshall@mmnet.com.au or lexi.lestrange@gmail.com


Democracy for Dinner is a space for Central Victorians to contribute to public discourse on important policy issues, as well as ideas for reshaping our democracy locally and nationally. We are looking for volunteers who would like to lead the following conversations.
  • Topic 1: The Case For (and against) Universal Basic Income
  • Topic 2: Majoritarianism vs. the Expert – what models of governance do we want for the future?
Contact Lexi via info@democracy4dinner.org or 0458 922 220 to nominate yourself or someone else to speak on either of the above. You may also nominate your own topic. 

Upcoming event- The Art of Facilitation

When: October 17th to 21st, 2018

Where: Daylesford- venue to be advised

Local facilitator, Laurel Freeland is bringing Akasadaka Robison to Australia to run a 5 day facilitator training intensive in Central Victoria.  Akasadaka is a senior program leader and trainer for Zenergy Global who has a focus on Regenerative projects.  The programme is for regional and regenerative practitioners whose job role includes facilitation.

Zenergy Global is a network of facilitators with the vision of Whole People Co-operating in a Sustainable World’. The group have has been running whole person facilitation training for 25 years.

Laurel wants to strengthen the cohort of community, business and government facilitators who can help any group achieve their purpose – for the love of Humanity and the Earth.  If you want to know more about the course or the services the Zenergy team offers, visit www.Zeneryglobal.com.au or email laurel@zenergyglobal.com.au for an information flyer.

Newcastle coal port blockade

Frontline Action on Coal (Flac) is organising a four day training and blockade of the world’s biggest coal port, at Newcastle NSW, during September 12th to 16th. Central Vic Climate Action (CVCA) wants to send a strong message to the coal industry from Central Victoria. A number of friends and supporters will travel to Newcastle take part in this action.

Cost estimate is around $400-500 pp to get up there and take part. CVCA wants to support those going with some financial assistance to make sure $$ is not an impediment to participation so if you are strapped for cash and want to go let us know.

For more information:  trevorscott3@gmail.com

Upcoming event- Land for Life

When: 7pm – 9pm, Sunday October 21st
Where: Senior Citizen’s Hall (behind the Daylesford Town Hall)
Cost: $5 entry
Please bring a plate to share for supper
Organised by Heburn Relocalisation Network
How can we re-cultivate the social connections, ecological understandings, and the economic and community values to relocalise our food, and foster greater accountability to the more-than-human life that makes our lives possible?
Join us for an evening of discussion with permaculture co-originator David Holmgren (author of RetroSuburbia) and US food movement scholar-activist Eric Holt-Gimenez (author of A Foodies Guide to Capitalism) as they offer insights into how to develop a deep engagement and long-term commitment to regenerative and just economies.
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August newsletter 2018

Trying to explain the ideological contradictions of neoliberalism is a fools errand. The problem is that for 30 years those in favour of privatising hospitals and nationalising football stadiums, of regulating marriage and deregulating banks, and of subsidising coalmines and opposing renewable energy  have not needed to explain why their friends were treated differently from their enemies.(p.23)

The opposite of the narrow economic agenda of neoliberalism isn’t a progressive economic reform agenda; it is the re-establishment of a broad debate about national interest. (p.59)

(Richard Denniss, Dead right- How neoliberalism ate itself and what comes next, Quarterly Essay 70, 2018)

In this August edition you can find out about:

  • Eating the Earth: Why the food movement is unstoppable;
  • No more coal letter-writing cafe;’
  • Words in Winter – Daylesford, Newstead, Yandoit & more;
  • Repair Cafes on the go – Daylesford and Castlemaine;
  • Environmental Justice Atlas workshops;
  • Democracy Working Group;
  • Democracy4Dinner;
  • Two September upcoming events: David Holmgren & Retrosuburbia to Castlemaine, and Michel Bauwens to Bendigo;
  • Plastic bags and re-minding shopping;
  • Central Vic Climate Action fund-raising for court costs;
  • Local Castlemaine radio fundraiser;
  • Regional Centre for Culture events;
  • Food for thought- Eco-collaborative housing and de-growth, and Community Involvement in Decision Making 

Eating the Earth: Why the food movement is unstoppable

When : 7.00-9.00pm, Thursday, August 30th 2018

Where: Daylesford Town Hall 

Cost: $10 (Refreshments included in ticket price)

Organised by: #thefoodequation

Join Charles Massy (Call of the Reed Warbler), Dr Jonathan Latham (international food advocate) and our own local resident meat-smith Tammi Jonas for a stimulating discussion on how regenerative agriculture can turn Australia’s economies around and revitalise rural communities.

Charles Massy is an author and farmer with a focus on transformative and regenerative agriculture. His latest book, Call of the Reed Warbler, challenges the way we farm and grow food, and puts a lens on the vital connection between soil and our health

Dr Jonathan Latham is an international food advocate and crop scientist based in New York. He is executive director of the Bioscience Resource Project, and editor of Independent Science News. He has written for Truthout, Salon, MIT Technology Review, Resilience and the Guardian.

Tammi Jonas is resident meatsmith at Jonai Farms, where she and her family of ethicurean farmers raise pastured rare-breed pigs and cattle. Jonai Farms is engaged in the solidarity economy of community supported agriculture-CSA, feeding 80 member households each month. Tammi is president of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, chair of the AFSA Legal Defence Fund, and blogger: Tammi Jonas: Food Ethics.

No more coal letter-writing cafe

When: 9.30am, Friday August 17th

WhereDove Cafe, Cnr Doveton and Hargraves Street, Castlemaine

Organised by:  Central Vic Climate Action with support from Localising Leanganook

This letter-writing cafe is the first in a series of Friday morning actions – a way in which we, as concerned community members, can share a cuppa and write a letter to our politicians so they know how we feel about Adani and the mining of coal, and how we feel about embracing renewable energy. Come for an hour or so and bring friends and neighbours. We’ll brainstorm ideas for inclusion in letters. Then each of us can write in our own words and style. Bring pen and paper (we’ll have some extra if you forget) or your own laptop.

Words in Winter – Daylesford, Newstead, Yandoit and more

It’s Words in Winter time again around Hepburn and neighbouring shires –  a celebration of words, stories and ideas in all their forms shared by locals and visiting presenters through readings, poetry, theatre, music, talks, workshops, visiting authors, and exhibitions. This year’s theme is ‘change and chance’.

Concentrated over two weekends in August- 18/19 and 25/26, events are located in Daylesford, Newstead, Yandoit, Trentham and other central Vic towns. Here are a few highlights with plenty more worth checking in the programme: https://wordsinwinter.com/programme/

  • Hepburn Springs’ David Holmgren in conversation with Cate Kennedy on the power of ecological writing in our transition to a carbon-positive, low-energy future;
  • Arnold Zable on the humanising power of story;
  • Hepburns’ Kirsten Bradley & Nick Ritar reading from Milkwood – Real skills for down-to-earth living;
  • Petrus Spronk and Mana Moto duo in anything but words, an illustrated musical event at Yandoit’s historical Uniting Church;
  • Story telling with Daylesford’s Anne E Stewart;
  • Newstead’s Gen Barlow on the couch with Cheryl Kernot and Jenny Hocking;
  • and Bain Attwood on his book The Good Country – White settlement and what really happened in your back yard.

Repair Cafes on the go – Daylesford and Castlemaine

Plans for the new Daylesford Repair Café are underway with two options for attending the first fixers and supporters meeting:

When: 1 – 2.30pm,Thursday 16th August 2018

Where: Daylesford Neighbourhood Centre, Camp St
When: 6.30 – 7.30pm, Thursday 16th August 2018

 Where: Daylesford Senior Citizens Centre, rear Town Hall

People who are handy with clothing/textiles, bicycles, electrical appliances and furniture/wooden objects are welcomed.

Castlemaine Repair café

Castlemaine’s next Repair Cafe is Sunday August 26th in the Ray Bradfield Room with the usual range of electrical, sewing and other repair tables. Plans over the next few months include a tiling workshop and sewing machine maintenance. More info in our next e-news or go to Castlemaine Repair Cafe’s facebook page.

At 2.00pm, after August 26th Cafe, there’ll be the Really Really Free Market, in Victory Park next to the Cafe. Bring and exchange stuff.

Environmental Justice Atlas workshops

When: 9.30am to 4.30pm, Sunday August 5th and 12th

Where: Lower Merri, CERES Community Environment Park
Cnr Roberts and Stewart St, East Brunswick, 3057

Organised by: Australian Environmental Justice (AEJ)

Free of charge

Make Australian conflict visible internationally: Landfills, soil contamination, lead poisoning, water conflicts,  Indigenous land rights, coalmines, gas extraction, forest clearing over-fishing, water pollution, damming, air pollution, uranium mining etc.

The international online Environmental Justice Atlas (EJAtlas)
http://www.ejatlas.org/— is a teaching, networking and advocacy resource for strategists, activist organisers, scholars, teachers and citizens to find out about often invisible eco-conflicts taking place.

The EJAtlas has 2500 worldwide cases registered, but only 17 recorded so far for Australia. This workshop supports every participant to research and write another significant case study, which will be peer reviewed and posted online with your name
as the contributor. Support can be provided to contribute even if you can’t come to the workshop (see contact details below).

AEJ is a project of Friends of the Earth (FoE) Australia and CUR, RMIT University. Think of all the Australian environmental conflicts (social conflicts over environmental uses) that could be promoted.

Please bring a laptop. To register and for more details, contact Anitra Nelson— anitra.nelson@rmit.edu.au 0426 766 755 — and/or register here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/ejatlas-workshop-5-and-12-august-tickets-47972891209

Democracy Working Group

Since the forum How can we do democracy better? in March this year, a Democracy Working Group has formed to continue the conversation, to explore models which improve our democracy and to initiate a process of visioning with and for our community and bio-region. This is a joint project between Localising Leanganook and Democracy4Dinner. Email us if you’re interested in contributing to this process or contact Nikki on 0432 232 073.

Have a look at Lexi Randall-L’Estrange’s Community Involvement in Decision Making Discussion Paper at  https://democracy4dinner.org/  or at Localising leanganook’s food for thought https://leanganook.org/

If you missed the forum in March, you can now watch and listen, including Q&A.

There’s also a short vox-pop video where the audience speaks:



When: 7.00pm, Tuesday August 21st, 2018

Where: Lola Cafe, Castlemaine

Topic: “Are politics and policy incompatible? Democracy in the age of “mega-identity” politics“, a conversational dinner on identity, polarisation, and the impact of politics on policy

Cost: $35 set menu at Lola.

Book at  https://d4daug2018.eventbrite.com.au/

Upcoming event- David Holmgren & Retrofitting Suburbia in Castlemaine

When: 7.00pm, September 6th, 2018

Where: Castlemaine Town Hall

Put the date in your calendar. More information coming in our September e-news.

Another upcoming event- Michel Bauwens comes to Bendigo

When: Sunday, September September 16th, 2018

Michel is the founder of the global Peer To Peer Foundation and will be key note speaker at the 2018 Sustainable Communities National Summit in Melbourne in mid September.

More details in Localising Leanganook’s September e-news.

Central Vic Climate Action fund-raising for court costs


We should never lose sight of the fact that

we have the right to protest”

(Bendigo magistrate)

Central Victoria Climate Action is raising funds for court costs. A Bendigo magistrate has ordered that charges be withdrawn for two dads charged with trespassing in the office of Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie. The group was staging a mass occupation of her office in May 2017. They were drawing attention to the Coalition government’s intention to loan $1 Billion of taxpayers’ money for the Adani mega coal mine.

Local solicitor Bill O’Donnell declared the case “a win for the democratic right of citizens to approach politicians for legitimate reasons”. Because this important democratic principle was at stake, Mr O’Donnell who has worked pro bono for the group, advised that a barrister be employed.

We’re confident that if lots of us put in a little bit, this fundraiser will once again prove to the pollies that they need to stand with our environment, our kids and their future – rather than a corrupt industrialist & yesterday’s dirty fossil fuels.

Here is a link to the chuffed fund raising campaign for court costs;

Plastic bags & re-minding shopping

While Coles and other corporates play games and continue to get media coverage for their efforts, Plastic Bag Free Castlemaine continues with the campaign to support retailers and consumers to go plastic free through a radical process of re-minding.

Rob Hopkins, one of the pioneers of the Localising movement, informed us that ‘governments can’t (act) and corporations won’t’,  so we need to get on with ‘being the change’ (Ghandhi).  We continue to advocate for policy and legislative change, locally and further afield, but what we mostly focus on is supporting behaviour change through de-mystifying, or ‘re-minding’ people.

All the surveys tell us that most people support a plastic bag ban, or a return to re-usable shopping bags. Our job is to turn people on to the simplicity of the task – to ‘re-mind’ ourselves.

Dominant culture would have us act as automatons, accepting a bag at the counter being one manifestation of this.  Our stickers for retailers, handy tips for remembering your bag, bag give-aways, running events, talking on radio, talking to retailers and putting up large signs are all simple acts of aiding the process of re-remembering that which we already all know – that we are inextricably connected with our planet.

Witnessing the awakening, the ‘re-minding’ of ‘consumers’ and the process of getting purchases from shop to home, or the discussions about where to get un-packaged foods, or our recent event: Plastic Free Periods, may seem like small and insignificant acts when faced with the knowledge of how much we need to do to be ‘sustainable’.  We take inspiration and hope from The Lorax  “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not”.

(with thanks to Lucy Young and Plastic Bag Free Castlemaine)

Local Castlemaine radio fundraiser

When: Saturday August 11th, 2018

Where: Diggers Store, Campbell’s Creek

Local Castlemaine radio Main FM fundraiser. Come along for some fun!

Regional Centre for Culture events

The Regional Centre for Culture in 2018 is an initiative of the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, in partnership with the Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal Clans Corporation, Central Goldfields Shire, City of Greater Bendigo, Hepburn Shire and Mount Alexander Shire.

Plenty of free and low cost events happening in August and September including a pipe and brass concert in Daylesford, podcast interviews with indigenous community members,  weaving and basketry workshops in Castlemaine,  art exhibitions in Newstead and Maryborough, book fares in Clunes, exploratory music in Bendigo  and much more. For more information go to  www.rcc2018.com.

Food for thought

Check out the food for thought tab for two stimulating reads:





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June 2018 newsletter

At a point seemingly of collapse, not only of the systems that dominate how we cooperate but also of our response, I wanted to show that the personal is the political, and that infectious change can start by adopting sustainable practices as members of collective households and genuine communities in heartfelt neighbourhoods. What the world needs now is a spectacular reawakening of human creativity, collectivity, solidarity and localism in practice.

(Anitra Nelson from Small is Necessary)

Welcome to our June newsletter. This newsletter includes information about:

  • our next community conversation with Anitra Nelsoneco-collaborative housing and degrowth;
  • Village Winter Festival in Newstead;
  • Hepburn Shire’s Zero-net emissions project – a base line survey for residents;
  • Central Vic Climate Action– Stop Adani blockade and a win for democracy;
  • Repair Cafe’s 1st birthday in Castlemaine & plans for a Daylesford cafe;
  • Castlemaine Jazz festival;
  • Daylesford Culture Club – sour dough & honey ferments;
  • Women’s storytelling, ceremony and healing a NAIDOC week event;
  • Regional Centre for Culture – Letters from the Inside
  • Hepburn Community Recycling;
  • Castlemaine documentary film festival;
  • Food for Thought

Next community conversation- Anitra Nelson on de-growth and eco-collaborative housing

When: 5.00pm, Sunday June 17th, 2018

Where: Ray Bradfield room, Castlemaine, b/w Victory park and IGA car park

Are housing for ‘degrowth’ and ‘eco-collaborative’ housing ways of the future? With reference to her recently published book Small is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet and the soon to be published book she co-edited, Housing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities, Anitra will discuss various aspects of degrowth, housing for degrowth and eco-collaborative housing as ways of achieving more affordable, sustainable and community-based living.
Anitra Nelson lived in eco-collaborative communities for a decade and researches affordable and sustainable housing part-time at the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University in Melbourne. She is the author of many publications and lives in Castlemaine.

Village Winter Festival

When: Saturday 23 June, 2018, 2pm – midnight

WhereNewstead Racecourse

What’s On?   Fire, Acts, Art, Music

Light your creative fire at the fifth Village Winter Festival as the community of the Central Goldfields gathers to celebrate the Winter solstice in spectacular style.

Tickets are $15 adults, $10 concession, $5 youth (13-17)
FREE: Kids (up to 12)
FREE: Early-birds: if you are struggling financially, you can come to the festival for no charge if you book on-line in advance and arrive at the festival before 3pm. Why? Inclusion is one of The Village’s core values, and we don’t want money to be a barrier.

For more info:  Facebook Event for the latest updates or


 Zero-net emissions for Hepburn

Solar & Z-NET Open House

The Hepburn Z-NET project is up and running with Solar Bulk-Buy and Z-NET Open House events during June. This is your opportunity to review our carbon emissions profile and put forward any project ideas. There will be presentations from the Hepburn Solar Bulk-Buy and a range of stallholders discussing solar finance, energy audits and much more!

Register here to let us know roughly how many people will be attending.

The Z-NET Survey

500 Z-NET Household Energy and Emissions Surveys have been submitted from Hepburn Shire. This is a great starting point but we need to reach at least 800 responses to have a valuable and representative sample of our community. That’s why we are encouraging you to share the Z-NET survey with your friends and family. You can find the survey here and share it on social media here.

Central Vic Climate Action (CVCA)

Sharing stories of the Stop Adani blockade with Daylesford people, and 

A Win for Democracy

 We should never lose sight of the fact that we have the right to protest” – Bendigo magistrate.

On May 25th CVCA adults and children, recently returned from Queensland’s Stop Adani blockade, shared stories and soup with concerned residents of Daylesford and surrounds. An event organised and supported by CVCA, Sustainable Hepburn Association (SHARE), Hepburn Wind, Hepburn Relocalisation Network and Localising Leanganook, responses included: “It’s so important to get information from a reliable source” and “I feel inspired to go to the blockade”.

Generous donations of soup making vegetables from Mt Franklin Organics and bread from Two Fold Bakehouse (soon to become a community supported bakery), coupled with home-made soup, contributed towards $375 being raised via donations at the door – much needed funds to support the campaign.

Central Victoria Climate Action is raising funds for court costs. A Bendigo magistrate has ordered that  charges be withdrawn for two dads charged with trespassing in the office of Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie. The group was staging a mass occupation of her office in May 2017. They were drawing attention to the Coalition government’s intention to loan $1 Billion of taxpayers’ money for the Adani mega coal mine.

Local solicitor Bill O’Donnell declared the case “a win for the democratic right of citizens to approach politicians for legitimate reasons”. Because this important democratic principle was at stake, Mr O’Donnell who has worked pro bono for the group, advised they employ a barrister.  Confident that our supporters would back us, we went ahead  – but now have a legal bill that we need your help with!

We’re confident that if lots of us put in a little bit, this fundraiser will once again prove to the pollies that they need to stand with our environment, our kids and their future – rather than a corrupt industrialist & yesterday’s dirty fossil fuels.

Please throw in a little bit if you can and we’ll share the story with Ms McKenzie and local federal MP Lisa Chesters who is yet to take a stand against Adani.

CVCA recently fundraised and sent  a delegation to participate in the blockade to interrupt Adani’s  construction of a rail line which will open the door for the development of a massive complex of new coal mines.

The group also calls on local MP Lisa Chesters to “come clean and not cook our kids safe climate future” and decide whether she stands with the discredited industrialist or the future of the kids of Bendigo. One of the Dads charged, Damien Cook, a wetlands ecologist, said “CSIRO research findings project that Bendigo will become a semi-arid salt bush plain by the turn of the century under a fossil fuel burning, business as usual scenario”.

You can like and follow us on fb at centralvicclimateaction or email us at centralvicclimateaction@gmail.com.

View the action on vimeo here https://vimeo.com/217624870

Repair Cafe’s 1st birthday

In the first year of Castlemaine Repair Cafe’s life  549.220 kilos of material has been repaired instead of going into landfill!

Next cafe is Sunday June 24th, 10.00am to 1.00pm in Ray Bradfield Room Castlemaine. Zip repairs are likely be a focus as well as the usual electrical, sewing and other repairs.

Coordinator, Chris, has agreed to share experience and learnings with people from Daylesford interested in starting up a repair cafe.

Castlemaine Jazz Festival

When: June 8th to 11th- Queen’s birthday long weekend

Where: assorted venues in Castlemaine

The 2018 annual Castlemaine Jazz Festival will take place right in the heart of Castlemaine at a number of separate (historic) venues, each within walking distance and all especially selected to create the ideal environment to enjoy the weekend of jazz.

For more info and tickets https://www.castlemainejazzfestival.com.au/

Daylesford Culture Club- sour dough bread & honey ferments

Culture Club’s June Sourdough workshop was a great success, organised by Meg Ulman and with thank you’s to presenters Alison + Katy from Two fold Bakehouse, soon to become a community supported bakery, and also to Chris + Loïque, as well as those who brought in loaves and toppings to share.

The talented illustrator Brenna Quinlan took these notes.

The theme for July’s Culture Club is Honey Ferments. 9.30am -12.30pm, Saturday July 7th at Daylesford Senior Citizen’s Hall.  A free event.

Women’s storytelling, ceremony & healing – a NAIDOC week event

What: Our Connection with Mother Earth:  Stories and Workshop –  ​Because of Her we can

When: Thursday July 12;  10am to 3.30pm ​

Where: Story House and Garden: Daylesford

To celebrate the theme of NAIDOC week Anne E Stewart will host a story telling event led by Aunty Marilyne Nicholls, multi-clan indigenous elder and Laurel Freeland, social ecologist who will share stories of women’s connection with Mother Earth. Weaving together Aunty Marilyne’s aboriginal women’s story with a contemporary social ecological perspective, the day will be a celebration of Mother Earth and the women who have carried stories and traditional practices to keep culture and connection to land alive.

The interactive day will include:

• Welcome to Dja Dja Wurrung and smoking ceremony
• Traditional aboriginal and contemporary women’s stories
• Earth healing practices
• Ritual and ceremony
• Working with the elements ​

Cost: $50 Includes light lunch and tea and coffee

Regional Centre for Culture

What: Letters from the Inside

Lettersfrom the Inside at Old Castlemaine Gaol on July 6 and on July 7 at Railway Cafe & Tracks Bar Gallery, Maryborough. Hear the stories of inmates in local prisons through their letters, curated and presented by Lisa D’Onofrio. https://www.timeout.com/melbourne/things-to-do/letters-from-the-inside

Hepburn Community Recycling

Around 50 locals attended a community recycling forum in Daylesford on June 3rd. Initiatives emerging include a repair cafe; a glass sorting project; education around recycling; lobbying in relation to  plastics; glass bottle deposit schemes; and neighbourhood mulching.

For more information, contact Hepburn Shire Councillor Kate Redwood.

Castlemaine Documentary Film Festival

Where: Theatre Royal, Castlemaine

For more information go to  Castlemaine Documentary Film Festival  https://cdocff.com.au/

Food for thought

TED talk by Eric Holt-Gimenez  about food, climate resilience and social change.
Note: Plans are afoot for Eric to visit Central Victoria later this year. Watch this space.
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An extra May 2018 e-news

Inspiration is not garnered from the recitation of what is flawed; it resides, rather, in humanity’s willingness to restore, redress, reform, rebuild, recover, re imagine, and reconsider…Healing the woulds of the earth and its people does not require saintliness or a political party, only gumption and persistence. It is not a liberal or conservative activity; it is a sacred act.

Paul Hawkin, Blessed Unrest (1)


Welcome to our extra e-news for May 2018.

This e-news gives information about :

  • A special additional event-  Stop Adani film and blockade  Q&A in Daylesford 
  • Castlemaine Repair Cafe‘s 1st birthday
  • Next Democracy4Dinner event
  • Risk of trespass charge for Central Vic Climate supporters
  • Hepburn Shire- Z-NET and Solar Bulk buy
  • Hepburn Shire Community Recycling Forum
  • Representing your local community 2 workshops
  • Growing Abundance GreenGAGE and Harvest
  • Castlemaine Seed Library
  • Food for thought – Built in Obsolesence and  The Monthly on Adani


Join us for this collaboration between Central Vic Climate Action, Sustainable Hepburn Association (SHARE), Hepburn Wind, Hepburn Relocalisation Network and Localising Leanganook.

When: Friday May 25th, 2018

6.30pm for soup, 7.00pm film screening

followed by Q&A with blockaders

Where: Senior Citizens room, rear Daylesford Town Hall

BYO bowl and spoon for soup

Entry: Donation towards Stop Adani campaign

It seems like it is up to young people, ordinary everyday people, to put ourselves in the way to stop a billionaire building the largest coal mine in the southern hemisphere and wrecking the reef and my future”    Young Castlemaine blockader                      

Documentary film#StopAdani: A Mighty Force 

An unstoppable movement for change in action. The power and passion of people taking extraordinary action.

 “Adani is dealing with a mighty force. And the more it grows, the harder we’ll be to beat.”  Juru Traditional Elder, Carol Prior




When: Sunday May 27th, 10.00am to 1.00pm

Where: Ray Bradfield Room, Castlemaine

between Victory Park and IGA carpark

Contributions to finger food for first birthday lunch welcomed.


When:  7pm, Tuesday 29th  May, 2018

Where: Bistro Lola, next to Theatre Royal, Castlemaine

Topic: “Can a grassroots movement put carbon pricing back on the agenda?“, a conversational dinner on pathways to bi-partisan climate policy, with Warwick Smith. RSVP Now.

What’s on the conversational menu?  

Is it time to bring back a price on carbon? The Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) thinks so, and have been successful in the US at gathering bi-partisan support in Congress for a ‘fee and dividend’ approach. Warwick Smith, local economist and writer for the Guardian and the Conversation, will speak with us about the advantages of this model, which is a little akin to a universal basic income paid for by climate polluters.
Can the Australian branch of CCL, which is gathering steam now after two years of existence, achieve similar support, or does the political context here demand a different approach? What are some ways a ‘fee and dividend’ model could be tweaked for best results? And what can a region like Mount Alexander offer in contribution or leadership? Recent publications from participants in Australia’s carbon market suggest that carbon farming could be an effective strategy for winning regional support at the same time making a unique global contribution to carbon abatement.

Below are some suggested readings to whet your appetite. If you have some time to prepare, please bring your ideas to the table.

Warwick’s 2014 article for the ABC: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-29/smith-carbon-price-round-two:-lets-get-it-right-this-time/5705166


This coming Friday, May 18th, several Central Vic Climate supporters risk being charged with trespass at Bendigo Magistrates Court, as a result of seeking a meeting with Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie to protest her support of the Adani Mine!

Join supporters in court this Friday as we defend people’s right to protest our Government’s immoral ongoing pursuit of profits from coal, whilst the world temperature increases and wreaks havoc all over the planet.


When: 9.30am Friday 18th May (or join us on the 8.48 am train from Castlemaine)
Where: Bendigo Magistrates Court
With: Supportive signs for Bernie & Damien, climate placards etc for important photos outside court.


 Z-NET is a community-focused approach to reduce emissions from fossil fuels and grow local renewable energy capacity. Core to the Z-NET approach is working with community
members to co-develop a transition plan that meets the needs of local residents and businesses.
Would you like to be part of Hepburn Shire’s journey to zero-net emissions? Z-NET would like to hear how residents of Hepburn Shire currently use energy in their homes. How can the community as a whole manage the transition to renewable sources and zero-net emissions?
The Z-NET project is seeking 1,000 households to complete the energy consumption survey before May 31st, to create a meaningful and representative profile. Here’s the survey:  take the household survey.
Z-NET is looking for community members to help shape the direction of this project as part of the Community Advisory Panel (CAP) and also to propose local place-based ideas. To find out more about the CAP or to enter and vote on ideas, go to
www.oursay.org/z-net. The first CAP meeting will take place on Saturday 2 June from 2-5pm in Daylesford, if you are interested in joining the CAP, email taryn@ata.org.au


When: Sunday 3rd June  (time to be advised- check Hepburn Shire website closer to the time)

Where: Daylesford Senior Citizens room, rear Town hall

Hepburn residents are encouraged to attend this community recycling forum that includes glass recycling and bottle deposit legislation, repair cafe, plastics return to source, and an update on Council’s anaerobic digester.


Voices for Indi- Have you thought about running for Council or Parliament? 

When : June 2nd-3rd, 2018

Where: La Trobe University, Wodonga

Voices for Indi are running a practical workshop designed to provide prospective candidates and their supporters with enhanced skills and knowledge to get elected. The workshop will focus on how our political system works, strategies for campaigning, managing expectations and connecting with your community.

For more info- http://www.voicesforindi.com/getting_elected_to_represent_your_community_a_workshop

2018 Future of Local Government National Summit

When:May 30th and 31st, 2018

Where: Angliss Conference Centre, Melbourne

The summit, organised by the Municipal Association  of Victoria,  will focus on Community-Led Governance (Community co-leadership & co-design), and Co-operation and collaboration between councils.

This Summit will celebrate the local, who’s leading the (new) way and how they’re doing it.
Bursaries and reduced rates may be possible.
Online registration and conference details   www.mav.asn.au/events 

GROWING ABUNDANCE- GreenGAGE and Harvest program

Castlemaine’s Growing Abundance is looking for people to:

  • Co-ordinate community-based workshops utilising local resources and skills;
  • Co-ordinate local markets selling a range of sustainably sourced garden products;
  • Manage online shop including stocktake, advertising and collection of goods;
  • Co-ordinate GreenGAGE services including pruning and wicking bed builds.

If this sparks your interest contact hello@growingabundance.org.au


The Castlemaine Seed library is looking for more community members to keep the Seed Library moving forward in a streamlined, shared and sustainable way.

If you’re interested in gardening, have a passion for supporting local food and sharing economies, please get in touch with Dayna at seedlibrary@growingabundance.org.au


The problem with planned obsolescence

The Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA)  is speaking out against planned obsolescence and providing solutions to reduce the practice.

Shifting away from this practice will create a boom in meaningful employment for people in other industrial sectors such as product design, repair services and maintenance, resource recovery, waste minimisation and logistical services.

Planned obsolescence is an economic strategy to keep people buying the same type of product again, and again, in a saturated market. This may be done in various ways, including:

  • designing products so they break or stop working within a short timeframe;
  • making it difficult to repair or upgrade a product;
  • convincing consumers that products are no longer fashionable.

What you can do

Until 29 June 2018, all Australians have a unique opportunity to demand an end to planned obsolescence by contributing to the 2018 Review of the Product Stewardship Act. There’s multiple ways to share your views:

  • attend a public community consultation forum for the Product Stewardship Act review. These meetings will be held in capital cities in May – June 2018. To register your interest, visit https://www.eventbrite.com.au/d/australia–australia/product-stewardship-forum/
  • make your own submission to the reviewSubmissions are open until 29 June 2018. Your submission may be as simple and short as you like and can include a statement in support of
  • See AELA’ s guide on making a submission here. A final copy of AELA’s Submission will be available on their website in late May.

Why Adani Won’t die

An article in the Monthly BY Richard Denniss 



(1) Paul Hawken cited in: Massy, Charles: Call of the Reed Warbler, University of Queensland Press, 2017, p. 433

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April/May e-news 2018

What the Transition movement does incredibly
well is small-scale experiments which are practical,
which resonate with local people, which look as if they’re
doable, and that can engage people at a practical and
meaningful level. It connects up the big issues and the
local issues and shows you that change can happen
at a local level.(1)


Our April/May e-news includes information about:

  • the next community conversationRegenerative Economy with Ian Lillington- Friday May 11th
  • Castlemaine Repair CafeSunday April 29th
  • Central Vic Climate Action- Stop Adani blockade, film screening with Q&A in Daylesford
  • How Can We Do Democracy Better? – report, democracy working group , film link and your feedback
  • Mount Alexander Eco-housing Group- Tiny Homes, co-housing and Small is Necessary
  • Daylesford Culture ClubPink Lake salt collecting
  • Container Deposit scheme in Castlemaine
  • Daylesford-Macedon Ranges Open Studios
  • Food for thought- De-growth

Upcoming community conversation

Regenerative Economy – where social enterprise meets business and sustainability

When : Friday May 11th, 7.00pm

Where: Ray Bradfield Room, Castlemaine, east side of Victory Park.

How could everyone be better off through an economic transition in our town and region, so we have a more resilient, inclusive, ecologically-wise and regenerative community?

(Castlemaine’s Ian Lillington with Transition Movement founder Rob Hopkins)

Our area has thousands of small businesses, many of them which aim for the REconomy model of economic regeneration that creates an abundance of opportunity for people to meet their needs in ways that:

  • work with natural systems;
  • are inclusive and fair;
  • and that increase the well-being of the whole community.

Building on his experience with Transition and the REconomy project in England, Ian Lillington will present ideas on developing our local economy in a sustainable direction.  What can we do better?  How do we build a truly regenerative economy?  Your ideas and input are welcome.

Ian Lillington is an International Permaculture Educator, based in Castlemaine, Australia and with experience in SE Asia and Europe.  He recently led a course in Green Education at Green School in Bali and a Permaculture Design Course in Shanghai and Melbourne.

Ian is also a networker, author and sustainability activist and was recently in England catching up with local economic initiatives there.  At home in Castlemaine, Ian and his partner Marita built a 10-star home, maximum energy efficiency rating, and do eco-renovations of older houses by adding insulation, solar panels, rainwater tanks and orchards.

Ian’s book is an introduction to permaculture – “The Holistic Life – a Beginners’ Guide to Permaculture”. He is also editor of many of David Holmgren’s books, especially ‘Permaculture Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability’.  http://permanentpublications.co.uk/port/the-holistic-life-sustainability-through-permaculture-by-ian-lillington/]

Ian featured in the anthology – “Permaculture Pioneers” and wrote the chapter on Permaculture in the “Encyclopedia of Sustainability”.

Ian specializes in teaching about the 3 ethics, 7 domains and 12 principles of permaculture as well as the interaction between permaculture, social and economic systems.

Central Vic Climate Action

Central Vic to the  Stop Adani Blockade

Blockade film with Q & A in Daylesford

Central Victorians heading off to join stop Adani Blockade in Queensland

Photograph  by Jasper Albrect

A group of eleven Mount Alexander Shire residents are heading up to Townsville next month to take part in the blockade of the proposed Adani coal mine and railway. They include a diversity of age and experience; two grandmothers, three parents, two VCE students, three middle high schoolers and one primary school student. All of those going are compelled to take action and some are considering risking arrest and high fines for civil disobedience to stop this proposed mine.

Castlemaine Secondary College VCE student Charlie Bell Wilcock, one of the young men involved asked “Why are our politicians supporting Adani’s mine when the vast majority of Australians don’t want it, and scientists are urging us to keep coal in the ground to avoid more dangerous climate change? We have written letters, taken part in inquiries, gone to meetings, spoken out and voted, but our MPs aren’t listening“

“It seems like it is up to young people, ordinary everyday people, to put ourselves in the way to stop a billionaire building the largest coal mine in the southern hemisphere and wrecking the reef and my future” he explained.

The impact of climate change is obvious and being noted across the world. Globally we are witnessing worsening droughts, floods and bushfires. Our Pacific neighbours fight to protect their land from sea level rise and sadly already half the corals in the Great Barrier Reef are dead.

Liz Heath, grandmother from Chewton explained “People from across Australia are travelling to Bowen to blockade Adani’s coal port and railway plans. Every week now for months people have been taking actions to stop the coal exports from the Adani owned Abbott Point terminal or stopping the construction work on the rail link needed for the mine. “

“Some of those people have been fined large sums of money but we aren’t deterred, we are looking forward to doing our part to stop this mine” she concluded.

For more information, to donate funds or to interview any of the blockaders contact Dean Bridgfoot 0403 160 091 or centralvicclimateaction@gmail.com

Blockade film with Q & A in Daylesford

When: Friday May 25th, 7.00pm

Where: Senior Citizens room, rear Daylesford Town Hall

For those who missed the Castlemaine screening in March, this 30 minute documentary film: #StopAdani: A Mighty Force will be screened again, this time in Daylesford on Friday May 18th, followed by Q&A with some of our central Victorians recently returned from the blockade in Queensland.

The film reveals an unstoppable movement for change in action and captures the power and passion of people taking extraordinary action to stop Adani from building one of the biggest coal mines in the world. From remote central Queensland where the mine is proposed to be built, to rallies in metropolitan Melbourne and Sydney, this David and Goliath battle is one of the most determined and focused campaigns in Australia’s recent history.

Juru Traditional Elder Carol Prior says about the protest movement, “Adani is dealing with a mighty force. And the more it grows, the harder we’ll be to beat.”

Castlemaine Repair cafe

Note- change of venue for April

Castlemaine Repair Cafe on Sunday 29th April is in the Faulder Watson Hall (Barker St) this month, 10am to 1.00pm, then Boomerang Bags sewing til 4pm. There’s a drill workshop so anyone wanting to know how to use one and information on what sort to buy etc can do that. Booking would be good for an idea of numbers through Chris on 54705508, Facebook Castlemaine Repair cafe or website castlemainerepaircafe.wordpress.com  Tea, plunger coffee and snacks are available for a small donation.
Back to the Ray Bradfield room in May. Same details but no drill workshop.
The Edinburgh Remakery workshop. Photograph: Katherine Anne Rose for the Observer

An extract below from: Can we fix it? The repair cafes waging war on throwaway culture


When fixing items is actively discouraged by manufacturers, recycling becomes a political act, say Repair Cafe volunteers.

vacuum cleaner, a hair straightener, a laptop, Christmas lights, an e-reader, a blender, a kettle, two bags, a pair of jeans, a remote-control helicopter, a spoon, a dining-room chair, a lamp and hair clippers. All broken.

It sounds like a pile of things that you’d stick in boxes and take to the tip. In fact, it’s a list of things mended in a single afternoon by British volunteers determined to get people to stop throwing stuff away.

This is the Reading Repair Cafe, part of a burgeoning international network aimed at confronting a world of stuff, of white goods littering dumps in west Africa and trash swilling through the oceans in huge gyres.

(With thanks to Chris Hooper)

Mt Alexander Eco-Housing Group

Tiny homes, co-housing and shared living on a shared planet

In April MAEG explored Tiny Houses with speakers Jan Stewart and Fred Schultz.

There’s a Tiny Homes event during Melbourne Knowledge week. You can attend on any of the following days — 11–13 May: https://mkw.melbourne.vic.gov.au/events/tiny-solutions/

Next meeting topic:

What:​Eco-cohousing community, Murundaka

When: Friday 27 April, 5–6.30pm

For more info and to book:



Upcoming events: June 2018
Hear about Anitra Nelson’s book on eco-collaborative housing Small is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet. Author Anitra Nelson will talk at Localising Leanganook’s  community conversation in the Ray Bradfield Room, Castlemaine at 5.00pm Sunday 17th June.
The following week, Anitra will be in conversation with Mount Alexander Shire Mayor Bronwen Machin — who lives in a small Passivhaus written about in the book — at the Castlemaine Library 5.30–6.30pm on Thursday 21 June. The book is available at these events as well as Stonemans Bookroom and the Castlemaine library.
(With thanks to Anitra Nelson)

How can we do democracy better?

Evaluation , film link and local democracy working group

Around 100 locals gathered to join Richard Walsh, Genevieve Barlow and Cam Walker in a hearty conversation around how we might do democracy better. The conversation was ably facilitated by Lexi Randall-L’Estrange and hosted by Localising Leanganook and Democracy4Dinner.

A video of the conversation, including questions, is in the final stages of preparation by local film makers-Stewart and Cath from People Pictures. Thanks to newDemocracy Foundation for their sponsorship. Go to Localising Leanganook and Democracy for Dinner  for a link to the video, available on our websites within the next week or two.

After the event, Richard Walsh emailed “I hope it was obvious that I enjoyed the evening very much and of course I hope it can have a lasting and beneficial after-effect. I was totally bewitched by your town and the people I met. I hope I will get the chance to come again some time and catch up with you all.

Gen Barlow wrote to us the next day “Thank you for creating the space for people to talk about democracy last night. Is there a way forward beyond talk? I feel inspired to find out more about the new Democracy Foundation. Cam’s idea for a local community council developing a long-term vision seems tangible. Is the ground ripe for this yet? Is there agreement right across all sectors that a long-term vision is needed? Getting agreement on that seems the first step. Hearing how the Voices for Indi went about change in their area would be instructive.”

Cam Walker’s idea of building an inspiring, integrated vision for our community resonated strongly with the audience and organisers and this is on the agenda for the working group, as is engaging with Voices for Indi to explore what a Voices for …. approach could look like across central Victoria. If you want to be part of the Democracy Working Group and move these ideas forward, sign up here. We will organise a get together next month to talk about next steps.

We welcome your feedback via this quick survey.

Daylesford Culture Club

Pink Lake salt collecting

Pickles? Olives? Kimchi? Kraut? Sourdough? Table salt?

Whatever you use your salt for, you are invited to join the Daylesford Culture Club community fermenters on our salt collecting adventure on Saturday May 5.

Here’s the plan
  • 8.00am board bus at the Daylesford Bridport St bus stop.
  • Drive to the Pink Lake, Dimboola Vic, stopping along the way for a toilet break.
  • Arrive approx. 11.30am
  • Collect salt and enjoy shared picnic lunch at the lake or at the Dimboola Nature Conservation Reserve.
  • 2.00pm board bus and drive from Pink Lake to Daylesford, stopping for a toilet break on the way back.
  • Arrive back in Daylesford approx. 5.30pm
Tickets are $30 and are limited to 57.
Book your seat on the bus here.
What to bring?
  • Your own containers to collect salt, with lids that seal shut. Please label all containers.
  • A shovel or trowel.
  • Sun hats + sunnies as the lake is bright and harsh on a hot day.
  • A dish to share for lunch.
  • A picnic blanket, plate, cutlery and filled water bottle.

(With thanks to Meg Ulman)

Container deposit scheme visits Castlemaine


On Wednesday April 11th in the ‘Maine street, there was a convergence of folk to support The Big Bottle Tour as it shuddered its way through Castlemaine on the way to Ballarat. Three tired campaigners from The Boomerang Alliance did a wonderful job of ‘up-righting’ their battered giant bottle, bringing it to prominence – you could not miss it!

The purpose? To promote a Container Deposit Scheme for Victoria.  They were hosted and joined by Plastic Bag Free Castlemaine who took the opportunity to make a demonstration about the problem of soft plastics, taking on to fill a trailer load in one hour, to highlight the magnitude of the problem and encourage peeps to think again before picking up that packaged item, or saying yes to a plastic bag.

Having completed over 2,000kms around Victoria, the Boomerang Alliance folk were overwhelmed at the turn out in Castlemaine, and much buoyed into the homeward journey where the containers will be delivered to Daniel Andrews.  I heard a whisper that a drop off to local member Maree Edwards eased the burden down to Melbourne, keeping alive the spirit of direct action and the power of symbolic action to awaken settled minds.
Castlemaine – and surrounds- continues to come together to take action on things that matter and I take pleasure in being a local.
(With thanks to Lucy Young)

Daylesford-Macedon Ranges Open Studios 

There are still two weekends left for the Open Studios program across our region- April 28/29th and May 5/6th.  Visit the studios of ceramicists, photographers, sculptors, painters, print makers and much more.

Angie Izard, Porcupine Ridge
For more information, locations and maps  http://dmropenstudios.com.au/

Food for thought- The rise and future of the de-growth movement

 You might be interested in the article below.
Creative Commons Licensed

(1) Julian Dobson in Introduction to 21 Stories of Transition, harvested by Rob Hopkins, published by Transition Network (transitionnetwork.org)

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March e-news 2018

 Taking political power at a local level,

then using it to enable people to have a greater say

in the decisions that affect their lives.

(from ‘Flatpack democracy’- Frome, Somerset, UK)


The March e-news includes information about:

  • our next community conversationHow can we do democracy better? – March 21st
  • Central Vic Climate Action- Stop Adani fundraising
  • Castlemaine Repair Cafe
  • Growing Abundance Harvest time
  • Deborah Cheetham at Hepburn International Women’s Day event
  • Political economy of housing and real estate- in film
  • Mount Alexander Eco-housing Group
  • Living the change film night- Daylesford

Upcoming community conversation

Localising Leanganook and Democracy4Dinner invite you to join our upcoming ‘conversation on democracy’  prompted by Richard Walsh’s book, ‘Reboot: A Democracy Makeover to Empower Australia’s Voters’. Richard will share his vision for a ‘better democracy’ that will increase participation, engagement, and direct representation through a redesign of the electoral system.

Locals Gen Barlow and Cam Walker will help us understand how alternative approaches to democracy and democratic processes already do, and can further, enhance the power of the people to create lasting change in Australia and here in our local communities. They will share their experience on community-led transformative change and explore how alternative democratic processes would interact with the changes proposed in the book ‘Reboot’.

There will be plenty of time for asking questions that explore what a successful democracy might look like and how we might get there, as well as for conversation afterwards.

About our speakers

Interstate guest, Richard Walsh, is an Australian publisher, editor, company director, media consultant, lecturer, broadcaster and journalist. He is the author of nine books including ‘Great Australian eulogies’ and ‘No Holts barred’. His latest book, ‘Reboot: A Democracy Makeover to Empower Australia’s Voters’, is the inspiration for this community conversation.

Gen Barlow is the 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. Genevieve is a freelance writer and editor, a columnist for The Weekly Times and lives in Newstead, central Victoria. Read more about Renewable Newstead here.

Cam Walker has worked with Friends of the Earth (FoE) for more than 2 decades. For the past five years he has focused on community campaigning in regional Victoria. The recent successful campaigns against unconventional gas drilling and in support of renewable energy were based on building local democratic grassroots institutions and community power. Cam is interested in the way locally controlled groups can work together across regions to achieve lasting political and cultural change.

Have a look at flatpack democracy in the UK to inspire your thinking. 

Stop Adani local campaign, film and fundraising

From Central Victoria to the Adani Blockade people from across Australia are traveling to Bowen in central Queensland to blockade Adani’s coal port and railway plans. These actions have added to the growing pressure on Adani and its supporters. They demonstrate that as a movement we will Stop Adani, with our bodies if needed. Central Victoria Climate Action are planning to send a crew from Central Victoria up to join the blockade in April. Here’s your chance to Stop Adani!

If you can donate your time to join them, we are fundraising to cover some of the costs for those going. We are aiming to raise $5000, some of which will go to help defray the costs of those donating their time and heading up to join the blockade, and the rest used to support FLAC who are running the blockade camps.

Ways you can support include:

The 30 minute documentary film, #StopAdani: A Mighty Force, was screened last Saturday night to a crowd of locals. The film was followed by Q and A with one of the young people who has spent the past several months at the blockade. CVCA is thinking about organising another screening for those who missed out, so watch this space and add you name to the CVCA email list.

The film reveals an unstoppable movement for change in action and captures the power and passion of people taking extraordinary action to stop Adani from building one of the biggest coal mines in the world.From remote central Queensland where the mine is proposed to be built, to rallies in metropolitan Melbourne and Sydney, this David and Goliath battle is one of the most determined and focused campaigns in Australia’s recent history.

Juru Traditional Elder Carol Prior says about the protest movement, “Adani is dealing with a mighty force. And the more it grows, the harder we’ll be to beat.”

Castlemaine Repair cafe

Congratulations to Chris and the Repair cafe team for their special mention in Mt Alexander’s Community Event of the year award.

Of the February cafe Chris writes: What a fantastic Cafe. So many people….thank you so much to the repairers working away for all that time with crowds of people waiting (including) fabulous knife sharpening. And thanks to Karen and Danny who travel around to Repair Cafes helping to fix things. They’re from Mend it Melton at the moment but eventually venturing around Australia. Thanks to Velvet for her wonderful food and Elke for helping set up. 
A puncture repair workshop is planned for the March cafe so put the word out amongst kids and adults who’d like to learn.  Marieanne does picture frame repairs so spread the word.
Unrepairable things such as printers, stereos etc can go to an after school program in Kyneton and then parts/bits go to the transfer station there. Chris is also checking with Chewton primary school.
Next Repair Cafe is 10.00am to 1.00pm, Sunday March 25th at Ray Bradfield room, Castlemaine.

Growing Abundance Harvest time

It’s harvest time again for 2018 and the first harvest of the season will be Wednesday March 6th at 9.30am. There are plenty of trees in the Castlemaine neighbourhood with hanging fruit. Take home apples and pears, prevent the spread of pest and disease to our fruit trees and help our schools and  local food relief organisations feed our community.

Since the harvest project began in 2011 over 23 tonne of fruit, that would have otherwise gone to waste, has been harvested and distributed to volunteers and in weekly boxes to more than 14 local community organisations.

Register your interest through Growing Abundance website, harvest volunteer on-line form.

Deborah Cheetham– Hepburn Shire International Women’s Day

Deborah Cheetham, Yorta Yorta woman, Soprano, composer and educator has been a leader and pioneer in the Australian arts landscape for more than 25 years.

Date:          Thursday 8 March 2018
Time:         6 pm
Venue:      Daylesford Town Hall – 76 Vincent Street, Daylesford

Come along and celebrate International Women’s Day in Hepburn Shire. Light refreshments will be available at the conclusion of the event.

Political economy of housing and real estate- in film

Warwick Smith‘s presentation in February generated hearty conversation. Warwick touched on the way land and capital became joined in neo-classical economics; contributions which government policy,  demand and investment make towards pushing land prices up; changes brought about by 1970’s oil shocks; banks as the greatest beneficiaries of the housing boom; alternative land and housing systems in other countries around the world; nationalising land; submissions prepared by the think tank Per Capita towards a more equitable housing system; and much more.

If you missed the community conversation here’s a link to Warwick’s talk, filmed by People Pictures, which is also available via Localising Leanganook’s food for thought tab.

Mt Alexander Eco Housing

Next meeting
Monday 7.30pm 19 March
Trades Hall Castlemaine
127 Mostyn St
Louise Johnston, Coordinator Statutory Planning at the Mount Alexander Shire Council, will speak to queries about establishing ecohousing, especially eco-collaborative housing, and about associated planning provisions and guidelines

​Please submit question(s) beforehand, by COB Wednesday 14 March, by email to anitra.nelson@rmit.edu.au Try to make queries short and sharp.
At the February MAEG meeting Sue Robinson talked about the 15-member strong aspiring Older Women’s (over-50s) Cohousing Group she belongs too, who are narrowing down land to purchase in Central Victoria, specifically Daylesford or Castlemaine. Their vision is for ownership and social housing tenants and to include ‘shared beautiful spaces, vegetable gardens and landscaping as well as private gardens’ and ‘to be constantly improving’ their natural environs; a range of private dwellings and common facilities that are flexible, affordable, accessible, have an 8+ Star rating and measure up to the Living Building Challenge environmental sustainability principles; with common guest rooms, workshops community houses, chooks and so on. They emphasise values of sharing, tolerance and respect and aspire to be a strong and resilient model of cohousing. They are a vibrant hardworking group who have been meeting regularly since last year.

Prue and Digby introduced ‘GEMS’ (Group of Elders who are Mutually Supportive). GEMS started with a focus on cohousing but are taking the immediately achievable step of creating a community in which their group of 60+ year olds ‘are committed, first and foremost, to helping others in the group to live happy, satisfying, lives’.

Tiny Non Profit (tiny.org.au), an advocacy group for (more) tiny homes in Australia, collect all the latest council developments happening globally bringing about changes to land zoning and building codes. They are conducting a pilot study for the first Australian tiny house safety certification and are setting up the Australian Tiny House Association. We will be putting on a tiny house event in Melbourne CBD in May (event details under embargo at the moment). Tiny Non Profit (tiny.org.au) newsletter has updates on the Australian tiny house movement.

Send Anitra any items for the blog spot https://mountalexander-ecohousinggroup.blogspot.com.au/

Living the Change film night- Daylesford – March 29th

Followed by Q and A afterwards with the film makers.
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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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