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December 2023 newsletter

Some thoughts on what Localisation means (from Local Futures November 2023)

 A cultural turning towards Nature, towards community, towards diversity – towards life.

An expression of our need for connection – both to others and to all living beings.

A renewed respect for the feminine, the indigenous, the embodied, the whole.

An embrace of the small, the slow, the humble, the everyday.

So what does that mean in practice?

Shifting from dependence on global corporations towards local and regional economies.

Building or supporting place-based institutions or cultures.

Shortening the distances between producer and consumer.


Palestinian peace activist Aziz Abu Sarah describes what it is like:

It is a very tough time obviously to be a peace activist and much harder than choosing which side I want to care about more. Because if you are pro-Palestinian you sympathize obviously with the Palestinian cause. If you’re pro-Israel, you sympathize with the Israeli cause. And if you’re a peace activist, you have friends on both sides. And so your pain is multiplied. Because if I’m talking to my friends and family in the West Bank, I’m talking to my family or my family in Jerusalem, they are living in complete fear. I’m talking to my friends in Gaza who are escaping, terrified. I’m talking to my friends in Israel who are living the biggest nightmare in their lives. I’m terrified for my friends who have missing family members. They are trying to find where they are, most likely hostages in Gaza. I have friends who lost family members. And so you’re trying to take the pain of both the Israelis and the Palestinians and absorb both of it and live with both of it. And understand both perspectives, understand when your Israeli friends are angry, and they can’t comprehend how you could talk about Gaza right now. Because in their mind, but what about my pain? And my friends in Gaza think I’m completely a traitor, because how am I able to sympathize with the Israelis pain, with the people who’ve lost their lives in Israel. It’s very difficult. But I also think this is exactly what we need right now. This is the time to stand up and say there is an alternative: hate isn’t the only path.

(cited in Charles Eisenstein’s blog, 19/11/23 – https://charleseisenstein.substack.com/p/war-is-always-justified)


Welcome to the December edition of Localising Leanganook‘s e-newsletter from our editing team: Keppel, Laurel, Samantha and Nikki . Plenty to read, look at, listen to, and learn about in our central Victorian region. We welcome articles, letters and suggestions that encourage localisation- Email us here

Our next edition is scheduled for the third week in January 2024. Subscribe to the newsletter at  https://leanganook.org/


Feature Article –  Reading Landscape film

What’s happening in Central Victoria

  1. Arts and Culture
  2. Building Community
  3. Ecology and Environment
  4. First Nations
  5. Food Growing, Farming and Food Security
  6. Sustainable Economic Initiatives
  7. Sustainable Living Resources
  8. Workshops and Courses
  9. Communicating Good News Stories

Letters- (none this edition)

Food For Thought

Feature Article/Film- Reading Landscape

This month our feature article is in the form of a recently released feature film- Reading Landscape with David Holmgren- the co-originator of Permaculture.

Set in Djarra country, this feature length documentary, Reading Landscape with David Holmgren, is finally complete and available for viewing. Since the tragic death of film director/producer Dan Palmer last year, film maker Dave Meagher lovingly stayed with the project consulting closely with David Holmgren and other colleagues of Dan’s to complete the vision.

The film is an invitation to walk with David Holmgren across Djaara Country, as he shares his insights and discusses his unique approach to reading landscape, a wealth of knowledge and wisdom developed over forty years. David’s approach contributes to re-embedding reading landscape into our cultures as a known and fundamental human capacity, providing an opportunity for humans everywhere to deepen their connection to place.

You can register to watch the film at no cost here: https://readinglandscape.org/view-film-private-link-sign-up/

  1. Arts and Culture

Locals Film Making – call out for submissions

LOCALS 2024 is a program showcasing local and regionally made shorts which will be screened on Opening Night of Castlemaine’s Documentary Film Festival in June 2024. Submit a short, non-fiction film for consideration. The brief is broad:

The film can be about anything and be in any style.
Anyone who lives, works, plays (or has some meaningful connection) to Regional/Central Victoria is eligible to enter.
Duration of the film no longer than 6 minutes.

Entries close May 1st 2024 Find out more about LOCALS

Yandoit Cultural Christmas Carols with Castlemaine Peace Choir

Come along to Yandoit’s old church in the bush for some hearty carol singing, lead by Jane Thompson and James Rigby and the Castlemaine Peace Choir. After join us for supper under the eucalyptus.

When: Thursday December 21st, 7pm

Where: Yandoit Cultural- the old church in the bush- Uniting Church Rd, (off High St) Yandoit

Film Making Workshops

Castlemaine Documentary Festival is offering two full-day hands-on workshops in filmmaking – the first on recording sound and vision, the second on editing.

Whether you are putting together movies for socials or wanting to enter a short doc into the LOCALS screening at the Castlemaine Documentary Festival … It’s useful to be able to capture sound and vision and to put it all together in an engaging way.

More details: https://cdocff.com.au/workshops/

Northern Arts Hotel

All links for accommodation,  gigs and events, click here

Swiss Italian Festival – Landscape Art Prizes at Radius Gallery

Congrats to the winning entries from the 2023 Swiss Italian Lanscape Prize:

Radius committee will meet soon to plan our exhibitions for next year.  If you have a body of work ready or a group show you would like to curate reach out now via our online application- radius@designscope.com.au

Art works are available for sale.

Photo: Julie Kluwer’s winning painting

YOGART- CREATIVE THERAPY & FUN FOR KIDS / ADULTS-  Join Anna Kilpatrick for two sessions at Radius leading up to Christmas.  These unique workshops are a clever combo of yoga and art.  Connect & explore your creativity in whole new way! Tue Dec 26th / Sat Dec 30

76, Main Rd, Hepburn, Victoria, 3461, Australia www.radiusart.com.au

Lease extended for Yandoit Cultural 

Yandoit Cultural‘s lease with the Uniting Church has been extended for a further 12 months. This enables the old church in the bush to continue hosting musical concerts, story-telling, Open Mic events, local oral history, film screenings,  and much more.

Musicians who play at Yandoit Cultural express their delight at the excellent acoustics, the intimate feel of the place and also the warm welcome they receive by audiences.  With an emphasis on local, acoustic and quality Yandoit Cultural is keen to support and show-case the breadth of talent across our region.

The community of Yandoit and surrounds greatly appreciates the support provided by the Castlemaine Uniting Church Minister, Church Council, Regional Presbytery in seeking this extension to the lease, enabling our much loved local church building to continue in community hands as a local cultural centre.

Castlemaine and Surrounds Summer Market Art Exhibition

The Market Art exhibition features work from over 100 local artists (ages ranging from 23 to 101!), and is on at the historic Market Building until March.

When: 9.00am-5.00pm, daily (except Chirstmas Day)
Where: Market Building, 44 Mostyn Street, Castlemaine
Cost: Free


2. Building Community

Castlemaine Community Christmas Lunch- 2023

A free community event. Join with other locals to  share Christmas day lunch.

 DATE & TIME: Mon, 25 Dec 2023, 12:30 PM

Volunteer your time at the Castlemaine Community Christmas Lunch. Presented by Castlemaine Community House with support from Council, the lunch is an annual free celebration open to all Mount Alexander Shire residents. Christmas Community Lunch volunteer, Rohan Jones, said that volunteering offered an opportunity to connect with other residents.

To find out more about volunteering, contact Castlemaine Community House in 5472 4842 or email reception@cch.org.au.

For more information:  Phone: 03 5472 4842 Email: customerservice@cch.org.au

Newstead 21- Community Development Opportunities

Newstead 21 is a volunteer incorporated association based in Central Victoria. We promote the discussion and implementation of ideas and projects that benefit the Newstead community and also provide support to a number of local groups and organisations. Newstead 21 is looking to engage two highly skilled, community development workers on a part-time six month temporary/contract role.

How to apply:  Download the detailed Position Descriptions via https://www.ethicaljobs.com.au. Submit your cover letter and resume to n21recruitment@gmail.com

Note: While Applications closed on 3rd December 2023…it may be possible to put in a late application??

Resident-led Housing Workshop

A workshop facilitating community members to design resident-led housing futures for Mount Alexander Shire. We invite Castlemaine and other shire residents interested in resident-led housing options (developing multi-residential housing for their own occupation in partnership with other households) to a workshop focussing on the collective resources required to deliver such projects.
This event is supported by Allie Hanley (Saltgrass Podcast) and the My Home Network of Mount Alexander ShireTo express interest in the workshop and receive further information, please complete this short survey —https://forms.office.com/r/vAv4zgniCz

Daylesford Tragedy- Support Available

The tragedy in Daylesford that led to the death of five people and significant injuries to others in Daylesford- This event impacted many within the community. Clinical Psychologist Ingrid Morgan at Springs Medical provided advice for people impacted. Ingrid wrote that it’s OK to feel awful, on edge or jumpy, or want to avoid certain places. This is very typical after experiencing something traumatic and to try to give yourself space to experience these things. Read the rest of Ingrid’s advice on Hepburn shire’s website.

If you need to talk to someone there is help available. Central Highlands Rural Health can be contacted on (03) 5321 6551 to arrange an appointment. Head to Health can also help and are available on 1800 595 212

What’s On at Goldfields Libraries

Lots happening over the pre-Christmas/New Year/holiday period including:

  • Free IT help for seniors: Need help navigating the ever-changing digital world?  Access free one-on-one training and support at your local library.

Drop in or give us a call, tell us what you would like to know about or learn, and we’ll make an appointment for you.

  • Big Summer Read– JOIN. BORROW. PLAY. WIN- The BIG Summer Read is back! Read 10 books over summer and be in the running to win great prizes, including book vouchers and gift vouchers from EB Games and Smiggle. To get started, visit the library or register online here.  Return your reading record by 31 January for your chance to win a prize (Beanstack App participants will have automatic entry). Prize winners announced Friday 9 February. For children and young people up to 18 years.
  • StoryWalks

child at Castlemaine Storywalk

StoryWalks are a fun and educational activity that places a children’s story (literally a book taken apart!) along a popular walking route in the community. They are a physical activity and a literary experience in one. Goldfields Libraries regularly host StoryWalks across the region. We currently have StoryWalks in:

  • Castlemaine – Castlemaine Train Station. West side along Barkers Creek Trail (Gingell St). Download map.
  • Heathcote – Heathcote Playspace, 126 HIgh Street. Download map.
  • Kyneton – Shared path next to Kyneton Primary School and Kindergarten. Between Victoria and Edgecombe Streets. Download map.

What’s on at Goldfields Libraries

Quick Response Grants 


These Hepburn Shire grants are now open for community groups to apply for a grant up to $1,000. The funds may be used to help facilitate small projects, or provide support towards an unforeseen disruption or urgent issue. Applications are assessed monthly. Learn more


Twilight Artists Market- Castlemaine

The Castlemaine Artists Market lights up the centre of Castlemaine with a wide diversity of artist stalls, demonstrations and workshops in the creative and performing arts each month. There are children’s activities, live music and food and drink available for purchase.

The Twilight Market will be held Saturday 16 December at Western Reserve, 3-7pm.

Bring your kids, bring a friend; come gather on the grass and enjoy the atmosphere of this fantastic local market. It’s the perfect place to pick up a unique and beautiful Christmas present. The Twilight Market will host young singer songwriters involved in the Mt Alexander Shire FREEZA program as well as an exciting participatory workshop in African drumming facilitated by Gianni Boragine.

Newstead Arts Hub- Create a woven boat form

A new workshop with Jodie Goldring  on Sunday 21 January 2024,  10am-4pm at 8A Tivey Street NEWSTEAD

Learn how to use natural materials to weave a decorative boat by adapting the traditional basketry technique of ribbed construction. Weave around a forked branch and cane ribs learning a technique called randing.

All materials included and no experience is needed. Jodie will explain how to collect, dry and prepare your own materials to use at home. Bookings open now

3. Ecology and Environment

On the lookout for Drought Refuge Pools

The North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) is on the lookout for drought refuge pools – natural bodies of water that stay full, even during dry times. These refuge pools are often fed by groundwater and provide a valuable home for our native species, particularly small-bodied fish, water bugs, and platypus. Such refuges were worth protecting.

“Landholders are under no obligation to tell us what’s on their land, but if they’re interested in restoring one of these refuges and adding to the lifestyle benefits of their property, we’re willing to help,” Mr Hogan said. “If you think you may have a drought refuge on your property, or know of one, we’d love to hear from you. We have an online survey available where you can tell us all you know about the pool, including where it is.”  The survey is closed but community members can also nominate drought refuges by calling North Central CMA on (03) 5448 7124 or by emailing asha.bannon@nccma.vic.gov.au.

Castlemaine Seed Library

Our last working bee of the year is Thursday 7th Dec 2023 11 am at Castlemaine Library
There is no working bee in January, so we will resume in 2024 in February.

Save the date: Thursday 1st Feb 2024

For more info: https://www.castlemaineseedlibrary.org.au/

The Habits of Birds – Geoff Park’s Natural Newstead

NKNH4If you visit places with regularity, as I tend to do, you start to observe the patterns and rhythms of nature. I’ve been watching Sacred Kingfishers along the river over recent weeks, as they’ve been staking out their nesting territories.

My visits are at the end of the day and as dusk approaches I’ve been observing Nankeen Night-herons leave their day-time perches, spreading out along the river in preparation for a night of hunting. The bird pictured here is an adult, with long, white breeding plumes trailing from its crown. A small group of night-herons roosts by day in one of the larger River Red-gums, mainly adults with at least one juvenile. I’ve yet to find a nest along the river but suspect they do breed locally in small numbers.

Read and see more photos here: https://geoffpark.wordpress.com/2023/11/04/the-habits-of-birds/

Connecting Country – Buzz Project

The Buzz project: promoting pollinators of central Victoria, is a Connecting Country project that aims to celebrate and expand community knowledge on the smaller heroes of our local ecosystems, the insect pollinators. The project has been running throughout 2023 and has included a presentation with local entomologist Dr Mark Hall covering ‘Native pollinators on your property: who, where and what they do?’ followed by a field trip that took a further look into ‘promoting native pollinators from property to landscape.’

And while that particular type of mistletoe is not native to Australia (and in fact is an environmental weed), there are a number of plants we call mistletoe in Australia that are native and have another species “kissing” underneath them at this time of year. The mistletoes in question are a group of semi-parasitic shrubs, often associated with Eucalypts – Amyema, Muellerina and Dendrophthoe species. The faunal species in question is the Imperial Jezebel butterfly (among others). Read more about this his spectacular butterfly species here

Photo: Imperial Jezebel (Delias harpalyce)

Biolinks Alliance

Biolinks Alliance was formed in 2010 by community conservation groups in Central Victoria who recognised that in order to halt environmental and species decline in Victoria, large-scale landscape restoration was necessary. This scale of work would require coordination of effort and knowledge as well as new and innovative approaches. Here are links to just two of their projects:

Latest news from our Spring Plains Watershed Repair project

Heathcote Local to Landscape pilot project

You too can get your hands earthy and be part of the nature movement here in Central Victoria. We are continually looking for more people to get involved in our work. There are many ways to help. Contact us to find out more about how you can support our organisation. We’d love to hear from you!

North Central Catchment Management

The North Central Chat is a newsletter with info about birds, trees, regenerative agricultural, water catchment levels, river detectives, landcare, nature stewards, soil moisture and much more…

North Central Chat December 2023 | North Central Catchment Management Authority (nccma.vic.gov.au)

Subscribe to the North Central Chat here.

Connecting Country

Connecting Country’s annual report 2023 is now available for you to catch up on our highlights from 2022-2023.  Along with brief updates from our President, Treasurer and Director, the report gives an overview of our work – spanning landscape restoration, community engagement, monitoring and Landcare support – with plenty of gorgeous pictures!

To view the Connecting Country annual report 2023 as a document – click here


4. First Nations

 Walking Together- Floria Maschek

Djaara history is embedded in the landscape here and embedded in ‘Country’ as a broader concept. This year I had the privilege of being guided by senior Djaara Elder Uncle Rick Nelson – winding through streets, through coppiced forest, along rocky slopes, and along remnant wetland. Locally this place is sometimes referred to as ‘upside down country’, a reference to the aftermath of mining, but First Peoples history pre colonisation, is still told through the earth, rock, trees and other life and by First Peoples who have survived settler colonialism. Ancient and more recent knowledge is shared and culture is continued. 

To read more: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qLkuj7gYCYu39Mjjd_vynwRwQX-I_ehd/edit

First Nations Project of the year Award

Daylesford & District Historical Society and Djaara Elder Uncle Rick Nelson won the First Nations Project of the Year Award at the 2023 Victorian Museums & Galleries Award for their Coranderrk Portraits exhibition at the Daylesford Museum earlier this year.

The exhibition featured a collection of life-sized portraits of Dja Dja Wurrung people forced off their land to live at the Coranderrk Aboriginal Station. It  included a narrated film led by Djaara Elder Uncle Rick Nelson and Professor Barry Golding, taking visitors on a truth-seeking journey across significant local sites. The exhibition was complemented by storyboards, videos, images, text, and artefacts that provided insights into the Dja Dja Wurrung story and Coranderrk history. The exhibition offered a rare opportunity to reflect on the impact of colonisation and forced removal on the Dja Dja Wurrung people and their communities.

The judges commented that “this project showcases impactful local collaboration and dialogue led by Elders and First Peoples, bridging cultural divides, decolonising spaces, and reconnecting Djaara Ancestors with their community through powerful ancestral portraits. Involving young children in interpreting the artwork adds an inter-generational dimension to this small-scale initiative with a strong community spirit.”

5. Food Growing, Farming and Food Security

Tumpinyeri Growers

Community Supported Agriculture based in Blampied.  The word Tumpinyeri is from the Ngarrindjeri language. Tump means life and inyeri means belonging to. Belonging to life is how we see ourselves and as growers we use regenerative farming practices to honour this.  Following Agroecological principles we care for the soil, water and air in a holistic and respectful way. We promote and encourage biodiversity which in turn aids us if things become unbalanced.

Tumpinyeri Growers understand that healthy food comes from heathy soils and thriving ecosystems. Caring for country is the only way we can truly care for ourselves and all life.

For more information: https://tumpinyerigrowers.com.au/

Orchard Keepers – PYO-CSA

What is PYO-CSA? 

  • PYO = Pick Your Own fruit
  • CSA = Community Supported Agriculture, which is a way of inviting the community to take part ownership of the crop. At the beginning of the season, you become a member and pre-buy a set quantity of fruit.

This year, we’re trying something different. You can sign up for a share of fruit in advance and then visit the farm to pick it yourself through the season. It’s a PYO-CSA! This means you can pre-buy your fruit for as little as $3.50 kg! Plus, you’ll get special members-only access to the fruit each week before we open to the general public on Friday and Sunday. Click here to find out about more about PYO-CSA subscription.

P.S. If you’d like to find out more about Fruit Crew, please click here. It’s a practical, hands-on, summer course in fruit growing. Rather than charging course fees, we’re offering a simple exchange of our skills, knowledge, fruit, and free workshops for your labour, enthusiasm, and participation. If you’re ready to apply, fill out this form.

P.P.S. We’ve also launched a new Friday volunteering program called Friday Crew. This one is based in the Farm Shop (not the orchard) and will be helping with selling (rather than growing) the fruit. Please fill out this form if you’d like to apply (the form says Fruit Crew but just tell us in your application that you’re interested in Friday Crew instead).

Two Fold Bakehouse

Local bread for the local community. Locally baked sour dough bread, delivered to Daylesford and Yandoit and Kyneton on Thursday and available at Daylesford’s Sunday market. You can subscribe and order weekly.  By ordering Thursday bread you are joining our bread family of farmers, millers and bakers who work to regenerate the land and value small scale, local food systems. Your support means we can bake to order, with no bread going to waste. With the Christasm season coming up extra goodies are being baked.

For more information and/or to subscribe: https://twofoldbakehouse.com/


Mt Franklin Organics

Florian’s produce is available at Daylesford’s Sunday market. There’s seedlings including tomato plants,  tomatilla, Chives, garlic Chives,  balinese chives, sage, oregano,  rosemary,  mint, thai basil  thyme, parsley, basil, assorted lettuces, cucumbers, peppers , plus fig trees and much more.
Pick up directly from the farm on Saturday afternoon is also possible.
To find out whats fresh and available, subscribe to Florian’s newsletter: newsletter@mtfranklinorganics.com.au


Local Food can Save the World- a short film


Watch Local Futures’ new 3-minute film, ‘Local Food Can Save the World’, which highlights the important differences between a global food system based on monoculture and long distances, and local food economies based on diversity and connection.

A number of recent posts on the Local Futures blog have focused on food issues: https://www.localfutures.org/blog/

6. Sustainable Economics

The Big Switch-Local businesses switch to renewable energy


Film Night & Talk organised by Mt Alexander Net Zero Working Group (MANZWG). The group aims to  forward the objective of 100% renewable energy use in Mount Alexander Shire and inspire and encourage community focus by telling the stories of projects in our towns and surrounds.

When and Where: 5.30 – 6.30pm Thursday 14th December, Castlemaine Library

Local Futures- Planet Local Summit

Planet Local summit- : full recordings from the Summit

New booklet for a Local Planet

We produced a booklet that distills a big-picture message into a few hundred words. Blending poetry with political critique, philosophical reflections with a call to action, the booklet is intended to be a helpful companion to those thinking globally and acting locally. You can now download the booklet for free, here

Build your own localization initiative with the help of our Localization Action Guide — a unique resource that points to practical solutions for communities across the globe

7. Sustainable Living 

Mt Alexander Sustainability Group

Mount Alexander Sustainability Group (MASG) is the peak sustainability organisation for the Mount Alexander Shire, delivering education, research, advocacy, and endorsement for shire wide sustainability and clean energy initiatives. MASG was established in 2006 by a passionate group of locals who wanted coordinated action on climate change and to support the Mount Alexander Shire Community to work towards a sustainable future. For events and more, go to https://www.masg.org.au/ 

The MASG Wash Against Waste trailer : Join our volunteer army and we  can let you know our schedule. It may be for a few hours, a single event, or more. We need volunteers to help setting up canopy, tables at trailer, put up signs with dirty dishes tubs, help throughout the event and in packing up. We’re also looking for someone to help with trailer bookings and operation plus Party Hire. Email: chrislhooper1050@gmail.com or phone 54705508

Come Join Us: Management Committee Members. We invite anyone who feels they would like to join a team that is dedicated to working towards a Zero Net Emissions Shire to join the committee. You may bring a special interest with you or just want to contribute. Either way we welcome you. While the committee has a formal limit of 9 voting members that doesn’t limit the number of members in total. Seeking a New Secretary- MASG Committee of Management is seeking a new Secretary as it enters an exciting 2023/24 for the organisation. Please contact admin@masg.org.au for more information or to register your interest.

Fire Season and Fire Plan

We are now in the Fire Danger Period, which means some restrictions are in place to stop fires from starting. Visit the Country Fire Authority (CFA) website for details. While it’s easy to put off having a plan for emergencies, it really is critical that you think about an emergency well before it occurs.

The CFA has a Guide to Survival, which provides essential information aimed at anyone who lives, works or travels in Victoria so they are prepared for the summer fire season. You can read it on their website. It covers essential topics such as: How to stay informed on fire risk days; Why you should leave early;     What you can or can’t do on fire risk days; What information to gather ahead of fire season for you and your family; What to expect during a bushfire; Guidance on how to stay informed of fires across your area.

Share your plan with your family and neighbours. Make sure your download the VicEmergency app and set up Watch zones so you receive live updates on emergencies.

E-waste at Hepburn’s Transfer Stations

After the success of the e-waste recovery pilot at Daylesford Transfer Station, electronic items are now available for purchase at all transfer stations – Daylesford, Creswick and Trentham. All items pass safety inspections and are sold as is. This work is part of unlocking circular economy opportunities and increasing resource recovery locally in our Shire.  Since commencing the e-waste recovery pilot in Daylesford in February this year, around 440 electronic items have been recovered and made available to the community. E-waste electronic items with a cord can be recycled for free at all our transfer stations.


Community Panels guide Future Hepburn

One of the major components of our strategic planning project, Future Hepburn, is the development of structure plans for Trentham, Clunes, Creswick, Daylesford/Hepburn and Glenlyon. These structure plans will guide the future development in each township to 2050. The structure plans are being co-designed by Council and the community. In addition to collecting community feedback through surveys and conversation events, Community Panels were established for each township to better understand views on housing, business and economic development, transport connectivity, neighbourhood character and urban design, cultural heritage and biodiversity. The panels are made up of residents of different ages and backgrounds who have met regularly over the last two months to help co-design the township structure plans.

The township structure plans are now being drafted and will be considered by Council early next year, when they will then be open for public feedback. Find out more

Milkwood Permaculture

Together, we teach permaculture living, organic veggie gardening and home mushroom cultivation, to help create resilient and abundant households and communities, wherever we can.

We do this by providing free online resources & offering world-class training – skills that give you the confidence to create permanently sustainable systems.

Articles on Permaculture skills,, stories, how-to guides & inspiration – for living like it matters here  See latest email here.

8. Workshops and Courses

FORUM: The Future of Firefighting in Victoria

Join Friends of the Earth to hear from a panel of speakers with intimate knowledge of firefighting share their ideas for strengthening our responses to bushfire. Speakers include Sarah Harris, Manager Research and Development, Fire Risk, Research and Community Preparedness (CFA); Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth campaign coordinator and CFA volunteer; and Jordan Crook, Victorian National Parks Association

WHEN: December 14, 2023 at 7:00pm – 8:15pm

 WHERE:Online (Zoom)

CONTACT: Anna Langford · anna.langford@foe.org.au · 0478031771

9. Communicating Good News Stories

Castlemaine’s Saltgrass podcasts

Saltgrass is produced on Djaara country in Central Victoria, Australia. Each episode is a new story, a different angle and a fresh voice. In-depth interviews featuring everyday folk; farmers, psychologists, ecologists, artists, change agents, scientists and concerned citizens – talking about what can be done about the climate crisis at a local level.

Recent podcasts include:

Connecting Country,  landcare groups and restoration

Yes in My Back Yard (YIMBY) – Composting project

Love and garlic- Gung Hoe Growers

For more info: https://saltgrasspodcast.com/

Food for Thought

Interview with World Renowned author and trauma expert Dr. Gabor Maté 

Gabor speaks about his own history, including his grandparents who died in the Holocaust, and his current thoughts on Palestine / Israel. In this in-depth interview, he offers a vision for healing personal and global conflict. Dr. Gabor Maté shares his own journey raised Jewish, and also his experiences visit to Gaza multiple times.

Understanding De-growth – a few articles, podcasts and video clips

Castlemaine’s Anitra Nelson, scholar-activist and member of Degrowth Central Victoria, reports on a recent international degrowth conference and an international degrowth network assembly which took place in Zagreb in late August and early September. Zagreb (Croatia) provocatively winks at visitors. A human-scale capital of just one million inhabitants it has grown a museum of broken relationships, a museum of hangovers, a museum of naïve art, a hunting museum, a museum of illusion, a cannabis museum, a new wave museum, a police museum, a museum of selfies and memories (mark the distinction), and a typhlological (touch and feel) museum. All in all, […]Read More…
Australian Channel 10’s program The Project aired a short special on degrowth which Castlemaine’s Anitra Nelson:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHY-8juqt1o
Degrowth is a trend that, ironically, is growing as more and more young Aussies feel the pinch during the cost of living crisis, but what is it exactly? #Degrowth #Sustainability #EcoFriendly   www.youtube.com
An interview between Jacques Boulet and Anitra Nelson on degrowth for Borderlands 3CR program: https://www.3cr.org.au/thinkagain/episode/need-de-grow-how-can-we-make-it-happen


The Andes-Amazon Ecocultural Corridor

Conversation between Charles Eisenstein and Andes-Amazon Conservency AAC’s Executive Director Rebecca Allen to talk about this conservation work, which is coming from a different paradigm than a lot of environmental philanthropy. The work of the AAC is not about “protecting” land from human beings. Rather, human beings — namely, the four indigenous nations of the region — are understood to be essential parts of the ecosystems that need protection. Secondly, the vision and planning for the protected corridors comes from the local people themselves, not the foreign NGO. Just as no organ of the human body can function if it is cut off from the other organs, so also does the vital organ of earth we call the Amazon depend on surrounding ecosystems.  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Small & Slow Solutions- David Holmgren interviewed by Nate Hagens for the The Great Simplification podcast.

In the episode, David discusses his experience within the permaculture movement and what it might look like for more systems to be designed using permaculture in the future. While often thought to be an agricultural tool, permaculture thinking is meant for designing human systems to be embedded in nature – an important principle for a future where societies will need to re-synchronise with natural flows. What does it mean for permaculture design to ‘scale up’, and how is it different from how we usually think about growing a system? How will permaculture design change as we move through different phases of resource availability? More importantly, how can the ‘small and slow’ foundation of permaculture help human societies adapt to a lower throughput future as we navigate The Great Simplification?

You can watch/listen to the podcast in its entirety here.

Biolinks- Big Restoration – the new movement of hope for nature.

Sharing our expertise in large landscape restoration, Dr Sophie Bickford, Biolinks Alliance Executive Director, was invited to speak at Trust for Nature’s John Paul Memorial Lecture, 
In September, speaking alongside two other esteemed conservation leaders, Keith Bradby, CEO of Gondwana Link and Eamon Nathan, General Manager of Reconnecting Northland – Sophie shared insights into Biolinks Alliance’s work and how we restore and reconnect large landscapes across Central Victoria, amplifying community driven conservation efforts. Make sure to watch it now

When Only Love Remains

A conversation between Charles Eisenstein and Michal Halek: “Her words shine with the kind of wisdom that is available to those for whom death has dispelled all illusions about what is important and what is not. It is my wish that the information that her words, her voice, and her presence carry may reach the darkest corners of our personal and collective consciousness. It is the medicine the world needs right now.”

Here is the audio version on Soundcloud. Here is the video version on YouTube


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