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January 2020 newsletter

“It is difficult to relinquish the illusions of power and delusions of exceptionalism that come with privilege. But is it strangely liberating to realise your true status as a single node in a cooperative network. There is honour to be found in this role and a certain dignified agency. You won’t be swallowed up by a hive mind or lose your individuality – you will retain your autonomy while simultaneously being profoundly interdependent and connected. In fact sustainable systems cannot function without the full autonomy and unique expression of each independent part of the interdependent whole.”

Tyson Yunkaporta, Sand Talk, p98 (Text Publishing, 2019)


Welcome to Localising  Leanganook’s first e-news for 2020. This is a relatively brief e-news with more to come in our February edition. Email us with items to be included in February’s e-news.

Read on to find out about:

  1. Classical Guitar & Violin concerts at Yandoit’s historic Uniting Church
  2. Annual Terra Nullius breakfast- Daylesford
  3. Community campaign- Hepburn’s Local Laws Review
  4. Repair Cafes- upcoming dates and sustainability prize for Daylesford’s Cafe
  5. Local Lives Global Matters 2020- A convergence to focus on insight and action
  6. Castlemaine’s weekly farmers market
  7. Daylesford’s Culture Club
  8. Mt Alexander’s climate forum & emergency
  9. Share farming opportunity near Beaufort
  10. Natural bee keeping group starting in Daylesford
  11. Cooperation- a way of living for ourselves & the planet- next steps for central Victoria
  12. Bird monitoring with Connecting Country
  13. Central Vic Climate Action and Rally
  14. Wild Fennel – Daylesford

Classical Guitar & Violin concerts at Yandoit’s historic Uniting Church

Date: Thursday January 16th, 2020

Times: 3 concerts – 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm

Where: Yandoit Uniting Church, Uniting Church Rd, Yandoit

Cost: Adults: $35/30; Students: $5

Yandoit Uniting Church, in collaboration with Ballarat Fine Music Festival, is hosting 3 concerts. Internationally renowned Italian classical musicians- Paolo Tagliomenti on violin and Massimo Scattolin on guitar – will play compositions by Paganini, Giuliani, and Sarasate. Yandoit’s historic church, built in the 1870’s, seats around 100 and is an intimate setting with excellent acoustics. The same concert will be performed three times. Coffee, tea and cake will be served at Yandoit’s near-by community hall for concert goers. Funds contribute to keeping this beautiful church in community hands.

For more information: www.ballaratorgans.com.au   or nikki.marshall@mmnet.com.au

Annual Terra Nullius Breakfast- Daylesford

Photo: 2019 breakfast-
When: Sunday, 26 January, 2020, 9am – 11am
Where: Outside Daylesford Town Hall

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 birth 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 use 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. This is not a protest, it is an overdue acknowledgement of our history, a ‘fessing up to what the state of Australia stands upon.

Bring a dish to share for breakfast, a thermos of tea or coffee, crockery and cutlery, and a sun hat. This is a waste free event .

Community campaign- Hepburn’s Local Laws review

Hundreds of concerned residents from across Hepburn shire, along with dozens of community organisations, have issued an Open Letter to Hepburn Shire Council over the failure to engage in a proper community consultation process regarding overreaching Local Laws.

The letter calls for Hepburn Shire Council to form a working group with residents to redraft the law – General Local Law No.2: Community Amenity & Municipal Places (draft), and to take seriously the concerns raised in over 100 submissions the council has received on the matter.

Spokesperson for concerned residents of the shire, Dr Patrick Jones, said, “The process of drafting these laws has been in the hands of council officers and lawyers from Melbourne. Council has effectively sidelined our repeated requests for them to work with the broader community to create bespoke laws that represent the unique culture of the shire.”

Residents can’t believe the overreach. The new definitions for ‘a public place’ and ‘event,’ for example, mean that residents will be subject to ever increasing permits, regulations and penalties. A permit will be required, and potentially refused, for residents to clean up fuel loads in their neighbourhoods, and forage for mushrooms or blackberries or wild apples on public land. Horses and their riders won’t be able to ride into town, and the right to freely assemble to celebrate, protest or even sing in a public place as a group, just for the joy of it, could all be subject to permits and thus could be refused. Salvaging material from the tip to be re-purposed, thereby reducing waste to landfill, will also be prohibited.

Community members believe that currently drafted local laws will impose burdensome compliance requirements and give the impression that various prohibited activities carry more risk than our experience has shown. We are concerned about the chilling effect the law will have on the many (currently unregulated) social activities that bring our community together in the Shire’s public places.

Further, given the climate emergency we have entered, which is amplified by the current bushfire crisis, there is a strong need and a matched local desire in our Shire for more community-led engagement around protection and management of shared assets. To unlock this potential for greater voluntary participation across the Shire, we need to see bespoke laws that seek to mainstream rather than prohibit this potential.

To find out more, to view community submissions, to receive updates, and add your name to the open letter, go to: www.hepburncommunity.org

Repair Cafes- next dates & sustainability award

Daylesford: Sunday January 19th, 1-4pm, @ Victoria Park Pavillion

Castlemaine: Sunday February 16th, 10am-1pm, @Castlemaine Town Hall

Bendigo: Saturday 18th January, 11am to 3pm, @ The Old Church on the Hill

Woodend: Sunday February 2nd, 10am -1pm @ Neighbourhood House

Ballarat: Saturday February 29th, 1pm to 4pm @ Ballarat Tech School, 136 Albert Street

Daylesford wins sustainability prize for New Year’s Eve float 

Daylesford’s Repair Café fixers and supporters gathered on the last day of the decade to be part of the traditional New Year’s Eve parade, joined by Hepburn Relocalisation Network and Daylesford Community Gardeners. The theme for the ‘float’ was repair and repurpose, recycling and upcycling. From young babies to those in their 80’s, and led by seven-year old Woody on his bike, the float walked two circuits of Vincent street, cheered along by the crowd. Wearing screw drivers and assorted tools, and dressed in costumes of recycled materials, the repairers chanted- ‘Can we fix it? YES WE CAN!’, inspired by  the children’s TV show ‘Bob the Builder’, while parade watchers joined in.

The Repair and Repurpose float won Hepburn Wind’s Sustainability Prize – contributing $100 to the ongoing work of Daylesford’s Repair Café.

The float proudly showed that the Repair Café has saved 1 tonne from landfill during its first year of operation.

Come and join the Repair Cafe teams around central Victoria, bring items for repair and meet skilled fixers: ranging from mechanical repairs, to timber, to clothes, to electrical, to bicycle as well as general repairs. New fixers and supporters are always welcome and those keen to learn the art of repair can watch skilled crafts-people at work. Enjoy a cuppa and cake while items are being repaired. Cafés are accessible to all with entry by donation.

Local Lives Global Matters 2020 Convergence

Following on from the successful conference in 2015, Local Lives Global Matters 2020, A Convergence to focus on Insight and Action will be held over the last weekend in March 2020, from Friday 27th to Sunday 29th.

The world stands on a precipice and we are facing an extended period of challenge and change. Convergence 2020 is being organised to rekindle and extend the energy generated at the 2015 Local Lives Global Matters Conference. It will  bring together Central Victorian communities in a transformative process to better meet the challenges ahead.

We are living in a world driven by greed, extraction and growth which has brought us to the brink of social, economic and environmental collapse. The Dja Dja Wurrung have borne the brunt of this damage. They also hold knowledge of how to nurture and sustain the land we live and work on.

Local Lives Global Matters 2020 is underpinned by a deep change approach rather than doing ‘more of the same’.  It’s time to make sense of the crises we face; to collaborate and connect; to take deeper, further and faster action; to build resilience and embed deep adaptation; to transform ourselves and our communities; and to support each other as we relinquish what we need to let go of and restore and create what will sustain us.

The Convergence 2020 organising group is calling for people, groups and organisations to attend and contribute. The following framework is designed to inspire and challenge us in our thinking:

Head:    What is the latest knowledge? How do we make sense of the crisis we face? What do we need to un-learn?

Heart: What do we need to let go of or strengthen? What are we grieving and what are we thankful for?

Spirit:    What stories do we need to guide us? ? How do we more deeply connect to the land and each other?

Hands:  Where do I put my energies now and with whom? What can we restore and what do we need to create ?

Contact John Terry for session proposal forms- mob: 0432 593 514;  email:johnterry@gcom.net.au

Contact Natalie Moxham 0448 372 466 or Laurel Freeland 0498 066 660 if you’d like to discuss your contribution further.

Closing date for session proposals is February 19th.

Further information will be available soon on Localising Leanganook’s website: leanganook.org.

Castlemaine’s weekly farmers market

When: Every Wednesday afternoon – 3.30 to 6.30pm

Where: Frederick Street on grass verge b/w Market Building and RSL

The weekly market continues to grow since it started towards the end of last year. The market provides fresh, local, seasonal food. This hyper-local weekly farmers market is a new venture in cooperation with the Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op. Every Wednesday you can get your weekly market basics, including fresh, seasonal vegetables, fruit, bread, dairy, honey, eggs, meat, wine and more.

You can either shop for what appeals on the day, or pick up online pre-orders (pre-order via each stallholder’s website, facebook page or phone number directly).

The market encourages regenerative farming practices and provides a launch pad for new farmers and producers. Mt Alexander Shire producers are prioritised, with farmers close by our shire accepted on a case by case basis.

In addition to the weekly market the monthly Sunday farmers market continues on the first Sunday of each month, starting back again on Sunday February 2nd.

Daylesford’s Culture Club

When: Saturday February 1 from 9.30am – 12.30pm

Where: Senior Citizen’s Hall (rear Daylesford Town Hall)

Annual Community Pickling Day. Details to come soon on www.relocalisehepburn.blogspot.com

Here’s a pictorial summary of November’s Culture Club focusing on wild fermented drinks. Thanks to Brenna Quinlan.

Mt Alexander Shire- Climate Forum & Emergency

Council encouraged members of the community to speak or make a written submission in December 2019 to help inform its future action on climate change.

Many people in this region want to see quick and decisive action around climate change mitigation and adaptation.  This forum was an opportunity to express fears, worries and concerns and describe what locals see as the priorities. There were 49 presentations at the forum and Council received nearly 90 submissions representing a range of community views. Council also received a petition started by the Mount Alexander Climate Emergency Team.

Castlemaine resident Trevor Scott made a verbal submission and listened while others presented. Here is his brief report:

“At a recent meeting of Mount Alexander Shire Council, a petition calling on council to declare a climate emergency was presented. Further to the meeting, a forum was held on 9th December 2019, giving citizens an opportunity to present their views on this.

Those that spoke at the forum were all residents and included farmers, scientists, engineers, psychologists, doctors etc. They represented such institutions and groups as CSIRO, RMIT, Doctors for a Safe Climate, ACF, local Landcare, climate action etc.

All agreed on the need to reduce emissions and many, many ideas for reducing them were put forward- from removing paving and planting trees; to riding the bike instead of driving to town. All were extremely anxious about the rampant bushfires that have been burning uncontrollably in Australia since last August. Many said that this threat to us and to the lives of future generations is only going to get worse. All expressed the urgent need for action.”

After the forum Councillors voted to declare a climate emergency recognising that urgent action is needed to address the current and future impacts of climate change on the health, economy and well-being of the local community and its environment.

“In making the declaration, Council recognises that action will need to come from all parts of the community over many years to reduce greenhouse emissions, adapt to the changing environment and manage an increasing number and intensity of emergencies.”

Council resolved to act on the urgency in several ways including: the implementation of roadmap to lead to zero net emissions for operations by 2025;  introducing a climate change lens in the design and construction of infrastructure, the planning and implementation of services and the development of policies and strategies.

Council will also identify the best ways to tap into the expertise and enthusiasm of its communities, and commits to working with the community to reduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

Mount Alexander Shire Council Mayor Christine Henderson said it was big decision for Council with so much uncertainty about the future and potential risks:“One thing that is certain is that urgent action and leadership on climate change is needed now, from all levels of Government. Council is already investing in climate change in areas such as renewable energy, water management, infrastructure and emergency management.

Share farming opportunity in Beaufort area

“I am a farmer, looking for someone who wants to grow mostly plant food and fibre for humans while shifting to living and working with drastically reduced fossil fuel use in all goods and services we use. ‘Mob stocking’ is part of this. I’m wanting to carefully renovate a few buildings to be more fire proof on the farm where I live, near Beaufort, and to develop low tech local transport around farm.  Accommodation can be part of a share-farming arrangement. Looking for someone prepared to learn and share with me in more careful  and more beautiful but sometimes less comfortable and less “convenient” ways of doing things so we can have a future. Looking for someone with some knowledge of permaculture and natural sciences. Also interested in letting native remnants recover.”

If you are interested in any parts of this, please drop me a line at fixfreewayfiasco@gmail.com

Natural bee keeping group starting in Daylesford

Introducing Apis, the newest member of the Hepburn Relocalisation Network family – a free informal community group whose aim is to encourage people to learn more about European honey bees and how to care for them.

Natural beekeeping is a bee-first approach that prioritises the health of bees, allowing them to build natural honey comb. The result is happy, immune-robust bees and delicious raw honey that is harvested only when sufficient honey is available.

Rather than focussing on taking from the bees, natural beekeeping is equally about giving back, where bees are given the freedom to:

  • construct natural comb,
  • determine their own cell size, population mix, colony size,
  • rear their own queens and drones, and
  • swarm

To kick things off Apis is hosting a potluck dinner and short film night where we will decide where and how often we will meet, and what natural beekeeping methods we’d like to focus on.

The details of the dinner are:

Friday February 7,  6.30pm – 9pm
6 Tierneys Lane, Daylesford
No need to RSVP, just come along

BYO dish to share for dinner (with as many local ingredients as possible) plus a plate & cutlery. Please note this is a waste free event so no single use plastic please.

You do not need to have any prior bee-keeping experience or knowledge. If you are thinking about keeping bees, or are simply fascinated by these magical, mythical creatures please come along.

Cooperation- a way of living for ourselves & the planet- next steps

Following on from the successful workshop in November, an audit of existing cooperatives  and potential manufacturing and service cooperatives across central Victoria is being undertaken. There will be an informal brainstorming session and audit of local resources with potential to support future cooperatives. Tentative date is Saturday afternoon, February 15th, in Castlemaine.

The February edition of Localising Leanganook’s e-news will provide more details.

Bird monitoring with Connecting Country

Connecting Country’s long-term bird monitoring program was established to investigate the effects of habitat restoration on woodland birds. The 2019 monitoring season was supported by funding from the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust as part of the Habitat Health Check project.

Connecting Country is on the lookout for more volunteer bird monitors! If you have bird identification skills and are interested in joining our bird monitoring program, please email our Monitoring Coordinator, Jess Lawton (jess@connectingcountry.org.au).

Central Vic Climate Action and Rally 

A report from Trevor Scott: SACK SCOMO RALLY
Late-night shoppers and commuters were greeted last Friday by a sea of umbrellas outside the National Library in Swanston Street, Melbourne. In the wake of the tragic December-January fires, thousands of people gathered in Melbourne and other main centres and called for the resignation of Scott Morrison and his government. In spite of the fact that it was a wet and cold evening, an estimated 5-10,000 people gathered together, sending a powerful message to Scott Morrison that they want immediate action on climate change, not more lies about Australia meeting its Paris emissions targets “at a canter”.
People at the rally spoke with anger and disgust about the inaction of government.
The rally was followed by a march down Swanston, Bourke and Elizabeth Streets, and the reaction of onlookers was very positive. It seems right now that the whole of Australia is grieving and, at the same time, yearning for the transition to renewable energy we so desperately need.

Wild Fennel- Daylesford

When:Saturday February 15 from 9.30am – 12.30pm
Where: Senior Citizen’s Hall (rear Daylesford Town Hall)
Wild Fennel is back for its first workshop of the year. The theme for February is lavender.
Below ,thanks to Brenna Quinlan, is an illustrated recording of Wild Fennel’s workshop last October on bitter plants, in particular artichokes.
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