The Seven Sisters Songline is a tale of tragedy and comedy, obsession and trickery, desire and loss, solidarity and sorrow that touches on life’s moral dimensions: how to live with each other on this earth in a sustainable way; how to care for each other and share resources equitably. It also instructs on gender relations, kinship, marriage rules and other codes of behaviour. These lessons are embodied in compelling tales of intrigue, drama and passion that connect people and places across time….It is a saga of mythological dimensions and meanings.
(Margo Neale and Lynne Kelly: Songlines- The Power and the Promise, Thames and Hudson, 2020, Introduction)
“What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?”
(Thomas Merton- from Emergence Magazine 18/12/22)
Welcome to the first edition of Localising Leanganook for 2023. This is a brief edition covering late January and into February. There’ll be more in the February/March edition. In the meantime here’s an update on:
- Annual Terra Nullius Breakfast
- Castlemaine Free University – Film Screening: The Flooded Forest
- Back to Business for our Repair Cafes
- Yandoit Cultural– Two February Concerts
- Positive Living and Ageing Network in Hepburn Shire
- Orchard Keepers- Harcourt
- Castlemaine State Festival and Launch
- Wombat ForestCare
- Stories of Transition
- Help needed to map old trees of central Victoria
- Affordable Housing Consultation- A Home in Hepburn Shire
- Indigenous Women’s Voices Leadership Summit
- Daylesford Rural Refugee Advocates Call it A Day
- Hepburn Shire Welcomes Review of Transmission Lines and Terminal Station
- Rethinking Democracy- Democracy 4 Dinner
- Food for Thought
1. Annual Terra Nullius Breakfast
When: Thursday July 26th, 9-11am
Where: Outside Daylesford Town Hall, 76 Vincent Street
The annual Terra Nullius Breakfast is on again this year, January 26th.
Please join together to listen to Country and to First People, acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sovereignty, stand with the grief that still stems from the legal fiction terra nullius, and celebrate Indigenous survival, connection to Country, First People lifeways and cultural renewal.
Please bring a plate, cutlery, mug, thermos and a breakfast dish to share on the communal table. If you don’t have the capacity to bring anything to share please come and share what can be brought.
You are most welcome to bring friends, family and neighbours, and if hot please join us for a swim and picnic at the L-shaped jetty at Lake Daylesford afterwards.
If you haven’t seen the video from last year’s gathering featuring Djaara woman Bec Phillips, here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaTgWiZAS3E&t=3s
2. Castlemaine Free University – Film Screening- The Flooded Forest
3. Back to Business for our Repair Cafes
Castlemaine Repair Cafe recommences for 2023 on Sunday January 29th, 10am to 1pm, at Castlemaine Community House, Templeton St.
Daylesford Repair Cafe recommences on Sunday February 19th, 1pm to 4pm, at Victoria Park Pavillion, Ballan Rd.
Learn from the skilled teams of fixers as you watch household and gardening items, bikes, clothes and much more being repaired, instead of being thrown out and ending up in landfill.
Look out for upcoming How-to Workshops in the next edition.
4. Yandoit Cultural– Two February Concerts
What: Raziel Gutierrez Duo- An evening of World/Ethereal original music
When: Friday February 17th, 6pm
Where: Yandoit Cultural- the old church in the bush- Uniting church road, (off High St), Yandoit
Raziel Gutierrez and Julian Harrison are a sui generis world/ethereal music fusion duo. Using vocals, aerophone and guitar the music is inspired by nature. Every piece has elements of several styles and genres – a homogeneous blend of those influences. Performances are unique in nature with an essence of open, spontaneous improvisation.
Both members of the duo are professional musicians with many years of experience and a refined expertise with their instruments. With different cultural and musical backgrounds, as well as life journeys, Raziel and Julian contribute their own gifts to the music created.
Cost: Entry by Donation
What: Thieving Magpies Band- An afternoon of world music drawn from Balkan, Scandinavian, Middle Eastern, Celtic traditions
When: Sunday February 26th, 4pm
Where: Yandoit Cultural- the old church in the bush- Uniting church road, (off High St), Yandoit
Thieving Magpies are a group of experienced local musicians that play music which includes the Balkans, Scandinavia, Celtic and England as well as their own compositions. The four members of the band are: Graeme Fletcher (double bass), Marni Sheehan (accordion and guitar), Jane Harding (Tenor Banjo, mandola and whistle) and Natasha Mullings (flute). All are vocalists.
Members of the band have diverse musical backgrounds and influences, with a sense of musical adventure and desire to explore different musical traditions. In Thieving Magpies the group play music from around the world that excites, woos, challenges and entertains.
Cost: Entry by Donation
For more information or to book: Nikki Marshall m. 0432 232 073 or e. email@example.com
5. Positive Living and Ageing Network in Hepburn Shire
Hepburn Shire Council is seeking an expression of interest from representatives of service providers and community organisations, to be members of the Positive Living and Ageing Network (PLAAN)
Starting with the draft action plan, PLAAN members will assist in developing and implementing actions contained within the plan.
To have representation at PLAAN, there are 3 commitments required:
Some homework before the first meeting; attending two induction meetings and attending ongoing quarterly meetings.
Expressions of interest close 1 March 2023.
For further information contact Eddie Wyman, Positive Ageing Officer: Mobile: 0438406538 • Phone: 0353216494 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Orchard Keepers- Harcourt
Things are starting look a lot happier here in the orchard – some of the trees are bouncing back after the intensely wet spring and we’ve been able to harvest some of our usual crops like cherries (all finished now) & plums. Better yet, we’ve been able to get them to our CSA, markets & local retailers. Sadly, the wet winter & spring really hit the apricot, peach & nectarine crop. That’s left a big gap in our hearts this season but also means we are really appreciating every single piece of fruit that has made it to ripeness. Read on for where you can buy, eat & drink our fruit, upcoming events and a few ideas for what to do with delicious plums.
Where to get our fruit Exciting – our first Castlemaine weekly market TOMORROW! We now have enough stock to bring so we would love to see your faces down at Camp Reserve between 2.30-5.30pm, look for the orange marquee.
We’ll be bringing three varieties of plums – ‘Pizazz’, ‘Frontier’ and ‘Santa Rosa’ ranging between $9-16/kilo and some of our delicious crisp Pink Lady Apple Juice too. We’ll also have some plums in at Harvest in Castlemaine later this week.
We’ll be back at both throughout the season with plums and then apples and pears so keep an eye on our social media for updates of where we’ll be.
Summer Pruning workshop!
Coming up, we’ve got a Summer pruning workshop (March 18th) for home growers, facilitated by Katie Finlay of Grow Great Fruit.On March 19th, the whole of the Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op will be having an open day so stay tuned for more details if you’d like to come check out our orchard along with the other enterprises here (Gung Hoe Growers, Sellar Dairy & Carrs Organic Fruit Tree nursery).
For more information: Website
7. Castlemaine State Festival and Launch
Castlemaine State Festival runs from 24 March to 9 April 2023 in Castlemaine, Victoria.
Now in its 47th year, Australia’s flagship regional arts event The Castlemaine State Festival is launching its 2023 season with a preview event at Castlemaine Goods Shed on Saturday January 28th from 11.00am
The launch, which is open to the public will feature festival director Glyn Roberts presenting this year’s generous program which includes a vast range of free and ticketed events and the establishment of a new Festival Precinct that will bring Castlemaine alive with contemporary and classical music, performance, dialogues, cabaret, circus, comedy and DJs to entertain while audiences enjoy the best food and beverage options the region has to offer.
A showcase performance by award winning musician Eliza Hull will also feature at the Festival launch celebration. Recently awarded the Music Victoria ‘Amplify’ award, the APRA mentorship for women in music, the National Leadership Award from the Australia Council and Arts Access Australia and The Women In Music Award, Eliza is making change in the music industry. The time is now for greater representation of differently abled musicians, and Eliza is a huge part of this movement.
The Castlemaine State Festival is unique in its scope and diversity; the popular biennial event will again draw thousands of visitors from across Australia and overseas to the regional centre to experience a family-friendly, fun, and accessible seventeen-day event.
Host an artist at Castlemaine State Festival 2023
The Festival brings some amazing artists to Castlemaine; many of them need a place to stay. Do you have a spare room to host an artist for a night or two? Your support will make a huge difference to everyone involved – you might even make new friends along the way.If you can help with billet accommodation please get in touch with Victoria at email@example.com
Further information can be found at www.castlemainefestival.com.au or follow the Festival on Instagram and Facebook for updates.
8. Wombat ForestCare
Wombat Forestcare members were horrified to discover that the CFMEU is seeking to source sawlogs from the Wombat Forest, in addition to the destructive salvaging of windfallen timber currently taking place; compromising the very values that ensured it was designated to become National Park. In an open letter to the Opal Paper Mill in Maryvale, Gippsland, the union stated that “there is a potentially viable option for alternative timber supply via the Wombat Forest…”.
On Sunday 11th December more than 70 people from environment groups and the local community came to the Wombat Forest to express their anger at the continued destruction of the forest. Ballarat and Castlemaine Field Naturalists Clubs joined with the Moorabool Environment Group, Ballarat Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation, Bacchus Marsh Platypus Alliance, Actively Conserving Trentham, Central Victorian Biolinks Alliance and Wombat Forestcarers to show their support for the campaign to oppose sawlog harvesting and halt the salvage works in the Wombat Forest. The groups called on the government to immediately legislate the Wombat-Lerderderg National Park.
VicForests are trucking our windfallen logs to Maryvale, a 520 kilometre round trip, to produce paper, much of it destined for overseas markets. Opal, a Japanese owned company, proudly states that they export to over 70 countries.Not only are there no benefits for the local community, butthe potential for nature-based tourism is being destroyed. A document obtained under Freedom of Information shows the intention to salvage 55,000 cubic metres of timber by
the end of February 2023 and this covers only a few of the intended coupes. Our iconic threatened species such as the Greater Gliders and Powerful Owls, already under pressure due to loss of habitat from last years storm and current ‘salvage logging’, will be further impacted. With Australia having one of the
worst extinction rates in the world, do we want these special animals found in the Wombat to join the list?“
By Gayle Osborne. For more information: https://www.wombatforestcare.org.au/
The Rare and Secretive Grey Goshawk
In recent years there have been a number of sightings of the impressive Grey Goshawk Accipiter novaehollandiae in this district, from as far afield as Elevated Plains in the north, to Lyonville in the east. As rare as it is secretive, seeing this FFGA vulnerably listed species in the wild is always a thrill. Although, one reported sighting was at a Wombat Forestcare member’s kitchen window, which probably can’t be classified as particularly wild. The bird in this photo was seen near the headwaters of the Coliban River and this spot has lots of tall, white barked gums, the sort of bush that the Grey Goshawk prefers. As Grey Goshawks are nearly always of the pure white phase in Victoria, these type of gums can provide them valuable cover as they perch, waiting for hunting opportunities. And with tails longer than our other diurnal raptors, Goshawks are perfectly adapted for manoeuvring amongst these taller forests in pursuit of prey.
Grey Goshawks, like many raptors are an example of sexual dimorphism, and in this case, it is the female Goshawk that is larger than its mate. In fact the female, at around 700 grams, can sometimes be nearly twice the male’s weight and it is this size difference that enables her to take larger prey items. The male will increase its prey size in the breeding season when he is responsible for much of the hunting. From birds the size of the Grey Goshawk disturbed when feeding on a rabbit on a roadside at Lyonville South. White-faced Heron, and medium sized mammals like the Eastern Ring-tailed Possum, these birds are powerful hunters. To be able to drag a ring-tail (they can weigh up to 900g) out of its drey, really shows the strength they possess.
By Trevor Speirs. Photography © Gayle Osborne.
9. Stories of Transition
Stories of Transition online series will continue in 2023, second Monday of February, May, August and November.
You can register now for Monday 13 February 2023 8pm AEDT
Join us online as we hear three different stories:
- Lisa Gibson: Transition Bridgetown, WA
- Robin Krabbe, Live Well Tasmania
- Meg Ulman, Relocalise Hepburn, Vic
In sharing our stories and learning from each other we help to make our groups and the Transition movement stronger.
Info and booking here
In case you missed it … (or even if you were there)
The three speakers at our Stories of Transition 7 November 2022 were Tim Drylie, Transition Creswick, Vic; Monica Winston, Transition Streets Geelong, Vic; Karen Majer, Transition Margaret River, WA. Read more here and view the video of their presentations.
Fashion – Out of the Box!
Kit Shepherd of Transition Bondi has contributed her reflections on clothing and the fashion industry, the waste and environmental damage, and options such as vintage clothing and creative design. Read more here
For more information: https://transitionaustralia.net/
10. Help needed to map old trees of central Victoria
Connecting Country has a new mapping portal, aimed at helping community citizen scientists to map the old, and often large, trees of central Victoria. The interactive mapping portal is part of Connecting Country’s larger project, ‘Regenerate before it’s too late‘ that engages the community about the importance of old trees and how to protect them.
Over the next three years (2023-25), we will continue to host community workshops and develop engagement resources such as the mapping portal and a video. We will also help local landholders with practical on-ground actions to protect their large old trees and ensure the next generation of large old trees across the landscape.
The community, including landholders, Landcarers and land managers, will be vital in mapping their favourite old trees of across our region. Anyone can access Connecting Country’s new online mapping portal. The portal uses BioCollect, an advanced but simple-to-use data collection tool developed by the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) and its collaborators. BioCollect helps users collect field biodiversity data for their own projects, while allowing the data to be easily copied into the ALA, where it can be publicly available for others to use in research, policy and management. This allows individual projects to collectively contribute to ‘big science’.
The mapping portal is now open for any community member to record the old trees in your area. You will need to register with the Atlas of Living Australia (its easy and free), then upload a photo and enter the field details needed for the survey. The portal will ask you simple questions about the tree location, size, species, age (if known), health status and habitat value.
Trees can be tricky to identify, especially eucalypts. If you are unsure about the identification of the tree species, you can:
- Use the to iNaturalist app assist with identification – click here
- Refer to a good guidebook, like those published by Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forests – click here
- Visit the Castlemaine Flora website – click here
To record your large old tree, or view the field survey questions and required measurements – click here
By recording large old trees you will help build our understanding of the large old trees in our region, and contribute to the largest biodiversity database in our country. As the database grows, you can also access the portal to learn about other wonderful large old trees in our area and view the photos.
Euan Jenny and Peter with a large old tree (photo by Beth Mellick)
Posted by Connecting Country, 20 December, 2022 https://connectingcountry.org.au/
11. Affordable Housing Consultation- A Home in Hepburn Shire
Hepburn Shire Council knows that it is getting harder for people to find a home in the local area that they can afford and meets their needs. It is affecting people on lower incomes but also people in key jobs that we need to support our services and local business like hospitality, tourism, farm workers, nurses and other carers.
In April 2021, Council adopted an Affordable Housing Policy recognising that access to safe and affordable housing was an emerging and critical local issue. We are now developing a strategy and action plan to do what we can to make a difference. Most factors that drive housing affordability are outside the direct control or responsibility of local government and/or the community. However, there are some actions that we can take to encourage and create the right conditions to make more affordable housing available in the Shire.
This community engagement will include a webinar, survey, an opportunity for people to share their experiences of housing affordability and pop-up sessions. The information collected through these avenues will inform the development of an Affordable Housing Strategy and Action Plan for Hepburn Shire. We’ve analysed research and data on the issue of housing affordability in the Shire – and put together ‘A Home in Hepburn Shire: Issues and Options Paper’. We would now like to hear the views and experiences of our community, and what you think of the possible options we’ve outlined in the paper. Please note that all councillors will be invited to the forum.
Read the Issues and Options Paper – A home in Hepburn Shire.
Register your interest to attend the Affordable Housing Solutions Forum which will be held on Wednesday 8 February at Daylesford. Complete the application online.
The link for people to register: click here to RSVP
To find out more about Council’s affordable housing consultation visit https://participate.hepburn.vic.gov.au/affordable-housing.
12. Indigenous Women’s Voices Leadership Summit
Prepared by Solway Nutting for Nalderun Aboriginal Education Corporation: https://nalderun.net.au/
Women’s Voices (Wiyi Yani U Thangani): Securing our Rights, Securing our Future is a project that is a collaboration between the Australian Human Rights Commission and the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA). The first two stages of the project were led by June Oscar AO, the Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Social Justice Commissioner. Stage 1 was the national engagement of women and girls, and Stage 2 the delivery of the Report of the findings. Stage 3 is to happen this year.
The aim of the project is to recognise the rights and lives of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander women and girls, and to ensure their voices are heard in decision-making processes. It promotes the importance of basing actions on the strengths and needs expressed by the community of First Nations people. Truth-telling and healing is integral to addressing the inequalities they experience.
Throughout 2018, well over two thousand First Nations women, of all ages and descriptions and every part of Australia, met in 106 engagements, to discuss their needs and views. The roles of women in their families and communities are central to the new, inclusive and cohesive society we need to develop in Australia. The carefully-presented Report of these sessions, released in 2020, captures what women and girls consider are their key strengths and concerns, the principles they think should be followed in the design of policies, services and programs, and the measures they want that would lead to the fair enjoyment of their human rights.
The seven overarching recommendations in the report called for a National Action Plan and an Advisory body, a Leadership Summit, empowerment of women and healing of inter-generational trauma, revival of cultural practices and knowledge systems, and actions based in the place or region where relevant – rather than centrally designed. The findings of the Report are being disseminated in accessible ways aimed at improving understanding and participation in the Leadership Summit to come.
The government released its Response to the Report in April 2022, supporting the recommendations, aligning them with aspects of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, and listing the relevant Commonwealth Agencies that could deliver the desired outcomes, Equality and Gender Justice. To implement the seven overarching recommendations, long-term, secure and holistic funding is essential, if Closing the Gap is to be achieved. Gender Justice is vital in this. Equality is not to make all people the same, but to appreciate and build on our differences.
It is to be hoped that all agencies, at every level of government, will listen to the people directly involved, designing culturally sensitive programs and policy frameworks for specific individual locations. It needs to be differently done than formerly. So many of past actions were based on a Western conception of ‘fixing’ the issues.
The project is now into its third stage, preparing for the First Nations Women and Girls National Leadership Summit this year. A document has already been prepared, the Wiyi Yani U Thangani Implementation Framework, to be used and refined in the First Nations women and girls leadership Summit. It will form the basis of the National Framework for Action. It makes visible and prominent the work, knowledges and initiatives already shown by women and girls in areas such as climate change, developing collective leadership, establishing Birthing on Country centres, financial institutions which invest in social projects, and prevention approaches to end violence against women and children.
The Summit is intended to empower Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander women and girls and their communities as they participate in government processes, programs and policy frameworks at all levels. A First Nations worldview sees human and non-human beings as equal and existing within interdependent relationships. Over tens of thousands of years, they have lived in and sustained thriving ecosystems.
Non-Aboriginal people, surrounded by a Western worldview that is based on individualism, hierarchy and compartmentalism, may have difficulty understanding the consequences of this different, more holistic worldview. Making an effort to embrace it will bring a thriving and united Australia much closer.
13. Daylesford Rural Refugee Advocates Call it A Day
Probably their most enduring and well known activity has been the weekly Friday Vigil ‘Toot for Refugees’ in Vincent Street, which began in 2018 and continues until this day. The last RARD vigil at the roundabout will take place on Friday the 6th of January at 5 pm.
Many organisations in Hepburn Shire are struggling as a result of ageing memberships and decreased volunteerism. Across Australia community events are being cancelled and emergency services are struggling to cope as the number of volunteers plummets. There has been a long-term decline in volunteering rates which has been amplified by the COVID pandemic according to research by Volunteering Australia.
RARD has been active for two decades. It began in 2002, holding regular meeting with bring-a-plate suppers at St Matthews in Hepburn. Members visited detainees in Baxter, Port Headland and Maribyrnong on a number of occasions, bringing blankets, snacks and small gifts. Contact with refugees was maintained after their release.
RARD held art exhibitions, food bank collections and street stalls to raise funds. Large public meetings were held in the Town Hall. Speakers included Julian Burnside and a range of politicians, activists and journalists. Other events included concerts. film nights and garage sales. RARD has struggled to get Australia to deal humanely, legally and generously toward people who approach us for help as asylum seekers and refugees. They see the change of government in Canberra as a an advance, but it will need encouragement and reminders.
Active refugee advocacy groups continue in Trentham and Ballarat.
Published by Wombat Post, 16/12/22
14. Hepburn Shire Welcomes Review of Transmission Lines and Terminal Station
This may have implications for the route of the WRL and proposed terminal station less than 15km from Daylesford and within prime agricultural land.
AusNet are reconsidering the route and terminal station location in light of decisions about the VNI West. AusNet will investigate alternate terminal station locations including sites in the Bulgana and Waubra/Lexton areas.
Both AusNet and AEMO have received considerable feedback from communities and stakeholders about the powerlines and substation. As part of the Environment Effects Statement (EES) process, AusNet is investigating project alternatives and evaluating the impact that any proposal to relocate the proposed terminal station will have on the WRL project.
If the current Mount Prospect terminal Sstation site is retained, it is probable that another 500kV VNI West transmission line would connect the station to Bendigo. If the Terminal Station moves to Waubra/Lexton, the 500kV WRL lines would join the 500kV VNI West transmission line from Bendigo at that point. The proposed route in its majority would remain with a deviation in the Waubra/Lexton area.
The most favourable location from a Hepburn Shire perspective would be a terminal station at with 500kV WRL line and a 500kV VNI West transmission line running north to Kerang. However, other communities would be seriously impacted. At this stage, the WRL EES will be submitted to the Victorian Government in early 2023. However, if AEMO decides to connect VNI West to a WRL terminal station in a different location, the submission of the WRL EES may be further delayed.
Hepburn Shire Council has welcomed the announcement that alternative options for the transmission line route and terminal station for the VNI West project are being considered. “Council is incredibly supportive of reliable renewable energy,” said Mayor, Cr Brian Hood, “but these projects will be part of communities for decades to come. They need to be well-planned and thought out. This has not been the case for VNI West nor the Western Renewables Link to date,” said Cr Hood. “We have worked closely with our community to oppose this project and this review is a positive sign that we may be listened to,” he said.
“The very large terminal station and power lines up to 80m high would be an incredible blight on our landscapes and have considerable adverse impacts on the highly-valuable and productive agricultural land in our Shire.” While no decision has been made to change the proposed location, Council is optimistic that the review opens the opportunity for a rethink of the project. “We are grateful that levels of government are listening to our community’s concerns with this project and will be very interested in the alternative options that they propose,” he said.
Published in the Wombat Post 16/12/22
15. Rethinking Democracy- Democracy 4 Dinner
You can subscribe to Castlemaine’s Rethinking Democracy newsletter and posts . The posts are part of Democracy for Dinner’s new channel ‘Rethinking Democracy’, all about what is working in democracy, what isn’t and how we can keep citizens at the centre.
16. Food for Thought
16.1 On the Road with Thomas Merton – Emergence Magazine 18/12/22
16.2 Wetland Bounty – Natural Newstead Blog Post: https://geoffpark.wordpress.com/
16.3 New podcast episode – Dr. Iain McGilchrist – Rediscovering wisdom in a world gone mad