The view of evolution as a chronic bloody competition among individuals and species, a popular distortion of Darwin’s notion of “survival of the fittest,” dissolves before a new view of continual cooperation, strong interaction, and mutual dependence among life forms. Life did not take over the globe by combat, but by networking. Life forms multiplied and complexified by co-opting others, not just by killing them.
Lynn Margulis, Wiki Quote, https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Lynn_Margulis
Virtually all intelligible action is born, sustained, and/or extinguished within the ongoing process of relationship . From this standpoint there is no isolated self or fully private experience. Rather we exist in a world of co-constitution…the future well being of the planet depends significantly on the extent to which we can nourish and protect not individuals, or even groups, but the generative processes of relating.
Gergen, Kenneth J, Relational Being, Oxford University press, 2-009, Prologue xv
- Next community conversation-Co-operatives as an Alternative Economic Structure- May 26th
- Repair Cafes– stories from Castlemaine, an illustrated Manifesto from Daylesford, and Woodend joins in on the fix it fun;
- Bob Brown Stop Adani Convoy– Report from the front line
- Sustainable House Education Day– around Mt Alexander shire
- Bird Walks with Bird Life Castlemaine
- State of the Environment Report
- Cicada Local Story Telling– Daylesford
- National Reconciliation Week – Central Vic local events
- Grow Great Fruit
- Vocal Nosh– Newstead
- Cosmo-localisation– seeking written contributions
- Milkwood– newsletter and gardening for kids
- Daylesford Culture Club
- Theory of Change Training – Bendigo
- Maldon’s Living Treasures’ walk
- Curious about climate: Talks, Info and Networking- Bendigo
- Food for Thought– Big Coal’s network of influence
Next community conversation- Co-operatives as an Alternative Economic Structure
When: Sunday May 26th, 5.00pm
Where: Ray Bradfield room, b/w IGA carpark and Victory Park, Castlemaine
Earthworker Cooperative brings together people from diverse backgrounds in practical action to solve the social and environmental problems faced by communities and the planet. The Co-op provides common ground where trade unionists, environmentalists, small business people and others work together in common cause. Earthworker’s goal is to establish a network of worker-owned cooperatives committed to sustainable enterprise throughout Australia. They believe social and environmental exploitation are intertwined, and that the problems of climate change, job insecurity and growing inequality must be tackled simultaneously, through greater grassroots economic ownership.
Dave Kerin: Active in the anti-Vietnam War and Moratorium movement in the late 1960’s before starting work in the building industry, Dave helped establish Earthworker in the late 1990’s, which evolved directly out of his experiences with the Green Bans and resistance to de-registration of the Builders Labourers Federation. He still works towards the aims of the Earthworker Cooperative project, helping establish the first union-supported workers cooperative, Earthworker Energy Manufacturing Cooperative in Morwell in the heart of the Latrobe Valley coal region.
Katie and her husband Hugh ran organic orchard Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens in Harcourt for more than 20 years before leasing the orchard to Ant Wilson (who rebranded as Tellurian Fruit Gardens), and starting the Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op (HOFC) in 2018. Establishing HOFC is simultaneously a succession plan for Katie and Hugh, and a growth plan for their farm. Katie and Hugh maintain an active role as farm managers, they continue to mentor Ant, Katie is partner in Carr’s Organic Fruit Tree Nursery, and she and Hugh run Grow Great Fruit online courses.
Repair Cafes- Castlemaine, Daylesford & Woodend
Daylesford Repair Café: Sunday May 19th, (3rd Sunday of the month), 1-4pm @ Victoria Park Pavillion
Castlemaine Repair Cafe: Sunday May 26th, (4th Sunday of the month), 10am-1pm @ Castlemaine Town Hall
Woodend Repair Cafe: Saturday June 1st, 10am to 1pm (first Saturday of every month) @ Woodend Neighbourhood House
Thanks to Brenna Quinlan for this illustrated manifesto. To see more of Brenna’s work – https://www.instagram.com/brenna_quinlan/?hl=en
Come along to the Daylesford’s next Repair Cafe on Sunday May 19th with any household items that need fixing or mending. Volunteer helpers and fixers will be onsite and ready to help mend your items from 1pm til 4pm and there will be tea, coffee and cakes to be enjoyed too, and the chance to debrief with others on the federal election, if you’re so inclined! Spread the word amongst friends, family and community members. Gold coin donation.
Repair stations include knife and tool sharpening,general repairs,bicycle repairs and maintenance, sewing and mending clothes and electrical repairs. Over the course of 5 repair cafes since Daylesford started in October 2018, 114 items have been repaired, and nearly 400 kilos kept out of land fill. Items repaired over the past few months include: chain saws, stereo music systems, toasters and irons, assorted clothing, bicycles, gardening tools, vacuum cleaners, kettles and much more. Many knives, scissors and tools have also been sharpened.
Phil enjoys the camaraderie at the Repair Café: ‘we’re all learning’ he says, ‘and here we get to know other people and their quirks, and we learn from each other’s different ways.’ ‘Sometimes the problem brought in for repair’ he continues, ‘is too simple to see, it’s too obvious’, for example a vacuum cleaner lid that wouldn’t close- ‘a repair problem that stumped all the fixers, until on closer inspection it became apparent that the bag had been put in upside down’. ‘The food and the coffee are important in bringing us together too’ Phil adds.
Jo and Elke, at the sewing table, speak about jumpers that come in for repair during winter. ‘Often it’s the sentimental knits that are brought in- a jumper perhaps knitted by someone’s mother many years ago, a treasured item that the person wants to keep and use’. Repair Café fixers darn and mend, using a array of different coloured wools to match the jumper’s colour- ‘we have the means and we can also show how to repair to those who may not have the necessary skills or materials ’ says Elke. ‘It’s very satisfying both ways.’
Jo recognises the social connection which the Repair Café offers: ‘we’ve always had people wandering in and out, people who sit and linger and have a cuppa. Here there’s no expectation. Help with sewing on a button may be less important than being in a comfortable warm place and a few people to chat with.’
Elke speaks of some people who know how to repair things but may be impeded by factors such as arthritic hands or declining eyesight. ‘Here the Repair Café can help by sewing on buttons or threading needles, for example’. There are others who need help in learning the skills: ‘we showed two men how to use a sewing machine for the first time. By the end of that Café those men were using the machine with confidence and had repaired a number of clothing items.’
For long time local Marieanna, aged 81, the Repair Café is a dream come true. ‘I wanted to start something like this 50 years ago’, a place where people can bring small items for repair, especially people on their own, people on limited incomes’ she tells me. Marieanna straight away offered her services as a fixer when the Café first opened: ‘we need these places in our society…things can so easily be repaired.’ Living on a limited income she has learnt to scrounge around, to reuse things. Having taught art in technical schools, Marieanna is adept at restoring picture frames and remounting artwork. She can also upholster furniture and bind books.
Marieanna to me about repairing a picture frame for a woman. ‘It was a simple repair but on completion the woman burst into tears and told me that the photo in the frame was her son who died a number of years ago. Both the frame and the photo belonged together and their sentimental value was more important than anything else.’
Woodend Repair Café was launched in September last year and is the first of its kind in the Macedon Ranges, “There has been a growing awareness and eagerness to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle in the Ranges, and a local repair café is a great opportunity for the Woodend Neighbourhood House to further support this movement” said Woodend Neighbourhood House Coordinator Angela Van Dam.
“Everything from bicycles, to wooden furniture, small mechanical items, computers, clothing, and teddy bears needing some love, to start with” explained Volunteer Repair Café Coordinator Jasley Wilding-McBride. “We’ll be happy to have a go at most things”. Repair Cafés are all about reminding people that so many things can be as good as new with a little bit of know-how. So, don’t throw away that jumper with a tear or that chair with the wobbly leg; join our skilled volunteers who can teach you how to fix broken household items. Come along and join in on the fix-it fun even if you don’t think you have anything to repair at the time – anyone is welcome to drop in and stay for a cuppa. Woodend Repair Café services are free, but donations are welcomed to help cover costs.
Bob Brown Stop Adani Convoy
Castlemaine resident Ben Laycock reports from the front line: The Long Road to the Far North
We set off from Castlemaine on a glorious afternoon: 3 enthusiastic, intrepid activists on a journey into the heart of darkness. We are not alone. Bob Brown is leading an entourage of cars from Hobart to the Galilee Basin, Central Queensland, some 2,800 kilometres away, where Guatum Adani would dearly love to put the biggest coal mine in the world. We stop every night at some big town or city. The next morning we have a rally and Bob gives a passionate speech and the local activists and blackfellas give us a rousing send-off. We spend the first night on the banks of the mighty Murray River, then back on the road, driving, driving driving further and further from our beloved Victoria, homeland of greenies, lefties and progressive types, into the unknown.
(Photo: Castlemaine young people with Bob Brown at convoy rally in Melbourne- thanks to Central Vic Climate Action)
In Sydney, Pine Esera and Isaac Nasedra from Pacific Climate Warriors tell us of their sinking shrinking homelands. Dr. Kim Loo from Doctors for Climate Health speaks to us all about the terrible health effects of breathing coal combined with the terrible health effects of excessive heat: a deadly combination. Adrian Burragubba from the Wangan and Jagalingou peoples explains the situation from their perspective. His homeland is right on top of the mine site in Central Queensland. Adrian is an angry man, and rightly so. He describes Mr. Adani as criminal and an environmental vandal. We roar with applause and pledge to never let the mine go ahead.
Driving, driving, driving.
In Mulumbimby the whole town turns up: 3,000 chanting, singing dancing joyous hippies give us cheer and boost our moral. The people line the streets to send us off, hooting and tooting. Six silent and gleaming Teslas have pride of place with Bob in the first car, smiling and waving like the Pope, followed by the motley crew: 100 cars in convoy, an awesome sight. We are in a Prius so are feeling virtuous.
In Brisbane we march on Adani Headquarters and shake our fists at the empty windows. The notorious Queensland cops try to look their sternest and soon move us off the road. We acquiesce meekly as Bob has instructed. The whole country is watching. The Murdoch Press is poised ready to pounce. We can see the headline already: Violent radical extremist Greenies run riot. Driving, driving, driving further and further from our comfort zone.
We arrive at a beachside hamlet called Emu Park, just outside Rockhampton, Bogan Central, to an enthusiastic welcome from a phalanx of coal miners: 100 Big burly fellas and a smattering of big burly shielas, high-vis vests covered in black coal dust. Wow, this is pretty authentic. We are agog and aghast. Most of us have never laid eyes on a real live coal miner before, but it soon becomes apparent they are not here for a quiet chat. They are milling about in an agitated state. They are cross, very cross, and we, it seems are the cause. We lock horns, deploying our superior knowledge and sense of righteousness. We point out their foolishness in resisting the inevitable demise of their beloved industry.
We assure them sincerely that we empathize with their worries for their families and livelihoods, but they show no signs of being impressed. They don’t read The Age so they don’t understand us. In fact they tell us to fuck off. “This is central Queensland. We mine coal, now turn around and go back to where you came from.”
We then have our rally and our hero: Bob of the Bush, gives yet another rousing speech, peppered with insightful interjections by our mining friends like: “Bullshit!”, and “What a load of crap”. At least they are here and they are listening. We then have a lantern parade. We invite the miners to join in but they soon get bored. A bridge too far, maybe.
As the miners leave they let us know they will be waiting for us when we get to Clermont, the little town in the Galilee Basin that is our destination. They warn us we will be shunned by the town, but our friend and comrade Adrian Burragubba assures us his mob will welcome us with open arms. His family has lived in Clermont for generations, and countless generations before it was called Clermont.
As the setting sun sets we gather for a gathering. Up til now we have all gone our separate ways to find whatever shelter we could on the long and winding road. But tonight for the first time we are having a party: Singing, dancing, and drinking of wine to nourish our sense of solidarity, for soon we must leave this idyllic coast behind and head out west, into the belly of the beast.
Ben Laycock, April 26 2019
Sustainable House Education Day
When: Sunday 19th May, 9-4pm
Where: around Mt Alexander Shire(meet at Ray Bradfield room)
Cost: $30 full price
$50 family/couple (no more than 2 adults included in this ticket)
Bookings: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=496699& Limited places so book in early. Car pooling and ride sharing is encouraged.
It has been two years since Mount Alexander Sustainability Group’s (MASG) popular tour of environmentally progressive homes. There are four more beautiful sustainable houses for you to look at and get inspiration from. A nine star rated house, a house built especially to suit someone with low income and low mobility, as well as rammed earth home and finally a mud brick one, with a gorgeous permaculture garden to compliment it. At the end of the day we will have a panel discussion lead by members of the Mount Alexander Ecohousing Group.
Be inspired by what local residents of the Mount Alexander Shire have achieved and find out how they did it. All the houses are easily accessible but if you have mobility restrictions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can facilitate your participation.
Bird Walks with BirdLife Castlemaine
When: Sunday 26 May, 2019
Where: Rise and Shine Reserve, Sandon, Mt Alexander Shire
Time: Meet at Rise and Shine Reserve at 9.00 am, or to carpool from Castlemaine meet at 8.30 am outside Castlemaine Community House (former Continuing Ed), 30 Templeton Street, Castlemaine VIC.
Join BirdLife Branches Ballarat and Castlemaine District for a bird walk at Rise and Shine Reserve, located between Newstead and Daylesford. The Reserve is a hot spot for renowned photographer, ecologist and Natural Newstead blog publisher Geoff Park. We will walk a loop on rough dirt vehicle tracks, with the possibility of walking off track through the bush. Afterwards if you’re keen for more bird watching, you can do the Rise and Shine Reserve Nature Walk accessed via Ramseys Lane.
Location and directions: Turn off the Daylesford-Newstead Road onto Zumpes Road, which is narrow a dirt road with blind crests. Continue straight ahead at the first road junction (turning left will take you to private property). Currently there are beehives on your right. Strictly speaking you will no longer be on Zumpes Road. Shortly after this is another road junction with a ‘No Through Road’ sign on it – find a place to park here.
Photo: male golden whistler at Rise and Shine, Geoff Park
Important information about walks: Bring water, snacks, binoculars, hat, sunscreen, sturdy shoes, long pants during snake season, and other weather-appropriate gear.
For more info: email@example.com, or call Judy Hopley (0425 768 559) or Asha Bannon (0418 428 721).
State of the Environment Report, 2018
Future Focus 2030 explores what Victorians – politicians, policy makers, scientists and citizens – can do to make our environment healthier as we head towards 2030. The Commissioner’s recommendations include specific actions, policy changes, and new indicators to monitor so we can fill gaps in our knowledge and improve decision making. The report also looks at the global context including mega trends and UN sustainable development goals.
Cicada Local Story Telling- Daylesford
National Reconciliation Week 2019
When: May 26th to June 2nd
What: a variety of activities around Mt Alexander and Hepburn Shires (see posters below)
National Reconciliation Week 2019 is part of the Reconciliation Movement’s efforts to support Australians in making progress on the Five Dimensions required to achieve reconciliation. Each year the theme engages with one of the Five Dimensions. This year’s theme focuses on building positive race relations: ‘Grounded in Truth, Walk Together with Courage’.
Date: Sunday 26th May 2019
Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm (please arrive by 8.45am)
Depart: Daylesford College – Smith Street
In Hepburn Shire, a tour of important sites in the Dja Dja Wurrung landscape has been organised in collaboration with Dja Dja Wurrung and the Shire’s Reconciliation Action Plan Community Reference Group.This tour invites you to experience a range of sites where there is evidence of contact from the late 1830’s between the peoples of the Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal Nation and the invading pastoralists, including John Hepburn, after whom the Shire is named.
National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. At the heart of reconciliation is the relationship between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. To foster positive race relations, our relationship must be grounded in a foundation of truth.
Join Adjunct Professor Barry Golding and Dja Dja Wurrung Elder Uncle Ricky Nelson for this one day bus tour. Wear clothing and footwear suitable for the predicted weather and for walking up to 500m away from the bus across paddocks. Bring your own lunch and morning/afternoon tea. Numbers are limited so please register online to book your place. For all enquiries please contact Rachel Palmer – firstname.lastname@example.org
Grow Great Fruit
Katie and Hugh from Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens have launched an Online Course Library, with hundreds of short courses about organic fruit growing. They are planning to introduce a new time-slot for their free “5 Key Steps to Growing Great Fruit” webinar. If you think you might be interested in being part of the webinar, please do our 3 minute survey to tell us what days/times would suit you best.
How to Buy and Grow Great Fruit Products
Katie and Hugh’s goal is to make organic fruit growing fun, easy and accessible for all. To that end, they have several free resources:
- Weekly Fruit Tips newsletter;
- “5 Key Steps to Growing Great Fruit” webinar (online workshop)
- “Free Stuff” in the Online Course Library
They also offer more than 50 online short courses & ebooks (from $9 to $49).
If you’re ready to get a bit more serious about your fruit growing and want maximum support (including unlimited one-on-one sessions with us), there’s the Grow Great Fruit home-study program
Vocal Nosh- Newstead
Cosmo-localisation- seeking written contributions
“a new paradigm for the production and distribution of value that combines the universal sharing of knowledge (cosmo), but the ‘subsidiarity’ of production as close as possible to the place of need (‘local’), essentially through distributed local manufacturing and voluntary mutualization. The general idea is not to impede technological progress though intellectual property, in an era of climate change where we cannot afford the 20-year lag in innovation due to patents; and to radically diminish the physical cost of transport through local production. Cosmo-localization is based on the belief that the mutualization of provisioning systems can radically diminish the human footprint on natural resources , which need to be preserved for future generations and all beings of the planet.”
Coordinators of the EU cosmo-localisation project, Vasilis Kostakis and Andreas Roos describe this concept as:
“what is light (knowledge, design) becomes global, while what is heavy (machinery) is local, and ideally shared. Design global, manufacture local (DGML) demonstrates how a technology project can leverage the digital commons to engage the global community in its development, celebrating new forms of cooperation. Unlike large-scale industrial manufacturing, the DGML model emphasizes application that is small-scale, decentralized, resilient, and locally controlled.” (Harvard Business Review)
It is envisaged that The Reader will be part of a generative ecosystem of projects and initiatives and will also support in the development of this ecosystem. In ecosystems, actors have some autonomy but also coordinate and generate synergies and symbiosis.
So far the editing team consists of José Ramos, Sharon Ede, Michel Bauwens and James Gien Wong. The editing team are looking for sub-editors to document and develop sector/theme specific areas, so if you’re interested, please get in contact. Transformative visions such as cosmo-localism and other related visions can only be created through our broad participation in elaborating a systemic space of inquiry. All those interested in contributing a case study, ideas, propositions, please submit a proposal.
There are a variety of different streams and options for contributions. Proposals are requested by June 15th and publication will be in December. To submit a proposal go to: https://surveyhero.com/c/cb257946.
Milkwood- Newsletter and Gardening for Kids
Kirsten and Nick, creators of Milkwood in Hepburn Springs, have released a new book: Easy Peasy: Gardening for Kids -a do-it-yourself book for small people to explore the natural world around them, and grow and eat it, too. There’s projects for apartments, balconies, front yards, back yards and your local parks and green spaces. Because nature play and growing green things is not just for folks with ‘enough space’ in their backyard – we can all use whatever we’ve got, wherever we are.
You can subscribe to the Milkwood newsletter- https://www.milkwood.net/ and find out all about growing, harvesting and eating feijoas, (those perfumed green fruits in season in Autumn). In the autumn edition there’s information about 3 models of community food systems, Food Co-ops + Collectives; plus how to make a Mobile Micro Forest Garden – with Wicking Bed; and Pumpkin Seeds- Save them, Eat them, Plant them.
Daylesford Culture Club
Theory of Change Training in Bendigo
Maldon ‘Living Treasures’ walk
When : Saturday June 1st, 9.30am
Where: Starting at the rotunda in Maldon Shire Gardens, High St
Maldon Urban Landcare Group (MULGA) is holding a walk around some of Maldon’s ‘Living Treasures’. This is your chance to discover some of Maldon’s very old trees, and also learn how to identify local indigenous eucalypts. It will be an easy walk to Bill Woodfull Reserve and Maldon Primary School, followed by morning tea. The walk will be cancelled if it’s raining.
CLICK HERE to learn more about MULGA’s work mapping and protecting Maldon’s ‘Living Treasures’.
For more information, contact MULGA Secretary Bev Phillips by phone (0407 770 350) or email (email@example.com)
Curious about climate- Talks, Information and Networking around Bendigo
THEME: Curious About Climate
VENUE: Rochester Shire Hall, 45 Mackay St, Rochester
DATE: Thursday 20th June TIME: 5:30pm – 8:30pm
An evening of talks, information and networking. Find out the latest on how the changes in weather may impact you. Hear interesting solutions locals are using to adapt.
To Register and/or to book free bus ticket: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/outside-the-square-curious-about-climate-tickets-59205293627?utm_campaign=6da2d3c8f7-
Food for Thought
Green peace- Dirty Power: Big Coal’s network of influence over…
An alarming investigation into the extensive influence of coal and mining industry and Murdoch press over Australian politics