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October 2018 newsletter

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

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



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

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

Voices for Indi come to Castlemaine

When: 1.30pm Sunday October 28th, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

About the speakers:

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

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

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

Daylesford opens its Repair Cafe

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

Where: Victoria Park Pavilion, off Daylesford-Ballan Rd

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

Castlemaine Repair cafe -iphones & ipads 

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

Where: Ray Bradfield room Castlemaine

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

Compassionate communication  course in Castlemaine

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

Where: 30 Templeton Street Castlemaine

Cost: $170 concession, $250 full price

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

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

Land for Life- a forum in Daylesford

When: 6.00pm, Sunday October 21st

Where: Senior Citizens Room, rear Daylesford Town Hall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meet the candidates for Bendigo West

When: 6.30pm, Wednesday October 24th

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Art of Facilitation- to change the world

When: October 26th

Where: Castlemaine – venue to be advised

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Growing Abundance Hub Garden Garage Sale

When: 9am-12pm, Saturday 20th October

Where: The Hub Garden, 233 Barker St, Castlemaine

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

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

For more information contact hubplot@growingabundance.org.au

Gabrielle Chan in conversation with Cate Kennedy about Rusted Off

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I’m doing this for them.”

Victorian Greens Plan for Energy- a forum in Castlemaine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Following on from Commons Transition workshop in Bendigo

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

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

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

Register now for this FREE event. Places are limited

Safer streets for ALL

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


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