Thursday, December 2, 2010

Community dinner, update on the Chile project and a message from Rob Hopkins

So, December has arrived fast and our last event for the year is a dinner so let us have an evening of pleasure with a shared table of local food, an update from Chile on their building project that we raised the $6000 for and a message from Rob Hopkins that was delivered to the MAV day that was held around the theme of transition at Flemington Racecourse last month. We (the small Shire that we are) had 7 people from our local community, including John Collins and Jill Berry from the Council in attendance so Transition is definitely on our priority list in Hepburn Shire. Rob's message is quite inspiring so we look forward to seeing it together. It will be at the Savoia as usual at 7.30pm Friday December 10th.
Also, if it takes your fancy, bring a song a short story, a poem or a skit for us all to enjoy.
Please book.
And if you need a new something to wear, you might just find it at the clothing swap at Breakfast and Beer on the same afternoon between 3 and 6pm

Don't worry if you forgot  the Bushfire Prep working bee at the Hepburn Hollow on Sunday 28th November, it was too wet. BUT do continue to do fire prep around you home; it may seem wet but who knows when the grass will dry off and become a fire hazard;  the HRN tools are always available here for you to borrow. The hollow is starting to look good so take a bike ride, maybe pack a picnic and have a peek.
A couple of inspiring blogs, one local and one a bit further away
 Finally, the Melliodora Solstice Party is on Saturday December 18th. By invite only. Mail us.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sustainable Building Expo 13/11; Cambodian Women's Health Centre fundraising event 14/11; Hepburn Hollow working bee 28/11

Don't forget SHARE's Sustainable Building Expo this Saturday. Details on the SHARE website HRN will have a stall, so drop by to say hi and let us know if you'd like to help us wo/man the stand.

Some news from some local women is copied below about a fundraiser this Sunday for a Women's Health Centre in Cambodia.

Also, note in your diary now, there will be another Hepburn Hollow bushfire preparation working bee on 28 November. Full details next week (though you probably know the drill by now anyway)...

"A fundraiser is being held on Sunday 14th November to collect items for a group of five local women and three children to take over to a Women's Health Centre in Cambodia where they will volunteer for a few weeks.

For women in Cambodia, “crossing the river” (giving birth) is seen as the most dangerous day in a woman's life. Extreme poverty, nutritional challenges, isolation, ill equipped hospitals and lack of knowledge about warning signs in pregnancies all contribute to Cambodia's high maternal mortality rates.

Denise Love, a registered nurse and midwife from Sydney and her husband Gary self funded the Women's Health Centre in Takao, which officially opened on 1 August 2010. In the first eight weeks over 800 women were seen. Denise says that “Whilst we first went to Cambodia with the intention of supporting pregnant and birthing women, it became obvious that we also needed to start with basic life skills. The villages we have been visiting and talking with are asking for some very basic help such as how to access clean water, reducing diarrhea, help with coughs and how to grow fruit and vegetables. We are also opening a small school for 5-7 year olds on December 1 2010. A local 16 year old Khmer boy is going to be the teacher and is looking for any support we can give him. It is a school for daily living skills.” Denise is now living in Takao and plans to stay there until the centre and school are able to run successfully and sustainably without her there.

Denise has been coming to Daylesford during the past year to train doulas or birth attendants. Minna Graham, Maggie von Glesch and Jacinta Saunders are all doulas travelling over to work with Denise in the centre. Selena McVeigh and Joe Arrow are horticulturists joining the volunteer team to help plan and implement a food and medicine garden at the health centre and also plan to set up a seed bank.

The fundraiser is being organised to collect donations of needed items that can be taken over by the volunteer team in their backpacks. Items needed include packets of gauze squares, cotton wool, disposable gloves, rubber gloves, wound dressings, any basic bandages, tennis balls for schools, colouring pencils and pens, wooden toys, books for children, and used childrens back packs filled with  pencils, pens and paperstring balls, toothbrushes for children, B&B soaps, undies girl sizes 3-14 any woman’s sizes, baby singlets, non-hybrid seeds. Any cash donations are very welcome! $2 would buy a village family a chicken, $45 would sponsor a midwives wages for a month, $25 would sponsor a midwife to attend a conference. Donations can be either collected at the fundraiser or deposited straight into the Relief Fund. ANZ Surry Hills, NSW a/c name LifeOptions Inc. – Cambodia Relief Fund BSB 012487 a/c # 250001495.

The fundraiser is being held at the Hepburn Springs Reserve Playground at 2pm on Sunday 14th November. There will be lots of empty backpacks there ready to be filled with donations. The girls have a luggage allowance of 160kg. If the weather is rainy the backup venue will be the Palais. We look forward to seeing you there!

For further information on this project please check out"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Reminder: Film night 11/11; Ideas for the ESAC EDAP?? (Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee Energy Descent Action Plan); SHARE Sustainable Building Expo

Don't forget to call us on 5348 3636 or email, to book for next week's dinner at Conti, Thursday 11 November. Dinner is at 7pm, the film, Design for Life - Permaculture - The Food Forest Story is at 8pm (no booking required for the film only).

If you haven't heard yet, Su is our HRN representative on the new Council Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC). Part of the mandate for this committee is to create an Energy Descent Action Plan for our Shire. Please talk to Su if you have any ideas to contribute. She will keep us informed on the committee's progress as well. Keep up the good work Su!

An upcoming Sustainable Hepburn Association (SHARE) event reminder as well, in case you aren't on the SHARE email list. Find out more about SHARE at

WHAT: Sustainable Building Expo
WHEN:  10:30am – 4pm Saturday 13th November 2010
WHERE: Daylesford Town Hall
As a way of helping people to reduce their energy use and to promote local green businesses, SHARE is holding a Sustainable Building Expo on Saturday 13th November.   Our aim is to set up a market place in the Daylesford Town Hall where people can learn and ask questions of experts about all aspects of sustainable building for either a new house, an extension or retrofitting an existing home.  We want to de-mystify green building.
We are asking stallholders to provide clear information about how their product/area of expertise can help people to live comfortably with a much smaller carbon footprint.  We have invited our local Town Planners, Architects, Builders, Plumbers, Electricians, Energy Assessors as well as suppliers of photovoltaics, solar hot water, low volatile organic compound finishes, black/grey water treatment plants, energy efficient lighting/appliances, double glazing and other suppliers of green building products. Gary Thomas of Spade to Blade will be selling delicious organic food and drinks.
Entry: $5 adults, SHARE members and all kids free. (Sign up for membership on the day if you like!)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dinner and film night: Design For Life - Permaculture - The Food Forest Story, Thursday 11 November

Our next film night will be Thursday 11 November, 8pm at Conti, with a 'sustainable eating out' dinner beforehand at 7pm, for just $15. Please book for dinner on 5348 3636 or email us. The film of the day will be Design For Life - Permaculture - The Food Forest Story, just arrived from the aforementioned Food Forest in South Australia. (Due to recent arrival, replacing the previously advertised Oiling of America, apologies for late changes.)

Join us for this documentary about Annemarie and Graham Brookman's journey on their way to creating The Food Forest, "one of the World's iconic permaculture properties and one of Australia's most awarded organic farms."

Some photos of our last Conti dinner to inspire you to join us as well...

Chatting before dinner, a great chance to make new friends and build our community

Alexis explains the amazing feast he has prepared for us from local and wild foods

And look at the spread!

Serving up - yum!

See you on your bike at Critical Mass! 5pm Friday 29 October at the Daylesford Primary School zebra crossing. (That's tomorrow!) :-)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Future planning for your diary and in your garden

We're having another food survey meeting this coming Monday 25/10. Anyone interested in helping with the project, contact us for details.

Other dates for your calendar...

Hepburn Hollow community fire prep working bee, 10am-1pm, this Sunday 24 October: Come along and enjoy the company of neighbours and friends while we work together to clear up and reduce fire hazard. Learn some great methods you can apply elsewhere too while you're at it (like your place!). Bring a picnic or something to share at the end if you have time to stick around.
Critical Mass, 5pm, Friday 29 October: Meet at the zebra crossing outside Daylesford Primary School.

Just to note for now, to be confirmed, details to follow:
- 11/11 Dinner at Conti and film: The Oiling of America (about edible oil, not peak oil)
- 9/12 Final HRN event for 2010: Community dinner

Also we're getting ready already (!) for next year with some workshops and networking in the works... So keep these things in mind when you're in your garden in the coming months:
- Preserving workshops: How to preserve your excess produce so you can eat your yummy fruit and veg between seasons. Keep in mind to keep any produce you don't eat or give away to preserve together with friends, learn ways to preserve and share the work at the same time!
- Seed saving and sharing group: Check out your plants as they grow and keep some aside to save the seeds. Take note of how they fare in different conditions, any special flavours or helpful traits to treasure for the next season and share around. And you can even start now if you have anything currently going to seed! Check out some general info about Seed Savers networks here. Let us know if you have any great ideas. Stay tuned for more information...

Also, if you need any clothes altered or mended, the Hepburn Post Office has an alteration and mending service. Useful local service to know about!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Reminder: CSA working bee; Bushfire prep working bee; Critical Mass bike riding fun!

So many enjoyable community outdoor activities coming up in this glorious Spring time weather.

A reminder about the CSA (Community Support Agriculture) working bee at Rod May's farm, May's Road, Blampied, this Sunday 17th October, 10am-1pm. Bring gloves and some food to share afterwards if you can stick around. See the photo sent out a couple of weeks ago from a previous working bee here. Contact Su on 5348 3636 or email for more info and car pooling. Click on the Vegie box tab of the blog site for more info about CSA and vegie boxes.

Another fun community working bee coming up is the bushfire clear up the following Sunday, 24th October, 10am-1pm at the Hepburn Hollow, end of Fifteenth Street. Come and help clear up some crown land in Hepburn, to help make our community a safer place during bushfire seasons. Wear good work shoes, bring gloves and your favourite tools. We'll have the HRN rake hoes to use as well. Don't forget the rake hoes are available for loan if you are working on clearing up your place or surrounding areas with your neighbours. See a photo of a previous Hepburn Hollow working bee here. Contact Maureen for more info on 5348 2592 or email.

And lastly, Daylesford's second Critical Mass will be held on the last Friday of this month - 29th October. Meet at the Daylesford Primary School zebra crossing at 5pm for a ride through the main street of Daylesford, to raise awareness of bikes on the road and enjoy riding together! See some photos of the first Critical Mass in Daylesford here or here. Join the facebook group if you're a facebook person.

Here's Meg, who inspired a big group of us to jump on our bikes last month! Yay Meg! :-)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Film night: Bullshit; Edible Wild Plants tour; CSA working bee

Our next film night will be Thursday 14 October at the Savoia. Film at 7:30, dinner available from 6pm, call the Savoia on 5348 2314 for dinner bookings, you know the drill. :-)

We're showing the film Bullshit, a documentary about:
Vandana Shiva, Indian environmental activist and nuclear physicist, who was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 1993. It's a film on globalisation and patenting, on genetic engineering, bio-piracy, indigenous knowledge.

See the poster for more details (click the link). It should be a very interesting film!

News from others is that Alexis is leading another Wild Edible Plants tour, next Monday 11th October from 11am to 1pm, followed by an organic lunch, which is included in the $25 cost. Contact 0409 955 897 by Sunday for bookings.

There will be a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) working bee at Rod May's farm in Blampied on Sunday 17th October from 10am to 1pm. Email us for more information. Come and help kick off vegie box season!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Upcoming event reminders, some interesting links and event reports

Some reminders about upcoming HRN (and other) events, to put in your diary now. Events beyond the bushfire prep workshop are TBC, details will follow...

- Today! Friday 24 September, 5pm: The very first Critical mass in the main street of Daylesford. Ride your bike and meet at the Daylesford Primary School zebra crossing to help raise awareness of bikes on the road!
- Wednesday 29 September: Food survey meeting, email us for more details. Come along to find out how you can help with our Food survey project, get to know your local community food producers and strengthen our local food network, all at the same time!
- Saturday 2 October, 10am: Bushfire preparation workshop with David Holmgren, Spring Creek Gully.
- Thursday 14 October: Film night - Bullshit
- Thursday 11 November: Film night - The Oiling of America
- Thursday 9 December: Community meal, final event for 2010

Here is a link we've been waiting for a (relatively) quiet moment to send out, to ABS Quick Stats for the Daylesford Urban Area. The statistics here give a bit of a picture of our local area relative to the rest of Australia, which is very interesting in terms of thinking about how we are placed as a community and what we need to do to relocalise and build our resilience.

On that topic, I (Liz) must say I was quite inspired by attending the Holmgren Design Services "Advanced Permaculture Principles and Planning Tools" course on the weekend, particularly by the Community Resilience Mapping of Hepburn exercise, during which most course participants assessed Hepburn to be relatively well off in terms of future energy descent scenario capacity... It was also amazing to learn more about how to read our landscape and find out so much more about our local area, and also to consider permaculture design principles and ethics in a deeper way. What a (gold?) minefield of things we all have to think about now! I highly recommend the course for future reference for next time it is run... Ask me about it any time.

Course participants viewing our local area from a vantage point on Elevated Plains. Photo by Liz Wade.
Also on a related topic, we were recently sent a link to a Dateline report on concerns in the United States about the earth's future and the different ways people are responding, ranging from reserving space in an underground survival shelter to transitioning to a sustainable life post-carbon. Could be worth a watch...

The recent HRN Bio-fertiliser workshop with Eugenio Gras was also fantastic. A number of people from near and further afield learned how to make a fermented liquid fertiliser for our gardens and fields, and so much more. Eugenio was an engaging presenter and the hands-on workshop helped us understand the process of making bio-fertiliser and also lime sulphur, and all that they can do for our soil and plants. For those who couldn't make it along, you can check out Eugenio's presentations and instructions for making bio-fertiliser, lime sulphur, and more, here.

Last night's film, Food Inc., was quite sobering for all who attended I'd say... Makes me glad to live right here, where we have local food available for us to eat that is not all entangled in the multi-national corporate system... Thank goodness for local farmers, CSA vegie box schemes, bulk food coops, all the local folk who grow their own, harvest swaps, seed and seedling sharing and other wonderful things we are so very lucky to have right here.

Locals and a visiting WWOOFer at a working bee at Rod May's farm in Blampied. Photo by David Holmgren.
Be part of the solution and help us with our food survey project to help find out more about, and to strengthen, our local food network, and to build food security for the future. Yeah! (Starting with that meeting I was talking about next Wednesday!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bushfire preparation workshop Sat 2 October, Film: Food Inc Thurs 23 September

HRN ran four fire preparation workshops in 2009. Many of those who attended had felt quite devastated by the bushfires of February 2009 and the workshop helped them to overcome fear and worry, and to develop a sense of empowerment. Not only did they learn how to make their properties and adjacent bush-land more fire safe, but they also had a very enjoyable time in the local park-land and developed their skills with rake-hoes, slash-hooks, etc. (These tools are in a HRN tool library available for loan - see the Tool Library tab of the blogsite.)

HRN will run another Bushfire Preparation Workshop this year, at Spring Gully, Hepburn on Saturday 2nd October from 10am to 1pm. Click the link above to see the poster. Cost is $15pp (children free, repeat workshops also free if you have been before). Bring lunch to share and wear work boots, work pants (even two pairs of pants) etc. Bookings: email or call 5348 3636. 

And while we're on the topic of Bushfire...

If you haven't read it before, you can download David Holmgren's discussion paper "Bushfire Resilient Communities & Landscapes" from the Holmgren Design Services website home page (near the bottom of the page).

There are also a few bushfire related videos available for viewing on the Writings page - David speaking at the Sustainable Living Festival in February this year on the same topic - Bushfire Resilient Communities and Landscapes, in two parts. And the video mentioned in a previous post of David explaining fire-management and revegetation strategies at Spring Creek Gully, particularly relevant as that is where the upcoming workshop will be held!

Lastly, don't forget our upcoming film night. We're showing Food Inc, 7:30pm, next Thursday 23rd September at the Savoia.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Food related Film night and HRN Project, and don't forget the Bio-fertiliser workshop this Saturday!

Please remember that all blue text sections below (and in all blog posts) are links that you can click for more information...

First up, a reminder about the Bio-fertiliser workshop with Eugenio Gras this Saturday. It's a unique opportunity to learn a fantastic method for improving the fertility of your soil. Check out the last blog post and the two links above for more info. Email us or call 5348 3636 to book in.

And now, onto the favourite HRN topic... Food! Two food related items...

Next film night is Thursday 23rd September and the film will be Food Inc, showing at the Savoia Hotel in Hepburn Springs. Film at 7:30, dinner available from 6pm, call the Savoia to book for dinner on 5348 2314.

In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on America’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of the government's regulatory agencies. America’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and their environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. Widespread obesity reigns, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults. Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.
Although this film is American, the issues are much the same for Australia.

And continuing on the topic of food, we are still working on our Food survey project and we have some new helpers making calls to farmers - thanks heaps! We are still looking for more interested people to help with the calls however. You can make the calls with us here, or from home, depending on your preference. It's a great way to get to know your local community and the wonderful people who grow food in our area.

We will have a meeting for all people involved in the project, or interested in being involved, probably on Wednesday 29th September in the evening (date and time TBC). Please contact us by email, or phone 5348 3636 to register your interest in helping out, whether you can make this meeting or not.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Upcoming workshops: Bio-fertiliser and Sustainable Clothing

Bio-fertiliser workshop with Eugenio Gras, Saturday 11 September 2010

We are lucky to have the chance to learn about a method of brewing bio-fertiliser, from Eugenio Gras, a Mexican permaculture pioneer and one of Latin America's foremost regenerative agriculture experts. Eugenio has been working with some of the pioneers of bio-fertilisers in a dynamic partnership COAS, that has taught thousands of farmers, rich and poor, how to enhance fertility on their farms.

The process of brewing bio-fertiliser employs anaerobic microbes in a low oxygen environment to break down a group of minerally rich, nutrient dense ingredients from their original inaccessible form to one readily available to actively growing plants. These brews are referred to as 'bio' because they are made from natural materials and are not destructive to soil microbes. Bio-fertilisers are complementary to but very different from aerobic compost teas that are better known in Australia.

Don't miss this unique opportunity to explore this method of boosting the fertility in your farm or backyard veggie patch. Workshop to be held Saturday, 11 September 2010. Click here for the poster, for more information about bio-fertiliser click here, for bookings email or call Su on 5348 3636.

Sustainable Clothing Workshops with Kim Kneipp

A local woman, Kim Kneipp is running a series of Sustainable Clothing Workshops at the Daylesford Neighbourhood Centre in September, and the Trentham Neighbourhood Centre in October. The first one is this Saturday, so get in quick!

Kim says: "The workshops are based around my ethical and slow-fashion principles - Make, Do, Mend, Salvage, Swap, Store.

Held over a series of 2, 3 or 4 sessions, the workshops encourage participants to shop within their wardrobes - rummaging through old, threadbare keepsakes, fabric remnants, hand-me-downs, and hidden impulse-buys with price tags screaming out in unworn indignation, dusting them off and bringing them in where fresh eyes, like-minded friends and a professional perspective can encourage new creations.

They are hands-on workshops – with garments draped and pinned on the body ready for cutting, unpicking, slicing and re-stitching.

In a region where most households have sewing machines and the general population follow sustainable, green living, these workshops hope to re-inspire people to unpack their machines, pull out the baskets of alterations and join a group of like-minded people happy to look good whilst reducing their fashion footprint."

You can read more about Kim's work on her blog.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Don't forget to come for a laugh on Friday! And we have some new items for borrowing...

Remember to invite a few friends and come along on Friday evening for the "History of Oil" film. This film is such a treat (which just gets better the more times you see it)... Burst your sides laughing!

As well as the sharp super good quality loppers, short and long handled, slash hooks and the rake hoes (time to be clearing around our properties for fire safety), we now have available for loan cutlery for 30 courtesy of Margot.

Check out this video for an explanation by David Holmgren (and in the background demonstration) of fire-management and revegetation strategies at Spring Creek Gully. Thanks to Dan Palmer of Very Edible Gardens (VEG) for the video.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Essay: Money vs Fossil Energy; Course: Advanced Permaculture Principles and Planning Tools

A couple of items from Holmgren Design Services (HDS), who since the very beginning have supported and sponsored the work of the Hepburn Relocalisation Network. Thanks HDS!

1. David Holmgren has written a new essay which brings fresh insights for empowering environmental and social activism in an age of climate change, peak oil and economic crisis, entitled "Money vs Fossil Energy: the battle for control of the world."

"This essay provides a framework for understanding the ideological roots of the current global crisis that I believe is more useful than the now tired Left Right political spectrum. I use this framework to provide a commentary on current political machinations around Climate Change and Peak Oil. Building from the same energetic literacy that informs Permaculture and Future Scenarios, it challenges much of the strategic logic behind current mainstream climate change activism.  Like the Future Scenarios work, this essay is intended to help environmental and social activists better avoid the obstacles to effective action in a chaotic age."
David Holmgren  Winter Solstice 2010

Download the essay from the Writings page of the HDS website.

2. It'd be great to have a bunch of local HRN folk along for the upcoming 4 day residential Advanced Permaculture Principles and Planning Tools course with David Holmgren. It will be held at the Hepburn Primary School from the 18th to the 21st September. See more info on the HDS website, email or phone 5348 3636.
"This course is targeted at permaculture practitioners, designers, activists and teachers, Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) holders and other suitably experienced people, who are looking to deepen their understanding of permaculture and improve their conceptual skills and tool kit for design and action."
A reasonable background of knowledge and experience in the area of sustainability may also be appropriate for those who are interested in coming along, but don't necessarily have extensive experience with permaculture specifically... It should be a very interesting course!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Robert Newman - film at the Town Hall

Daylesford Town Hall
8pm August 27th
$8pp includes supper.
Bookings: 5348 3636 or

Bring a friend! It's a gas!

And just in case you were thinking of coming down to the Savoia tonight to see Food Inc, we have postponed it.

This wild weather has left some of us with lots of work to do. And Words in Winter has a grand programme this week.

We will let you know when the film is showing.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ride The Talk

John Knox is riding through Daylesford this weekend as one stop of many on his nationwide bicycle speaking tour. He has decided that, rather than simply complain about the lack of action on Climate Change, he needs to do something positive about it.

John Knox will be speaking at 2pm, this Sunday 1st August at the Daylesford Town Hall. He will be speaking about Energy Efficiency (and what it can save you) and sharing information about how you can save money (and help save humanity) by making simple changes at home.

You can learn how to stretch your dollar in the following areas:
- Heating/Cooling
- Lighting
- Appliances
- Cooking
- Insulation
- Phantom loads
- Solar power & hot water
- Transport

Come along to an entertaining, informative, engaging and interactive presentation in YOUR community on ways you (and your friends & family) can save energy and avoid wasting your hard earned money while helping to save humanity.

Sponsored by the Hepburn Shire Council, HRN and SHARE.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Our Seeds: Seeds Blong Yumi

The SeedSavers film, Our Seeds: Seeds Blong Yumi will be screened at the Hepburn Retreat Center (our beloved Conti House) on Thursday 29th July after another scrumptious organic local food banquet.

You must book for the dinner ($15) and be there at 6.30pm (remember, if you can't make it let us know because we have to pay for every booking, if you tell us too late you will be asked to pay anyway)...

You don't need to book for the film at 8pm... Bring the kids, they'll really like it!

Monday, July 12, 2010


It has been far too long since we had our last film but for those who did get to see "Food Inc" in conjunction with Joel Salatin's talks at the Lakehouse, would have found it a rather shocking wake up call to have a re-think about where we get our food.

It also presented some great alternatives to the industrialised food system that we are fully immersed in if we buy from the supermarkets.

We will be showing that film in the near future for those of you who did not get to see it but in the meantime, join us on Thursday to see Homegrown.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fundraiser for midwife Sally McCrae

Homebirth is an expression of self-reliance and a strong focus on community and the local so HRN fully supports the movement.

On accepting her induction onto the Hepburn Shire Women’s Honour Roll, Sally McCrae said
“I’m passionate about supporting and empowering women and their families to birth their babies safely and naturally the way they desire.” 

Now, our freedom to birth at home is again threatened. Like many independent midwives in Australia, Sally is facing increased pressure from the medical profession to justify her homebirth practice.

Midwife Support Victoria is holding a fund-raiser to help Sally McCrae with legal costs. Please join us in showing your support for Sally and keeping birth choices an option for Australian women.

Please join Jen and Tara on Saturday 26 June,  2pm-5pm Daylesford Town Hall supper room (back of Town Hall) to show your support for an amazing woman. Donation $15.

The afternoon includes a special film showing of The Big Stretch (a film celebrating natural birth), entertainment and afternoon tea.

If you had a homebirth with Sally please bring along a photo of your baby or family for our Baby Board. (Photos returned afterwards.)

RSVP to Jen Bray on or 5348 2216 or Tara Duffy on 5348 3518.
Please spread the word.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bugger the Polar Bears, this is Serious

The Sustainable Hepburn Association is soon to host Rod Quantock, at the Daylesford Town Hall. HRN is supporting this event and we encourage you all to grab an HRN friend or few and book a table, or join a community table.

CLIMATE COMEDY COMES TO DAYLESFORD JUNE 25, 7pm TOWN HALL $25/$15.  Tix at Daylesford Newsagency, Daylesford Childcare Centre or call Laurel on 5348 2236 or email

Rod Quantock says, “If climate change doesn’t scare you, then you just don’t get the science.” Fortunately Rod does get the science. And when he gives you his take on the physics, chemistry, biology, geology, palaeontology, cosmology and meteorology of climate science you’ll get it too. There is plenty to laugh at here, and even more to take away. You'll learn some great tips for rebuttal when it comes to the deniers and the do-nothings.

We’d love you to join us. Supper available or bring your own, make a table or join a community table.

See you there!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Joel Salatin

For those of you who are interested in food, farming and family, Joel is really worth seeing and the Sunday double presentation is a bonus. Each presentation includes a screening of Food Inc, a must see film. Get the details from the Lakehouse. Request the DMP discounted rate for HRN folk.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Food Inc.

In Daylesford next week!

If you want to know about Joel Salatin, he is a whacky, inspiring farmer from Virginia with a hard hitting, excellent message. Find out more about him on his website There are also some excellent YouTube clips to watch.

Alla from Lakehouse tells us that if you want to come to the Wednesday session, 2pm start for "Ballet in the Pasture" which is more for locals than the other 2 events, then book through HRN and you will pay $40.

Also, there is a screening of the film "Food Inc" at 2.00pm on Saturday.

Cost $12. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fundraiser Raffle

The HRN Chilean Earthquake fundraiser raffle is a list of pretty wonderful voucher prizes generously donated by local businesses to help make your giving more fun ..... as giving is always fun!

  • a delicious hour Facial at the expert hands of Marita Zeh
  • an hour Salt Scrub from Kris Syme
Tickets will be drawn at the Daylesford Town Hall on Friday 14th May 2010 at the Community Dinner and Music night : Cost $3 each or 4 for $10.

Watch for the Silent Auction of works donated by some of our wonderful local artists and more.

Please support our efforts to raise as much as we can towards $6000 for materials for a new dwelling for the El Manzano community... THANK YOU !

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chile Benefit

On Thursday 1st April we started our fund raising for the El Manzano community with an illustrated talk and a great supper. Thank you David Holmgren for the excellent talk at the Town Hall and thanks Su, the team of helpers for the supper, and for all those who attended and gave so generously .... 
We have $875 so far ..... only $5125 to go (all donations gratefully received)!

Our next event to raise the needed funds will be on Friday May 14th, so mark it in your diaries. The action will be in two parts... At 7pm a delicious organic dinner ($25pp) and music (Scattersouls and others) at 8.30pm ($15pp) ($35 deal for both)
With the raffle and a silent auction.

Let us know if you can help  - selling raffle tickets, selling tickets to the dinner (limited numbers) and spreading the word about the night (email on to your friends, putting the poster up)
POSTER coming.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Food Survey News

Hello HRN members.......

Hope you are all well and enjoying the warmness.

As most of you would be aware, HRN received funding to conduct a Local Food Survey of food producers for the region. 

The aim of the survey is to gather information to gain an understanding of the overall food supply within our region and to determine where and when there may be potential to fill gaps in demand with local produce.

Thanks to the efforts of mostly Liz, Su, Melissa, Maureen and Felix, a total of 27 surveys of local food producers have been completed. However, we still have 109 producers to survey!!! 

Can any of you help us complete some of the remaining surveys, particularly if you have any farmers or food growers nearby? You may even know some of these folk and/or are willing to talk to them about the survey. Let us know if you have a bit of time to get the ball rolling again as it is something we would dearly like to finish in the near future. You could join us at HRN headquarters and have fun working together.

Thanks, Ivan and Su

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Community Transport Grants

The purpose of these grants are to assist community groups in providing community based transport solutions. A grant may be sought for the full or partial amount required, up to a total of $1,000 , see Guidelines . Grants may be sought for the hiring of buses, the purchasing of tickets for public transport services, such as buses, trains or trams, the use of taxis or any combination of these. Grants are also available to groups that have innovative transport ideas or ways of promoting or facilitating transport in the shire. THIS IS ONE FOR US SURELY !!!
If you have an innovative idea for transport in our area, this is the time to discuss it. If you are merely interested in applying for funds to pay the community bus fuel bill for a group tour to CERES, Petty's Orchard, or John Ditchburn's wonderful garden in Ballarat
   ... either way we can model transport solutions with the help of this grant. Let us know if you have some time to meet to discuss our submission.

Fund Raising for Chilean friends

The Fund Raiser for Chile was a possible for this Thursday night but we've been too busy with the abundance of food from the garden and town trees to organise it. New date for a light local food dinner, and slides and talk by David Holmgren is 1st April ..... a second fund raiser will incorporate a community dinner and musical entertainment.

On February 27th 2010 Chile was hit by a ´Mega-earthquake´ that shook the very foundations of Chilean society. In total 4.2 million people have been affected, many of whom are still without basic public services. Approximately 1.5 million homes have been destroyed or heavily damaged, with an estimated 1 million people left homeless. Initial estimates suggest the recovery will cost US$30 billion and take 3-4 years.

Grifen (about 100km from the epicentre said on 10/3) "We are just over a week out from the big shake, battened down the hatches and secured our situation. We realise that we are blessed and uniquely prepared to make a big difference in the restoration of Bio Bio Chile. In coming months we will be living up to our destiny as a regional centre and living university of Transition fully engaged in regenerative design for eco-social regeneration."

Find images here

Can you help to invest in the resilience of the small rural community of Bio Bio in Chile, post quake, as a living model of local resilience that can be replicated throughout the devastated region of Chile?

Donations for raffle/silent auction welcome.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Some recommended reading

Hi all,

Here is a message from David Holmgren, Co-originator of the Permaculture concept: some recommended reading with relevance to our community:

Envisioning sustainable communities (parts 1 and 2)
by Pamela Courtenay-Hall and Gary Clausheide

This is very good at clarifying the difference and relationship between communities, movements and pressure groups.

The importance of envisioning 'community' (part 3)
by Gary Clausheide

This is a good summary of the ancient history of community from a European perspective and will be very useful as we attempt to grapple with recreating communities.

I look forward to part 4 at Energy Bulletin.

This could be a good discussion paper for those involved in both Transition Towns and Intentional Communities. The approach that is set up here is obviously suggesting that only intentionally designed communities can deal with the more fundamental structural impediments and oppositional forces to the creation of true community.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Next HRN Film night Thursday 25th Feb 7.30pm at Savoia Hotel 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hepburn Energy Descent Action Plan

Dinner & discussion with Councillors May, Klein & Barrell

                      on    Thursday 28th Jan at 7pm at Conti

Unique opportunity to influence this exciting move by your shire councillors to create an energy descent action plan for the Hepburn Shire.

The decision by council to take this step can be seen in part as the culmination of years of education and advocacy by HRN to get an open, positive and planned approach to the massive changes we face in the near future from the climate, energy and financial crisis. But this has also come as a surprise opportunity for all of us already acting along these lines. What exactly does the council mean by an Energy Descent Action Plan? We are not sure but we understand this is different from most council planning processes that are driven by State government legislation, regulations. This is a genuine initiative of our council and the councillors taking the lead in this process have all agreed to meet the Hepburn Relocalisation Network to explain their thoughts, answer questions and receive our input.

Don’t miss this opportunity to contribute to what may  be the most positive and far sighted action by Hepburn Shire for our community’s future.

Check out the HRN blog for a brief discussion paper by David Holmgren on the background and options for a Hepburn Energy Descent Action Plan.
Please book by tomorrow (Wednesday) 8pm

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dinner at Conti Thurs 28th Jan, Veggie boxes and Fire plans

Hello to all in this very fine New Year marked by enough rain to make us all just that much more fire safe.

Hope you all have your fire plans ready and start implementing them immediately. Have you joined a Community fireguard group yet? If not, we strongly urge you to do so. Our local fireguard officer, Jay Gardiner, is good value. See our fire bulletins from Joan Webster that give clear, simple practical guidance on what to do when in your fire plan.

To welcome in 2010 and start the year with a healthy, fun event we are having a community dinner (of vegan delights) at Conti on Thursday 28th, $15, please book in advance. Come at 7pm for a 7.30 start. Councillors Seb Klein and Rod May are coming to discuss with us the development of an EDAP (Energy Descent Action Plan) for Hepburn.

Veggie boxes are happening weekly so if you are not getting one and would like to, sign up by Tuesday 8pm to get one this week. Please pay in advance for your box.

Remember you will have to subscribe to this blog to continue to receive HRN updates. For those who are not so familiar with blogs, to subscribe:
1. Enter your email address in the box on the right hand side under "Subscribe via email" and click Subscribe.
2. You will then receive an email asking you to verify your subscription and you will need to follow the instructions in this email.

It works just like our usual emails once you have subscribed, you will simply receive our latest post as an email to your inbox. You won't be receiving any more or less emails than you would otherwise. It has the added advantage that you can then add comments to posts if you go to the blog site, which will make things more interactive, and you can also look at our past messages on the blog site.

Add your ideas for 2010 to start the discussion!

Su, Maureen and Liz

Monday, January 11, 2010

HRN 2010 News

Hi Folks,
We have now got a BLOG thanks to the tireless effort of Meg ... this is quite exciting once you learn what it is. If you still want to receive the information from us about HRN you will need to subscribe (the up side is that you can unsubscribe whenever you want). You can now add comments. Remember you will have to respond to our offer to subscribe.

Tony, Carla, Adrian and Phil playing and Kim watching... great equinox celebration dinner!

It's a new year, so which direction do you want us to head?? We'll still be offering lots of movies ... probably on a Thursday night at the Savoia Hotel, every second Thursday of the month. Su's itching to have a community meal .. probably at least around the autumn equinox, but maybe something sooner too.