As we draw to the end of the committee year, it’s time to reflect on what has been … 2020 has certainly been a year of many twists and turns that we did not see coming. Our committee commenced with great plans for the year, only to end up taking a 3 month break from all meetings and events and hunkering down in our own private worlds. But the enforced hiatus brought with it a rethink of all we took for granted and an opportunity for re-evaluation and rebirth. It has led to the decision to build a shelter at our community gardens as a top priority instead of waiting years to create a new clubhouse. And it has led to the new Club Days at the community gardens in place of our traditional Club Nights in the Memorial Hall, and with that has come for many members of the community, an awareness of the wonderful space we have the privilege to look after in Emerald Street. We hosted a workshop last month, presented by Aaron Mears from The Living Classroom Project, to design a master plan for the gardens. Many people attended from the broader community and presented us with a stunning array of new ideas. I cannot wait to see the new community gardens develop over the coming months.

Club Nights?

And speaking of Club Nights, we’ve had queries from several people expressing their disappointment that we no longer hold Club Nights. Believe me, the committee is really sad about that also, and we have every intention of starting again when it’s safe and practical to do so. Please be patient, and understand that we are most concerned about everyone’s safety and about making the Club Nights enjoyable for everyone. In the meantime, come along to one of our Club Days at the Cooroy Community Permaculture Gardens—they are a wonderful opportunity to get some fresh air and catch up with long lost friends, be inspired by our wonderful volunteers and guest speakers, and take home some goodies for your own gardens.

Update on our New Shelter at the Cooroy Community Permaculture Gardens

This month we’ve made the decision to split our shelter project into two stages. This is largely due to grant announcements, some of which will not happen until January next year. Stage One will see the new shelter structure take shape—concrete floor, posts and roof. We believe this is the best option. Rather than delay the whole project, we will have the benefit of a sheltered gathering space in the near future, with cob rooms following as soon as we have secured the additional funding.

This week we sent out our preliminary drawings to a select group of builders from the region who will be quoting for the Stage One work. Next month we should be able to announce a start date for building works! If any of you would like to get involved by donating materials, services or money, please contact us, and help bring this community project to fruition.

Farewell from the President’s chair

You’ve heard it before, but this time I really am finishing up as President at our AGM this month! I’d like to thank the committee members who’ve supported me over the past two years. Together we’ve delivered some very positive changes and we are all proud of our achievements. And beyond the committee, we have a team of very dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly in the background. Thank you to you all.

I leave this position (although I’m staying on the committee) with great excitement for the future of Permaculture Noosa. We have a fabulous committee lined up for the next twelve months, and the executive members present a wealth of experience together with great enthusiasm and a fresh new approach. With the new shelter and a redesign of the community gardens, it looks to be a very busy and fulfilling year in 2021. I wish them all the very best for a positive year ahead and I know that Permaculture Noosa will be going from strength to strength.

Remember, Permaculture Noosa is your organisation, and we always welcome your feedback. Send your suggestions to [email protected].

Please stay safe.

Latha Matters