We have had a full and ful-filling year, weaving our way among the obstacles of COVID and other vagaries of life.
Continuing our online education events (now called Community Café) we hosted some creative and hard-hitting presentations on ‘climate’ – Climate Parties (yes it’s fun becoming informed, with a bunch of buddies!), Food in a Changing World, Climate and Creativity (with a panel of nine local artists), the Aboriginal Carbon Fund, a pop-up Plastic Free July mini film-festival and a rousing Q&A with local celebrity, explorer and activist Sarah Wilson.
Other goodies have been postponed til 2022: online with Veena Sahajwalla (materials recycling guru), and a Water expert now working in communities in India, on a panel with a water enthusiast on our Steering Group.
Our curated Inner Transition stream strengthened the ‘heart’ dimension of our work (NB the Transition Network has a lot of time for ‘the inner’ as the foundation for the ‘outer’). While the ‘hands’ kept delving and growing things in the garden, and the ‘head’ was nourished by our education events. Topics were: Happiness, Ayurvedic nutrition, Six Thinking Hats, Meditation and Climate Activism, and Creative Play – a mental health tonic.
Continuing the theme of creativity, we hosted local author Robyn Edwards to speak about the writing process for her engaging novel Blue Wave Bondi. (We can access copies of the book).
Community composting remains a central activity in our community garden, along with sharing knowledge and skills with the regular volunteers. This year, we’ve made about 1000Kg rich soil/compost from the scraps of local residents and local restaurant Thai Fire Fry plus coffee grounds from The TinPin Bakery. To do this we diverted over 1700 litres of waste food from landfill (and avoided subsequent methane production via decomposition in landfill.)
We’re proud of our Digital Garden Plan with rotational cropping system, and our online Seed Catalogue and Seed Library, nicely stored in a bar-fridge that Jade found on the side of the road. We had to say goodbye to Jade, the garden’s champion for the past two years, as she and her partner left Sydney.
We participated in the annual citizen-science project – Pollinator Count, and we held a workshop called “Introduction to Native Bee Keeping” in our garden.
Farmers Markets were closed much of the year so we didn’t have the opportunity to spruik our ‘wares’ and engage passer-by in climate conversations. Mylene revived Responsible Runners – exercising along with plastic waste collection – in beach locations in the East. And managed to keep that running network connected during lockdowns.
Several new volunteers have brought with them much needed skills and leadership – in Social Media and Marketing, Website Management, Newsletter Production, Strategic Planning, and Process Management. Our team is scrubbing up to be more efficient and present in the public realm (even the digital immigrants among us), which will help us run even more smoothly.
And three volunteers who had stepped away for a few years have returned, with gusto; that is very heartening, and adds depth to our base. Our graphic designer is one of them as is Lance Lieber, one of the founders of Transition Sydney and Transition Bondi.
Other long term volunteers add their skills and enthusiasm to help with admin, marketing, communication and volunteer management.
Our Finances and Governance team have kept us on the rails, and are shaping up with new ideas and systems.
Outside our Bondi Bubble, we’ve been happy to partner again with Council and other local environmental groups, under the name Collaboration for Impact. Summerama and Plastic Free July ‘festivals’ are regular joint efforts, working toward raising awareness and encouraging our community to respect the environment and our neighbourhoods through thoughtful daily decisions and behaviours.
Three councils – Waverley, Randwick and Woollahra have brought together their local environmental groups for joint events, to strengthen the outcomes of what we all do. And verge gardens seem to be popping up rapidly, with Council support. This gets more of us city folk involved in growing food in our urban environment.
Transition Bondi is a project of Transition Sydney (we come under their auspices for insurance and incorporation), and that umbrella is extending to one or two other groups in the Sydney basis.
Beyond Sydney we also have links with rural NSW; an old friend of the group who enjoyed coming to our events 8 years ago, has moved to Dubbo and is establishing a Transition Group there.
And on a broader level, Transition Australia – a group based in Melbourne – built a website a few years ago, allowing groups all round the country to hear and find out about each other. We have regular contact with them, at their monthly online Conversation Café. Anyone who wants to tap into an Australia-wide network for sharing stories and support about environmental activities, is welcome to attend those zoom conversations.
Transition Bondi was acknowledged through the Local Hero Award, that landed on ‘yours truly’ and I’m very happy to be convening the project, meeting and working with keen and capable people, putting our shoulders to the wheel and enjoying each other in the process.
Speaking of enjoyment! We hold Community Dinners every month and love it when people come along, to meet each other and widen our circle of contacts and collaborators.
Keep a look out for our events for next year, after a break.
Hearty thanks to everyone who has taken an interest in what we do, contributing in the various ways that you enjoy. We look forward to your input and participation again in 2022.
Go well till then.