Sep 30, 2009

Transition Town Lismore?

I received another email today wanting to see if anyone is interested in starting up Transition Town Lismore in New South Wales?

Dear friends
am wondering if you have contacts in Lismore who want to form a transitional towns group?

I have recently returned form the Maldives, where I designed co managed construction and trained staff to manage "Eco Centro Waste to Wealth" centre.

Please see,com/ec3global

for Mother Earth

Sep 29, 2009

Transition Tasmania

Received an email from a group in Tasmania who are working toward setting up Transition Tasmania. They aren't on the official list yet, but this is where you can see what they are doing and how to get in contact with them

If you are in the process of starting up but aren't official just yet, let me know and I can add you to this list.

Sonya Wallace
Transition Sunshine Coast

Sep 26, 2009

Goals to the best game on Earth

Our community in Eudlo and particularly our local Transition Initiative recently lost one of its driving forces and an inspirational leader, my dear friend, Yukari Desjardins (that's her on the right, me on the left in the photo above taken in June this year at our local World Environment Day celebrations). Photo courtesy of the Sunshine Valley News.

Yukari passed away suddenly late last month in Japan and her death has left a huge gap in many people's lives, most of all her young family and husband.

We had many things planned to do together such as starting the Eudlo food co-operative, running permaculture courses, studying for our Diploma of Permaculture together and much, much more.

She will be greatly missed. But we can take a lesson from how she lived her much too short life.

I thought I'd publish a copy of what was handed out at her memorial service last weekend, which by the way was absolutely packed with people whose lives she had touched and influenced. She was involved in so many things; school gardens, permaculture, transition towns, cooking, healing, health, teaching, dancing, and working within her community to improve things and to more toward a more caring world.

As one of her other friend's commented - she was only one woman, but it would take five people at least to replace her.

Yukari had had so much to offer the Transition Network. I was particularly interested in how she came to permaculture following the Kobe earthquake in the late 90's. This experience led her to permaculture and then onto Transition Towns - she knew what it was like to wake up one morning and have all services (water, electricity, gas, food) cut off and she also knew how important community was to surviving these events.

Luckily, her story is recorded in the 2010 Permaculture Diary if you are interested in reading about what she learned.

So here it is - Yukari's guide to the best game of Earth - life.

To create peace, health, prosperity and justice universally on Earth by the year 2012.

1. Speak the truth
2. Acknowledge the truth when others speak it
3. Come from love and respect
4. Leave the trail better than you found it
5. Expect miracles
6. Do what gives you joy and create joy in what you do
7. Be generous with who you are and what you have
8. Be a good friend and teammate
9. Clean up your messes, learn the lessons and move on
10. If you have an idea for how to improve the game, share it!


Thank you for being who you are and LOVE...

Sonya Wallace
Transition Sunshine Coast

Sep 25, 2009

Alice Springs Trip

We've returned from our visit to Alice Springs and fingers crossed, we'll soon see some Transition Town action starting up there.

Alice Springs is in the centre of Australia in desert country. The average rainfall, according to the Bureau of Meteorology is 286mm per year, but it is very unpredictable and variable, so growing food is challenging. They do rely on an underground water supply, but this seems to be slightly salty and doesn't seem to be being monitored on its usage.

We had a few engagements while we were there - first up the Eco-Fair. ABOVE is a photo of a solar box cooker baking up some treats for the solar cook off challenge. You can see the type of country and how harsh it is.

ABOVE - promoting recycling at the Fair.

ABOVE - a trailer full of good ideas - an aquaponics system (mixing fish and hydroponic growing), solar panel, wind generator, cacti, worm farms and wicking beds.

BELOW - a poster about solar ovens and the various types you can buy or make.

BELOW - information about food shopping and how to green it up and reduce food miles and carbon emissions.

BELOW - the Fair was set in the Olive Pink Botanic Garden which has a wonderful display of bushtucker and useful desert plants including native crotolarias and other legumes.

BELOW - native lemon grass

BELOW - an interpretive sign so people can wander at their own pace and learn more about bushfood, Indigenous knowledge and what grows well there.

BELOW - where to find witchetty grubs for protein.

BELOW - the gardens also had some lovely art and sculpture incorporated throughout

BELOW - the entrants in the solar cook off challenge

BELOW - a look around the Fair.

BELOW - promoting cycling. Alice Springs is pretty much flat, so cycling is an option (not in the summer though - way too hot). Here visitors could book in for a free bike service and check up.

BELOW - Alice is also a Solar City and one of its iconic projects is the roof of the Crowne Plaza - covered with 305kws of Photo Voltaic panels. The largest roof solar energy system in the Southern Hemisphere.

BELOW - a pv coffee table

BELOW - we also ran a community garden workshop. The community have a piece of land (about 1 acre) available to start a community garden.

We also did a couple of Transition Town presentations - for business and council.

I'll post more information on their Solar City project and the successes they've had.


Sonya Wallace

Sep 17, 2009

Off to Alice Springs

We're off to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory this weekend. Transition Sunshine Coast has been invited to be part of the DesertSMART Eco Fair on at Olive Pink Botanic Gardens on this Saturday September 19. We're doing a presentation on Transition Towns between 11.10am to 12.15pm in The Learn Space.

There'll be a solar oven cook off at the fair, and I'm looking forward to seeing (and tasting) that too.

We're spending time with a group of locals who are keen to start a community garden and meeting lots of locals and being chauffeured around to see the sites and attend some of the other events on during the Alice Desert Festival.

We're also speaking to local businesses and council about Transition Towns and what they mean for communities and regions on Monday morning before heading home.

You never know, it might just be the start of Transition Alice Springs!

Sonya Wallace
Transition Sunshine Coast

Sep 16, 2009

New Transition Initiatives & Brisbane in the news

Congratulations to the latest Australian Transition Initiatives!

Far North Queensland , QLD ( will be up and running soon
Sydney North, NSW (
Epping, NSW
Darebin, Melbourne, VIC

Some don't have websites just yet, but if you'd like to get in contact with them let us know and we'll try our best to connect you.

If you live near a Transition Town you'd be more than welcome to catch up with them and see what they're up to.

If there isn't one near you, why not start one up?

Also this week we saw the Transition groups in Brisbane featured in The Courier-Mail newspaper talking all things Transition. Here is the link to the story.

Sonya Wallace
Transition Sunshine Coast

Sep 15, 2009

Upcoming workshop at Eumundi

There is a workshop happening at Eumundi on the weekend of October 3 & 4 on Community Food Self-Reliance.

It will be of interest to Transition Towns as it explore how we might be self-reliant in food within our particular bioregions.

Led by Robina McCurdy, the workshop offers ways to:
develop resilient food growing communities
multi-tiered Permaculture design strategies
efficient use of local resources
creating an interactive local seasonal calendar
practical education and empowerment to get started
increasing local and household wealth by growing surplus and adding value

Held at the Eumundi Bamboo Forest the course costs $280-$180 depending on income and includes; handouts, tuition, basic accommodation, evening meal on the Friday night.

To register contact Janet Millington on 07 5442 7200 or email miltech at bigpond dot com

Sep 10, 2009

Transitioning Far North Queensland

We've just returned from Far North Queensland where we had a whirl wind tour talking to communities about how they might move into transitioning from oil dependency to local resilience.

Our first gig was at the Malanda Pub - a beautiful old timber building.

We stayed with locals and this was the view from my bedroom window in the morning.

That was after the fog cleared - we were up among the clouds...

This is a photo of the home...

We held a two day workshop at Kuranda which resulted in a brand new transition initiative - Transition Far North Queensland.

BELOW: here is a photo of some of the things we worked through - domains of action and zones of influence

This was in the heart of World Heritage Rainforest - right next to the Great Barrier Reef - the effects of climate change will have a significant impact on these areas.

One the positive side, their unique biosphere allows them to grow around 85% of all the world's crops.

And here is the happy group of people who have taken on the task of networking with people across the Tablelands and beyond to bring together their own version of Transition Towns, suited to their particular challenges and opportunities. (Ying, Kym, Brett and Anne)

Here are their outcomes from the weekend.

We look forward to seeing what this dynamic group achieves in the future
Transition Town trainer, facilitator and consultant