Ways to connect – lull but no loss

Ways to connect – lull but no loss
Artemis Pattichi

While we said it last month, it bears repeating: feeling connected and part of a community is the best antidote of isolation, social disconnection, and all other effects these repeatedly challenging times are causing.

Even if it’s connecting with new neighbours over coffee and gardening for a couple of hours on a Saturday, or volunteering for hands-on help with a solutions-focused community group like ours, connection is good for all of us.

Social connections

We are still keeping coffee time as part of our fortnightly meetups (starting outside the Boyd House of Cards cafe), so that we encourage friendly conversations and getting to know each other before we start talking about upcoming sustainability initiatives updates, then tending to the garden.

Everyone is welcome to join. Just look on our Facebook page or email us for the most recent Eventbrite link (while gathering restrictions apply).

We know that in order to consistently and sustainably put good back into the world, we need to feel well enough ourselves to start, and then feel part of a community that supports, helps, and motivates each other.

We hope you are all taking good care of yourselves and that you are taking every opportunity to visit and interact with the community garden at your own pace.

Lord Mayor visit

We are honoured to have the right honourable Lord Mayor Sally Capp visit our group and garden early this month.

Our group’s 2019 Melbourne Awards (Environment category) win came with a visit from our city’s Lord Mayor to learn more about our group and the work we do.

While it was put on hold due to successive lockdowns, a supporter of our group’s work and council participation, the Lord Mayor, recently reached out to make this visit happen no matter what.

We look forward to welcoming her soon and talk about past work, upcoming initiatives, and potential opportunities for Southbank.

Spring planting coming soon

The amazing leadership team of champions that is the driving force behind this group, is working on the next bi-annual community planting day.

As always, we welcome suggestions from the people who use and harvest from the garden with your suggestions of what you’d like to see planted next.

Keeping in mind that they need to be spring seasonal vegies or herbs and that we may not be able to fulfill all requests, even though we will do our best.

We will make this an event for community members of all ages and experience to come together for an opportunity to contribute to the community garden while learning how to grow plants at home.

Our amazing champions for gardening, educational events, communications, and educational materials, will be working hard this month along with other volunteers to make this event a beautiful day for all who want to join.

You should also look out on our Facebook page or email updates for another great guide our educational materials champion, Chris Jubb, is putting together along with our design and communications super star, Aik Chin Teoh, on how to master zero-waste living in Southbank.

If you missed our last easy-to-share guide on better environmental footprint basics, check our Facebook page or email us for a copy.

Keen to get more involved?

As a community-run volunteer group, we have dedicated individuals who help provide information and content to our members.

We are currently looking for some volunteers who would like to be a bit more involved, including: Educational materials co-champion: If you’re interested in all things sustainability and have a passion for sharing knowledge about sustainability, let us know.

The role includes co-helping with the creation of our Sustainable Southbank guides by fact-checking and assisting with research for our posters.

You will also be contributing with your own ideas. Anyone with a keen interest is welcome to apply. Email us for more information.

Educational events co-champion: Want to volunteer to help us deliver the fun, solutions-focused events that you love to attend?

We are currently looking for a hands-on member to help with organising, setting up, and creating a range of educational events that we have coming up within the year.

Email us if you are interested in helping with this engaging and rewarding volunteer role.

Watering volunteers: With meetups starting again we are also able to do watering inductions again. We are always looking for more helpers with our watering roster, if you’re interested in watering on your own time.

Thank you to everyone who volunteered to help since our last column. Email us so we can set you up and get you started!

Next meetups

Our next group meetups (coffee, sustainability initiatives chat, gardening) are on Saturdays August 7 and 21, 10am to 12pm at Boyd.

Email us or look for the Eventbrite registration link on our Facebook page.

About the group

A solutions-focused group of Southbankers working to bring positive change in sustainability practices and education to our neighbourhood, while building a wonderful community. Free to join. 2019 Environment Melbourne Award and KVB 2020 Sustainable Cities Environment Award winner •

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