About Sustainable Macleod
Sustainable Macleod is part of the worldwide Transition Movement. Projects by Sustainable Macleod include the highly successful Vegie Swap, now in its ninth year, the Macleod Organic Community Garden, established in 2015, a development of a Tool Library and seed bank for members and a yearly local auction and sale of plants raised in the Garden.
Sustainable Macleod aims to build a resilient local community, encouraging residents to shop locally, produce and share their own food, use environmentally-friendly transport and undertake other activities to promote sustainability.
Our mission and goals
- Create a connected, safe and supportive community for Macleod and surrounding suburbs
- Build a resilient local economy and encourage residents to shop locally and use local services
- Produce and share food and provide opportunities to learn gardening skills
- Use environmentally-friendly transport
- Promote alternative energies including solar and support Banyule City Council in achieving zero emissions
- Help reduce climate change and its impacts
- Support biodiversity in Banyule
How we got started
In September 2011, Paul and Robin Gale-Baker and Marina Bistrin were inspired to start a vegie swap in Macleod. The next month, 11 people attended the first Macleod vegie swap and soon after Sustainable Macleod was launched. Each of our monthly vegie swaps were followed by a workshop on an aspect of gardening. Attendance at the swap averaged 50 with special events boosting the number to 80.
With enthusiasm high, Sustainable Macleod branched out starting a monthly newsletter, applying for grants and began running a wider range of workshops and connecting with other Banyule groups doing similar things. In fact, the vegie swap had been inspired by the Monty Community Group Vegie swap. Through these connections we became aware that there was a worldwide Transition movement that embodied what we were already doing plus much more. From that time we functioned as a Transition Town, joining 2000 such groups world wide in creating a sustainable future.
In 2015, the Sustainable Macleod community realised a dream of starting a community garden and took over two disused tennis courts on Macleod College land, converting the area to garden. Today the Macleod Organic Community Garden is a local landmark, comprising vegetable beds including 11 wicking beds, orchard, berry beds, a pizza oven, a shelter, water tanks, compost bays, 2 polytunnels and an off-grid solar system. The community garden also hosts numerous workshops and events. In 2016 we incorporated so that we could readily access insurance and grants, and be eligible for some grants not available to unincorporated groups.
How we operate
First and foremost we are a Transition group and operate under Transition principles but we are also incorporated and have an elected executive to fulfil the legal requirements of Incorporation. We hold a monthly management meeting, which all members can attend and generally we seek consensus on decisions. Although we have an executive and committee members, we ask all members to participate if they can, and we operate as a flat structure with tasks shared between as many members as possible.