Last night the DCFG working group met at Daylesford Neighbourhood Centre to discuss the handover of roles and responsibilities for a new era of management and participation. Patrick Jones and Meg Ulman are about to head off for a year of travel and they had been doing much of the co-ordination since the inception of the group.
Those present at the meeting included: Tony Soccio, Lena Mazza, Sam Tucker, Georgina Williams, Luke Pither, Lindy Churches, Su Dennett, Jo Kidd, Patrick Jones, Peter O'Mara, Alison Wilken, Maureen Corbett, Dora Berenyi and Fiona Porter. Apologies included: Ian Robertson, Ruby Scott, Anthony Petrucci, Mara Macs, Kate Gerritsen, Meg Ulman, David Holmgren and Paul Dempsey.
The meeting was facilitated by Peter O'Mara who first acknowledged the Jaara people, the First Peoples of the lands we now garden upon and of whom we have much to learn from, especially in terms of sustainability, land stewardship and ecological ethics. Peter then skillfully helped the group to structure the agenda, breaking it down into six areas for discussion:
2. Future projects and roles
Patrick spoke about DCFG achievements over the past three years:
1. Albert Street annual food garden
2. Rea Lands Park perennial food garden
3. Daylesford Neighbourhood Centre (DNC) food gardens and insurance
4. Daylesford Community Reserve (accessible) food garden
5. Daylesford Secondary College (DSC) Food Forest plan
6. Bus shelter vertical (accessible) garden
7. Hepburn Health (accessible) raised beds
8. The Arc food garden
Other achievements, he stated, included establishing long-term council leases, broad community support, (currently 530 Facebook friends), learning and participation opportunities, successful fundraising campaigns and inspiring documentation. Patrick stated that the original intentions of DCFG were to create a non-membership, fully inclusive, non-private plot community food network whose participants met to discuss developments at working bees and at other informal gatherings. Whereas he believed this has worked well in establishing the gardens, it had meant that a centralised management developed which he believed was not sustainable or necessarily desirable.
The group thanked Patrick and Meg for their contribution.
Discussion and distribution of roles then took place. The following roles were proposed by Patrick and agreed upon by the group:
1. HWC/U3A/Bus Shelter contact/ co-ordinator: Lena Mazza
2. Albert St gardener/DSC/Insurance roll contact: Alison Wilken
3. Albert St working bee co-ordinator: Tony Soccio
4. Albert St working bee co-ordinator: Sam Tucker
5. Albert St Harvest Swapmeet co-ordinator: Lindy Churches
6. Albert St water roster co-ordinator: Peter O'Mara
7. DSC/ Rea Lands Park/ The Arc contact: Luke Pither
8. Hepburn Health contact/ Rea Lands Park herbalist/ Insurance roll: Jo Kidd
9. DNC working bee co-ordinator: Mara Macs
10. DNC working bee co-ordinator: Anthony Petrucci
11. Rural Access liaison/ Hepburn Health contact: Fiona Porter
12. DCFG Facebook coordinator/ HSC contact/ event photographer: Kate Gerritsen
13. DCFG blogger/ graphic designer/ event photographer: Ian Robertson
14. DSC student contact: Ruby Scott
15. Daylesford Community Park food garden co-ordinator: Georgina Williams
16. HRN contact: Maureen Corbett
17. HRN contact: Su Dennett
18. Community Op-shop and Food Bank contact: Dora Berenyi
19. Community food/ permaculture consultant: David Holmgren
20. Community gardener/ consultant: Paul Dempsey
It was also agreed that if one has to leave their role it is their personal responsibility to find someone to replace them before they leave it. Discussion then turned to future projects and developments. The DSC project was mentioned, as was U3A participation, greater Hepburn Health, DNC and Food Bank involvement and more joint HRN and DCFG projects and events.
The group then discussed future aims, which included: ongoing actions, increasing community participation, improving communications and awareness, promoting learning opportunities, remaining open and continuing to inspire.
The structural aspects of DCFG were then discussed including the account at Wombat Hill Nursery, DNC exchange, social media, insurance protocols (listing working bee participants), liaising with council (annual report, leases etc), points of contact, answering emails, documenting events, archiving developments, chalkboard notices, etc. Patrick stated he would write a more comprehensive list of duties and distribute amongst the group (see publication at the end of this post). Then general discussion and merriment took place around future organisation.
The group decided to leave resourcing and engagement to another meeting, which was made for Tuesday 5 November at 7pm, again to be held at DNC. Peter O'Mara agreed to book that meeting and facilitate it. The group collected $16 of 'gold coins' to pay for the use of the DNC meeting room.
Distribution and description of roles (printable and downloadable document)