If the broad goals of international development are similar across all nations, and with the knowledge that the participatory, people-centred approach it takes in working with communities is applicable in developed as well as developing countries, then it’s only natural that TerraCircle has become involved in community development in Australia just as it has in the Solomon Islands.
Believing that a good place to start developing practical, achievable and desirable solutions to sustainable living is where you live-as well as believing that by sharing our skills and resources we can help others achieve sufficiency in their basic and higher-level needs (a ‘distribution of surplus’, ‘fairshare’ principle), the volume of Australia-based work engaging TerraCircle consultants has steadily increased in recent times.
Projects undertaken by TerraCircle in Australia include:
- writing the Living Smart manual for the Living Smart course offered by local government
- development of a policy on community food gardening for Randwick City Council
- production of policy directions on community gardening for Marrickville Council
- community garden consultation for Coffs Harbour City Council, meeting with the Coffs Coast Local Food Alliance and a participatory site planning workshop for a new community garden
- a public workshop on a permaculture design for Waverley Council
- workshop at Charles Kernan Reserve Food Garden for the City of Sydney
- community engagement crew for the Live Green House exhibition for the City of Sydney
- participatory development of a governance and site management plan with the Denison Street Community Garden crew and Marrickville Council staff, in collaboration with the Australian City Farms & Community Gardens Network (communitygarden.org.au)
- planning consultation for the James Street Reserve Community Garden team on behalf of the City of Sydney
- authoring of a column for the Reduceyourfootprint blog for the three Eastern Suburbs council project
- compost-making workshop for Ku-ring-gai Council.
TerraCircle acts on the dictum of Bill Mollison and David Holmgren (developers of the permaculture design system in which a number of TerraCircle people are qualified as practitioners) to work where it counts and to work with those who want to learn.
To enact this, TerraCircle takes a collaborative approach to its work in Australia, cooperating with community organisations and local government to help them develop solutions that meet the needs of both, that improves neighbourhood environments, increase local opportunity and contributes to liveable, sustainable cities.