Randwick Eco-Living Fair, 15 September

 

The Fairground

The Fair in full swing

Yesterday I attended the Randwick Eco-Living Fair, a one day event organised by Randwick City Council held at the new Community Centre and surrounding Environmental Park on Munda Street, Randwick.

After a slightly blustery, rainy morning threatened to scare people off the sun appeared and everyone came out in force.  The event was a great way to showcase the council’s new facilities on the large site which include halls, exhibition spaces, playgrounds, large garden area and covered workshop spaces.  These new facilities are located on former Defence Force lands which had been in use since WWI as Randwick Army Barracks.  Parcels began to be redeveloped in the 1990’s with a large area protected as parklands as it functions as a haven for birdlife and some protected species of flora and fauna.    

Randwick Council obviously knows that it is all very well to have whiz-bang new facilities but if no-one actually knows where they are and what they can be used for then there is no point right?  Because I reside at the Clovelly end of Coogee I don’t get down that way often and I was very pleasantly surprised at the renewal and redevelopment that the area has experienced.  New housing in terrace/townhouse style surrounds the centre on Bundock Street and surrounds.

The style and medium density format of the newer development fits well with the existing older housing in the suburb.  There is also some really loving landscape elements (which the picture below doesn’t actually show well) but the inclusion of Australian natives, established trees and shrubs and ground covers made all the difference to my impression of the streetscape.

Modern take on terraced housing in Randwick

Modern take on terraced housing leading down to Randwick Community Centre

Signage to the Centre

Signage to the Centre

Walking In

Walking In

As I chatted to one of the organisers Ben Eadie from October Sun he explained that organising an event like this was like installing a mini semi-permanent city- you need infrastructure, waste, food, power, ATMs, shade, accessibility, first aid and seating as well as entertainment and traffic management.  Hovering above all these needs is of course the need to make the event as sustainable and low impact as possible.  

Clear and accessible waste management is key to reducing the clean-up and bump out at the end of the day.  He also said that the rise of the food trucks helped along by City of Sydney has been a huge factor in reducing the events management headache. These vans operate self sufficiently by producing their own power, water, lighting and gas as well as BYOing their own serving utensils, cups and plates.  They also look fantastic and contribute to the atmosphere of the event- my personal favourite is the ‘Nighthawk Diner’ pictured below housed in a vintage airstream caravan so shiny you can check your teeth for cheeseburger after your meal!

the Nighthawk Diner

the Nighthawk Diner

Although there was plenty to do for adults I felt like a real focus of the event was kids and kids environmental education, particularly introducing them to insects and bug life through a show by INSECTUS the insect man and to lizards and reptiles as well as a brilliant show about water and its importance.  Little giggles and squeals of delight from the audience abounded as a giant book opened to reveal a hand painted backdrop for the show.  And all for free- I can imagine my glee if I was a parent in Sydney finding such a high calibre of educational entertainment for FREE! And outside in a beautiful setting.     

Insektus the Insect man

Insektus the Insect man

There was also a great range of stores selling local produce and home and garden products to up your green factor.  Amongst all this there were roaming representatives from Council’s various environmental initiatives interviewing people from the community to get their feedback on various environmental projects including the controversial environmental levy.

I’m hoping as the success and popularity of events such as these becomes clear more councils will adopt some of the strategies and techniques displayed by Randwick.  Sometimes promoting sustainability is as simple as getting people outside into the sunshine to eat fresh local foods and lie on the grass while the kids zip around having the time of their lives! 

Til next time,
Em x

Stilts Performers

Stilts Performers

Landscape features

Symmetrical  landscape features

Veggie Garden

The Veggie Garden & a workshop in progress

Local pooches

Local pooches

the big top

the big top

Colour

Never has waste management looked so good

Finding a bit of shade

A diamond python finds a bit of shade

Spectators

Spectators soak up the sun

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Nurse Teach Reach and Bowl!

NTR

I mean it when I tell people my friends are amazing. I mean, not just the great drinking-buddy-shoulder-to-cry-on-brings-you-a-pizza-when-you-are-too-heartbroken-to-move amazing. I mean the really intent on instigating change and making the world a better place type of amazing. And they are capital G- Getting it done, one project at a time.

One such beautiful soul is Lucy, a Sydney trained ICU nurse who earlier this year decided to start Nurse Teach Reach, an organisation which will coordinate train-the-trainer programs for Nurses in developing countries, starting with Nepal. If you talk to Lucy about the whole experience she will say that it snowballed, with the support and generosity of her friends and family completely flooring her from DAY 1. Before she knew it she was in up to her elbows in the merchandise, prayer flags, enquiries, ideas, video scripts, forms and paperwork that all come with trying to start an NGO. And most importantly throughout all that in kind support Lucy was able to crystallise real roles for people- delegate, coordinate and ask for help when she needed it.

What I’ve learnt from helping out with Nurse Teach Reach is that the energy and skills of people are out there, they just need to be harnessed by the right person, and that person needs to be driven to the point where they don’t stop asking, pushing, trying and cajoling because we do happen to live in an obstructionist world sometimes, and we definitely live in a time poor, stressed out world but that doesn’t change the fact that people want to find a way to give of themselves in the best way they can.

On Saturday the fundraiser was held for Nurse Teach Reach was held at Petersham Bowling Club. With Sydney putting on her most stunning show off weather it was a great day- tipsy games of lawn bowls, a really generous raffle with prizes and a great turn out.  A little bit about Petersham Bowling Club- their tagline is LIVE, LOCAL & POKIE FREE.  Petersham Bowlo is one of the few true community owned and run clubs remaining in Sydney, proudly saved from demolition a few years ago by a very active and involved community.  They support craft beers and local events, workshops and gigs.  The greens and club interiors are all original and the philosophy has obviously been low interference, low maintenance.  As we were sitting next to the green having a chinwag and a beverage a man popped out of a small cellar door with his hands covered in dirt and explained that the club is in the process of sprouting its own hops for beer !  Head over to the PBC website for the full timetable of the events they hold, there is certainly something for everyone.

Check out the Nurse Teach Reach website and Facebook page for the full story on their mission and keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming promo vid by the amazing Elle Fred which may or may not feature me and Luce showing off some pretty B-grade acting skills amongst other things !

Below are some photos from the fundraiser- NTR raised over $3,000 for the upcoming trip to Nepal. In Nepal that amount of money will go a long way.
Thank you to all who came down and gave of their time and money so generously!

Till next time,

Emma x

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