One of the most joyful things you can do collectively, is to start a community. Creating a community in Australia however is a complex multi-level process and can take much time and energy. You will need to consider various aspects, plan and design using holistic thinking and ensure there is active engagement from your group or forming community.
One of the marvellous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.Jean Vanier
We have experienced and knowledgeable professionals who can teach and guide your group through the steps of ecovillage creation effectively, saving time and effort. This education service is continually improving and is offered via face to face intensive workshops and online masterclasses where your group members are empowered with the knowledge and skills to bring your dream to a reality. To find out more and arrange attendance look at our education offerings. We also offer consultancy services where we review your unique situation and co-create a plan for implementation with you, as a partner in the process.
Prior to meeting with you for education or consultancy, we recommend reviewing the GEN areas of regeneration (social, culture, ecology and economy integrating into whole systems design) when establishing your community. Here are also a few suggestions to consider when establishing your community.
The People (Social)
- At least 5 people dedicated to the vision is a good start to establish a community
- Clear vision and mission that is developed collectively
- Clear common values to base the community on or a common background to help unify a community
- Clear communication platforms and ways of meeting
The Land (Ecology)
- Reaching out to and connecting with local indigenous groups and elders. Learn about the history and culture of the land
- Local Government Area (LGA) you want to establish is known
- Appropriate land for the values your community is seeking
- Working with what the land wants once its identified (size and type of community)
- Ensuring protection of the environment as a key
The Legalisation (Culture)
- Right legal structures and governance for your group
- Constitution that fits with the values and culture of your community
- Being flexible with what can be done under Local and State government planning laws (each state in Australia has different planning laws around multi-dwelling developments)
- Develop a structure that ensures that land stewardship is a priority
The Funds (Economy)
- Set up the financial modelling, to secure the funding of the purchase of land and how will this be done
- Infrastructure and legal costs included
- Equity and transparency in financial arrangements – it’s important that the land is purchased collectively or put into a community land trust to establish equity from the start.
GEN Australia is associated with many professionals in the legal, town planning, governance, ecological, economic and development areas of ecovillages.
We suggest that you attend an Introduction to Ecovillages workshop first to meet others in a similar situation and understand the concept of ecovillages. Or contact us to book your own community workshop.
From there, our consultants can support and assist you achieving your dream including establishing the right contacts for your area and project.
Explore the various pathways for your community, organisation or project, by connecting with one of our consultants!