viro and en e r u t ul
REGENERATION To help create a brighter future
Rona Gdriveideunality + identity Explore in through art
The hillscene is created in partnership with Burrinja
FOREST THERAP Y RECON N
ECT TO N FOR HEATURE WELLBALTH + EING
Sunday of the Month EDITOR'S RAVE
BURRINJA SEASON 2020
Burrinja | Cnr Glenfern Rd & Matson Drive, Upwey ph: (03) 9754 8723 | w: burrinja.org.au
ANN-DROID | BURRINJA THEATRE THU 2 APR 2PM A reworking of Pinocchio for the 21st century. The unique show combines theatre with the newest digital technologies: projection, a smart LED costume, a robot ball and a drone in a fascinating story for all ages.
DAVID BRIDIE | THE WISDOM LINE | BLACK BOX STUDIO SAT 16 MAY 7.30PM The Wisdom Line is an immersive multimedia project exploring themes of Melbourne, asylum, home, the transience of our relationships, and trying to make genuine connections in an interconnected world where everyone is talking on their phones. image credit: L.J.Spruyt Photography
ARCHIE ROACH | TELL ME WHY | BURRINJA THEATRE FRI 19 JUN 7.30PM Not many have lived as many lives – from stolen child, teenage alcoholic, seeker, lover, father, musical and lyrical genius, to social advocate and First Nations leader – but it took almost a lifetime to find who he really was. Tell Me Why is a live memoir, part story telling, part music, all Archie Roach. image credit: Adrian Cook
So this is 4 CHRISTMAS...
TWO FLOORS STUDIO
2040 FILM REVIEW
Guest Editor: Lisa Ford Guest Designer: Tanya De Silva-McKay Editorial committee: Adriana Alvarez, Lisa Ford, Toni Main, Cameron Semmens, Tanya De Silva-McKay Contributors: Lisa Ford, Toni Main, Adriana Alvarez, Cameron Semmens, Greg Ford, Lisa Von Muller, Tanya De Silva-McKay Facebook: The Hillscene www.hillscene.com.au Blog: hillsceneblog.wordpress.com/ FOR SUBMISSION AND ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES email: email@example.com Printed by Ferntree Print on Envirocare 100gsm recycled paper. ©Copyright 2019
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FOREST THERAPY HOMELESS IN THE HILLS TECOMA ETHICAL MARKET POETRY BELGRAVE BAUBLES BELGRAVE BIG DREAMS VOX POP CAFE TARTS
‘And what have you done? Another year over, and a new one coming on’… and so the song goes, along with a host of other favourite Christmassy tunes you’ll hear around this time of year. While editing this summer edition of Hillscene, I have also been enjoying reading The Art of Frugal Hedonism. As a result, I have been reflecting on what the festive season means for folks. Turning the spotlight on the authenticity and sustainability of my own family’s celebrations, I have swapped our old plastic Christmas fir tree for a simple wooden tree. Tinsel, glitz and oddly wintry symbols have been streamlined down to a few Australian, homemade and handmade decorations. We have also finally made the brave call to embrace Kris Kringle and rein in some of that excess consumption. My fellow Hillscene writers have also been looking at the festive season through fresh eyes. When Cameron Semmens sent a callout for seasonal poems, he asked local poets to look further afield than the traditional cliched sentiments which abound this time of year. Intrepid interviewer Adriana Alvarez went straight to the source and conducted a Vox Pop at the Belgrave Big Dreams Market, discovering that locals love the ‘gentler’ version of Christmas we have in the hills. Toni Main interviewed artists at the Two Floors studio who are preparing this holiday season to bring new creative experiences to hills students in 2020. Our guest Designer Tanya De SilvaMcKay simply blissed out eating ice cream at the new Augustus Gelatery in Upper Ferntree Gully. All of which brings us back neatly to the central themes of The Art of Frugal Hedonism, of finding pleasure in the simple things, of connecting together as community and of charting an authentic life untethered by consumerism. On behalf of our Hillscene contributors and sponsor Burrinja, wishing you each a wonderful and relaxing festive season. See you in 2020, Lisa Ford
Guest Editor 3
PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY YARRA RANGES COUNCIL
! W O W
WHAT A GREAT COVER!
BY TO N I M A I N
I am delighted to introduce you to yet another amazing talented artist living in the hills, printmaker, Rona Green. Rona is known for her fantastical figurative prints, poppets, paintings and drawings of curious creatures.
n a beautiful sunny day, I met with Rona in her tranquil studio to talk about all things art, creativity, exhibitions and the hills. Rona has been making and creating out of her Olinda-based home studio since moving here three years ago from Eltham. When her studio complex at the Abbotsford Convent underwent renovations, Rona and her husband decided it was time for a change, and started looking at properties in the
Dandenong Ranges. Destiny was at hand: it took only a week for them to find the perfect property, surrounded by the beautiful forests that we all know and love. Since moving to the hills, Rona has seen the landscape influence her work, evolving a brighter colour palette and depicting more native animals in her figurative prints. And why not, with delightful visits from echidnas, wallabies, lyrebirds and an array of other native birds to inspire her.
COVER STORY RONA GREEN
Prior to her move, Rona’s anthropomorphic characters tended to reference domestic animals that explore playful narratives. “Animals are agents for story, and story is important in my work.” Rona tells me how she is inspired by the many ways animals are represented, from Egyptian Gods and characters in morality tales and nursery rhymes, to animals as a symbol of resilience. “Everyone has an individual connection to animals, which is why I find them compelling subject matter”. Rona says, “I am often told that a character in my work reminds someone of a relative or friend. Each viewer makes their own connection with the work.” Rona herself has fond memories of growing up surrounded by lots of cousins and pets, including dogs, cats, chickens, budgies, ferrets and more, each with their own special story which unfold as she develops her work.
“ ANIMALS ARE AGENTS FOR STORY, AND STORY IS IMPORTANT IN MY WORK Rona didn’t start out as a ” printmaker. At high school
she became passionate about photography and got accepted into Photography College. But she found she wanted more from her creative practice, and instead enrolled in a Bachelor of Fine Arts at La Trobe University in Bendigo. It was here she found printmaking and fell in love with its many different techniques, which ultimately led her to linocut printing. At this point in the conversation, Rona pulls out an assortment of things and takes me through her very precise process, showing me first draft drawings, pages of colour experiments, linocut blocks, tools and more. Rona tells me that “printmakers can be very superstitious about process. Once you find the right ink and paper, you never want to change. You focus on your rolling pattern with precision, and if you are in a shared studio and someone changes the pressure on the press… you freak out. There are so many steps, so many variables; you must be consistent and accurate for the best result.” »
» During her time at La Trobe University, Rona participated in a print exchange program between the staff and students, and has continued to develop this idea outside of the university context. She has coordinated over 20 exchanges with print artists from around Australia, with one just finishing up at Neospace in Collingwood on December 13, 2019, Splendacious. This exchange saw 54 artists print 56 images of their work, with 1 print being framed and exhibited, 1 print unframed for sale and each artist receiving a boxed collection of every print. Rona often exhibits the print exchanges with regional galleries interested in collecting works on paper. The next exchange, Entrancing Others can be seen at Gippsland Art Gallery in October 2020.
If all this sounds like something you want to see, you are in luck because Rona will be presenting her first hills exhibition in the new Burrinja gallery between 4 July and 2 August, 2020. Rona Green: Some they do and some they don’t and some you just can’t tell, will showcase hand-coloured linocut prints of her traditional domestic animals as well as her new native friends, drawing connections between the two. Rona Green is represented by Australian Galleries in Melbourne. Keep up to date with Rona by joining her mailing list, head to www.ronagreen.com
Photos courtesy: Rona Green & Toni Main
“ EVERYONE HAS AN INDIVIDUAL CONNECTION TO ANIMALS, WHICH IS WHY I FIND THEM COMPELLING SUBJECT MATTER ”
EDITOR'S INTERVIEW RAVE
" NATURE PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT PART IN MY CLIENT OVERCOMING A DIFFICULT PAST "
FOREST THERAPY BY C A M E R O N S E M M E N S
Cameron Semmens interviews Matt Glover about forest therapy.
I’VE BEEN WATCHING YOU DEVELOP FOREST THERAPY OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS – WHAT SPARKED THIS UNIQUE THING FOR YOU? It started a few years ago when I was working with a client with significant trauma in her background. I work as a counsellor in private practice and had been seeing this client for about two years before she disclosed to me the events of her childhood. Telling the story was so difficult for her that she collapsed on the floor and went into a comatose state. I wasn’t prepared for this to happen again, so the next time I saw her, we decided to have the session walking under the trees in the urban forest near my counselling rooms. Over the next six months we spent each session walking through nature. I like to think that I’m a decent counsellor, but over the six months we worked outside, I watched a healing take place that was beyond my skill. Nature played a significant part in my client overcoming a difficult past.
I wanted to know what happened, so I started to read and research as much as I could about ecopsychology and nature therapy, which led me to the Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku (Forest Bathing) and ultimately Forest Therapy. I trained as a forest therapy guide with the International Nature and Forest Therapy Alliance and became the first professional counsellor in Australia who is also a forest therapy guide. SO, I NEED TO ASK – WHY ‘FOREST’ THERAPY? WHAT CAN THE FOREST OFFER THAT CANNOT BE FOUND IN OTHER WAYS OR OTHER PLACES? Forest therapy is about slowing down to the pace of nature, using our senses to accept all that nature offers. We commonly know that trees provide oxygen, shade, food and shelter. In recent years, we have discovered that trees live in integrated communities, communicating with each other both below the ground and above the ground. »
Photo courtesy: Tanya De Silva-McKay
"DO YOU HAVE A PARTICULAR STORY THAT CAPTURES THE ESSENCE OF WHAT YOU OFFER?" I was working with a woman who had some significant trauma from her past. One of the ways this affected her was that she had lost her sense of smell. When it came to doing some forest therapy with her, I had forgotten about her lack of smell. As we walked through the bush we spent some time focussing on smelling the eucalyptus in crushed gum leaves. She was too polite to remind me that she couldn’t smell anything, so did the exercise anyway. As she smelt the leaves, she slowed right down, then stopped all together. She looked at me shocked.
“What did you just do?” she asked. Um, well, I walked with you and asked you to smell the leaves….” “I know that. But what did you do?!” “I don’t know what you mean…” “I can’t believe this. I can SMELL!” she said. For the rest of the session, she smelt every flower, leaf, toadstool, and piece of dirt she could reach. Once again, nature had done its thing.
" WHY SHOULD PEOPLE DO ‘FOREST THERAPY’? BECAUSE IT’S GOOD FOR YOU! "
Photo courtesy: Forest Therapy Victoria
» Forest therapy helps us slow down to maximise the impact of what nature already offers. IN THE COURSES YOU’VE RUN, WHAT RANGE OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ATTENDING? Everybody from aged nine through to 80 has attended. Forest therapy is suitable for people of all ages and abilities. Some of our public walks are focussed for a particular group. For instance, in 2020 we will be running programs for: people with disabilities, the elderly, kids, as well as some special interest groups based around creativity. Special forest therapy retreats are also in the works that offer extended periods of connecting to nature for our health and wellbeing. WHY SHOULD PEOPLE DO ‘FOREST THERAPY’? Because it’s good for you! We all have an inherent love for the natural environment, known is the biophilia affect. This comes from our long history of living and working outside – our health systems have evolved in partnership with the natural environment. Nature Deficit Disorder describes the health issues we experience from living a life disconnected from nature. Children are particularly prone to this. Forest therapy helps reconnect us to the natural environment in a way that is healthy for us as individuals, but also as a community. For more information, go to: www.foresttherapyvictoria.com.au
TWO FLOORS STUDIO
GETTING CREATIVE WITH
TWO FLOORS STUDIOS BY TO N I M A I N
The inspirational artists of Two Floors Studios are offering an amazing art excursion program to schools and kindergartens in the hills. The program sees up to 60 students participate in free arts workshops in different mediums, to be held in the beautiful open plan studio at Two Floors in Belgrave.
Photos courtesy: Two Floors Studio
...NOT YOUR TYPICAL IN-SCHOOL ARTS ACTIVITIES. THE WORKSHOPS AT TWO FLOORS STUDIOS ENABLE YOUNG PEOPLE TO ACCESS THE SPECIALIST EQUIPMENT REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE
hen I found out about this project, I knew immediately that it needed to be shared. So I met with Claire who told me more about it, and how any school in the area could get involved. Claire explained that the project is aimed at all kinder and school-aged young people in the Dandenong Ranges. In classes of up to 30, the young people will be provided with hands-on learning experiences with talented local professional artists in a half-day arts
excursion to Two Floors. They will get their hands dirty in pottery lessons with Lee Goller, discover textiles and screen printing with Lucy Beach and express themselves through mixed media collage and eco-dying with Claire Iacuone-Hadley. These artforms have been selected as they are not your typical in-school arts activities. The workshops at Two Floors Studios enable young people to access the specialist equipment required to participate, which is such a treat as many schools cannot access these types of facilities. »
Âť There is a lot of research demonstrating the value of participating in creative, uncompetitive activities in the development of young people. Yet Claire and her artistic collaborators have often observed a lack of support and funding for creative projects. So they decided to do something about it. These three artists have been working with young people in the community in different capacities for years, mainly as volunteers sharing their skills with schools and other groups. So they have had the experience of seeing the benefits of such projects. This includes making the giant rainbow lantern with Belgrave Kinder, which can be seen in the Belgrave Lantern Parade each year.
THERE IS A LOT OF RESEARCH DEMONSTRATING THE VALUE OF PARTICIPATING IN CREATIVE, UNCOMPETITIVE ACTIVITIES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF YOUNG PEOPLE
” Ranges Council to deliver this program at no (or very little) cost to the schools to ensure that all schools and kinders can participate. The funding covers the costs of all the materials, staffing and access to equipment, a huge cost should the schools attempt to do something like this on their own. Teachers will also be involved, learning about the different techniques, ensuring that they are upskilled to take elements of the project back into their classrooms. Claire hopes that this project is a starting point. They want to see more of the community accessing creative opportunities, and they are passionate about making Two Floors Studio a creative hub for all. They have a lot of big dreams, but in order to succeed, they are starting with developing their relationships with local schools and kindergartens.
Claire went on to tell me about the final outcomes of the project. The students will work to create large scale artworks that will be presented in a grand exhibition at Two Floors, at the culmination of the program. The exhibition is an opportunity to celebrate the artistic achievements of the students, to give them the experience of sharing their work and feel pride in what they have accomplished. Their creative outcomes will be collaboratively made art pieces, incorporating each student’s work. It will take everyone working together to make them. There is also the opportunity for schools to install the artworks on campus after the two-week exhibition.Claire and the team have successfully sought funding from Yarra
Two Floors will be presenting the art excursion program in Term 2 in 2020 and are currently taking bookings from interested schools and kindergartens. There is space for up to 8 schools/kindergartens to participate, and there are no age limits as the content can be adapted to suit. If your school or kindergarten would like to participate, please contact Claire Iacuone-Hadley from Two Floors Studio, to find out more and book in your students.
www.openstudios.org.au/two-floors-studio Claire: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 0409 077449 This project is funded by the Yarra Ranges Council.
2040 Join the Regeneration
Whenever I read or hear news about the climate crisis, it all seems to point to a bleak future that will see us humans struggling to cope with natureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fury. In light of the early start to the fire season, the news seems to be all doom and gloom. But there are the occasional glimmers of hope: 2040 is one. WO R D S BY A D R I A N A A LVA R E Z
040 is a film by award-winning filmmaker, actor, and hills local Damon Gameau, who also made the successful That Sugar Film. In a similar style, he takes the documentary genre and makes it entertaining and accessible. It starts with a personal view of Damon’s family and in particular, his young daughter Velvet, looking at what the world will look like for her by 2040. But instead of focusing on the negatives of the looming climate crisis, it imagines what the world might look like if instead we implemented solutions that are available to us right now. Some of these solutions have been around a while, such as solar energy. However in this documentary, we learn about a microgrid model where people can share their energy from house to house, harnessing community electricity to power small villages in Bangladesh. Other solutions may be less well-known but are equally intriguing, such as multi-purpose seaweed farms which can be used for food, to help replenish fish stock and to sequester carbon from the atmosphere. And the most surprising is the call to empower and educate women and girls in developing countries as a
means to lower our population and lessen the demand for resources. The beauty of this film is Gameau’s simple way of communicating the big challenges and possible solutions, using interesting graphics and a bit of humour. It’s presented in the style of a personal letter to his daughter who in 2040 has now grown up. When Velvet asks the question ‘What were you thinking?’, it sums up how emerging generations will view us with a justifiable contempt for our lack of vision. As a parent, it’s difficult not to imagine your own children wondering why it took so long to take action on an issue that is so imperative to the world’s very survival. Like That Sugar Film, this film is aimed at young students, with the idea that it can be shown in schools to help inspire the next generation to action. But it also speaks to a wider audience. Beyond the film, the website offers a comprehensive package of lesson plans, created with the curriculum experts at Cool Australia, to complement the film for upper primary and secondary students. Damon Gameau states ‘We interviewed over 100 children from around the world for 2040 and asked them what their hopes and dreams
Photos courtesy: Madman Entertainment & Damon Gameau
" IT SUMS UP HOW EMERGING GENERATIONS WILL VIEW US WITH A JUSTIFIABLE CONTEMPT FOR OUR LACK OF VISION "
were for the future. It is a world they will be inheriting from us. So we have to show them that solutions exist, that there are people who care deeply about their future, and that wonderful careers await with genuine purpose and meaning.’ The website offers other resources as well, such as links to help fund a seaweed farm, help plant trees, support regenerative agriculture and raise money and awareness for girls’ education programs in Africa. It features informative videos about the economy and links to an engaged online community, plus suggestions on what you can do to activate your own plan and join the community. Their social media is filled with positive climate stories from around the globe, effectively spreading the word that will inspire people to join the revolution. It makes me feel like there is some hope. It ends with the question that invites us to take action now for a brighter future to be part of the regeneration. 'What’s your 2040?’ To find out more go to: www.whatsyour2040.com/
" WE HAVE TO SHOW THEM THAT SOLUTIONS EXIST, THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO CARE DEEPLY ABOUT THEIR FUTURE, AND THAT WONDERFUL CAREERS AWAIT WITH GENUINE PURPOSE AND MEANING "
HOMELESS in the Hills
The clues are there, if you care to look: a pair of running shoes neatly tucked into the hollow of a tree, a plastic container of oats secreted under a mossy log. Evidence of what? you might ask. Habitation - of a human kind- here, in the forest.
Photo courtesy: Tanya De Silva-McKay
BY G R EG FO R D
he clues are there, if you care to look: a pair of running shoes neatly tucked into the hollow of a tree, a plastic container of oats secreted under a mossy log. Evidence of what? you might ask. Habitation - of a human kindhere, in the forest. You may visit the forest on a sunny weekend, share a family picnic and drive home full of cheer and good food. Yet this beautiful place, this sacred space, offers more than a quick recharge and chance to connect with family and friends. It offers a home to an old friend of mine, a fringe dweller in more ways than one, and one of the most interesting people I know. He stands out in many ways, large and small, adding up to a person who doesn’t quite fit into society. Yet he is also easy to walk past unnoticed, as almost everyone does. There is nothing particularly striking about his appearance, although he is so whip-thin his veins protrude from his forearms and his unkempt mop of long grey hair merges with his beard so that you’re not quite sure where his hair starts or finishes. And walk past him I almost did, recently. I had been putting feelers out since I heard he had moved into the forest. However after several attempts to find him, guided by a rough description of where he might be, I failed to find any trace. I kept asking myself “if I was him, where would I choose to lay my head?”. He remained as elusive as the mythical Bunyip. Then a chance encounter at a train station, two travellers passing each other on their way to something better, stirred a faint recognition in me. Was that him? I uttered his name, and he turned in response. “I’ve been trying to find you. How are you going?” I had so many questions since I heard he was sleeping rough, but now only a hasty 10-minute conversation, cut short by the arrival of my train. I gave him my phone number, with specific instructions to call me, so we could talk some more. No call came, and I thought I was back to square one.
But then came an email, my friend offering me a guided tour of his latest abode. Abode suggests a defined structure: walls propping up a roof, maybe a door and some windows. However his latest abode had none of this. It consisted only of a tarp (green so as not stand out), a piece of foam to sleep on, a sleeping bag, a loaf of bread and a tin of beetroot. While we talked, he made a beetroot sandwich, ‘Beetroot lasts a few days unrefrigerated’. Gradually he began to fill me in on his movements this past year or so, answering many of my questions such as ‘How do you fill your days?”. Living so simply, my friend’s needs are few. He now has ample time to delve deeply into his creativity. He writes prolifically, unfettered, about the many subjects that are of interest to him, from theoretical physics and mathematics to controversial legal cases that intrigue him. He also co-creates music with friends.
...HE TOLD ME THAT HE IS ’LIVING HIS MOST AUTHENTIC LIFE’ YET... The portrait that emerged was of a man who chooses to live this way. So, over all other possible ways to live, this suits him best right now. He told me that he is ’living his most authentic life’ yet. Sit with that for a minute: imagine absolute minimum possessions, feeling uncertain where you will sleep tonight, being vulnerable to Melbourne’s fickle weather, the list of inconveniences both major and minor go on. Yet somehow, from the very uncertainty and vulnerability that most of us fear and from which we recoil, a most authentic life has sprouted. Imagine a back-to-basics approach to life, the opposite of our modern lives which are becoming more complicated each day. Perhaps there is something to recommend this fringe dweller’s embrace of a simple life?
TECOMA TWILIGHT ETHICAL MARKET On 17 November, the inaugural Tecoma Twilight Ethical Market was held at Tecoma Uniting Church â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and it was a raging success! Here, Cameron Semmens interviews Matt Cutler, a member of the organising committee.
"WE DON’T NEED A HANDFUL OF PEOPLE DOING ZERO WASTE PERFECTLY. WE NEED MILLIONS OF PEOPLE DOING IT IMPERFECTLY."
Matt, I went to the market, not knowing what to expect, honestly thinking ‘This could be really lame!’ But when I arrived it was totally pumping and thriving with a great atmosphere. You must’ve been happy with this as your very first market!
We were stoked! Being our first market, there was heaps of anxiety around whether we were going to have enough people to show up to warrant the 60+ stall holders we had made space for. One of the earliest emails we received was a potential stall holder who wanted evidence that our promotion and social media presence would ensure it wouldn’t turn out to be a damp squib. That email weighed on as, until the doors open, you just don’t know! To then see waves of people flooding in bang on 4 o’clock was just incredible. We knew the quality of stall holders, musicians and food – but until people arrived in droves we had no way of knowing. As a team, it’s fair to say it safely transcended any expectations we might have had.
Who put on this market? Tecoma Uniting Church played host with vital contributions from various community groups and some dynamic hills gems. The music, for example, was overseen by Barb McFarlane who has pretty much run or been connected to every choir in the hills over the years. As a highly networked singer, she was able to link in some wonderful artists from a sweep of sectors across society.
The hills has a number of great markets – why create another one? Yes, in the hills we are fortunate to be surrounded by so many quality markets, and we certainly saw no need in adding another one without any point of difference. The idea of a market that very specifically highlighted ethical living and trading felt like one worth exploring. We took a lot of inspiration from a very successful market in Bayswater called Fair’s Fair which similarly was born of a desire to promote fair trade products.
Is there anything you learnt from this experience of creating an ethical market from scratch? That ethics is complex – who’d have thought! The experience highlighted the challenges of being ethical. Some stalls offered employment to disadvantaged people abroad but may use materials that by standards here, others would deem as questionable ethically. Or the importing of those goods, whilst wonderfully ethical, have hidden strings such as carbon miles wired into their arrival. Inversely, some stalls may have wonderful organic products with natural ingredients but are manufactured overseas. There are challenging ethical
Can you tell me a story that captures the essence of the day? One of our stall holders was a market regular in these parts and confessed to driving to Tecoma Twilight thinking, “This one is going to be a fizzer.” Upon arriving and finding he was in the farthest corner, he expressed concern that no-one would find him. Incredibly, halfway through the market he sent one of our volunteers back to his house to collect more stock and later stated that he’d had one of his best trading days ever.
landmines everywhere. The learning for me was that to aim for a perfection of ethics is unhelpful – and so too is an ethical standard that is unattainable. Instead, we hope to year-on-year increase, and encourage everyone who either sells or buys to move in the direction of living and buying more ethically. As Anne Marie Bonneau said, ‘We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.’ We therefore hope to encourage and educate our community about their habits, their waste and their consumer choices, knowing that our collective imperfect attempts will none the less contribute to a better world.
And what makes your market so ethical? All our stall holders had to apply and were only accepted if they met one of the following criteria: fair trade, created up-cycled goods, were sustainability or environmentally focused, social enterprise or community empowermentdriven, or a local artist. We felt this captured the traders we wanted to highlight and encourage. Beyond that, we had a strong focus on low waste which meant asking traders not to offer plastic bags to customers, food vendors having to use compostable bowls and cutlery and coffee served in either keep cups or mugs washed onsite throughout the market. Something we were immensely proud of was that despite having around 2,000 people come through, we were unable to fill one small roadside garbage bin for landfill. We felt this was pretty incredible.
A ‘DIE HARD’
CHRISTMAS WO R D S BY C A M E R O N S E M M E N S
n November I put out a call for Christmas poems for Hillscene... but ... I wasn’t getting what I wanted. I wanted poems that ranged beyond the usual yuletide themes, so I posted this 2nd call-out on the socials: Does anyone know of a Christmas poem that doesn’t rhyme; isn’t soppy; isn’t all Jesus, Joy and Jingles? That’s contemporary, with tall buildings and terrorists and German villains and a rogue cop trying to save his wife in a place like Nakatomi Plaza – yeah, something like Die Hard – but as a poem? Anyone? Not surprisingly, this call-out got some attention! If you are a post-Gen X-er who doesn’t know Die Hard, it was a 1988 action movie starring tough guy Bruce Willis as a rogue cop and a pre-Harry Potter Alan Rickman as the terrorising, thieving, ice-cold Hans Gruber. Ok, so there is a debate as to whether this really is a ‘Christmas’ movie and it is certainly no Love Actually. But it is set at Christmas and between the bullets, the blood and snappy one-liners (‘Yippee-ki-yay’), there is the theme of family reconciliation between John McClane (Bruce Willis) and his wife.
Deck the halls with blood while shooting falallalalalalalala Tinsel up while gaily looting falalalalalalalala Enter hero destituting Falalafalallalala Terrorists in Santa suiting Falalalalalalalala -Linda Harding
Der Wetter; ‘Tis ‘dum de dum delightful’ in the Yuletide season. Die Turm; she is overcome, as many join Hans seeking gifts and great joy. Der Saviour; he is come to suffer and to set the captives free; it is difficult. Die... Hard. -Lindsay Hall
He winced as he crawled, all bloodied and frayed, right air duct,’ he the ‘Be fervently prayed, and then, like a chimney, he dropped to the room, and gave to Hans Gruber, his Christmas doom. -James Harding
Thus, amongst some other unique and beautiful Christmas poems, I got a few that actually tried to fulfil my crazy brief, and I thought – hey – these deserve a page on their own! So enjoy!
Christmas. Belgrave style. WO R D S BY L I SA VO N M U L L E R
The concept for Belgrave Baubles was born in conversation with Billie of Babajis Kitchen, who asked me to create something special for Christmas 2019 on behalf of the Belgrave Traders. She wanted something unique for Belgrave, with visual appeal for Instagram. Each year, I create a Christmas decoration that’s a little different. Last year for instance, I made small wreaths out of the jasmine growing rampantly in my garden, with found feathers and sticks and some broken children’s toys. I called them ‘wreaths of past years’ presents’. I was initially apprehensive about the Belgrave request. It seemed such a large job, which started me thinking more deeply about the brief. What are Christmas decorations, really? What do they mean? How relevant are they to people? What do they mean to Belgrave? I started looking on Pinterest at shop decorations and asking friends what they thought might be relevant to our town. I think the fact that Belgrave has over 30 trees in the street, and the village has so few shop window spaces that I could use, helped me to make a decision on the baubles. I knew I needed help. So I thought the artists of the hills would jump at the chance of being involved. I approached the Belgrave Traders with a brief concept for the Belgrave Baubles. The artists of the hills area would create a bauble or birdcage shape using wire and get them to decorate it with recycled or repurposed ‘stuff’. To illuminate them at night, we would use solar fairy lights. Fellow artist
To see more, go to Belgrave Baubles Facebook page or even better, why not take a stroll down Main Street?
Joy Serwylo had wonderful ideas for how to get people on board. We set up a Facebook page and created a postcard to rev up interest and invite people to come on board. We had a lot of interest but people were unsure about what we actually wanted. So I thought a one-day workshop might clear up the uncertainty and stimulate the creative juices. This was so popular that it became a weekly date. I was extremely lucky that the wonderful Belgrave Emporium allowed me to use their Two Floors space to store and run the workshops. People loved coming to the Belgrave Baublers. It was so much fun sitting together and allowing the creative spirit to run free. I was amazed at how this developed into a real community project. It brought to mind what Christmas should be about: being with your tribe, your family, your community and sharing and celebrating together, no matter your religious or spiritual experience. The baubles were hung in the main Street of Belgrave from the end of November... And who knows about next year? I’d like to thank everyone who supported me and helped make this happen, especially the Belgrave Traders who helped fund and support the Belgrave Bauble initiative.
ADRIANA ALVAREZ ASKED LOCALS AT BELGRAVE’S BIG DREAMS MARKET:
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT CHRISTMAS IN THE HILLS? Je
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wonderful community spirit. There’s union in the air, the sun’s out and it’s really beautiful. The market is really bustling and really wholesome, it’s nice.’
M is + ali + H v ra 'The good
weather comes and we can go for walks with our dog Hunter. We go on different trails ‘Everyone and tracks and get is happy and out and about after super chilled, it’s very hibernating all festive. There are lots of Winter.’ decorations up and it’s really pretty.’
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‘I love the diversity of Christmas in the hills. With people celebrating the solstice, Christmas and everything in between. There’s a lot of acceptance around.’
‘Food, music, sunshine, the Belgrave baubles!’ Tiffany's bauble is hanging outside ‘Fleetwood Collection’ in Belgrave
' It’s very community-oriented. We all support our local businesses and it means I don’t have to go off the mountain for presents'
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‘This year I particularly enjoyed all the baubles in Belgrave. They’re all sparkly and lovely and I believe a lot of them were made from recycled materials. It’s a massive effort and they look great.’
‘The sense of community’. (Check out her awesome guitar skills on Instagram @jennaguitarist!)
Gelato. Sorbet.Cake. Repeat. With 36 flavours of artisan gelato and sorbet on offer, visiting Augustus Gelatery will be something we all do again srfdtand again this summer... and beyond. BY TA N YA D E S I LVA- M C K AY
isiting Augustus Gelatery three times in the space of ten days, after it opened in mid-November, is something I happily admit to. After watching the transformation of that corner building in the Upper Ferntree Gully shopping strip until it finally opened complete with outdoor area, my lot and I clearly did not waste any time. Eyes popped out of skulls, taste buds were satisfied, and heads nodded in agreement after we sampled flavours such as Cotton Candy and Bubblegum. Even on a cooler day, when Mr 4 announced that he was freezing, he continued to demolish his single scoop cup ($5). I couldn't help but try two scoops, Coconut Pandan and Bacio ($6.80), which feels like a new favourite combination...or is it? Perhaps Tiramisu or Fig and Almond will be next?
Or that old favourite, Pistachio? The gelato on offer, take Augustus Surprise and Zuppa Inglese for instance, are rich, smooth and taste authentic. Augustus Gelatery are also innovative, with options ranging from cakes, sorbets, take home tubs and vegan. Should you feel that two scoops in a cup or cone are not enough, a third sizeable scoop is priced at $8.80. Even better, it says on the entrance door that this gelatery is open late EVERY DAY! Pure joy! If you are like me and believe that gelato should be available at any time and in all kinds of weather, then this delicious offering in the hills is your new place to be. See you there. ď&#x20AC;ź www.augustusgelatery.com.au 1228 Burwood Hwy, Upper Ferntree Gully, 3156 Family friendly // Ramp access // Outdoor area Open 11am - 11pm
Photo courtesy: Augustus Gelatery
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Children’s Tai Chi Classes Enrolments are now open for 2020
Tai Chi will do wonders for your child’s self-confidence, focus and concentration. Improving physical fitness, balance, flexibility and coordination, your child will find themselves with Tai Chi, growing in self awareness through mindful movement. Further information is available at www.chigeneration.com.au.
Tai chi is a great alternative to competitive sports and a skill that will last for a lifetime...
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