What's in a name?
The change of name from Permaculture Melbourne to Permaculture Victoria some 18 months ago seemed simple enough, and far better represented the spread of members further out than Melbourne. What was not anticipated was the effect this would have on membership and activities within the association. We now have members right across the state and pushing, and perhaps even over stepping, the limits of the state boundaries. With that comes new local groups in Donald, Geelong, and South West Victoria, with more groups imminent as the enthusiasm for Permaculture continues to grow.
The Facebook Group has also exceded expectations, blitzing the old Permaculture Melbourne group of some 300+ members, to reach a membership of over 2000, and heading towards 3000.
As part of the growth, we have exhibited at three expos/festivals so far this year:-
Seymour Alternate Farming Expo (SAFE) - a change from our normal promotional activities these last few years. SAFE was very successful as a first showing and expectations are that it can only get better as we fine tune for a more rural demographic.
We also attended (f)route, a niche festival in Bairnsdale, which was arguably more successful than Seymour with new members and loads of interested in the East Gippsland region.
The Caulfield Sustainability Festival was an in-house festival, organised through the South East Suburbs local group, by group convener Miriam Baxt. With speakers Bruce Pasco talking about Aboriginal Agriculture, and Vasili Maresi talking and answering questions about growing your own food, the attendees were kept well occupied and informed. And despite being a cold and miserable Mother's Day, the attendance was gratifying and constant. Congrats to Miriam!
So, all in all, Permaculture Victoria is going from strength to strength, with many interesting plans for the future - but that is a story for another day.