Joy Foley is a New Zealander who has been living in Europe for the last 30 years. She has two adult children, is a nurse by trade and a gardener by nature. She grew up on a small dairy farm in NZ, then later with her own family set up an off grid life in the north of England. Since 1998 she lived in Germany and has recently been involved in setting up a food cooperative in Munich city, initiating a small eco-community and starting a CSA scheme (Community Supported Agriculture) on an organic farm north of Munich. She speaks english, german and a little italian.
A series of pivotal life events have led to the founder becoming increasingly aware of her part in the web of life and destruction on this planet. The consequences of our combined actions are leading the world into a state of no longer being able to support life. This includes the destruction of the environment, breakdown of family support networks and loss of connection of humans with the natural environment. The return of the forests would be instrumental in slowing or even reversing climate change. Living in smaller self reliant communities could be a solution to the growing isolation and disempowered life of many. Working on and with the land builds awareness of our inherent connection with all nature.
She realised that the only way to create effective change was to change her own lifestyle and to work towards the world she wants for her great great grandchildren. This led to her wish to be involved in ‘growing trees to grow people’ but she wasn’t sure where this would be.
Initiation Phase Timeline - July - August 2016
A ‘knowing’ that Queensland was the intended place happened during a vision quest cycle ride from Munich to Rome. It emerged out of a place of stillness after letting go of all expectations and demands and allowing for the unknowing and therefore wisdom to emerge. It was a moment of personal realisation for the founder. Immediately syncronicities started to occur as she began the process of reaching out with her project idea, to start gathering information and building a supporting network.
September - November 2016
Lots of consultation both face to face and via email helped redefine and consolidate the idea for Peace Valley and Joy arrived in Australia at the beginning of November. Many Thanks to the following who were very supportive during this time: Ivan Davison ‘Freshtrack Systems’ Susan Savage ‘Killarney Bushcare’ Kieth Murray ‘Cambanoora Gorge Management Group’ Alan Davison ‘Greenacorn’ Alan Watson Featherstone ‘Trees for Life’ Andy Egan ‘International Tree Fund’ and Joey Walters ‘Awakening Feminine Leaders’
December 2016 - February 2017
Further exploration of ideas, building of networks and on the ground exploration over the summer led to the decision to situate the basecamp for the pilot project at Bindarrabi Community, NSW. Initial enquiries about funding through grants suggest future funding is likely once the project is operational. Many thanks to Susan and Clive Savage who allowed me to live with them over these months and to the Bindarrabi Community for agreeing to support this project.
March 2017 - August 2017
March marked the arrival at Bindarrabi and initial work on building a basecamp, further work on increasing an internet presence through Facebook and getting people on board. In June the first volunteers arrived and loved their experience. During July a refinement of the basecamp occurred with improved drainage, putting in a raised pallet floor and rearranging the water collection. First steps have been taken to set up a legal structure, begin marketing, and enable donations from supporters. A compost heap was started and the first steps to creating a productive vegetable garden made.