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 first 3 months until March and to the Bindarrabi Community for agreeing to support this project.
Over the last few nights sleep has been made difficult by the noisy calling and playing of this opossum here at the camp. This means we'll have to keep everything shut away in cupboards or risk breakages! Also he ate all the baby lettuces so more security is needed for the garden as well.. When I went out to take this photo he was so unused to the presence of humans he had no fear, only curiosity.
After much deliberation and checking out of options Peace Valley bought a 20ft container from Boonah Carrying. They were straight and very efficient about both sale and delivery. However although we had placed and levelled tree stumps to place it on we’d forgotten that the slope of the terrain would effect the deliver truck too. He wasn’t able to place it precisely so we were kept busy after he left using jacks to level it. The container will double as a storeroom and office
This is me, Joy, founder of Peace Valley, busy in the morning sun preparing pastry for a quiche that we'll have for dinner. Being surrounded by trees, birds and the sounds of nature is such a lovely way to spend your time!
While visiting family on the Gold Coast a Kookaburra landed on my head and sat there a while to sing! What an amazing experience. He was very gently, as light as a feather. First he chattered then burst into loud laughter which of course I had to join in with! Later he returned and sat on my arm to eat food I offered. I felt very honoured indeed.
We had a great week with the first group of volunteers. They enjoyed the adventure, the frosty nights and sunny days of winter here. The week included a trip to Warwick, replanting and mulching olive trees, removing Fireweed, deep sharing and singing by the campfire, making homemade bread and chopping firewood etc. The success of this week was a great confirmation that the concept of Peace Valley will work!
After the various floods it became obvious we needed more protection from water. A solution was to collect and lay pallets, recycled from Warwick Farmers Market, cover them in recycled carpet for insulation and then put the tent up on this.
A great few days indeed as we found, bought, collected and placed an antique Rayburn Stove at the campsite. This means we can cook anything, bake cakes even, here in the middle of the bush! Also we can use waste wood from the property, reducing costs and helping clear some of the wood which would otherwise build to create a fire risk.
At the end of February 2017 a proposal was presented to Carol Shantel and Doone Wyborn of Bindarrabi Community to set up the pilot phase of Peace Valley on their community. This was accepted and I (Joy) moved in at the beginning of March following signing of a memorandum of agreement.
Elvyn, Raphael, Epona and I spent the weekend at the Head end of the Gorge removing Moth Vine. We had the pleasure of Saleena and Meg’s company who filmed the event. On Sunday Susan and Clive from Bushcare arrived along with Ivan from CGMG. We all had a great time. It was a good trial as a first step towards creating the Peace Valley project.
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’
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.