Volunteering to make a change
We, the Working Group for the gathering, put our hands up to volunteer for this event because we saw a place within the system where we could facilitate change, help empower the gardens, create a sustainable focus looking into the future and hopefully forge a strengthened network. Each of us involved has worked tirelessly for almost a year, despite having often full time employment, families, studies and plentiful other commitments. Our meetings have frequently ended into the night, our weekends absorbed with planning and much thinking has been devoted to the organisation behind the event, happening on the 19th and 20th May at Perth City Farm. We committed to this venture because every one of us truly believes that this is a vital move for the community garden community. A place of activism, where our connections can make us stronger.
As volunteers, we have been driven by our commitment to make this happen. Working within a tight budget of $20,000 was always going to be a challenge, considering that this had to cover the full scope of needs for a 2 day event but one we were determined to achieve.
Our hope is that many of WA community gardeners will also meet us and raise their hands to the challenge. Maybe some of you would like to join us as volunteers for the event, offer assistance with preparation, or just the commitment of being there sharing your knowledge, your stories and successes. As well as ensuring that gardens stay on the radar, we believe wholeheartedly that a solid and collaborative network needs to form between your beautiful and diverse gardens. It is our hope that this network will continue to support you through resource provision and providing a space for ongoing learning or conversations. Maybe some of you would like to join us helping to form this new and strengthened network.
Our coming together in a large number in May will give us plentiful opportunity to learn from each other and while the conversation is fluid or natural, we will be little aware of the ‘wheels that we are putting in to motion’ at times. While at others we are hoping that you will share our vision to create some constructive space to future and sustainability plan. We are considering this an opportunity for some grassroots activism! With your input, energy and commitment, matching our own tireless energy and passion, we think that this can make us increasingly knowledgeable, change makers and future planners. We can be that exemplar! As volunteers we truly believe in that old saying “you get back what you put in” and we are so excited to see the results of our many committed hours of unpaid work. We will see you there on the 19th and 20th May, when together we make this whole process an investment.