CERES doing different and good

In the beginning, back in the early eighties when Brunswick’s textile industry was packing up and heading for China. Back when local businesses were still using the Merri Creek as a sewer. Back when a culture of community mindedness was becoming swamped by a culture of shopping.  A small group of people decided to do something different, something good in their neighbourhood.

On a treeless former bluestone quarry cum rubbish tip nobody knew much about community gardens, clean energy, or environmental education. But they got to work anyway; they cleaned up, they planned and planted.  They recycled buildings and made garden plots out of piles of leftover blue stone. They got in the ears of politicians and scraped together funding.

And slowly, slowly out of this primordial community soup emerged a beautifully chaotic, leafy sanctuary that drew teachers and students, bike fixers and solar geeks, urban farmers and social entrepreneurs, parents and children and a myriad of tiny community groups seeking a home.

Projects emerged; like Australia’s first kerbside recycling scheme, early demonstrations of solar and wind power, kitchen gardens, social enterprise and of course the hands-on lessons that helped thousands of school children understand that the way we live is entwined with the fates of our insects and animals, our rivers and creeks, our forests and fields….our everything.

If you look around Australia there’s no place like CERES. Today we receive almost a million visits a year to our park, online and through CERES’ programs in hundreds of Victorian schools. People of all ages use CERES to learn, to grow, to meet, to share ideas, to connect with food, energy, water and culture.  And each year at this time we ask you to join with that original group of neighbours to keep CERES doing the different things, the good things.


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