For the most part CERES generates its money through social enterprises like Fair Food, but there’s a gap (there’s always a gap). Once a year we put it out there and ask for your help. It’s a one time thing – we hit you up and then let everybody get on with it. See our spiel below, normal newsletter transmission resumes next week.
Dear CERES supporter,
In the beginning, back when CERES was an unused rubbish tip, when the Merri Creek was a sewer for Kodak and all the other factories upstream. Back when Brunswick was a suburb of closing shoe and textile factories and people were losing their jobs. Back when there wasn’t a single tree between the Roberts Street front gate and the Merri creek – there was a small group of neighbours who came to this small piece of polluted land and wanted to do something good.
There was no master plan; they just cleaned up, they planted trees, made fences out of hard rubbish, cobbled together garden plots and chicken coops and they started teaching school kids how to look after our land and water better. Years passed and slowly a beautifully chaotic, leafy sanctuary of veggies and chickens and school kids and young parents and bike fixers and solar geeks and preservers and community gardeners seeking respite from a busy, concrete world coalesced from this primal community soup and emerged as CERES.
There was no leader, no charismatic visionary, people just played their parts, gave their time, came and went, came and went. Thirty-four years later CERES remains – this hopeful little piece of land surrounded by a city with its eyes glued to screens, its mind filled with property development, its belly wracked by an insatiable appetite for material things.
And each year around this time we ask for your help to keep CERES – CERES. Because every year almost half a million of you come through the front gate to learn, to grow, to meet, to share ideas, to just span time watching the chickens. You come to this special, chaotic, hopeful oasis in the middle of the city that couldn’t have been made by a government or a corporation. And we ask you to give because together you made CERES and only you can keep on making it.
CERES plays a long game; one day the 60,000 school children who come to learn at CERES will run this country. They come to use green technology, to work in food gardens and to talk with indigenous teachers about cultures who live in harmony with the world around them. And there’ll be things they see, hear, smell, touch and taste at CERES that will help them understand that our needs and desires for food, shelter and energy are intimately connected with the fates of our creeks and rivers, our insects and tadpoles, our chickens and our kingfishers, our gardens and forests.
Take a look around Australia and the world, there’s no place quite like CERES. The money you give today helps CERES work with hundreds of volunteers each month (people like Pete below on the left). It helps put thousands of plants in the ground. Helps workers like Ellie (below on the right) welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, people who just want to do something good, something hopeful like the neighbours who came here more than 30 years ago and began cleaning up an old rubbish tip.
Today CERES is a symbol for hope, embodied by the land it sits on: because the damage we do can be fixed – if we choose to fix it. Some people have their walking groups or sporting clubs, some their churches – if you want to be part of something meaningful, something to belong to, to barrack for, to believe in, then make CERES your group, your club, your church, your place.
If you donated, thank you. Your donation is tax deductible.
Have a great week