Author Archives: John Englart

Some late August Fawkner events

It’s Craft Afternoon time again, this Saturday 22 August. Drop in any time between 12 and 3 and make some new crafty friends. Bring along something you are working on, an unfinished project, something you are stuck on, anything crafty! or make stars with us for the 1 Million Stars to End Violence project (we have lots of ribbon to share!)

Also this weekend, Merri Creek Management and Friends of Merri Creek are having a planting at the Creek near the Jukes Road end on Sunday 23 from 10.30 till 12. There will be a free BBQ (including Halal and vegetarian), walks, info about birds and plants. See attached flyer for more info.

And then on Sunday afternoon there is a celebration of the Tree of Faith project that artist Angela Stock has been doing with the community. It’s at the Fawkner Community House, 95 Major Road. Here is the info from her:

Just a reminder that we’re gathering to celebrate the completion of The Tree of Faith Project this Sunday 23 August. Please bring along some food to share and a cushion to sit on to watch the film (there will be chairs too).

So you can plan your afternoon, I’ll let you know that the festivities around the community art work will kick off from about 2.15pm including an appearance from the fabulous community choir “The Brunswick Rogues”.
The film screening of “Mary Meets Mohammad” will follow – running from 2.40pm – 4pm.

Planting event at end of Jukes Road

Tree planting August 2014

Tree planting August 2014

Merri Creek Management Committee and Friends of Merri Creek are holding a planting event at the end of Jukes Rd, near Merri Creek this weekend. Much of the creek vegetation has been assisted by regular plantings over the last 50 years to restore a semblance of native habitat along the creek corridor.

You are invited to join this ‘Habitat Heroes’ planting on Sunday 23rd August.

Planting, walks & free BBQ
including Vegetarian and Halal food
Sunday 23rd August,
Eastern end of Jukes Rd Fawkner, (Melway 18 A2)

Featuring planting, Wurundjeri Elder Caring for Country presentation, guided bird watch, self-guided walks to learn about 10 top plants for providing habitat, and BBQ.

These planting events are a lot of fun to do together. Bring kids along to help too.

For enquiries phone Ray or Monica at MCMC on 9380 8199 or 0421 683 926 on the day.

The plantings are Funded by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and the State Government’s Communities for Nature. Supported by Moreland City Council.

Bababi Djinanang planting Aug 2015 poster

May activity: Lots of things happening this weekend!

Sustainable Fawkner’s next Food Swap is this Saturday 9 May from 10.30 till 12.30 at Jukes Rd. If you have any spare garden produce or seedlings or just want to share a conversation and a cuppa, come along and meet new friends. Fawkner Community House, CB Smith Reserve, 79 Jukes Rd, Fawkner

Fawkner Men’s Shed
Fawkner Men’s Shed is coming soon! Learn about the project and find out how you can get involved!
Saturday 9th May, 3pm till 4pm
Fawkner Community House, 95 Major Road, Fawkner
Contact Fawkner Community House: Ph. 9357 4631 or Brian on 0458 938 945
See: Fawkner Community House: Men’s Shed to be established on Major Rd site (Moreland Leader 4 May 2015)

Planting Day on Merri Creek
Planting Day on Merri Creek this Sunday 10 May (Mothers Day) from 10 till 12.30 near Lorne and Sahara streets. Free BBQ (Halal and vegetarian options). See flyer for more details.
Download an A4 Poster: 20150515 Planting the Gap at Fawkner Poster

Tree planting August 2014

Tree planting August 2014

Women’s Morning Tea
Women’s Morning Tea is Thursday 14 May at the Fawkner Community House (95 Major Rd) from 10.30 till 12. Amina who organises it had the great idea of making it part of the Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, which is a fundraiser for the Cancer Council. So come along to this extra special version of the Morning Tea!

Sustainable Fawkner meeting
Our next Sustainable Fawkner meeting will be Saturday 16 May from 4 till 7 at Jukes Rd. (Shared meal from about 6 -bring a plate of food to share). We have lots to talk about! We now have two gardens, with great ideas from the Open Day about what we can do with the Major Road garden, John’s upcoming trip to the Climate Change conference, ideas for workshops, etc…

Fawkner Organics Bulk Food Co-op
There is a Fawkner Organics Bulk Food Co-op starting. Let us know and we will pass your details on to the lovely Holly who is organising it. It will be based at the Fawkner Community House.

Fawkner Community House
Sustainable Fawkner
Fawkner Organics Bulk Food Co-op


Earth hour preceeds electricity blackout in parts of Fawkner

Earthhour was last Saturday night. Did you turn out your lights for the hour from 8.30pm to 9.30pm?

We had extra excitement here in Fawkner near Major Rd. A blackout in the local electricity grid enforced a measure of compliance slightly later in the evening. Those who had already participated in earth hour would have been well prepared with candles, matches and flashlights.

The electricity was down for perhaps 40 minutes, but provided a unique time to see the stars and the night sky more clearly from suburbia.

Around the world hundreds of millions of people participated in earth hour or were part of earth hour events to raise the profile and light the way on climate change. It isn’t the saving of power that is important (although those who control our grid now factor in the drop in demand over earthhour itself), but the symbolism involved in people calling for action to curtail the environmental degradation of the earth’s life systems and the looming threat posed by climate change.

People in about 172 countries participated in the earthhour event.

“From the Earth’s extremes to outer space, people came together to send a clear message that action on climate is on top of their agenda. Earth Hour confirms our belief that in order to change climate change we need to act together. WWF will continue to do its share to shape strong, global climate solutions,” said Sudhanshu Sarronwala, Chair, Board of Directors, Earth Hour Global.

According to the WWF, in Moscow the Kremlin switched off the lights while citizens switched on their power for change by collecting close to 70,000 signatures to petition a moratorium on the exploration of Arctic oil.

In Malaysia, citizens attended the first-ever Earth Hour 2015 carnival in Petaling Jaya and answered the call to come out in large numbers to show their support for a city council declaration to reduce carbon emissions by 25 per cent within the next five years.

Here is UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urging participation in Earth hour in 2015. “No individual action is too small, no collective vision is too big. This is the time to use your power. Join the global movement to change climate change….Together let’s make climate change history.”

Over 1,400 landmarks switched off the lights on Saturday including the Empire State Building and the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Hong Kong’s iconic skyline. Close to 40 UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Acropolis in Athens, the walled city of Baku, the Cologne Cathedral and the Galapagos Islands also participated.

Earthhour started in Sydney in 2007. It has proven to be a powerful symbol of education in motivating change for more sustainable choices.

So, if you turned out your lights, you were a small part of this too. To read more and see photos and videos of earth hour visit


Sustainable Fawkner appear on Environmentality on Northwest FM

20150311-environmentalityLast week three of us from Sustainable Fawkner – Brian Bainbridge, Colleen Jones and John Englart, were interviewed live on the radio program Environmentality on North West FM 98.9.

We discussed our monthly foodswap that has been running for 5 years now, as an opportunity to meet fellow Fawkner residents, swap backyard grown produce and tips and tricks for gardening, cooking and on general sustainability issues.

Also discussed was the community project run by Gracie Lolicato for a temporary Town Square in one of the alley ways off the Bonwick and Jukes Rd shopping Precinct. See our reports from the first Saturday and 2nd Saturday.

For the third and Final Saturday on 21st March (this weekend) Gracie has organised a street market from 11am to 4pm with many local Fawkner stallholders, children’s activities and more music.

Images from a Wednesday afternoon from Fawkner Piazza

During the interview, John also talked about his involvement in Climate Action Moreland and the work done around climate change, the urban heat island effect and heatwave impact, divestment from fossil fuels and other climate issues with Moreland Council.

The show went live to air, but you can read the program summary for 11 March 2015 and also listen to a 42 minute podcast on 11 March 2015 of the conversation.

The Environmentality radio program covers environmental and sustainability issues for the Northern Melbourne region and goes to air at midday on Wednesdays from Northwest FM broadcast studios in Hadfield. Visit the Environmentality blog to catch the program rundown and podcasts and support our community radio in Melbourne’s north: 98.9 Northwest FM.
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Bonwick street Fawkner was buzzing on Saturday

The second Saturday of the Fawkner piazza, a temporary pop-up park and town square a Con Temporary Place (Visit and Like on Facebook) in one of the alleys of the Jukes Rd and Bonwick street shopping precinct, drew shoppers and local residents together to chat and muse and listen to music, and let their kids play for a while. The alley was throbbing with talk, home grown veggies, activity and music on Saturday.

The smells of sausages sizzling wafted down the street tempting people to come and have a little look at this new community social space while they were doing their Saturday morning shopping.

The soaring sounds of a saxophone playing the saxophone solo from Gerry Rafferty’s song ‘Baker Street’:

This city desert makes you feel so cold
It’s got so many people but it’s got no soul
And it’s taken you so long to find out you were wrong
When you thought it held everything

Sweet musical sounds floating on the morning sunshine as cars arrive, search for parking, disgorge their occupants to do their shopping for a while, and then depart. Perhaps a few lingered a while longer curious about the music, the sausage sizzle, the alley filled with people.

And when you wake up it’s a new mornin’
The sun is shinin’, it’s a new mornin’
But you’re going, you’re going home

Interspersed with saxophone was the gentle sounds of an electronic piano. Other musical acts followed, including a community choir, a young boy who did some cool harmonica solos, a guitar duet with some sweet singing.

If you stayed until mid afternoon, you may have heard Meredith from the Community House on her button accordion jamming with Rachel, a violinist. But by that stage most of the shoppers had gone, traders had closed or were in the act of closing, and most of the young children had melted off home with their parents. Rachel is scheduled to perform this Wednesday afternoon.

The Foundling archive put together this compilation video:

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A temporary Fawkner piazza off Bonwick street takes shape

So, John, what did you do on Saturday? Oh I went to my local shopping precinct and helped make a piazza, a town square space, for the community. Arrived at 10am and ended up spending several hours there: helping to paint street furniture, moving tables and chairs, talking to people curious about what was happening.

Will there be coffee served there? No. Fawkner already has some great cake and coffee shops just a few doors away. Buy your coffee (and cake) from these established businesses that have mastered the art of extracting the best flavours from their coffee machines. And purchase their cakes and pastries too! then bring them to the piazza to sit, drink and eat.

Need to sit for a while after buying your groceries and vegetables? Sure, it’s a place a sit for a while, strike up a conversation.

Converting this laneway into a community space is a project of Fawkner residents, schools and businesses and is supported by Moreland City Council, Fawkner Community House and the Foundling Archive. A grant from Moreland Council was made for this community space utilising the laneway for two weeks in March.

Cr Lenka Thompson joined us and helped painting some recycled  pallet bench seats

Cr Lenka Thompson joined us and helped painting some recycled pallet bench seats

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A town square for Fawkner?

This Saturday, 7th March, for a couple of weeks a laneway off Bonwick Street will be transformed into a town Square.

This is an opportunity to meet other residents, socialise, sit down and have a coffee, listen to some music, buy some craft items from the suitcase popup market, and more.

But more than anything, the utility of the place is up to you to make it work as a social space.

See you at Fawkner’s own Con Temporary place.

More info see the Con Temporary Place Facebook page.

Healthscope launches campaign to bully residents and Moreland Council over John Fawkner Hospital re-development

This story is a little different from my usual fare. It is about a major Health company – Healthscope – launching a campaign against local residents and Moreland Council for the redevelopment of the John Fawkner private hospital.

If you live in Fawkner, or elsewhere in Moreland, you may have been surprised to see a letter sent to your address in your letterbox from John Fawkner Hospital yesterday or today.

So why would John Fawkner Hospital, located on Moreland Road in Coburg and bordering Brunswick be sending these letters out to distant parts of the municipality like Fawkner?

Perhaps they have done a mailing to every address in the municipality? I don’t know.

So this letter explains that they want to redevelop and expand the site including building a multi-level car park. But their development plans have gone to Moreland Council and twice been rejected. Something fishy is going on here.

The first time the plans were rejected by Council in July 2012 as inappropriate. John Fawkner Hospital appealed the decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) but lost. Strange, because usually VCAT decisions predominantly support development proposals.
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Bird survey at Fawkner Sunday 15 Feb 2015

Red-browed Finch

Red-browed Finch

Come along to the Friends of Merri Creek first bird survey for 2015 on Sunday 15 February, from 8:45 to 10:30am. The quarterly bird survey runs at different locations up and down Merri Creek, as well as at Bababi Djinanang (Jukes Road grasslands), in Fawkner.

How about visiting a part of the Merri that you haven’t seen? – choose a site from the list below. If this date doesn’t suit, then come along to Bababi Marning (Cooper Street Grasslands Reserve) a week later, on 22 February.

What to Bring
Bring binoculars if you have them, and drinking water, closed-in footwear and a sunhat. Preferably wear sombre colours.
Beginner-birders are welcome to our surveys, as well as experienced birders.
No dogs, please.

If you would enjoy a stroll through native grasslands by Merri Creek, spotting the birds as you go, then come along to Bababi Marning (Cooper Street Grasslands Reserve) next Sunday, 22 February. You can even have a bit of a sleep-in, as the starting time will be 10:30am next Sunday. The survey will finish around 12 noon.

Please call or text the survey leader, Stuart Dashper on 0404 012 385, to let him know that you will be coming.

Other dates for surveys in 2015:

  • 17 May
  • 6 September
  • 8 November

Surveys at Bababi Marning (Cooper Street Grasslands Reserve) will be held 24 May, 13 September and 15 November.

Survey meeting points:

  • Bababi Djinanang (Jukes Road grasslands), Fawkner: Meet on Merri Path at end of Jukes Road, Fawkner (Melway 18 A2).
  • Egan Reserve-Harding St-Strettle Reserve: Meet at the steps at end of The Grove, East Coburg (Melway 30 A3).
  • Coburg Lake Reserve: Meet near the car park, Lake Grove Coburg (Melway 17 H10).
  • Edwardes Lake: Meet at the playground adjacent to Griffiths St, Reservoir (Melway 18 E5).
  • CERES to Moreland Road: Meet at the seats on the Merri Path at rear of CERES near Blyth Street, East Brunswick (Melway 30 B7).
  • Phillips Reserve, Merri Park: Meet at the end of Victoria St, East Brunswick, at barbecue shelter (Melway 30 B8).
  • Hall Reserve- Yarra Bend Park: Meet at the Rotunda, Hall Reserve, Clifton Hill (Melway 2D D1).
  • Galada Tamboore: Meet at the end of Hatty Court, Campbellfield (Melway 7 K6).
  • Galgi Ngaark (Craigieburn Grasslands): Meet at the O’Herns Road gate off Hume Highway (Melway 180 E6).
  • Bababi Marning (Cooper St Grasslands): Meet outside the Istrian Social Club, Cooper St Epping (Melway 387K10).

Come along and learn to identify the birds that frequent the Merri Creek ecosystems and contribute to data collection on changes in numbers and species of birds over time. This data is important to collate to understand bird numbers and movements due to changes in the environment and climate.