Danawa in August

Hi everyone


Look forward to meeting up for the AGM this Thursday, 3 August, 6.30pm, Spring Creek Community House, Price Street.  If you are coming and would like to stay on for the curry, email back by tomorrow afternoon.  

We have received nominations for all eight positions on the Committee.  If you wish to nominate, you can still do so.  Submit nominations on the form sent out via email with the AGM notice, by the start of the meeting, and there'll be a vote where two or more nominations are received. 

The Pruning Day was very informative and inspiring - this last Sunday we finished off the pruning of all fruit trees, and some natives.  The pile of branches and twigs are waiting for the Shire to chip them all into mulch. 


If you've ever wondered how to install overhead kitchen cupboards, now is your chance!  Or, if you know how to do it and would like to help, come down to the Garden at 10am this Saturday. 

Thank you Kay and Ian Champion for donating them!


While there is no group working-bee this month, there is plenty to do whenever you visit.  

  • Private plots - keep them looking cared for and help with weeding on the paths around them.
  • Weeds!  Weed wherever you find them.
  • Spread mulch on beds and paths between mandalas and plots


The following four tasks will be done progressively. Let a Committee member know if you're interested:

  • Install edging around fruit trees
  • Level out steps into the garden.
  • Level tracks through grass to sharing shed and around trees. (Short term solution to prevent rolled ankles - long term: waiting for contour survey for proper drainage levels.)
  • Raise mandalas 

If you haven't already done so, let Giuliana know your ideas for Spring planting (or return email). 


June, on behalf of the Committee


Posted on August 8, 2017 .

Danawa in July

Hello gardening members

Over the next couple of weeks we will be concentrating our efforts on preparing for a Pruning Day on 23 July.  Also to note:

§  No official working bees this month.

§  When you are at Danawa please do some weeding – they are thriving.

§  Adopt a fruit tree! (Explanation further below.)

§  Upcoming AGM mentioned at the end of this email - attached forms are explained.


Great news!  Bunnings have donated a wonderful array of tools and equipment from a ‘wish list’ we provided them a couple of weeks ago.  (Thank you Steve and Giulliana for initiating this.)

Bunnings Torquay have given Danawa some quality items:

§  one digging fork

§  two spades

§  two watering cans

§  three pairs of secateurs

§  three hand trowels

§  bird netting

§  one set of hose fittings and spray nozzles

§  a new first aid kit


Pruning Day   Sunday 23 July – Drop in any time from 10am until 4pm

Our fruit trees are ready for a professional prune!

John Purtill, a well known heritage fruit tree expert, has agreed to spend the day down at Danawa to instruct members who are interested on how to properly go about pruning. 

Bring your sharp secateurs!

Danawa will jointly host this event with the Torquay Urban Fruit Farmers (TUFF).  Thank you to members of (TUFF) for organising this event (some of whom are also members of Danawa), and for obtaining a donation to cover the fee for John’s services. 

We acknowledge this generous donation ($300) given by Tim Carson of McCartney Real Estate.

Members of neighbouring community gardens – Aireys Inlet, Anglesea and the new Torquay North – have also been invited to attend.

There will be something hot to drink and eat all through the day (sausage sizzle, soup, tea, coffee) and, of course, cake! 

As members co-hosting this event, let me know if you would like to assist - bring some soup or cake to share.  However, don’t stay home if you can’t contribute in this way – no pressure! - come and enjoy the day.  It’s an opportunity to get to know one another.

Adopt a Danawa Fruit Tree?

A member has suggested some lucky people might like to adopt one of Danawa’s fruit trees.  Who'd like to be one of the lucky ones?

By being the tree’s carer you’ll be responsible for all the things the trees love - clearing and mulching underneath, pruning, ensuring it gets a deep monthly water, then letting members know via Facebook when the fruit is ready to pick.  You’ll get help to get started, and then recruit your family or co-members to help. A fun thing to be involved in!

Let us know by return if you want to hug a tree!

Annual General Meeting(AGM)

Another opportunity to meet members of Danawa.  We are finalising the details – for it to be held locally (probably at the Spring Creek Community House) later this month, or in August. 

You will receive a formal notice by email along with a couple of forms, which are also attached here.

One is for you to complete if you wish to nominate either yourself or another member to serve on the Committee.  We need a President, Treasurer and Secretary, and five other members to either be a Vice President, Members’ Secretary, Social Secretary, Coordinator of Gardening, and Maintenance and Building Coordinator.

The other form can be used if you think you will be unable to attend the AGM.  Ask a member if they would vote for you and complete the form accordingly.  You can either state who you want them to vote for, or empower them to vote on your behalf as they see fit.

Enjoy this month at Danawa!


On behalf of the Committee

Posted on August 8, 2017 .

Outcomes AGM 2016-2017

The AGM went well last Thursday, 3 August 2017, with 15 members in attendance.  In addition, 28 members were represented by proxies.

New Committee Members

There being only one nomination received for seven of the eight roles on the new Committee; these were elected unopposed.  Two nominations were submitted for Gardening Coordinator, Nina Travis and Giuliana Talbot, and a secret ballot was held.  The new Committee comprises:

Richard Marks, President

Kay Champion, Vice President

June Marks, Secretary

Simon Walsh, Treasurer

Nikki Barnes, Membership Secretary

Giuliana Talbot, Gardening Coordinator

Lynda Harding, Social Secretary

John Harrison, Coordinator of Maintenance and Building

In addition, 'Plugga' Newton, a founding member of the garden, accepted the role of Propagation Manager on the 1st August, and this will be ratified at the next Committee meeting. We will be aiming to use Danawa seeds rather than buying in seedlings, and Plugga has a great deal of expertise to offer. 

New Subscriptions and Plot Fees

We also voted in favour of an increase in membership subscriptions and plot fees. The aim is to work within the budget provided by fees for the basic gardening inputs, rather than rely on fundraising, often left to a few who quickly burn out. Small grants applications will be submitted for particular projects. 

The fees and subscriptions up to this point in time have remained the same since at least 2005, when they were: Singles $10 plus $25 for a plot ($35); Family $25 plus $25 for a plot ($50). The mix of the costs changed in 2008 to $25 single and $35 family, plus $15 for a plot ($40 Single, $50 Family). 

It was agreed that the new fees be $30 for Singles and $50 for Families, plus $25 for a private plot rental; and that the fees for this financial year be payable by 31 August 2017.  

Congratulations have been conveyed to the new Committee members and thanks to those who continue to serve.

Kind regards


Posted on August 7, 2017 .

Danawa in June

Despite the cooler weather (and rain), many of you have been busy in the Garden, and it shows!  Regular fertilising and keeping on top of the weeding between the seedlings will pay off. Most of the paths between the beds are looking clear of weeds and are well mulched.  The area along the tennis court fence has also been cleared. Some of the fruit trees have been freed from choking grass and weeds and have been mulched to the dripline.  The artichoke bed has been boxed and is looking rather smart. 

Here are some reminders and a list of jobs to tackle in June. Further below, and attached, is an invitation from the Shire to attend Power Up this Saturday.


Bins    Council picks up rubbish Thursday, Friday and Saturdays. Place them outside the driveway gate by the road next to the end of the low fence.

Diary   Pick 'n' Plants and working bees (with hot cuppa and something good to eat)

            Each Saturday at 10am, and

            2-4pm Saturday 10th and Sunday 25th  


-  Regular watering is not necessary for this month. Thank you to all who have maintained this roster.

-  Digging rushes out of drains where they are obstructing water flow.

-  Freeing the rest of the fruit trees of grass and weeds - layer old carpet to discourage weed growth, fertilise and mulch to the drip line.

 -  Moving the corrugated iron near entrance to storage.

-  Raising of mandala beds - ready for Spring. Richard and Jeremy will lead this work and would love volunteers to help lay and mortar bricks, and eventually prepare the beds for Spring planting.

-  Spring crops:  We can all start thinking about what we would like to plant in Spring. Bring your suggestions to reply email when they come to mind. 


Ongoing work:

o    fertilise everything with diluted worm wee or Seasol

o    weed between the new seedings

o    clean up and weed area between strawberry bed, sharing shed and olive tree (old carpet)

o    mulch each fruit tree to the dripline, keeping the trunk clear

o    private plots and paths between: keeping the weeds down and mulch

Keep warm!

June, Secretary

Posted on June 29, 2017 .

Danawa in May

We hope you are all enjoying the rain (!).  A bit of flooding experienced at Danawa, but it should quickly subside.  

THANK YOU to all who continue to maintain the garden: mowers, pruners, weeders, waterers, compost makers, mulchers, bin monitors, etc.!  (Just on bins ... It might be helpful for all to know that Council picks up rubbish from the bins Thursday, Friday and Saturdays.)

Starting today, you'll receive a monthly email to alert you to what is coming up in the month ahead at Danawa.  

After a wonderful autumn harvest, food production will quieten down for the next few months.  However, there is still much to do and you'll have at least ten opportunities to work as a group during May.  Also, there are still lots of leafy greens and herbs for helpers to share.

Firstly, we have the Pick 'n' Plants on Saturday 13th and Sunday 28th from 2pm to 4pm - with a  hot cuppa and cake!

Tasks, coordinated by Giuliana, will include:

  • fertilise everything with diluted worm wee or seasol
  • weed between the new seedings
  • clear zucchini plants once they have finished producing
  • more root vegie seeds to be sown in the those mandalas

Next, we have another eight morning sessions, coordinated by Nina and/or Tiffany. Just turn up around 9.30 am, Wednesdays and Saturdays. On Saturdays, there will be bacon and egg sangas for helpers (gold coin donation).

  • clean up and weed area between strawberry bed, sharing shed and olive (weed mat is being considered: to be costed for committee approval)
  • weed each fruit tree - then a layer of cardboard/old carpet to discourage weed growth
  • mulch each fruit tree to the dripline, keeping the trunk clear
  • clean up and weed around and between artichoke bed and raised bed - use wood from that bed to build up around artichoke bed
  • weed paths in private plot areas, and area vacated by Barwon Health in the south-west
  • weed between tennis courts and wind break
  • mulch these areas (two items above) - first layering with cardboard/old carpet to discourage weed growth. 

That should keep us busy!

With thanks and cheers!




Posted on April 26, 2017 .

Summer/Autumn Stuff

Danawa is now headed up by Richard and June Marks, after the resignation of Sarah and Peter. Enjoy the next phase of your life, and huge thanks for all you did for Danawa.

There have been other changes to the committee - Leanne and Perry have stepped down, but will continue to help with community involvement [regular Karingal visits] and advice, and several others have joined to replace them. Its great to have such a committed and enthusiastic team. 

The garden has flourished, with the assistance of pick'n'plant participants, regular mowers, compost makers and waterers. Plus of course those who just pop in and help when they can. We've all eaten amazingly flavorful fruit and vegies. 

It's time now to clear the beds and get the next crops in.


Posted on April 8, 2017 .

Community Garden Grows, and Grows!

Danawa Community Garden is growing… Growing silver beet, sweet potatoes, coriander and much much more!

It is also growing in membership, currently with over 50 paid-up annual memberships, over half of which are members with garden plots at the garden.

Danawa members enjoy being able to share in the harvest after our ‘Pick’n’Plant’ day working bees that are on the 2nd Saturday and 4th Sunday of the month. They also love being able to grow their own seedlings in the propagating facilities, having a lovely place to relax and being able to occasionally fire up the pizza oven with friends and family in the ‘Sharing Shed’.

It’s a great compliment that increasingly other community groups are partnering with Danawa on projects and events, such as SCEG, Surf Coast Shire, Karingal Disability Services and 1st Torquay Scouts. Kids Go Bush runs weekly Outdoor Playgroup sessions on Wednesday and Thursday mornings as an opportunity for kids under 5yo to connect with nature in a safe and fun format.

To ensure that Danawa continues to be a vital part of the community we will be holding a  'Danawa Dreaming' planning day which will inspire us all into the future next Sunday

The next event after that is the Winter Solstice Celebration on Saturday 25th June with lantern-making, bonfire, food and music. Richard Bennet will guide a meditation and speak about the personal experience of the 100 Dawns Fundraiser for BeyondBlue.

For more information go to danawa.org.au or email danawacommunitygarden@gmail.com

Posted on May 31, 2016 .

August Newsletter

Hi Danawa members!


As we get ready for spring and summer, we are organising a few events that we hope that all our members will support:

Field Trip to Aireys Inlet Community Garden - Saturday 5th September, 10-12am

  • Aireys Inlet have about 60 members, lots of interesting things happening and lots of garden plots to look at!
  • Meet at Danawa at 9.30 to car-pool
  • We will join them at their regular working bee for a tour of the garden and chat with the members over coffee and cake
  • We are looking for everyone who has a plot at Danawa to try to come along to this!

Garden Art Workshop, Planning Get-together (AGM) and Community meal  - Saturday 19th September, 3pm onwards

  • Workshop at Danawa Community Garden starting at 3pm to make an arty sign for your plot (materials supplied)
  • Planning session/speed dating session to identify the priorities for the next year & create a big 'Jobs To Do' list on the whiteboard
  • Community meal - chop up some veggies together and let it cook in the oven, or bring something to share
  • And...if its a fine night we might even finish off with a movie!
  • This will comprise our AGM so please do attend and contribute to 'growing' the garden in some way

Massive Spring Working Bee  - Saturday 10th October, 12-5pm onwards

  • Complete the renovation of the South Mandala and other projects TBA
  • BBQ and cake!

Build, Grow Live in Torquay  - Sunday 25th October, 12-5pm onwards

  • Sustainable House visits - 4 sustainable buildings are open to view
  • Workshops and stalls at Danawa showcasing sustainable living ideas, local designers and great local food
  • Co-sponsored by Surf Coast Energy Group (SCEG) and Danawa Community Garden


The garden is looking really great for this time of year. The North Mandala beds are all fully planted and have been very productive. Its great to see the produce not just growing beautifully, but also being harvested and used - thats what its all about, after all! Well done to everyone who has put in a bit of time to achieve such a great crop this winter!

Many of the private plots too are looking good too, with a wide variety of veggies growing, and even some artwork beginning to spring up! Thanks in particular to Steve, Grainne and Sian who are managing the compost bays so well. There will be another batch of compost ready soon, it looks like, and informative signs about how to make a 'hot' compost.

Visitors Book

To all gardeners, when you are next at Danawa please take some time to write a little note in the Visitors Book in the Sharing Shed about what you've done. It is encouraging to others to see that in fact there are many visitors to the garden in a typical week, but its easy to miss people and think that's not the case. The Visitors Book is a vital cog in the communications wheel and assists us all in managing the garden effectively, and passing on observations and ideas.

Goodbye Barwon Heath!

We recently had the sad news that Pathways will no longer be bringing the folks from Barwon Health down to the garden on alternate Thursdays,  a program that has been running for a few years. We have really enjoyed having them around, and the beds that they have been managing (over the creek by the pergola) are looking incredibly bounteous, with lots of winter crops nearly mature. The garden visits have been facilitated by Jeremy, Tiffany, Leanne and Nina in particular, and a lot of the credit  for the success of the program goes to them. Not everybody knows this but  Jeremy ran a monthly BBQ at Woolworths for much of this time to raise funds for Danawa to underwrite the cost of putting on lunch for our visitors - a fantastic effort, and much appreciated.

It has been great seeing the changes in  the participants who came to Danawa over this time - at first they were quiet and didn't talk much, but soon were engaging with everyone, chatting and generally being part of the team. Gardening has a very therapeutic effect and 'Horticultural Therapy' is becoming an important part of treating physical and mental problems - I know that I don't feel depressed when I'm in the garden! The Barwon Health management have identified another venue for this program to continue - one that has animals as well!

Last Thursday was Barwon Healths' last visit, and as well as a hearty BBQ we had a cake to celebrate the end of a happy time. It will be a little quieter on a Thursday morning in future, but I hope that plot-holders will again find a good mid-week time to connect up.. perhaps Thursday morning sessions will continue? 

Although the Barwon Health group are leaving us, we have been approached by Karingal to do a similar arrangement, possibly on Tuesdays!


Many of you will have already received an email reminder to renew your membership (and a number have already done so).

Danawa relies on the small amount of money from memberships (as well as the passion and enthusiasm of our members), and memberships are renewed annually.

If you have not done so, please jump on the website to update us with your details (even if you've previously filled in a membership form) and use the payment portal.

Compost for Sale!

Torquay Landcare has received the generous donation of 20m3 of ready made compost from Geelong Compost.

Many of you in driving around the district will have noticed the increasing number of compost piles on farm properties. Local farmers are taking up the opportunity to use compost as part of their pasture improvement program, and now thanks to this donation the opportunity is available to the gardener or small property owner. With Spring around the corner - though we might not believe at this moment - the time is just right for the general garden or vegetable garden preparation.

The compost will be available on the morning of Sunday 13th September between 9.30am and 12pm from its location on Nortons Road, Bellbrae (see the signs on the day) between Charas Road and Flaxbournes Road.

Cos:t   A sack for $5 each, 6 x 4 trailer $40, Larger loads to be negotiated

Geelong Compost have also offered to provide a front end loader on the day, so no compost handling required!

Please feel free to pass on the information to your extended family and friends.

Posted on August 23, 2015 .

What's Been Happening @ Danawa

Hi Folks!

Hope that you are getting your gardens planted up for winter.. you need to pull out your summer crops (save the green tomatoes!) and plant now so that seedlings can get established and be cropping over winter before the cold weather comes!

Its been a busy time at Danawa, and here is a snapshot of what's been happening:

NEW PLOTS COMPLETED - yesterday the last 3 of the 6 new garden plots that were funded by the Torquay Lions club were completed. We now have 21 plots in the new area, and they are all being used productively. The next area of the garden where plots will be built is in the South Mandala area.

SOUTH MANDALA AREA RENOVATION - a grant has been verbally confirmed from the RACV Club Torquay to fund materials to renovate the South Mandala. This area is currently challenged with a variety of persistent weeds (inc couch, kikuyu and Field Bindweed) which will be covered with plastic and new raised beds constructed on top. Some of these will be private plots, and there will also be a flower garden, aquaculture pond, and berry beds. June 13 there will be a working bee to action this, and we hope to make it a PermaBlitz 

WINTER SOLSTICE FUNDING ANNOUNCED - We have been lucky enough to land a $1000 grant from the Surf Coast Shire to underwrite the Winter Solstice event this year and to support us in establishing a sponsorship program so that next year we can again call on sponsors to support us in paying for the artists. We have run this each winter since 2011, a celebration of the beauty of winter, of going inwards and seeking reflection on the season, the world outside, and the poetry of the soul. 

Performance artists - drummers, speakers/poets, fire twirlers, dancers, musicians and others - will interact with the audience in the spirit of Shoodi Woodi, so everyone’s breath and life is connected to the fire, acknowledging the past, releasing it, and inviting participants to share a story about HOPE and POTENTIAL.

This grant application is to pay for key artists - a fire sculptor, a participation coordinator, and musicians.

We are looking for people to help us market this event and get sponsorship so that it can continue and grow.. we have a draft sponsorship package prepared but need volunteers to lead it! Please call Perry on 0428 848 646 if you would like to pitch in.

MORE FUNDING FOR DANAWA - In the Surf Coast Shire Draft Budget for 2015-16 there is an allocation of $20,000 to undertake drainage and access improvement works at Danawa, focussing on improving vehicle access at the front entry (creating an access directly off the road to the oval) and preventing localised flooding. There is also an allocation of $5000 from the councillors discretionary funds that will be put towards upgrading the portable toilet, creating a wastewater disposal system for the kitchenette sink, and making the shelter more weatherproof in the winter.  We will be making a submission and presenting to council as well to ensure that this funding goes through!

COMMUNITY REWARDS - Don't forget that if you shop at Ryans Supermarket regularly you can join the Ryans Community Rewards program and direct your support towards Danawa.. and if you just shop occasionally you can drop your tokens into our slot on the wall. 

PERMACULTURE PLANNING DAY - A couple of weekends ago a small group of Danawites (hey I just made that up!) attended a Permaculture Victoria event about using the 12 Permaculture Principles in managing community groups. Some learnings that we brought back include that we need to have an agreed vision, to seek feedback, to document what we do so tasks can be shared, and catch and store people's energy.

WEBSITE - plans are afoot to set up a Danawa website to share information about Danawa's background, vision, procedures, projects and other great stuff such as recipes and photos. If you are interested in helping Lexi with the project, or have photos to share, let her know!

THURSDAY MORNING GARDENING SESSIONS - over the last couple of months some of our plot-holders are getting together to share info, seedlings and a cuppa from about 10am- 12midday, and really enjoying sharing their knowledge. Leanne is there to show new members around the garden, and anyone is welcome to drop by and meet up.

SUN BEAR FESTIVAL - this was a very happy and fun event, held in February (on one of the hottest days of the year!), attended by a couple of hundred people and featuring a variety of workshops, music, dancing, music, gardening, food and much more to promote a connection with the plight of endangered animals. Congratulations and thanks to everyone who helped, the kids had a ball and we all came away with some new awarenesses!

NEW MEMBERS - Hello and a big welcome to everyone who has joined Danawa recently.. hopefully you are getting this email! And thanks to Katerina Yakimov who is stepping up to the plate to help manage our membership database. If you have any queries about your membership please let her know by emailing danawacommunitygarden@gmail.com



7 Thursday morning gardening session (weekly)

7  Mothers Day Family Night at Bunnings - make a terrarium - free event. Light refreshments will be provided for the kids and a special high tea for mums...Bookings recommended: call 52611 800

9 - Pick'n'Plant Day

17 - Tree Pruning Day 9.00 am – 11 am, Torquay Landcare Group Venue:2115 Hendy Main Road RSVP by 14th May Phone -Terry Cliff 0427676407 or Email laevans1@bigpond.com

23 - Connecting To Country workshops/festival at Danawa.. a rare opportunity to learn about this land, with elders from our local Wautherong community. Enquiries: Katja 0402 901 420 (Pick'n'Plant Day TBC)

27  - Danawa committee meeting


13 - Permablitz at Danawa - Renovation of the South Mandala area - a fun and food filled day of activity to make new raised garden beds on the south mandala

20 - Danawa Winter Solstice Celebration - Fire sculpture, bonfire, music, soup and sparklers!

24 - Danawa committee meeting


19th July - 15th November - Permaculture Design Course in Geelong. Permaculture Geelong are holding a Permaculture Design Certificate course starting 19 July - get in early for early bird prices! 

Tutors include the fabulous Steve Burns from Ballarat, who we met on Saturday. A PDC is a great way to develop your ideas of what sustainability means and how you can bring it into your world. Contact permaculturegeelong@outlook.com 

See you at the garden again soon!

Perry Mills

Posted on May 3, 2015 .