Nov 26, 2009

Transition Town Training Feb 6 & 7

Transition Sunshine Coast is pleased to announce that they will be running a Transition Town Training workshop on the 6th and 7th of February, 2010 (beginning on the evening of the 5th) at the Bamboo Forest, Eumundi on the Sunshine Coast - see venue BELOW - email to book your place.

This two-day intensive workshop is for people interested in starting, leading or joining a Transition Town initiative.

Learn how to create a successful, long-term, action-orientated Transition Town initiative.
How to work within your community and with local government.

Benefit from other peoples' experience and discover how to become part of this rapidly evolving network of people creating real change in our communities.

The tranquil Bamboo Forest at Eumundi offers a great space for learning and networking and there are plenty of comfortable local accommodation options if you require.

This popular and proven Transition Town course is one not to be missed.

Participants will spend time immersed in learning about Transition Towns and how others are transitioning to a better future among a great group of like-minded people.
We kick the course off on the evening of Friday February 5 with a shared organic meal as we get to know each other a little better.

Then, on Saturday morning, its straight into two full days of intensive learning, sharing, activities and facilitated discussions at the end of which you will leave on Sunday afternoon with a toolbox of new skills, a list of new contacts and most importantly a plan of action tailored to meet your particular needs.

We will also cover David Holmgren's Future Scenarios and how they relate to our Transition Town work.

Your Course Facilitators

Sonya Wallace and Janet Millington (pictured BELOW) have been delivering Transition Town and Energy Descent Action Planning workshops together since 2007.

Co-founding Australia's first Transition Town (Transition Sunshine Coast), and both starting initiatives in their own communities (Transition Town Eudlo and Transition Town Eumundi Markets) Janet and Sonya bring unique experience and expertise to Transition Town Training.

They have worked with communities and governments in Victoria, NSW, Northern Territory and throughout Queensland, most recently hosting a workshop that was the catalyst for Transition Far North Queensland Network.

They are delivering Australia's first Energy Descent Action Plan - which covers the entire region of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, Australia's fourth largest council - through the council's Energy Transition Taskforce, which they are part of.

Their aim is to see many successful 'on the ground' Transition Towns and Transition Town initiatives and principles featured in government policies and planning strategies for the future.

With combined backgrounds in education, facilitation, community development, permaculture, and state and local government, Sonya and Janet deliver a unique course full of creative ideas and practical action.

Sonya and Janet has also been honoured with a regional award for their work in sustainability (ABOVE - celebrating their award with Sustainable Maleny)

If you are interested and would like to find out more - email me at for a flier.

Sonya Wallace

Transition Town trainer, facilitator and consultant

Homegrown Mountains Show

Email from Transition Blue Mountains...


If you’re interested in helping to organise a Homegrown Mountains Show about domestic food production and energy reduction, then come along to a meeting this weekend to discuss the what, how and why.

The meeting is being organised by Carmel McCallum and is a starting point only – a brainstorm of ideas, timelines and may result in the formation of a committee. With the commemoration of the crossing of the Blue Mountains coming up, there will be opportunities and maybe even funding available.

John Leary, President of Blue Mountains Association of Cultural and Heritage Organisations, has a wealth of experience in this field as former President of the Campbelltown Show Society and as a board member of The Royal Horticultural and Agricultural Society John has offered to support the process as much as possible and has lots of ideas and knowledge about requirements.

All people and all ideas are welcome!

WHEN 2pm, Sunday November 29
WHERE Grace Tooth Dining Room, Mid Mountains Community Centre, Lawson

Transition Blue Mountains

Sonya Wallace
Transition Sunshine Coast
Transition Town Eudlo
Think Green Consultancy

Transition Town trainer, facilitator and consultant

Nov 20, 2009

Agents of change

Transition Sunshine Coast, in its previous form as the Sunshine Coast Energy Action Centre, is featured in the recently released book Sustainability Innovators - Agents of Change on the Sunshine Coast by Dr Dana Thomsen from the local university.

I was interviewed by Dana a while ago and now the book has been officially released, which is very exciting.

It was interesting to read how Dana saw the work we are doing in Transition Towns, it's good to get an outside perspective, it sheds new unbiased, uninvolved, objective light on the process.

As you're all aware, Transition Towns are about action. There's a lot of talking about how bad the whole situation (of climate change, peak oil, peak food, water, energy... etc) is, but there is little in the way of what to do - what action people can take beyond changing the lightbulbs.

Transition Towns are generating real action - projects are happening, changes are taking place - it's little by little at the moment, but within the framework of TTs lies the ability to make all those small changes we need to make to have a big impact.

It's unique focus on bringing local community action and council action together is really exciting a unique point of difference that has the potential to make a difference.

It's also about all the positive things we can do to shape and change the future.

The future is something we create - it doesn't just happen to us.

Transition Towns in their ability to start action happening, bring together research and learning by doing - which I love.

There are a lot of low risk changes we can make - the 'no regret' changes, the low hanging fruit.

These are the things we can and are starting to work on. Local food, local water, local energy... understanding the full scope of what needs to be done and getting started with what's relevant in our community.

When I was interviewed by Dana I explained how Transition Towns find what is already happening in the area and tap into that (eg we link with existing cycling groups, seed savers, LETS etc) this is the part where we don't reinvent the wheel, but in doing this, we also identify the gaps and then we have the opportunity to create new systems to fill those gaps (eg the community want a local food co-op or community gardens or a local transport hub - Transition Towns provide the framework to do just that).

When we do this we don't wait for someone else to do it, we step in and get it started - learning as we go.

Dana describes this as a... "participatory action research approach where participants trial activities, share knowledge and are prepared to learn from their mistakes."

So that is what it is!

Sonya Wallace
Transition Sunshine Coast
Transition Town Eudlo
Think Green Consultancy

Transition Town trainer, facilitator and consultant

Nov 18, 2009

Sonya Wallace - Transition Town Trainer

I thought I'd post a little about me and how I ended up as a Transition Town trainer, facilitator and consultant to put this blog in some type of context for you.

I've been involved in Transition Town training since August 2006, when I first heard David Holmgren speak about the Kinsale Energy Descent Action Plan at a lecture he delivered on the Sunshine Coast.

At the time I was just about to start my Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course at Eumundi with Janet Millington and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAA) which was run in conjunction with a Dynamic Groups Creative Facilitation course at Crystal Waters Permaculture Village and led by Robin Clayfield.

This was all in preparation to eventually begin teaching permaculture after I'd left a long career in corporate communications and state and local government positions (media training, media liaison, strategic planning, crisis management, emergency response etc).

I had also worked as a university lecturer and tutor, lecturing in communications, public relations and media liaison.

The Certificate IV included learning how to deliver Accrediated Permaculture Training programs (APT) and it qualified me to work within the TAFE system (vocational training).

I started my Transition Town training experience in late 2006 by writing the curriculum for a 12-week part-time 'Time for an Oil Change' course - with help and guidance from permaculture teacher Janet Millington - which in turn created a great educational framework to gather community input, opinions and actions, which were then collated and delivered as an Energy Descent Action Plan for the entire Sunshine Coast region - which is the fourth largest council in Australia.

We were known then as the Sunshine Coast Energy Action Centre - SEAC.

This was all pre-Transition Towns going global but we were soon invited by Rob Hopkins and Ben Brangwyn to join the fledgling Transition Town Network and hence we became Australia's first Transition Town initiative and the first outside the UK.

Since then, myself and Janet have been invited to deliver a number of Transition Town workshops around Australia, which have sparked many successful initiatives.

The EDAP has also been delivered, in draft form at this stage, to the local council and I am a member of the region's Energy Transition Taskforce advising council on community engagement through the Transition Town model and addressing ways to reduce regional energy consumption, climate change and peak oil.

Each workshop is tailor-made for the community or council I'm working with.

Each aligns with and supports the participants' unique objectives and aims of sustainability and local resilience.

The work I'm doing now allows me to combine my passion for Transition Towns, permaculture and building resilience with my background in government strategic planning, emergency response and communications, which I love.

To help kick start successful Transition Towns on the ground, to be able to actively support people who want to move forward with their planning for a more resilient future, and to see Transition Towns and peak oil addressed in government policy and strategic planning documents are my aims now.

Sonya Wallace
Transition Sunshine Coast
Transition Town Eudlo
Think Green Consultancy

Transition Town trainer, facilitator and consultant

Nov 12, 2009

Two new official initiatives

Congratulations to Transition South Barwon (Victoria) and Transition Parramatta (NSW) - recently added to the official international list of Transition Towns.

Visit South Barwon's site here.

No contact details for Parramatta as yet

Sonya Wallace
Transition Sunshine Coast
Transition Town Eudlo
Think Green Consultancy

Transition Town trainer, facilitator and consultant

Nov 11, 2009

Transition Movie Tyalgum NSW 22 Nov

Tyalgum District Community Centre will be screening the Transition Movie on 22nd November 1-4pm

Contact Verdandi at
to find out more

Sonya Wallace
Transition Sunshine Coast
Transition Town Eudlo
Think Green Consultancy

Transition Town trainer, facilitator and consultant

Transition Blackwood - Victoria

Another new initiative just starting up... please keep them coming - the national network is really building up.

Hi Sonya,

I just wanted to let you know for the Transition Towns Australia blog that our Transition Initiative in Blackwood is off and running.

There is more on our blog including a photo from that evening.

Thanks! Heather

Sonya Wallace
Transition Sunshine Coast
Transition Town Eudlo
Think Green Consultancy

Transition Town trainer, facilitator and consultant

Nov 5, 2009

Transition Town Workshops - Leichhardt NSW

If you are interested in learning more about Transition Towns or getting involved in one and you will be around Leichardt in NSW in November, here our a couple of events you might want to get to...

'Facilitating Transition' Workshop - Nov 14 & 15
Permaculture Sydney South is proud to organise this innovative workshop

The workshop is designed to give you the information and resources to start your transition journey. It provides you with the skills to facilitate engagement in your community for an energy descent future.

It covers:
• The history of Transition Towns and the Australian Initiatives
• Some of the early successful steps in beginning a Transition Initiative
• Replicable successful steps and action around Australia
• Examining your special context to find the best fit actions
• The place for transition in a dynamic community
• A set of tools that can work for the Head, the Heart and the Hands of Transition
• Some planned early actions for your community in transition

When: Sat 14 & Sun 15 November, 8.30am-5pm
Where: Leichhardt School of Arts, 1A Marion St Leichhardt
For Whom: These workshops are for people who would like to gain an understanding of
Transition Towns and would like to facilitate engagement processes in their local community.
Investment: $200 for Permaculture members, otherwise $230.
Bookings: Contact Vicki or call Matt 0438 580 730

Facilitator: Janet Millington is the co-founder and coordinator of Transition Sunshine
Coast. The Sunshine Coast became Australia’s first Transition Initiative in September 2007.
Janet has written and delivered an energy descent action planning course, run a community education centre focusing on climate change and peak oil and now, delivering Australia’s very first community-driven energy descent action plan. Janet is a well-known educator, Permaculture teacher, school gardens expert and author.


Invitation to a presentation by Janet Millington on Permaculture Solutions to Climate Change and Peak Oil - Tuesday November 17

How can we get permanency in our culture when so much of our natural environment is changing and our natural resources are depleting?

For more than 30 years, permaculture has been providing solutions to the very problems it pre-empted back then.

Janet Millington, permaculture practitioner, author and teacher, led with Sonya Wallace, the first transition initiative in Australia to an energy descent future for the Sunshine Coast.

Learn from Janet how permaculture can help you transition your home, family and community from oil dependency to local resilience in response to climate change and peak oil.

Meet Janet and join your local Permaculture group

When: Tues 17 November 2009. doors open 6pm for supper, 7pm-9pm.
Where: Leichhardt Town Hall, cnr Norton and Marion St.
Cost: Free for Permaculture Sydney South members, otherwise $10.
RSVP: Thursday 12 November 2009 via email to Vicki
Membership: Phone Peter 0412679215 or email Vicki.

Sonya Wallace
Transition Sunshine Coast
Transition Town Eudlo
Think Green Consultancy

Transition Town trainer, facilitator and consultant

Nov 4, 2009

Transition Towns and the Community Harvest Project

Being part of the Transition Town Network is all about not having to reinvent the wheel.

It's are about supporting all the good things that are already happening, finding the gaps where things aren't happening and then hopefully filling those gaps.

Transition Towns all have 'food' sub groups - coming from a permaculture basis, food is foremost in a lot of Transition Town activities, but of course, it's not all we do.

There are also problems to be solved in transport, water, energy, waste and much more.

But food is a great connector - there is nothing like a shared meal with friends (old and new) and food is something we do have control over - we can choose to grow our own, buy local, buy organic, start local food projects and we can choose how we spend our food consumer dollar.

So when I found the Victorian Community Harvest Project website it caught my attention.

Here were groups of people already working on local food solutions - teaching and helping people grow their own, linking people and food within local areas with maps education and events, and helping people prepare for climate and energy uncertainty in the future - just like Transition Towns do.

So I contacted them to see if Transition Town Eudlo and Transition Sunshine Coast could use the term 'Community Harvest' for our food groups - those two words are also powerful as they cover so much - wild harvests, farmers markets, community gardens, celebrations, cooking, and the sharing of excess.

The other added bonus is what when we act locally, but link globally (and nationally) we add weight to all our actions.

Rather than working in isolation, you can join a national network and send a clear message to decision makers that we are all talking to each other, planning to move forward in the same direction and sharing ideas and successful models with each other. This is why I go on so much about Transition Towns becoming official.

If you are with a Transition Town group, take a look at the Community Harvest model and see if it suits you - if it does, contact them and add your name and support to the relocalisation of our food production, supply and distribution.

Sonya Wallace
Transition Sunshine Coast
Transition Town Eudlo

Transition Town trainer, facilitator and consultant