President’s report — ACFCGN AGM 1 October 2016

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Report by Jane Mowbray, October 2016

2016 has been a big year for the Australian City Farms and Community Gardens Network. For several years now the ACFCGN management Committee has discussed and researched the pros and cons of having a paid membership system. We decided that the Network could not go on without an income as we were relying very heavily on a small number of very generous individuals to run and fund our website and to set up our community garden data base.

Membership system up and running

A few weeks before our AGM, Fiona Campbell had ironed out the glitches on the website (www.communitygarden.org.au) and our membership system was up and running! Few people realised when looking at the wonderful website and database that ACFCGN has been run completely by volunteers since its inception in 1996. Many many thanks Fiona for your creativity and dedication to building and maintaining our wonderful website. And of course to Russ Grayson our media liaison who writes many of the articles on the website.

Why not join us?

We are encouraging all community and school gardens to join. Membership is very affordable and we are hoping community gardens will support the national network and each other by using the website and other social media to communicate their events, successes, challenges and solutions. We are planning to offer discounts to members attending Community Garden conferences as well as a special members section and discussion groups on the website and more!

About our mapping directory

There are about 600 city farms, community and school gardens in our data base at the moment. We know there are many mor! Our State Representatives on the Management Committee are hoping to encourage more extensive participation and to update the details of all gardens listed.

Members of the committee are often asked where people can find their closest community garden and if we can get them all listed on the data base it will be so much easier to link community to gardens!

We must again thank our intrepid treasurer John Brisbin for his tireless efforts to redesign the database making it more user friendly and educating the committee and garden reps in its use.

Regional gathering

Sydney continues to meetup in gardens in the region seasonally and SA community garden network has re-established its gatherings to meet twice a year. WA has had a successful get together of gardeners around Perth.

Thanks to the committee

Huge thanks also to the members of our committee who meet monthly by phone to discuss how the national network can support community gardens and city farms, verge gardens and school gardens.

In addition to those committee members mentioned above my sincere thanks to:

  • John McBain our super efficient secretary who types as we meet and gets those minutes our pronto!
  • Sarah Ladyman our Vice President who is now off on new adventures.
  • Our wonderful state reps Naomi Lacey in NT, Christy Spier in SA, Charles Otway in WA, Nel Smit in Tas and Peta Christiansen in VIC.

May all your gardens flourish and be bountiful!

Jane Mowbray

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