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Fair Food
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How the 12 Principles of Permaculture can transform your garden (and our world)

If you’ve heard about permaculture and are wondering what it's all about, then this is your brief introduction! At Green Connect's urban farm, we grow food and raise livestock based on permaculture principles. Central to permaculture are the ethics of people care, earth care and fair share. This means that along with taking care of the earth, we need to equally take care of people. Founded by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, permaculture has been around since the 1970s. They describe it as: "Consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of [...]

September 11th, 2020|Categories: Fair Food Blog, General Blog, News|0 Comments

Alyssamay’s Day in the Sun

Alyssamay, 19 years old, has been working at the Green Connect farm for six months on a contract through the Green Connect Youth Employment Program. As she shows me around the farm, her fun, upbeat personality suggests to me that she is thriving and loves what she does here at Green Connect. Life hasn’t always been easy for Alyssamay. The barriers to employment she’s faced seem all too familiar to that of an abundance of young adults in today’s modern world, me included. Dealing with high levels of anxiety, judgement about her physical appearance, and being faced with the common dilemma [...]

September 7th, 2020|Categories: General Blog, Green Connect Team, Youth employment|0 Comments

This is when 3 Green Connect workers felt welcome in Wollongong

Wollongong City Council interviewed three of our staff members as part of Refugee Week 2020. They were all asked: “When did you feel welcome in Wollongong?” Pleh Meh Photo by Sam St Jon.   Pleh Meh moved to Wollongong from Myanmar in 2009. "Living here is not always easy, but we feel safe we don’t need to move all the time. "When I was a refugee in Burma we were always moving to stay ahead of the soldiers. We didn’t have a home, everything we needed we carried on our backs. When we stopped moving house in Australia, it [...]

July 21st, 2020|Categories: General Blog, Green Connect Team|0 Comments

How Jaycob went from school student to senior farm hand at Green Connect

Jaycob Miller is a senior farm hand at Green Connect. Farm manager Cal Champagne writes about how they met through Warrawong high school's permaculture garden and how he became a central part of Green Connect's farm operations. The success of outdoor education In 2013, I spent a year working with students in Warrawong high school’s living classroom permaculture garden, which still runs right next door to Green Connect's farm. It was there that I first met Jaycob Miller as a 14-year-old. The living classroom program is centred around outdoor education, and learning through doing. It has been particularly successful at engaging [...]

July 14th, 2020|Categories: General Blog, Green Connect Team, Youth employment|0 Comments

Green Connect News July 2020

As a social enterprise, we’re constantly trying to achieve very big social, environmental and economic outcomes. Plus, right now we’re moving both the op shop and the office, creating a kids garden at the farm, adapting to be a COVIDsafe business, and recruiting new staff. It’s busy! With so much happening, it’s easy to focus on the outstanding tasks. So it’s a good thing that I sit down every so often to share news like this because there’s so much to celebrate! Writing this made me really proud of what has been happening within Green Connect over the past few weeks, [...]

July 9th, 2020|Categories: General Blog, News|0 Comments

Green Connect News June 2020

Hi everyone, We have had a few staff changes at Green Connect this month and are busy getting the new op shop ready. We are also splashing through mud at the farm, working for businesses all over the Illawarra and southern Sydney in labour hire, and continue working hard to keep our 127 staff (mainly young people and former refugees) safe and well. We want our staff, volunteers, customers and visitors to be physically safe, and in COVID-19 times, that means new processes in place around hand hygiene, physical distancing and staying home at the first sign of illness. But front [...]

June 30th, 2020|Categories: General Blog, News|0 Comments

Here’s 5 simple tips to get your garden started

Have you ever let a bunch of mint wilt in your fridge because the supermarket made you buy a lot when you only needed a little? Or been in the middle of cooking dinner and needed a lemon but there was none in your fruit bowl?    Imagine having a thriving garden where you could harvest fresh veggies and herbs when you wanted them. It’s no secret that picking a ripe tomato or cucumber that you’ve grown yourself is an incredibly satisfying feeling.   If you have always wanted to try growing food, but never knew where to start, then these [...]

June 24th, 2020|Categories: General Blog, Tips|0 Comments

How Eh Moo’s passion for people led him to Green Connect

Eh Moo is a senior farm-hand at Green Connect. Farm manager Cal Champagne interviewed him about his early life and how he ended up working for Green Connect.  Eh Moo was born in Karenni state, Myanmar, in the forest that hugs the Thai-Myanmar border. His family were displaced from their home village by violence. So he spent his early childhood moving from place to place along the border, constantly running from the violence that surrounded him and his family. Eventually the UNHCR established a Karenni refugee camp in Thailand, and he lived there for 17 years.    Moving to Australia In [...]

June 18th, 2020|Categories: General Blog, Green Connect Team, News|0 Comments

Green Connect News May 2020

We hope you’re well as we continue to ride the roller coaster that is 2020. There’s always lots going on at Green Connect so it’s nice to share a bit of an update every now and then. Here’s some of our latest… Please vote for us in the Local Business Awards We have been nominated for a Local Business Award. Please vote for us at All you need is an email address. Thanks!!   Stories that move us Every now and then, we hear from a staff member, customer, community member or family member and are really moved by their [...]

May 31st, 2020|Categories: General Blog, News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Kyle’s story

Kyle Hanby and his mum Kim were interviewed in May 2020 about their experience with Green Connect, and to share Kyle's story. Kyle Hanby started work experience at the Green Connect farm for one day a week when he was in Year 12. For him, it was the first time in many years that people treated him as Kyle, not Kyle with Asperger’s. Working at the farm also gave him the opportunity to turn an interest in propagating different plants into a career. Kyle is now working part-time at Patio Plants in Camden and studying a Certificate 3 in Horticulture. Back [...]

May 29th, 2020|Categories: General Blog, Green Connect Team, Youth employment|0 Comments

Fresh veg for those doing it tough

Thanks to the generous people at Atlassian who donated over $2,000, we are now able to offer 17 people a 4 weeks subscription to our Mini Mix box of fruit and veg, to be delivered to their house. Please nominate someone (or yourself) that you know that has either lost their job, is struggling to get out to the shops or is doing it tough at the moment, to receive a box for the month of June, by filling in this form. We will pick 17 nominees who will receive a Mini Mix Box for 4 weeks (must be delivered within [...]

May 21st, 2020|Categories: Fair Food Blog, General Blog|0 Comments

Weird things you can compost

It's Compost Week 2020! If you’ve recently been inspired to start composting, good move. Composting is an excellent way to recycle your food waste and turn it into fertiliser for your soil. It supercharges your backyard veggies and improves the long-term health of the soil. Read on to discover some weird things you may not have considered including in your compost pile.   In Wollongong, most of what ends up in the red bin is food waste. By composting it you’ll not only put your bin out less often, you’ll also reduce the size of the council rubbish tip. And instead [...]

May 3rd, 2020|Categories: General Blog, Zero waste|0 Comments

April 2020 Green Connect News

This email was sent to our 2,571 newsletter subscribers today. If you would like to get these updates every month or two in your inbox, pop your details in the "Join Our Newsletter" box at the bottom of this page.   Hi, I hope that you are all doing OK in these crazy times. It has certainly been a rollercoaster ride lately – mentally, physically and emotionally. Here are the big things that are happening at Green Connect, including what we need help with.   Op shop – new home needed – can you help? In mid February we were given [...]

March 29th, 2020|Categories: General Blog, News|0 Comments

Why we farm animals at Green Connect

Hi all, Our next round of free-range meat is available for sale now, to be picked up from the 6th of April. If this interests you, please place an order here. In preparing for this, it has occurred to us that we haven’t spent enough energy engaging with our network to explain why we farm animals at Green Connect. I feel like it’s time we do this. This conversation is particularly important as we understand that some members of our community are uncomfortable with us producing and selling pork, lamb and eggs. Creating a fair food future relies on people who [...]

March 25th, 2020|Categories: Fair Food Blog, General Blog, News|Tags: |0 Comments

Message to our team re Coronavirus

Dear Green Connect staff and volunteers, Please read or listen to this message below in: English Karenni Kinyamulenge Swahili (coming soon) English: A message for our Green Connect Staff and volunteers, We are making some changes to the way that we work and support each other due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. We are doing this to keep everyone safe and to support each other. The world needs a little more kindness right now. We will continue to follow the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Australian Department of Health, and NSW Health, and so we will update you [...]

March 23rd, 2020|Categories: General Blog, Volunteering|0 Comments

Kindness in a Coronavirus world

Green Connect was founded on permaculture values - earth care, people care and fair share. We have been living and breathing these values for nine years, whether it be in making festivals more sustainable, growing chemical-free produce in Wollongong, creating employment for former refugees and young people, or in operating an op shop to extend the life of everyday goods. The world is facing an enormous health and economic challenge in the form of COVID-19, and like everyone we are doing our part to stay informed, practice good hand hygiene, have everyone stay home if they're sick or have been exposed [...]

March 20th, 2020|Categories: General Blog|0 Comments

Local resilience in uncertain times- COVID-19

It seems that this week it’s hard to focus on anything other than the impact that COVID-19 is having on our community. Green Connect is experiencing firsthand the implications of this crisis, most notably due to all our zero-waste festival work, and our workshops and farm activities being suspended. Having a large staff base who are not only among some of the financially vulnerable populations in the country but in the case of former refugees, are also having difficulty accessing language relevant information about how to keep themselves and their communities safe, is adding to our concerns. [...]

March 19th, 2020|Categories: Fair Food Blog, General Blog|0 Comments

Meet the team – Ama and Su Meh

Meet two of the wonderful women at Green Connect. Ama (left) and Su Meh (right) are two long-term employees who have stepped up into leadership positions. Now they are helping to support and build capacity among our less experienced staff. Ama Folly Bebe has been working for Green Connect since 2011. She is a former refugee from Ghana, but grew up in Togo. She works at the Green Connect farm and in the Zero Waste team. At music festivals and large events she leads a team that sorts waste by hand. This means they can make sure every item thrown away [...]

March 4th, 2020|Categories: General Blog, Green Connect Team|0 Comments

Is the Green Connect op shop closing?

Yes – but only as you currently know it. The current shop will close on 4 March 2020 so get in quick for some great bargains! Then please stay tuned. We plan to re-open on 6 April 2020 and very close to our current location! Visit this page again to check the latest news as we will update it regularly. If you have feedback about our current shop or want to throw in some ideas for the new one, please email us at If you want to leave us a review, please head to our Facebook page or Google listing. [...]

February 28th, 2020|Categories: General Blog, News|0 Comments

2019 Green Globe Award winners

The Green Globe Awards are the NSW Government’s premier awards for sustainability and environmental leadership across the state. The Awards celebrated their 20th anniversary in late 2019 and Green Connect was lucky enough to be a part of the incredible group of environmental leaders who were acknowledged for their work in working towards a more sustainable future for New South Wales. The NSW Government has just released an e-book which tells us about the remarkable projects and achievements of the 2019 winners and finalists - check it out HERE. We were nominated for the Green Globe Community Leadership Award which recognises [...]

February 19th, 2020|Categories: General Blog, News|0 Comments

3 reasons why kids love this farm activity

Green Connect regularly opens its doors to the public to show people how a working permaculture farm operates. Since kicking off in 2019, the monthly Farm Tour for Families has become a fun outdoor activity for kids in the Illawarra. Here are three reasons to bring the kids for a visit to the farm.  Reason 1: Meeting farm animals Green Connect is an 11-acre farm in the middle of urban Warrawong, south of Wollongong. The most popular stop of the tour is when kids get to meet the free-range pigs, sheep, goats and chickens. They are an essential part of farm [...]

February 18th, 2020|Categories: General Blog|0 Comments

Bushfires are #notbusinessasusual

The ongoing bushfire crisis has made this summer an incredibly tough time for many of us. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the 33 people who have died and with the thousands of people who have lost their homes. We are also mourning the enormous environmental toll – the loss of habitat, animals, forests and the future impact of the increased carbon emissions. But the economic toll of bushfires is also huge, probably flying under the radar and is likely to be impossible to ever accurately calculate. When we think of how Green Connect has been affected and [...]

January 28th, 2020|Categories: General Blog, News|0 Comments

Green Connect’s work towards UN Sustainable Development Goals

At Green Connect, we believe we can do the right thing by people and the planet, and create a more liveable future for everyone. In 2015, the United Nations proposed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to measure progress towards the creation of a sustainable world. "They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. The 17 Goals are all interconnected, and in order to leave no one behind, it is important that we achieve them all by 2030." (United Nations) You can read more about the 17 goals at United Nations Development Program. The goals are all interrelated [...]

January 15th, 2020|Categories: General Blog|0 Comments

Free essentials for bushfire evacuees

We all know people and communities recently affected by fire. We can only imagine the panic of packing up people, pets and things and evacuating the area, and then not knowing if and when you will be able to return. For all of those who have evacuated areas affected by bushfires and have arrived in Wollongong, we want to make sure you have some clothes, linen, toys and other essentials. Please come and get the essentials at the Green Connect Op Shop at no cost. Please bring your drivers licence showing your address in a bushfire zone, or speak to one [...]

January 8th, 2020|Categories: General Blog|1 Comment

Sustainable children’s party ideas

When planning a children's party, it can be really difficult to create a magical, delicious, yet low-impact experience for your child. If you want to create an event which offers all of the above (and doesn't cost the earth), then it is essential to plan a few things ahead of time. We have come up with a few tips on ways for you to cut costs, have fun and reduce or eliminate plastic waste from your event. 1. Party Food Make-your-own (healthier) salad/sandwich buffet (think cheese(s), tomato, lettuce, cold meats, carrot sticks, hummus and other dips, hardboiled eggs, a selection of [...]

January 3rd, 2020|Categories: General Blog, Tips, Zero waste|0 Comments
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