I hope you’re well as we continue to ride the rollercoaster 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 the latest…


Do you need a new bed?

We have had a kind and unexpected donation of king size bed bases and mattresses, all brand new, for us to sell in the local community. They’re available for just $400 for pick up from Unanderra or $500 home delivered within Wollongong this Thursday 4 June. It’s a bargain price, and we can clear some space and put that money towards creating jobs, reducing waste and growing fair food. Win-win!


Order a king base and mattress at https://green-connect.com.au/product/new-king-bed-and-mattress/. There are only 13 left and we’d really like to sell them all this week.


Please vote for us in the Local Business Awards

We have been nominated for a Local Business Award. Please vote for us at https://thebusinessawards.com.au/business/49514/Green-Connect-Illawarra


All you need is an email address. Thanks!!


Stories that move us

Every now and then, I hear from a staff member, customer, community member or family member and am really moved by their words.


Last week I was speaking to the Mum of one of the very first people who came into our youth employment program – a young man who has now been employed in a local plant nursery for over a year. She was telling me how grateful she was that her son had found us. She said:


All of those disability services are great. But when he came to you, it was different. He wasn’t defined as a person with a disability. You saw him as him, as someone who was really good at growing things, and he just happened to have a disability. I can’t tell you how much that meant. It made all the difference.


We talk about our approach being “come as you are”. And it’s true that no matter what’s going on for each young person and former refugee that we engage and employ, as long as they turn up and pitch in, they’re welcome. I take it for granted sometimes, but stories like this remind me that what we do matters.


Share your story

If Green Connect has helped you in some way, please email me about it! I love getting feedback and stories. I’ve even pinned some of them up on our office wall for us to re-read while making a cup of tea ?


Youth employment program


Our program is funded by the NSW Government until the end of the year and we have gone above and beyond the number of young people we said we would engage but there is still room for a few more.


If someone you know is under 25 years old, not studying or working, and isn’t being given a chance by other employers, send them to https://green-connect.com.au/youth-employment-program/ for more info and to sign up or encourage them to get in contact with us any way that suits them.


What’s in season this winter

Our veg box customers will have already received this link but for anyone wondering what’s going in our boxes over the next three months, here’s the list of what we’re growing at the farm:


Green Connect veg boxes don’t contain any nasties – no pesticides, fungicides or herbicides. Just fresh, healthy veg, grown, harvested and packed by young people and former refugees (like the team above, just last week). Good for people, good for the planet. Know someone who might want one? Order online at https://green-connect.com.au/green-connect-shop/


We also have the Illawarra’s only free range lamb and pork available, frozen. Some of the best meat you’ll ever eat, raised ethically on our permaculture farm. Order at https://green-connect.com.au/product-category/free-range-meat/



We’re still running workshops online but despite the physical distance, the feedback has been phenomenal!


Upcoming workshops include:

  • Weeds, pests, disease and malnutrition: Planning a response to common vegetable growing issues – run by Cal Champagne, Farm Manager at Green Connect – Saturday 6 June 10am-12pm – $30 – book here
  • Sustainable Fashion – live online workshop with The Earth Stylist – run by Lindle Epe, sustainable fashion guru – Saturday 20 June 2.00-3.30pm – $30 – book here


Both of these workshops will be amazing. Cal is an expert on growing veg and an amazing facilitator, and I’ve done Lindle’s workshop before and came away with so much knowledge and passion (plus a great dress she picked out for me – thanks Lindle!)


If there are workshops you’d like us to run or want to be the first to know about, email [email protected]. I have been asked about the How to Start a Social Enterprise one, and the Beekeeping course (which I’ve also done and now have my own bees thanks to the lovely ladies at Austinmer Beekeeper!) in the last week, so they’re on the list. Let us know if you’re interested!


Backyard Garden consultations

My colleague Jacqui has been visiting households around Wollongong doing Backyard Garden consultations. She has also been asked to do a garden makeover and about garden maintenance, both of which we can absolutely do!


Book in your garden consultation at https://green-connect.com.au/product/backyard-garden-consultations/


Email us at [email protected] if you want other services.


Op shop update

We have found a new location and are busy getting all the paperwork signed off and the shop and warehouse ready. We’ll tell the world once everything is signed and sealed!


Good deeds

In the last few weeks we have had over 80 veg boxes donated, and community members have nominated their friends, colleagues, neighbours or themselves to receive free fruit and veg delivered to their door.


We have also had people sponsor trees for our farm, donate chickens, or just make a plain, old-fashioned donation to support the work that we do.


Thank you, thank you, thank you. Every dollar makes a huge difference in our community!


Donation options available at https://green-connect.com.au/donations/


Final thought – Little Green Pod

I am a late adopter, and have only got into podcasts in the last few months. If you’re looking for one to listen to, check out Little Green Pod. They’re short and sweet 12 minute pods about all sorts of sustainable practices, from someone who is newly interested in sustainability.





I hope there’s something above that helps you or makes you smile. Wishing each and every one of our staff, volunteers, customers, supporters, suppliers and funders an amazing week.


Go well.