I met someone recently who pointed out to me that anyone can fall in to poverty. It only takes a couple of things to collapse – a relationship, a job, physical health, mental health, financial security – and suddenly the rest can topple over too. And it’s really hard to dig yourself out of poverty, because one thing leads to another – e.g. you can’t get a new job because you can’t afford the transport, and you can’t afford the transport because you don’t have a job, or your relationship is put under strain because of your health, and your health gets worse because of how things are going in your relationship. These kind of catch-22 situations are commonplace. It’s why social enterprises like Green Connect are sometimes described as a “catch-all disguised as employment support” – we use employment as the goal to wrap all other support around. Sometimes it means helping someone find somewhere safe to live. Other times it might be helping with mental health or physical health or counselling or training or work clothes. We work with other great community services to do whatever is needed to gain and keep employment because a job is more than just a job – it is a sense of purpose, it is connection to the community, it is financial independence.

They say that every dollar you spend is a vote for the kind of world you want to live in. How wonderful it is, then, to see more and more people supporting social enterprises, so that they can help make a world that lifts people up and gives everyone access to those things – purpose, community, independence. If you want to do more in Wollongong, there are loads of ways you can support Green Connect, but also amazing enterprises like the Eve ProjectFlagstaff GroupSociety City, the Plant Room Café and Hidden Harvest.

Meanwhile, here’s some news from us at Green Connect…

Community Day – thank you













Two weeks ago we opened up the farm gates for the whole community to come and visit the Green Connect Farm and we were blown away by the response! Around 400 people attended, supported by around 40 volunteers.

There were visitors who had played all sorts of roles in Green Connect’s development over the past 10 years and it was an incredible celebration of what can happen when people come together to create something good for people and the planet. I have to admit, there were a few tears from those of us who were part of dreaming up what our new farm hub, education space and children’s garden – or the farm or organisation more broadly – might look like, and were now seeing it come to life.

Thank you to everyone who attended, to those who planned, organised, created, worked, fixed, assisted, and funded it all. It is the hard work and dedication of many that has created the Green Connect Farm – and it will continue to rely on the efforts of different people to evolve into ever-better versions of a food-producing community space.

If you want to be a part of it, we have volunteer opportunities Wednesdays to Saturdays.


We are hiring three new people! If you are values-driven, take responsibility to see things through, and think outside the box, we want you in our team.

Administration Coordinator

20 hours per week, permanent contract, based in Unanderra

Apply now! https://green-connect.com.au/get-involved/administration-coordinator/

Gardening and Landscaping Coordinator

30 hours per week (TBC), 12 month contract, brand new role with lots of scope to make it your own

Details and application to be released shortly – via this newsletter and on our social media channels

Staffing Solutions Coordinator

20 hours per week (TBC), 6 month contract, based in Unanderra

Details and application to be released shortly – via this newsletter and on our social media channels


Communications and Marketing Advisor

22.5-30 hours per week, working within our broader organisation, Community Resources

Apply now! https://communityresources.org.au/workwithus

Second Time Around sale

We have been working with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation and Wollongong City Council to pull all the best items out of kerbside collection piles, clean and repair them, and offer them back to the community at bargain prices. Come along next weekend (27 and 28 March, 281 Crown Street Wollongong (next door to Spotlight)) to see what we’ve found, do some guilt-free shopping, and join the reuse conversation.

Tours and Worshops

April is Urban Agriculture Month (#UAM)! Join us for a guided walk around the farm to get dirty, have fun and see how we grow food that is good for the people who eat it, the people who grow it and for the planet. There are lots of dates to choose from as we will be running extra Family Farm Tours for school holidays and extra Adult tours for Urban Agriculture Month. Check out our Farm Tours for more information and to book your tickets!

Also check out our upcoming Workshops including beekeeping and how to grow your own vegetables.

Pick-up service – feedback please!

We are considering starting a pick-up service for clothes, toys, books, shoes, furniture and other op shop items. We’ll need to charge a small fee to cover our costs (maybe $20 or $25 per pick-up) and are considering taking certain recyclables too (like batteries, light bulbs, scrap metal and e-waste). What do you think? Would you use it? Is the fee reasonable?

Latest projects at Green Connect

I often hear that people don’t realise the full breadth of what we do, and partly that’s because we are the folks that people call when they want to do something a little different – especially in the gardening or waste space. Here are some of the recent projects we have worked on.

New garden beds

A customer in Austinmer needed a mountain of soil moved from the top of her driveway to some new garden beds. We sent a team of two out to help shovel, wheelbarrow and spread it out so she can get growing!

End of lease clean-up

A customer in Thirroul was moving out and her garden was a mess so we have one of our staff go and work with her to whip it back in to shape – pruning, weeding, mowing and mulching.

Deceased estate clear-out

A family called us about their mother’s home to ask if we could take many of her belongings to our op shop. We sent staff out to help, and then ended up sending both cleaning and gardening staff in too to get the house ready for lease.

Planting street trees

We have been working in Western Sydney for the past couple of months, planting thousands of trees and mulching around them to give them the best start in life along a brand new road. The feedback about how hardworking our staff are is a credit to everyone involved.

Litter picking

We work with councils and private businesses to keep their sites clean and tidy. The wind and rain has made this especially important over the last few weeks so Green Connect staff have been all over the place picking up rubbish before it gets into the waterways.

Garden blitz

A local church has had a big team of Green Connect staff come and give their huge site a trim and tidy up, and we’re now maintaining the site weekly.

Recycled wood garden beds

Two different customers have contacted us about turning beautiful pieces of recycled wood and fallen trees into custom-made garden beds. One of our young people is particularly excited about these projects.

Reuse project

As mentioned above, we’re working with Council to keep good items out of landfill by collecting, cleaning and making minor repairs to them.

Corporate volunteering

Now that it is safe to do so, we have had organisations contact us about corporate volunteering again and are excited to be welcoming them to the farm to get to know our staff, work alongside us, and get out of their day-to-day for the greater good.

Sustainability consulting

We recently went in to a local restaurant to look at their waste streams, food sources, and ways they could be more sustainable. It was great to be able to apply years of food, waste, energy, transport and water sustainability knowledge to a new site.

There is always a lot more happening but that will do for now! As always, I love hearing back from people so drop me a line anytime.

With thanks,