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Diary of a Compost Hub Champion

The most important thing that years of growing veggies in my backyard has taught me is that if I don’t feed the soil, the soil can’t feed me. Things finally came to a head last summer when everything I planted stopped growing at micro-veg stage. Suddenly I had a bonsai crop, not the abundant garden I’d been hoping for!


PeterBaldwin
Peter Baldwin and the DebateGraph

“He who knows only his own side of a case, knows little of that”.

John Stuart Mill


T
he first time I meet Peter Baldwin we are at the Blackheath 
Philosophy Forum. It’s Saturday afternoon, on the lingering tail of a golden Blackheath autumn, and the community hall is packed.


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Breaking News: Council Motion to phase out single-use plastic

As people get more and more concerned about the damaging amounts of plastic waste in our environment, and entering our food supply, communities have begun to take action. Now Blue Mountains Councillor, Kerry Brown, has demonstrated that Blue Mountains City Council is listening and is prepared to do something about it.


Blackheath, in the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains, Australia, has become the world's first town in which all the shopfront businesses have agreed to phase out plastic straws.


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The Big Fix Launches Youth Cafe

Recently The Big Fix launched its first Youth Cafe in Blackheath ... a space for 14-18 year olds to gather on a Wednesday night to socialise, get inspired, and collaborate on tackling both local and global issues that concern them. 


MarkLiebman

Mark Liebman - designing for a water-sensitive world

Twenty seven years ago, a young auditor at Ernst & Young in Sydney, one of the “Big 4” accounting firms, came across a newly published report, “Blueprint for a Green Economy.” Prepared for the UK Environment Department, the report claimed that environmental problems had their roots in “economic failures.” This struck such a chord with him that he did a complete about-turn, left his job, travelled


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Blue Mountains Pilgrimage Trail from Emu Plains to Bell

The tiny village of Bell, on the junction of the Bells Line of Road, Chifley Road and the Darling Causeway, at the most north-western tip of the City of the Blue Mountains, has become a new destination for pilgrims. Carrying rocks all the way from Emu Plains to Bell, on the 7-day Epiphany Pilgrimage, or the Way of the Magi, the pilgrims are commemorating the Christian journey of the Three Wise Men


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Mina Howard - giving us a Heads Up For Fire!

On a hot windy day in Blackheath (perfect fire weather we both agree), I meet Mina Howard for a cup of tea in the Govett Café. In 2009 Mina established something called HUFF and I am there to find out how it works. HUFF, or Heads Up For Fire (and other emergencies), was born in the aftermath of the 2009 Victorian bushfires which killed 173 people. Like all great ideas, it’s very simple: “Knock on your neighbour’s door and ask if they’re OK!”


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Award-winning Family Day Care: my home, your family

It’s not hard to see why Blue Mountains City Council’s Family Day Care service was named the NSW Family Day Care Service of the Year in 2016. When I walked into Kathryn Tang’s exquisite cottage in Blackheath, it was like entering childhood heaven.


Blackheath Alliance
The Power of commUNITY - The Blackheath Alliance

In an era that is being defined by 
adversarial politics and short term thinking, the Blackheath community is demonstrating another approach –and one that’s proving to be extraordinarily effective. By working collaboratively, with the long game in mind, they’re proving that their strategy is clearly worth emulating.


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Blackheath Community Op-shop. BCOS it's a community


It’s a bustling Thursday morning at the Blackheath Community 
Op-shop (BCOS). Volunteers are happily accepting donations of furniture, clothes and boxes of books, and satisfied customers are loading up the same. Passing by the racks of clothes to a large sorting table in the rear, I find David O’Brien, a serene agent in a storm of activity.


social support

Enjoying the richness of lives well lived


A
t 87 and virtually blind, Yvonne McCready does not 
regard herself as socially isolated or in need of “someone to chat to.” Why would she? Monday to Friday she walks more than 1.3 km from her Blackheath cottage into “town” where she either stops for the community lunch or catches a train to Katoomba for a hot meal.


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A Co-operative approach to fundraising

It’s hard not to be biased about what a great place Blackheath is, and to not boast that it’s possible to go for months without even leaving the place!
In a community that has almost everything, we even have the good fortune to have our own Credit 
Union.


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A toast to the "new" Blackheath Golf & Community Club ... with a glass that's half full!

Sports psychologists and coaches frequently tell players that, when you’re challenged, you have the choice to respond to your situation by believing that your glass is half full, or that it’s half empty. For the enthusiastic new management team at the Blackheath Golf & Community Club, the glass is most definitely half full. 


EM Let Nature dissolve

Emma Magenta on Love, Nature & Dismantling Capitalism

“There's a lot of great people doing amazing things in the world and you can be one of them”

- Emma Magenta

 


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Blackheath Community Farm Meet-Up and Permablitz


There has been a great community response to the concept of developing a Community Farm in Blackheath and a date has been locked in for the initial Community Meet-Up and a 'Permablitz' of the site. Keep January 28, 2017 clear in  your diary if you'd like to be involved in this exciting new project.


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Permaculture and a Community Farm for Blackheath

Narelle Johnson recently graduated from a Permaculture Design Course for which she designed a Community Farm for Blackheath.


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Stop Laughing This is Serious

 When The Big Fix approached local businesses to see if they’d agree to help Blackheath phase out plastic straws, one common remark was that men rarely use straws … it’s mostly women and children.


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Dropping in to the Men's Shed

 
OK I admit it, I’ve got shed envy! I’ve now been to the Blackheath Area Men’s Shed four times and each time I’ve found it more difficult to leave than the last.


Simon digs for Blackheath


Simon Says: “Get Connected”

To devote yourself to the community is an extraordinary thing. How does it happen? For Simon Hare it started with his family motto: “be curious, try everything and learn everything you can”.

  


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Filmmaking bringing young and old together

For over ten years Lithgow High School Filmmakers have been making award winning films that have been screened all over the world with high regard.

 

 


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From Wasteland to Wetland in Popes Glen

Popes Glen Creek rises in Memorial Park, close to the town centre of Blackheath, then flows east for about 4km through Popes Glen Bushland Reserve and into the Grose River.

 

 


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All in the Family with Mary Moody

Walk down any pretty tree-lined street in Blackheath and I guarantee more than a third of the cottages will be occupied by a person living alone. Mostly they’re older people who are on their own either by choice or through life circumstances.

 



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Blackheath Cycling Infrastructure Business Grows Nationally

 Ten years ago, Graeme Roth and his partner Suzanne Kowalski-Roth, took the plunge and left Sydney with their two young children - keen to forge a future in Blackheath. 

 

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 Watchmaker, beekeeper, maker and fixer

 

Jim Crowther, watchmaker, beekeeper, maker and fixer of objects large and small, picks up a screw with a pair of fine tweezers and holds it in my direction. “That’s not the smallest of them,” he says. 

 


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Bush Trackers brings a touch of magic to bushwalks

Children see things differently. Not only are they a little closer to the ground than your average adult, but so many of the things they encounter are being experienced for the first time.

 


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Bike Trail launched in World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains 

Passion, patience, persistence and the dogged determination of a handful of key champions, with a vision of building a Blue Mountains Bike Trail, finally paid off when the first section of the Great Blue Mountains