Transition Town Margaret River

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How will climate change affect the south west?

Here are some of the predictions. Find out more, and have your say on how we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by attending one of the Climate Action Forums on Sunday 14th and Monday 15th April. (Poster and RSVP details at the end of this post)

Temperature poster

Rainfall posterOcean posterextreme events posterBiodiversity posterFINAL AM190329_Climate_Action_A4_Flyer_0204 (002)-page-001


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Car Free Challenge

by Daniela Casotti

According to the Australian Climate Council, transport is Australia’s second largest source of greenhouse gas pollution. The sector emitted 102 million tonnes carbon dioxide  in 2018, representing 18% of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas pollution. Transport emissions have the highest rate of growth of any sector since 1990.

The major source of the problem is cars. They are responsible for roughly half of Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution from transport. The Australian Greenhouse Office calculates petrol as producing 2.7 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions per litre combusted, and diesel as producing 2.9 kilograms. Every time you drive a standard car for around 16.5 km, you are responsible for producing greenhouse gas emissions that weigh as much as a house brick!

In Margaret River, we are heavily reliant on cars, and vehicle occupancy rates are woefully low. Many of us travel long distances alone on a daily basis. It doesn’t help that Margaret River’s public transport is nearly non-existent, and that there isn’t many alternatives… yet…

Margaret River prides itself on being Environmentally friendly. Sustainable commuting is one way we can raise a collective awareness about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our overall carbon footprint. A car free challenge is not only a fun way to inform people, it also gets results. The ‘Go New Haven Go’ car free challenge in America reported that in the previous three years of holding the event, people drove 260,000 fewer vehicle miles, 165 tons of carbon dioxide emissions were avoided, and $200,000 dollars in transportation costs were saved!

Sustainable commuting is not only an environmental issue. It’s also a social justice issue. In order to participate fully in community life and the economy, transport solutions are vital. My license was recently suspended because I had a seizure in Brumby’s. In rural Australia, this is a huge loss of freedom! It’s a delicate subject, with a black and white solution and inadequate support for those of us deemed unsuitable. A car free challenge day can raise funds for better transport opportunities in rural areas.

We are a small tight knit community, and there are plenty of opportunities to improve our transport networks.  More efficient Car-pooling networks, and incentives to reduce single-car-occupancy commuting are good places to start. But we can do better than that. We are a perfect place to spearhead new ideas like

  • Bike sharing program,
  • Car sharing programs,
  • Innovative Park and walk programs
  • Hitch hiking points in allotted areas in Margaret River, Prevelly, Cowaramup, Gracetown
  • Electric shuttle buses

If you are interested in the Car Free challenge, and/or being part of a group committed to introducing transport alternatives to Margaret River, please contact Daniela 0424733900, or email me on





Death and dying matters

Molly coffin

Pictured: Mini-coffin artwork by Molly Hall

‘You matter because you are and you matter until the last moment of your life.

How we die lives on in the lives of those who survive us.’  

(Dame Cecily Saunders, Founder of Hospice UK)

This page provides updates and resource links for the project ‘Death and dying matters’. 

Focus Group contacts:

RIP Café Claudia Harry

Spiritual Dying Care Paul Barlow

Choices – Funerals Group Kym Walker

Burial Options   Anita Haywood

Be Prepared – Legally Lance Brandes

Palliative Care Groups Joan Hutchings

Death and dying

Introduction by Mary Flynn

Early in 2019, Transition Margaret River started a conversation about the subject of death and dying.  This was prompted by  recent experience of the alienating and mystifying funeral of a loved family member.  In December we heard the podcast of Jenny Briscoe-Hough interviewed by Richard Fidler. She recounted her similar experience of her mother’s funeral and resolved to do something to reclaim this very important final rite to care for one’s deceased relative and to play an active role in the process until burial/cremation. Jenny and the Port Kembla community founded a Not-for-Profit Funeral Home.

We held an initial gathering at the Organic Garden Open Coffee Club in early February and were encouraged by the enthusiastic response from those who attended: to learn more and do more as a community.  This encompassed conversations that need to occur while people are well, e.g. legal and financial matters, advanced health care, making a plan for what you want when you die.  It also included funeral and burial options.

It seems that there is a hunger for this conversation and from what the literature reveals, once the topic has been broached within families, everyone is happier and more at ease and life can continue. When I was a child, death was accepted as normal, it happened and the body of the dead person was kept at home, washed, dressed, loved, prayed for, sung to.  The process of grieving was wholehearted and the healing of the pain of loss already happening.

UPDATE 16 April 2019

Two focus group meetings have been held since our first Public Meeting on 6 April

Spiritual Dying Care – hosted by Paul Barlow on 13 April (report to come)

Burial Options – hosted by Anita Haywood on 16 April.

This group discussed a submission to AMR Shire Cemeteries Local Law 2010 Review and agreed to:

  • contribute to the Shire’s sustainability goals by including the option of natural burials in biodegradable coffins/shrouds and/or the option of vertical burials which save space and reduce CO2 emissions;
  • invite expressions of interest for donation of legal land suitable for natural burials of 5-10 acres, subject to Shire approval;
  • acquire the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board guidelines for biodegradable coffins.

UPDATE 22 March 2019

Mary Flynn, Coordinator (right in picture)    Photography courtesy Clare Smith

Since our initial conversations in February, there are now 39 of us talking about and interested in this topic. We aim to normalise and bring dying and death back into community so that we may  be involved in a process that is natural, inevitable, healing and holistic.   We have discovered a wealth of information and wisdom that is current and relevant – we are not alone!  At our planning meeting on 5 March we agreed, in the interim, to use the name Death and Dying Matters.


End of life choices

Cemeteries Local Law 2010

Suggested reading

Baby boomers are hiring death doulas and aiming for the grave on their own terms

Lifting the Lid on Funerals – Choice Magazine

“On Death and Dying”  Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
“Tuesdays with Morrie” Mitch Albom


Stephen Jenkinson “Griefwalker”


Dr Kathryn Mannix –  Palliative Care Pioneer “With the End in Mind” Pub. 2018 Harper, Winner Wellcome Book Prize 2018.  Also wrote The Art of Dying Well   Interview Link:  Interview with Dr Kathryn Mannix

U tube Dr Kathryn Mannix

ABC Podcast “Conversations with Richard Fidler” Best of 2018 series  11 December 2018 interviews  Jenny Briscoe-Hough . “After a bruising experience with her own mother’s funeral, Jenny Briscoe-Hough set up a d.i.y. funeral home in an old fire station” in Port Kembla, South Australia, a not-for-profit funeral service. Jenny is now Director and General Manager of Tender Funerals        Tender Funerals                                                          Link: Interview Jenny Briscoe-Hough

Dr Peter Saul – Ted Talks  (U-Tube)

Let’s talk about dying

Dying in the 21st Century


Dying Matters (UK – NHIS) part of hospice

Death Café

Anne-Marie Hoyne offered a course last August at 220 Jersey Street, Wembley   0408-744-572 info:

Metropolitan Cemetries Board

The Natural Death Care Movement

Department of Local Government & Communities  Re Burials outside proclaimed cemeteries

Shrouds etc

Palliative Care Australia

Public Advocate re Enduring Power of Guardianship and Advanced Health Directive




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The Water Connection

Water Connection Banner.indd

“Water is the driving force of all nature”

Leonardo da Vinci

Transition Margaret River is putting a special focus on water this year, with a planned suite of sustainability seminars, community workshops, displays and public events supporting best practice water management in the Augusta Margaret River Shire

Water is the lifeblood of our rivers, streams, forest and bushland. We know that maintaining streamflows, water quality and groundwater underpins our environment, water supplies, lifestyles and economy. So how can each of us help?

We’ll learn about the interconnections of water throughout the landscape, impacts of climate change, water allocation and water supplies, social and cultural values, water sensitive design and nature conservation.

Get advice on the role everyone can play, from saving water in your home to supporting river protection programs and improving runoff water quality.

The Water Connection is a project of Transition Margaret River, in association with the Giant Light Steps Environmental Stewardship Alliance, supported by Nature Conservation Margaret River Region and a grant from the Augusta Margaret River Shire.


The first in our seminar series, The Water Connection: Culture and Landscape, was held on 21 March. .

Future seminars planned in the series are:

Water Sensitive Design and River Water Quality

Securing Water Supplies for Our Future

Sustaining our Waterways: Ecosystems and Recreation

Water Use in your Home and Garden

THE WATER CONNECTION Seminar 1 flyer-page-001


Water sensitive design

CRC for Water Sensitive Cities

Water Sensitive Urban Design

Water Sensitive Cities – an introduction

Framework to guide transition

Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council

Case studies


Water conservation in the home

Josh’s House



Watch out for more event information on this page and on Facebook Transition Margaret River