About Yarra Valley Ecoss
Yarra Valley ECOSS is a not-for-profit community organisation based on a 7.4 hectare former poultry farm, now a permaculture designed farm at Wesburn. On this beautiful property ECOSS demonstrates sustainable living solutions for the community of the Yarra Valley and beyond. Our Vision is to promote local food production, earth education, and multicultural living, while building work skills and developing a vibrant, resilient, inclusive and sustainable community. Our Vision also directly supports the core objectives of the Yarra Ranges Council Vision 2020, to promote sustainable communities and increase employment opportunities.
Our Purpose Statement is:-
-an environmental and educational not-for profit organisation committed to showcasing best sustainable solutions.
Our Environmental Goal is-
-aimed at restoring natural capital in our environment:
- A rural recreational and training facility that demonstrates innovation and best practice in regenerative land-use, renewable energies and resources, and the local production of food.
Our Learning Goal is-
- aimed at developing human capital in our people is:
- A program of activities that inspires and enables the aquisition of the knowledge and skills needed to develop sustainable lifestyles.
Our Social Capital is-
aimed at improving social capital in our community is:
- A cooperative enterprise that is owned by the community, managed by the community, for the community and expresses the community’s spirit.
Our Financial Goal is-
– aimed at building financial capital and financial security in our community:
- A range of integrated enterprises that provides local employment, stimulates the growth of the regional economy and provides income to support our operations.
- Care for the Earth, it’s live forms and ecological processes, as stewards for future generations.
- Care for People, through respect and the provision of opportunity for everyone to reach their potential.
- – A Fair Share of the Earth’s renewable and non-renewable resources for all members of current and future populations.
Our Values Are-
- We foster a culture of respect for the environment and community.
- We work with honesty and integrity in our interactions.
- We are committed to modelling best environmental practices.
- We approach every challenge with enthusiasm and humour.
- We are innovative and relevant in our thinking and practices.
- We work together, everyone gets heard and we do what we say we’ll do.
- We strive for cultural and social inclusiveness.
ECOSS is solutions oriented and focused on demonstrating commercially sustainable green social enterprises and practical green solutions, whilst supporting the Arts and Multicultural activities on site.
ECOSS currently has 5 part-time staff members supported by a Management Committee and an active and enthusiastic group of volunteers, students and work-experience partners.
ECOSS has established a very well respected reputation for facilitating and mentoring people in the local community to improve their work skills to prepare them for re-entering the job market and in partnering with school groups. ECOSS also provides a hub for related local non-profits to hold meetings, activities and partner with us on projects.
ECOSS values the creation of culturally diverse and creative projects that represent our diverse community. Local groups we partner and co-locate with include the Cire Services, Yarra Valley Bee Group, Warburton Environment, Upper Yarra Landcare, Landcare, Tiny Houses to Go, Community Pottery Studio Yarra Valley, Plastic Bag Free Warburton, Silvertine Bio-Dynamic Farm, Natural Building Centre, Tonantzin Sweat Lodge and Tipi Ceremony, Upper Yarra Museum, Ben’s Shed, Beans and Bananas Food Co-op, and numerous other local groups and businesses. ECOSS is supported generously by Yarra Ranges Council via a partnership agreement, and has been generously supported by UYCE for our annual Ecotopia Earth Festival, FRRR and Multicultural Victoria. ECOSS predominantly operates via small grants, and small fundraising ventures. Cire Services School is very committed to ECOSS, undertaking many various school projects including: Biofiltration Project, ECOSS Sign, Earthship Seats, Frog Bog and Frog Census, and more. We partner with Cire Training to run Cert 2 in Horticulture and ‘Gatherings Of ….’ Industry taster courses.
ECOSS partners with ‘Hands On Learning’ to host the program facilitating Cire Community School 2 days per week in school terms, and runs Earth Education programs by bookings and on school holidays. Wesley United disabilities groups come to ECOSS on Mondays and Fridays for our All Abilities facilitated programs, and Interchange Outer East attend 2 days per week to volunteer in the Community Garden.
Permaculture Yarra Valley host their Permaculture Design Courses at ECOSS.
We host many annual community events including: Ecotopia Earth Festival, ECOSS Spring Fest, Childrens Week, Reconciliation Week Events, Earth Kids Play Day, Bush Dance, Recycled Fashion Parade, The Valley’s Got Talent and many other events through out the year.
ECOSS hires the site to user groups such as Warburton Makers Group for their Festival, StringMania Concert, Upper Yarra Wildlife Rescue annual Art Auction, Rare and Heritage Fruit Tree Network grafting day, David Holmgren Red and Blue weekends, Tonantizin Sweat Lodges and more.
ECOSS Also provides support for groups by managing a Wash Against Waste kit and Smoothycycle for hire.
ECOSS is currently working with local Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Kim Wandin to create signage in the Critically Endangered Woi Wurrung Language thanks to a Victorian Government Indigenous Languages Grant.
ECOSS has received significant financial support from Hugh Williamson Foundation which enabled us to build ‘The Coop’ our large classroom/hall, and to build our Education trail with wheelchair accessible pathways, and our new carpark which is under construction.
FRRR have been very supportive of ECOSS by funding our Youth Worker for one year, our solar project and horticulture project.
Powershop have recently supported our Solar Power project also.
ECOSS is currently open every day of the week, and weekends occasionally.