Vote now for ‘Pick my Projects’ at ECOSS

3 ECOSS Projects have been shortlisted!! The Empowerment Centre, The Commercial Kitchen at ECOSS and RELAB.  We need you to vote! Follow this link, and where it asks to Browse Projects Near You- type in Wesburn.  Our projects will show up.  Every vote counts.  These projects will make a massive difference in services access in the local community.  Please encourage everyone to vote.

Follow this link:

Empowerment Centre

Screen shot 2018 06 14 at 10.05.10 am

Empowerment Centre for the Community to use for special purposes.

This Empowerment Centre will be available for community use at Yarra Valley ECOSS. This is a safe space for birth circles, death circles, womens circles, mens circles, counselling space, yoga space, multicultural/ multi faith activities, meditation, wedding ceremonies/ blessings, baby blessings and various healing modalities.
There are no other facilities available to the community such as this.
It is important for the community to have spaces for honouring life changing events such as those mentioned above. It is also evident that disclosures can happen in safe spaces and we want to create spaces whereby referrals can be made to services.

In our wonderful supportive community, we lack spaces whereby we can offer support in beautiful and sacred environments. Together we deal with life, death and everything in between. Many of these events require deep sensitivity, and privacy- within public access. The Empowerment Centre will be available for the whole community to use at Yarra Valley ECOSS.
The Upper Yarra Valley hosts high unemployment, extremely high rates of mental health issues, and unacceptably high levels of Family Violence. We want to offer an alternative space in which to support Trauma therapy, Counselling services, Healing Modalities, and more.





Commercial Kitchen and Community Cafe

Repurposed shipping container kitchen and cafe at ECOSS community centre.

– Community family friendly cafe, serving simple, traditional ‘street food’, using produce that is grown from the ECOSS biodynamic farm.

– Inviting marginalised cultural groups in the Yarra Valley area to prepare traditional food for Events at ECOSS.

– Joining chefs to mentor and create workshops with members of the local indigenous community, and the wider community to use bush foods in different culinary ways, which are locally harvested and grown at ECOSS.

– To provide jobs for the local community, and generate income that can go back into the running costs of the projects coming out of the cafe/kitchen.

The Yarra Valley is in desperate need of a warm sheltered community area to go, especially in the colder months, that is welcoming for all.

There has been a need expressed by Yarra Valley Bee Group, situated at ECOSS for a Commercial Kitchen, and an opportunity would be there for other members of the community to use the facility for workshops and events.

A cafe has been part of the plan to bring more visitors to the Ecological community centre, to provide simple healthy an open and comfortable destination for locals in one of the lowest income areas of Victoria.







RELAB Utilises wastestreams, producing up-cycled products and training.

RELAB is a space where people will come together to find creative ways to utilise what is currently seen as waste to transform it into something that is useful, valuable, innovative and even beautiful. It will serve as a training space that teaches people of all ages and skill levels to develop a keen eye for seeing opportunity for utilising waste streams. It will be based at ECOSS and some key focus areas include: up-cycling clothing/textiles, tool maintenance, bicycles, tiny homes, musical instruments and green tech. It will be a playground for developing imagination and giving it a go!

RELAB will serve the community as a creative hub and training centre where people of different ages can share and develop skills, resources and ideas and generate income streams where makers can sell what they make in local markets and at ECOSS community events such as the spring and autumn festivals. As a training centre, it will also raise awareness of environmental issues such as waste production and management through practical application.

Spring Festival 2018






Saturday September 22nd 10am-4pm
will be our Annual Spring Fest Extravaganza! 

Wake up and Bloom for Spring.  This year’s abundant festivities include ‘The Great Ecological Race’- wheelbarrow race between Middle years kids and their parents, MC’d by the Fabulous and Fantastic Will Tait.  

Welcome to Country with Aunty Kim Wandin- (Wandoon), local Wurundjeri Elder.

Multicultural performances from Chin Community Dancers, Aztec Dance, Sarita McHarg- Sitar Player and Singer,  Zaar Belly Dance, Tomi Muramatsu, Gustavo’s Drummers, Tuvaluan Dancers, MOOP Officers: Will Tait and Brendan Jones, Stage MC’d by the charismatic and talented Simon Oats.

Tiny House talks and tours, Bio-dynamic Farm tour, Yarra Valley Bee Group Talks, ECOSS projects tour, and GRAND OPENING OF RELAB- (rehab for old items- up cycling and boutique craft centre!).  

Eco – Market with delicious local, healthy food and drinks!

Meet- Yarra Valley Bee Group, Kids Clay play in the Community Pottery Studio, LGBTQI+ rainbow flag painting, apple peeling and loads more activities underway. 


The Spring Fest is ECOSS’s largest fundraising event in the year.  This is how we keep ECOSS’s activites low cost and accessible for the whole community. ECOSS supports many Not for Profit groups through out the year, and here is your chance to support ECOSS.  Please come along with generous limbs and help to make this the most successful fundraising event it can be!

Introducing some performers:

Aunty Kim Wandin (Wandoon), Wurundjeri Elder, will Welcome us to this Country.  We are incredibly grateful to have Aunty Kim- and Michelle Atwell pictured as supporters of what we do here at ECOSS.  Come and pay respects to the elders, the people, and the land we walk upon.





Sarita McHarg:

Dr Sarita McHarg was born at Ujjain, India, on the 11th of May 1977, to folk singers Pundit Hira Singh Borliya and Srimati Anusuya Borliya. As a child growing up in a family of professional musicians and singers, Sarita learned various forms of Indian dance and folk singing, especially the Kabeer and Malwa traditions. As a teenager, she took an interest in sitar and, thus, began her classical music studies under the guidance of Kumari Vinita Mahurkar.

An All India Radio artist, Sarita has performed on sitar and surbahar, and as vocalist both in India and abroad, and she enjoys the benefit of vast musical experience with Western and Indian musicians. She performed with World Music Orchestra at the 2007 International Jazz Festival in Melbourne, Australia; and in Nepal with visiting American jazz musicians at the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory in 2009. Most recently, Sarita performed to high acclaim at the famous Mahakal Temple, Ujjain, in July 2016.
Sarita continued her study of Indian Classical sitar and surbahar under guidance of her beloved gurus, India’s First Lady of Sitar, Srimati Joyas Biswas of Kolkata, and Srimati Ragini Trivedi of Indore. She also furthered her study of Indian classical vocals and folk singing under the guidance of Srimati Girija Devi, Pundit Ramakant Dubey (classical) and her father, Pundit Hira Singh Borliya (folk).


Will Tait:

Will Tait is a songsmith, MC and presenter with a passion for inspiring wonder and revealing the hidden potential in situations and gatherings. He is motivated by the idea that our modern global culture is reaching out for a new story about the workings of the world, a story in which we see ourselves as integrally connected to each other and our universe. Through music, theatre, whole-heartedness and humour he aims to create moments of sharing, inspiration and joy that help make this new story tangible and trustworthy.


Brendan Jones:

Have you ever seen a flaming trumpetist? What about a rolling club jugglist? Flaming trumpets and one wheel club juggling you ask? That’s an impossible task! Or is it? Presenting Blunderbuss Jones. Musician, artist, performer. He club throws, rolls and trumpet fire blows. With a fun and original, bouncy soundtrack for stage or roving. Lighting up spaces with a-blazing horn, keeping you all deliciously warm!




Tuvalu Dancers:

These beautiful Tuvaluan Dancers represent our local Tuvaluan Community.  Keeping Culture alive, they also educate the community about the devastating effects global warming is having on their tiny island with rising sea levels.


Simon Oats:

Simon Oats is an acclaimed storyteller, singer, songwriter, actor and playwright. 
Orpheus in the Underworld is the epic tale of one man’s quest to take back his lover from the Gods of death – told through eleven songs and the voices of 6 different characters. Simon has performed Orpheus in Arts centres, private homes and even for a hen’s night. His fans include a Pulitzer Prize winner and a Hells Angel.




Meet Arvo, musical prodigy.  Arvo can play just about any instrument he picks up- and well!  Arvo will be showing off his Looping Cello skills on stage at the Spring Fest.

Arvo is a music teacher at Little Yarra Steiner School and will be running classes at ECOSS.






Hunch explores boundaries through spoken word with rambunctionus rantings of insight, self loathing and self acceptance.  Known for his signature syncopated style and twisted lyrics, he searches for humour and meaning in the dark recesses of the human condition.  He’s obsessed with electronic music because he’s actually a robot, but he’s trying hard to be human.

West African Performing Arts Immersion

Immerse yourself in West African Culture with Master Ghanian artists, Kofi Kunkpe, Shabba Eshun and Kwame Tosuma: Traditional Ewe Rhythms, Djembe Rhythms, West African Dance and in the evening everyone will perform together. African food available for purchase throughout the day. Bookings Essential.                       

25th August, 2018                                                   

11.30 to 1.00 pm Traditional Ewe Rhythms
2.00 to 3.30 pm Djembe Rhythms
4.00 to 5.30 pm African Dance
6.30pm Everyone performs together

$60 whole day
$25 per workshop
$10 per performance

phone: 0429 057 074   email:  website:

Hands on Learning


Hands On Learning (HoL) is an innovative education program that caters to the different ways young people learn.

ECOSS artisan-teachers work collaboratively with small groups of cross-age students on authentic building projects that provide a platform for students to engage, grow confidence and achieve success at school.

HoL fosters strong, long term relationships that help young people develop the skills and abilities they need to succeed in work and life like collaboration, problem solving, communication, resilience and empathy.


one day, every week
Ten students, two artisan-teachers, one day at ECOSS every week

Students from different year levels are referred by wellbeing staff, year level co-ordinators and school leadership teams.

ECOSS provides HoL artisan-teachers, while the Save the Children Australia HoL team provides support through quality assurance and ongoing training and development.

fee structure:

$700 per day, 10 students maximum. This includes 2 x ECOSS Artisan staff, materials, catered lunch.

ECOSS Artisan staff will custom design projects to suit the abilites of your students, in consultation with your school, to match the master plan of ECOSS.

Term committment essential.

Email: Chelsea McNab, ECOSS Executive Officer on if you would like to get your school involved.



ECOSS Spring Fest 2018!

Saturday September 22nd, 10am-4pm will be our Annual Spring Fest Extravaganza! 

Wake up and Bloom for Spring.  This year’s abundant festivities include ‘The Great Ecological Race’- wheelbarrow race between Middle years kids and their parents, MC’d by the Fabulous and Fantastic Will Tait.  

Welcome to Country with Aunty Kim Wandin (Wandoon) Wurundjeri Elder.

Multicultural performances from Aztec Dance, Zaar Belly Dance, Tuvaluan Dancers, and we are waiting on confirmation from MORE!

Tiny House tour, Bio-dynamic Farm tour, ECOSS projects tour, and GRAND OPENING OF RELAB- (rehab for old items- up cycling and boutique craft centre!).  

Eco – Market with delicious local, healthy food and drinks!

Meet- Yarra Valley Bee Group, Kids Clay play in the Community Pottery Studio, LGBTQI+ rainbow flag painting and loads more activities underway. 


Xibalba – Roots of the Tree of Life – Cacao Ceremony & Dance

As we emerge from the Winter Solstice, we are guided by Xibalba the Roots of the Sacred Tree of Life in the Mayan tradition. Exploring the underworld and giving thanks for all we receive in life. Cacao was given to the people by Quetzalcoatl – who represents knowledge, beauty, wisdom and light. He gifted corn and cacao to the humans to represent our connection to Earth and Spirit. Cacao connects us to the Roots of the Sacred Tree of Life, and helps us to understand that everything in our reality is sustained by this Tree. 
Fernando and Antonia of Tonantzin – Aztec Artisan Chocolate will be hosting an afternoon of prayer and gratitude offerings working with the Spirit of Cacao.

We will begin with a some Qi Gong to connect with the land and our intentions, before entering the Tipi with the Sacred Fire at the centre. We wil be focusing our intentions on our sacred relationships to the four elements, and working through our hearts with the Cacao Spirit as our allay. We will be giving offerings to the Fire, praying over the Water, receiving a cleansing with the white smoke of Copal resin and leaving cacao on the Earth to show our gratitude for all that we receive. Looking into our lives we will be releasing all that does not serve us, transmuting toxic energy that holds us back from our paths and purpose. Through the singing of medicine songs, we will be receiving the Cacao to open our hearts to gratitude. We will then embody the Cacao Spirit and prayers offered with a YOKEdance journey facilitated by Kathleen Gonzalez and Sanna Olive alongside a MOONTIDE Dj set to conclude the celebration.

You can check out some of Moontide’s previous sets at the link below: 

We are partnering with Yarra Valley Ecoss, and a portion of each ticket fee will go towards expanding this growing community. The tickets for this event are booked through Humanitix, of which the booking fees are donated to Yalari, a not-for-profit organisation offering secondary education scholarships at leading Australia boarding schools for indigenous children from regional, rural and remote communities.

Places are limited to the capacity of the Tipi so please book your place early to avoid disappointment. You can book your place via the link below –

Rare & Heritage Fruit Grafting Day & Scion Swap

Heritage & Rare Fruit Network

Grafting & Scion Swap  

The Heritage and Rare Fruit Network passes down to new generations the ancient knowledge and skills of grafting, with grafting workshops held at the same time as the sharing, swapping and selling of fruit tree material and information.

Date:           Saturday 28th July, 2018  
Time:          10:00 to 3:00 pm  
Entrance:  $5.00  
Place:          The Coop
                       Yarra Valley ECOSS  

Heritage trees and scion for sale