Welcome to the Autumn edition of The Big Fix magazine. We hope that our stories will help inspire other communities to work collaboratively and adopt a solutions-focused approach in their local media.
A startup says it can now produce enough for four million meatless meat burgers a month; Francis Ventura, a 22-year-old from Melbourne, has founded the Peshawar School for Peace in Pakistan; and New York has tripled its solar installations since 2014.
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.
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.
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.
The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mt Tomah is celebrating its 30th birthday this year with the release of the first Dwarf Mountain Pines to be made available to the public. They’ll also be making available a limited release of seed-grown Wollemi Pines. Both plants have been propagated at Mt Tomah, a cool climate refuge for species threatened by climate change.
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
At 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
China has approved a massive national park, 60% larger than Yellowstone National Park, to protect its last big cats, the Amur leopard and the Siberian tiger; a court victory has secured critical California sea otter habitat; and Kenya has just banned plastic bags.
A village exists in India where homes are owned by women, residents have almost all taken pledges to be organ donors, smoking and drinking have been banned, and there hasn't been a single crime case lodged with police in the past 15 years;
The city of Berkeley, in California, unanimously voted to cut off business with any company that involves itself with Trump's wall ... from designing, to finance or contracting in any way;
Los Angeles voted to raise sales tax by a quarter-cent to help end homelessness; the former CEO of outdoor retailer Patagonia has just made the largest private land donation to a state in history, over one million acres, to help expand national parks in Chile;
In Australia, it is now possible to divert more than 95% of household waste from landfill as long as people don't put anything in their yellow bin that will contaminate it, don't wrap recyclables in plastic bags, and do remove lids and wash containers;
The British government will fund randomized control trials in more than 200 schools to see whether mindfulness effectively reduces stress and promotes wellbeing among eight to 12 year olds;
Yarra City Council is taking a stand against gambling with a specific Gambling Policy which outlines the ways in which Council will work to minimise the social and economic harms caused by gambling; cities from Oslo to Sydney are setting goals to curb climate change that exceed national targets;
For the first time, a grassroots group in Seattle has drawn attention to the racially disproportionate effects of police spending and persuaded city officials to change course - making headway into redirecting funding towards services like affordable housing, education and health care;