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The Valley Centre’s 170acre Property – “The Farm”

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It’s a place for community to grow

It’s a sanctuary to vision the future

It’s a place for our kids and their kids

Somewhere to learn, vision, get skilled up, share

It’s a place to come together

Its our future; we are creating it right here

The Valley property is a 170acre nature sanctuary with pristine rainforest, wetlands, woodland ecosystems, grasses, totally protected and untouched. Migratory birds come from all over Australia to nest here, Birdlife Australia local groups have counted them numerous times. We purchased it in 1997, knowing it was the right property for it’s creek systems, it’s proximity to the Hawkesbury river and wetlands covering acres of land. It’s got to have a lot of water! This we knew from the beginning…

What’s the vision for the property?artists_impression

For us so much of our drive, that is the drive of The Valley Centre is young people; showing them a future that is sustainable, empowered, resilient, fun, happy and where they are instrumental in creating it. And that means here at the property we want to represent all these things; we want this to be a training and research centre, a place for community to come together, creative festivals, young people to learn and connect with each other and nature, where our Aboriginal Elders are teaching and sharing their wisdom, we all are understanding the balance we have to be in with the natural world and each other…
Of course what that means in practice is structuring a lot of activity as community enterprises, where we can make small amounts of revenue that sustain us, where simple sustainable technology allows us to live our lives in a simple, meaningful way. Technology that empowers and sustains connections with the natural world. We want to be totally linked with the outside world, with whats going on, have people from different disciplines and walks of life coming to the property to share and learn. We want to show whats possible, and allow others to take from it what they will back to their own communities and start something as well

Interactive, sustainable, resilient, connected & busy – these are some of the buzz words that we want connected with the valley centre!

Right now, we’re connecting with designers, architects, landscapers, town planners, ecovillage sketchers & more to initiate the master plan and go from there. We’ve just done a program with Sydney Uni Business School to get some business plans done so that we have an understand of the business aspect of the property. It was great to see how the vision can be distilled into an enterprise that wholly supports and sustains the activities.
April Crawford-Smith