We are one Humanity sharing one Home, Planet Earth…
The Valley Centre’s vision is to build sustainable resilient communities to secure a cohesive, empowered, creative future where communities are thriving, self-sufficient and able to respond to challenges we face. We approach this by focusing on the key elements of our Model, including education, community, sustainable technologies, wellbeing, youth, nature and connection. We believe that all communities need to have a balanced approached between all these elements to thrive.
Since 1992, The Valley Centre has action researched and developed the outward focused programs and projects, coupled with the building of a showcase, both of which are critical contributions to social and ecological change. This creative, dynamic and ever evolving process, shows how we can live in an integrated, inspirational way, supporting and regenerating the systems upon which we depend.
Our ultimate vision is to build an EcoWonderland.
A showcase for what’s possible.
Where young people are taught to think differently and vision the future.
Where Elders come and share their knowledge and wisdom.
Implementing sustainable technology, innovative business models and community practices.
Here’s an artists impression…
Quick view at our Projects
Sustainable Community Building workshops
Youth Empower Projects
Community Builders Network
What is the foundation of our work?
Here is our Model, which highlights the key elements of our project development. During our action research process, we discovered these 7 areas were fundamental to sustainable resilient community building. We are apply this model in the process of rebuilding communities, as well as to existing suburbs and towns that are inspired to live in a more integrated, ecological and proactive way.
Integration: what this shows us is that we need to be able to think, work and collaborate in a holistic way. We cannot create communities without a sense of connection, focus on our young people, integration with sustainable tech, encouraging wellbeing and creativity. It ensures that we are designing and building a future that encompasses many different elements of life.
Non-prescriptive: the beautiful thing about this model is that is entirely “non-proscriptive”. It allows locations, cultures, diverse communities to choose how to express connection, utilise sustainable technology that is appropriate to the ecosystems and climate of where they are. It shows us that we need to be constantly educating ourselves, to learn and grow, it doesn’t however say how that is going to be done – that’s for the community to decide.
The Valley Centre (TVC) has spent the last 20 years engaging stakeholders from all community sectors including child and family health, juvenile justice, community development, environmental campaigning, ecological agriculture, sustainable technologies, teaching and education, business, accounting and ecology. This youth empowerment focused action-research, has explored the issues and dynamics involved in supporting young people to create a positive vision, and sustainable resilient community building. Plus looking at what it takes to create and strengthen communities towards resilience against violence and environmental disasters, harnessing the giving capacity within community when a crisis occurs, as well as economically, socially and technologically sustainability.
What we have seen is that, given the right support and programs, young people can heal and become empowered, moving from a place of victim or perpetration of violence to active contributors to community. Likewise, communities have the ability to grow and strengthen, given a platform to share their experiences and workshop ways to increase resilience and sustainability, through job creation, food production and housing projects. This action-research has given us the foundation and platform to launch our current projects.
Our focus has been working with highly functional, engaged young people on one end of the spectrum and young people at risk who have experienced trauma or challenges in their lives. Bringing these two seemingly separate demographics, allows kids to let go of discrimination and judgement, to see that most of us have similar needs and similar challenges and coming together to face the world’s challenges makes us stronger and more resilient.
Two decades of action-research centred on youth empowerment;
This has allowed us to apply a set of questions and models to different situations, all showing incredible results for young people, producing outcomes of resilience building, creating positive futures and therefore strengthened community capacity.
The Valley Property 170acre Nature Sanctuary;
Where we run activities, camps and workshops. It has been utilised over the last 17 years in a number of ways relating to youth, culture, eco-education and sustainable design. This property is dedicated to young people and will be the creative platform enabling Youth to vision and apply their innovative ideas. EcoWonderland Image
Nardu Young Australian Achievers Award (YAAA);
This program won the Federal tender for Youth Projects in 2008 for ecological education & contribution to community. The Nardu YAAA program gives young people the tools to build personal leadership, contribute to community and build a more sustainable future. This is an online package that can be downloaded and presented by youth organisations and schools, across the country. Watch the video of the first level: Nardu Survivor and witness the impact it had on young people.
Experience with At Risk Youth;
We understand that whilst it’s important to have youth empowerment across all demographics, it’s critically important that we engage and empower our at risk youth, as they are hotspots for violence and unsociable behaviour. Through our action-research we have seen, given the right environment and support, positive success with kids in the correctional system, regaining a sense of self and ability to see their future. Our relationships and professional team members are working in this critical sector, bring a crucial resource to the project.
Our relationships with Aboriginal Elders;
Working with youth in their communities across metropolitan, rural and regional NSW, bringing together the wisdom and knowledge of their culture that comprehends that we are all one family on one planet. The wisdom and experience of 70,000 years of total focus and commitment to young people, has created a powerful dynamic in community. We pay respects and work alongside the original “stakeholders” of youth work; Aunties, Uncles, Grandparents and Elders trained to understand the development of young people, recognising each child’s gifts. Uncle Ike with Young People
On Country Youth Programs;
Facilitation of youth empowerment and cultural reconnection programs in NSW with Aboriginal Elders and young people from cities and regional areas; “on Country”. This is a powerful phenomena. When participants are introduced to “the land” by Aboriginal Elders something happens. Aboriginal Elders say “when your heart is adjusted to the Earth you see yourself as one family (humanity) on one home (Mother Earth)”.
Challenge Day Workshops;
A powerful one day workshop which began in the USA and achieved high profile after the Combine HS massacre in 1999. Challenge Day (CD) was the main program used to support the students and community in a critical recovery process. More than 1 million young people in Canada, USA, Belgium, Netherlands, Czech Republic and Australia have experienced this life changing program.The Valley Centre bought this program to Australia for a trial workshop in 2010 and CD has offered to contribute their work to this project. CD brings young people from all walks of life along a journey of peer reconnection, experiencing support and empowerment particularly around issues of cultural diversity, which will form a significant part of our program. Challenge Day Program
Young Spirit Multicultural Pilot Program;
A multicultural community building and youth empowerment program in Campbelltown with strong links to other parts of Western Sydney and rural NSW run by local Aboriginal Elders, encompassing young people from all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Young Spirit Mentoring – it’s kid power
Spirit in the Park Community Pilot Project;
A weekly community gathering in Campbelltown’s roughest areas, that allows young people and families to experience different cultures and work towards a stronger future together, doing multiculturalism and celebrating diversity. Watch the power of it