Network Annual Report 2018-19

NELN notice of AGM and annual report

Scroll down for Proxy and Nomination forms, Annual Financial Report, and Formal notice & Agenda of AGM

John Caley, Water Harvesting workshop, 2018

Narara Eco Living Network 

Annual Report June 30 2018 – June 30 2019

Highlights of the year were:

Festivals & Community relations Building activities

  • The Mad about Dirt festival, held in May 2019, was attended by over 600 people and included:  
    • Speakers, panels, workshops, involved school, other community members and council representatives (see below for more info)
    • Digging Deeper with Angus and Tino

 Talks, Workshops, other Community and Networking events

  • Sustainable Window Choices talk
  • Greeny Flats – small sustainable buildings, talk
  • Central Coast Sustainability Cluster visit and site tour
  • Community Environment Network, Sounds of NEV at night, walk and talk
  • Hosting “Green Drinks” for Central Coast Environmental Educators
  • A stall at Kids Day Out event at the Narara Valley High School.
  • Tiny Houses  workshop
  • Water Tanks workshop
  • Strawbale and Earthship talks(over 2 evenings)
  • Zumba classes


  •  6-weekly e-newsletter to over 3,000 people; many thanks to editor Linda Scott

Scholarships & sponsorships

  • Builtsmart $8,000 scholarship for secondary School students, (part of Mad about Dirt festival)
  • Mad About Dirt sponsorship by Bendigo Bank, SESL Environmental Services, Builtsmart Modular, Viva Living Homes and Narara Valley High School

Grants from Council

  • Central Coast Council (CCC) community heritage Grant to fund a heritage design/preservation study on the Grafting Shed
  • Grants for community events: Mad about Dirt  and Sustainable House Day at Narara Ecovillage

Admin and systems

  • Establishing event management knowledge base & resources, e.g. checklists, signs, signboards, maps
  • Newsletter moved over to a new system
  • Introduction of Customer Relationship Management system
  • Introduction of Xero accounting software
  • Move files to Nextcloud
  • Changed frequency for membership renewals to 4 times per year (Aug 31, Nov 30, Feb 28, May 31)


  • Plan to outreach specifically to corporate organisations
  • Finalisation of Visitor Centre upgrade
  • Planning for Sustainable House Day, September 2019

Membership numbers.

  • at 30 June 2018 – 224
  • at 30 June 2019 – 208

Mad about Dirt Report

  • Run at 2 venues: Narara Valley High School and Narara Ecovillage
  • Series of talks, including panel discussions, and hands-on presentations and mini-workshops brought TV presenters to the Central Coast and brought together local permaculture and gardening groups and individuals.
  •  Speakers rated as of high calibre
  •  Raised profile of soil as a vital ecosystem, and highlighted the importance of soil conservation
  • Promoted careers in horticulture for High School students, and created a $8,000 scholarship for CC high school students to design modular gardens
  • TV presenters made a video


  • 600 (446 recorded at High School, 329 at Narara Ecovillage, total 775 counted. Some overlap: approx 50% at Ecovillage had also been at High School).

Overall rating of event: 4.7 out of 5.


  • 58% female

Age group

  • 48% 41-60
  • 29% 25-40
  • 19% 61-7


  • Central Coast: 76%;
  • Sydney and beyond CC: 24%.

Possible follow up events

  • Mayor of Central Coast Council expressed interest in follow up event
  • SESL Australia is continuing to supply free soil sample analysis.
  • MacQuarie University Vegesafe and Dust safe program- keen to come again, as are Soil Knowledge Network and other exhibitors.
  • Highest rated activities:
  • talks about natural homes
  • talk: why dirt is good for you
  • wrap up session
  • kids activities

Forms relating to the AGM, 17 November 2019