Late June I had the privilege of going on a cohousing journey to and with a great bunch of people in Albany. It was a full on weekend, with a professional development workshop at the City of Albany, Sundowner and even an ABC radio interview on the Friday, and workshops on both Saturday and Sunday. Below is the wrap up written by the Cohousing Albany Group.
Are you keen to live in a cohousing community in Albany? Join their Albany Cohousing Facebook Group to stay up to date on activities, events, and progress.
Below is their story.
Last month we hosted Eugenie Stockman from Green Fabric. Eugenie enthusiastically facilitated our sundowner, two full days of public workshops, plus a professional development workshop at the City of Albany and even squeezed in an interview with Andrew Collins on ABC Local Breakfast. We’re incredibly grateful to Eugenie for making the weekend happen so Albany can benefit from her dedication to social change and willingness to share her knowledge and experience.
Our Friday Sundowner at Oranje Tractor was a full house! Thanks to Pam and Murray for hosting us at their warm and cosy cellar door, and to our three cohouser ‘panelists’ Eugenie, Melinda and Sally-Anne for sharing their experience and answering all of our curly questions. If you took any photos, we’d love it if you shared them with us, in all the excitement we didn’t take a single pic!
On Saturday, we dug deep, exploring our desire to live in more cohesive communities. We certainly didn’t go hungry all weekend, with plenty of delicious homemade food brought to share. Deco Housing’s Paul and Pam told us their cohousing story so far. Eugenie then inspired us with case studies before we finished the day envisioning what cohousing could look like for us, brainstorming our ideals but also very importantly – we also talked about some of our fears about embarking on the cohousing journey.
Sunday saw us get down to more detail about our vision, action plan and potential sites. We had a lot of fun playing designer with some real sites in Albany, delved into the misunderstood world of strata title before touring Denmark’s Mia Mia with long-time resident Basil Schur. Over afternoon tea, Basil openly described Mia Mia’s evolution over the decades. We learnt about a different kind of cohousing model to Deco, and Basil answered our many questions as he showed us around, including the beautiful shared gardens and Basil’s solar passive house.
So….what’s next? Key goals
The workshops have helped us detail a rather long list of things to do, but for now we’ve narrowed it down to a few key goals for the next six to twelve months:
- Monthly social events (including a Deco Tour) – open to all
- Monthly newsletter
- Keep researching legal and financial cohousing models
- Keep developing our group and personal knowledge and communication skills
- Define site selection criteria (by end 2017)
- Develop our vision (by end 2017)
- Formalise our group structure and membership (by mid 2018)
So keep an eye out for events happening to help us achieve these goals and join us to meet some new friends and see if cohousing is for you.
Exciting times for Albany!