Transition Towns (or Transition Initiatives, as they are now called in order to include cities and other entities such as villages, universities and islands) are environmental and social movements that are being created to encourage communities to move towards sustainable practices of living and working. The initial imperative of the founders of the movement is to “transition” away from fossil fuel dependence (especially oil) and pollution generation (especially greenhouse gasses). A primary goal is to change behaviours and attitudes through enjoyable social activities and to enlighten ourselves of a better future that is cleaner, healthier, cheaper, happier, less stressful and more fulfilling.

Transition Hobsons Bay (THB) was formed in February 2010 by 4 initiating members: Kate, Wendy, Colin and Wayne. By December 2010, it has 62 members, including all the initiators.

Tour to Laverton Community Gardens - 15 May 2010
Tour to Laverton Community Gardens – 15 May 2010. From left to right: Wendy, Val (from the Gardens), Ann (proponent of community gardens for Avondale Heights), Jo & Kate

The Transition Model advocates local responses to local issues. The model recommends creating working groups to address these issues. The role of the initiating group is to raise community awareness, facilitate setting up subgroups and provide initial guidance through communication. THB will hopefully move into this stage in 2011. The whole process is at the grassroot, where everyone’s contribution is welcomed and valued.

Initiatives and events that THB had organized and facilitated in 2010 include a sustainable food brochure for Hobsons Bay, an ongoing food swap meet, an energy workshop, a worm farm demonstration, a jam making workshop, a preserving/bottling workshop, a computer recycling initiative and several community dinners. 2011 should see more food swaps, energy workshops and other initiatives in transport, public art, visioning, placemaking, gardening and sustainability skill acquisition. Click here to see what THB has planned for 2011.

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Jason Ashwell from THB for providing the information.