To complement the ‘Economy’ unit the seniors at Brunswick North West Primary School were studying we decided to explore some aspects of the economy which fit under the banner of what is termed ‘solidarity’ or ‘sharing economy’. These are economic activities that happen that are ethics not profit driven – usually ecological sustainability, democratically managed and promote justice. There are stacks of things happening in Brunswick that operate within this paradigm so we took to the streets for a walking tour of Brunswick’s own sharing economy.
We started the day at Norm Warehouse which is a warehouse full of workshops, studios and shared creative space, where students were given a presentation from local Moreland council reps on a new community project involving the permanent closure of a section of Wilson Avenue for public space. The student were then given a tour of Brunswick Tool Library and workshop which offers Moreland and surrounding area residents and community groups access to hand tools, power tools, garden tools, ladders, etc. for use on their own projects.
We then had a tour of the The Commons – a shared inner-city living apartment block with many ‘sustainability’ features. We ate morning tea in their community food garden on the roof top, complete with bees, shared laundry and entertainment area.
We then walked to the Brunswick Food Forest and Community Garden to have lunch, find out about community gardening and speak to a representative of the Moreland Food Gardens Network on different activities happening locally to strategically plan & collaborate to improve food access and urban agriculture in Moreland..
Feedback from the day suggested students found it pretty inspiring (and confronting) that people in their community operating such projects were so self-driven, trusting and proactive.