Skip to content

2014 AGM Minutes

December 2, 2014

Newstead 2021 held its 2014 AGM on Sunday October 19th.

Click here to see the financial statements.


Ann and Melissa go to town

December 19, 2013

Congrats to Ann Berg and Melissa Proposch who attended the Meg Wheatley workshop in Melbourne in November , thanks to N2021 sponsorship.

Feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone!

December 19, 2013

Melissa Proposch and Ann Berg spent a day in Melbourne recently with thinker and world worker Meg Wheatley, discussing why building community and being together as a community is so important in these times.  They discovered that a feeling of ‘overwhelm’ is common among people and communities everywhere. 

Here Ann Berg says thanks to Newstead 2021 for sponsoring her day with Meg and reports back on what she discovered.  It makes for a terrific read. Thanks Ann.


Dear N2021

Thank you very much for the honour and wonderful opportunity to attend Meg Wheatley’s ‘Engaging Communities in Challenging Times: Cultivating Change and the Art of Perseverance’ workshop on November 21st.  This interesting and fun day was enhanced further for me through being able to share the experience and get to know Genevieve and Melissa. 

The workshop with Meg /Margaret Wheatley was a full and enriching day, with multiple layers of information that I am still processing.  I feel the information and inspiration gained from attending is a valuable resource to draw on over time, with much beneficial potential on both a personal as well as community level. 

Below is my report about the day.  Thank you N2021!

‘Engaging Communities in Challenging Times: Cultivating Change and the Art of Perseverance’ 

Meg presented a day of deeply engaging topics in a light and conversational atmosphere.  Small group processes throughout the day underpinned the focus and importance of ‘turning to one another’ [as it is] ‘the only we can move forwards in these challenging times’. 

We started the day with reflection about what desire first drew or compelled us to work with community.  Memories were shared as a way to ‘bring it alive’, to re-energize the desire to re-commit and focus our energy.  Given that so many people are currently struggling with feelings of stress, exhaustion and frustration it was refreshing to re-evaluate and discuss how such dynamics are showing up in our lives and affecting who we are now, or what we might become if we continue these trends. 

Meg referred to some of the ‘global dynamics beyond our control’ that impact on the wellbeing of both individual and community life as ‘the dark forces that are driving us apart’.  Three significant areas were expounded upon, along with examples of how they operate in our culture as forces of separation.  To briefly summarize: these ‘dark forces’ de-value, distract and rob from our sense of humanity.   Generating numerous layers of denial and promoting distrust between people such forces also act to erode memory.  For example:

  • Time compression:  The daily pressures of being so busy create denial and ignorance of what it takes to grow and build relationship.  ‘Overloading, multi-loading and perpetual loading’ obstruct making space for deeper communication and taking time to get to know each other. 
  • Burgeoning bureaucracy:  we live in a time of ‘morbidly obese bureaucracy that can no longer produce the outcomes needed’.  ‘Its decision based evidence making’ with an ossifying amount of reports and measures that foster distrust in creativity.    
  • Distraction: ‘what is the real price of distraction?’   The Titanic was used as an example here; along with research on what technological forms of distraction are doing to the human brain, such as the shallowing effect[1]  related to physiological changes occurring within the ‘electronic brain’ that affect loss of attention, vision, judgement, morals and memory. 

Meg suggested that a significant key for coping with the ‘craziness’ (and rampant levels of attention deficit disorder) induced by contemporary culture, is through being a community and ‘Creating places to be together, with sufficient time to learn about each other and restore thinking to whatever work we are doing’.  Focusing on what we can do, through asking questions about ‘what is possible?[2] and valuing everyone’s input, builds relationship to communicate about what matters, for as Meg stated ‘There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.’ 

When asked ‘What have you discovered in your experience that works to evoke peoples inherent creativity, caring and intelligence?‘ our small Newstead group brainstormed ideas about the power of play, as both a source of inspiration and potential space for change.  When asked to commit to paper some of the insights, design principals or beliefs that might be possible (while ‘letting go of the need to make a difference’) we thought a ‘Party for No Reason’ or ‘Play without Agenda’ type gathering for the town, might be a way to invite everyone in, to explore the creative force of play, together as a community.  (Although, it needs to be mentioned that in such a short space of time we didn’t get a chance to discuss the ‘how’s’ of implementing the ideas!). 

Themes linked throughout the day to support ideas about rediscovering the joy of being together, as Meg reiterated ‘The real gift that we can bring is re-introducing people to one another’ for ‘the joy we feel in being together is the essence of being human’.  Challenges were provided to deepen our conversations as a way of celebrating and remembering our humanity, along with the urgent need to ‘pay attention to our root system’.  Linking quantum physics notions about being ‘bundles of potential that only manifest in relationship’ with a biblical reference to the synergy generated ‘… when two or more are gathered …’ Meg offered an assortment of prompts to reconsider the importance of biological principals related to ‘creating health, through creating more connections’.  (For as a species, we are the ones who gather around the fire to be together, in warmth and community). 

Afternoon sessions were focused on the need to look after ourselves and make time to reclaim and pay attention to the peace we carry.  Meg reminded us that we need to ‘give up trying to save the world’ and be warriors for doing the work.  Along with tips on being ‘warriors for the human spirit’ we were given a signed copy of Meg’s oracle style book Peserverence, which she has based on prophecies from the Hopi Elders. 

(For your interest please see below, a version of the Hopi message). 

Subject: A Message from the Hopi Elders

Sunday, March 13, 2011

 ‘A Message from the Hopi Elders’

“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.

Now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour. 

Here are the things that must be considered:

Where are you living? 

What are you doing? 

What are your relationships?

Are you in right relation? 

Where is your water? 

Know our garden. 

It is time to speak your Truth. 

Create your community. 

Be good to each other.

And do not look outside yourself for the leader. 

This could be a good time! 

There is a river flowing now very fast. 

It is so great and swift, that there are those who will be afraid. 

They will try to hold on to the shore. 

They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. 

Know the river has its destination. 

The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river,

keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water. 

And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. 

At this time in history, we are to take nothing personal.  Least of all, ourselves. 

For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt. 

The time of the lone wolf is over.  Gather yourselves! 

Banish the word ‘struggle’ from your attitude and your vocabulary. 

All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration. 

We are the ones we have been waiting for!” 

–          Oraibi, Arizona, Hopi Nation

[1]    …, The Shallows, (title of a book referred to, sorry did not get authors name). 

[2] Quote Meg used from Marvin Weisbord, “I used to ask: ‘What’s wrong and how can I fix it?’  Then I realized the right question is ‘What’s possible and who cares?’” (Further reference details not provided).

2013 AGM Minutes

November 7, 2013

The 2013 AGM of Newstead 2021 was held on Thursday 24th November at the Newstead Community Garden.

Our office bearers for 2014 are:

President – Genevieve Barlow

Vice-President – Wayne Zantuck

Secretary & Public Officer – Karly Smith

Treasurer – Kylie Richardson

Committee members: Don Culvenor, Saide Gray, Patrick Kavanagh, Mary Park, Andrew Shirres, Dave Stratton, Kate Tucker, Geoff Park.

Click on the links below to view:

Please note the minutes include the following written reports that were tabled/presented at the meeting.

  1. Presidents Report – Geoff Park
  2. Community Garden & Produce Exchange Report – Mary Park
  3. Newstead Railway Station Project – Janet Barker
  4. Accessible Newstead – David Stratton
  5. Loddon River Report – Patrick Kavanagh

Verbal reports on a number of other project are included within the minutes.

2012 AGM Minutes

March 4, 2013

The 2012 AGM of Newstead 2021 was actually held in 2013. This was because we sought, and were granted an extension from Consumer Affairs Victoria on 9 December 2012, ensuring N2021’s compliance with the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012.

The AGM was held on the 25th February 2013.

Click on the links below to view:

  • The Agenda (including financial statements presented) – click here to download
  • The Minutes – click here to download


  1. The Presidents Report – click here to download
  2. Newstead Community Planning Report – click here to download
  3. Newstead Skate Park Report – click here to download
  4. Community Garden Report – click here to download
  5. Renewable Newstead Report – click here to download
  6. Loddon River Report – click here to download

2011 AGM Minutes

September 30, 2011

Minutes of the Third Annual General Meeting of Newstead 2021 Inc.

Sunday 25 September 2011 @ Loddon River, Newstead

Meeting commenced 4.15pm

Present: Mary Park, Geoff Park, Saide Gray, Gary Gibson, David Stratton, Nick Hudson, Andrew Shirres, Ruby Shirres, Siena Shirres, Patrick Kavanagh, Angela Down, Michael Redden, Genevieve Barlow.

Apologies: Kylie Richardson, Don Culvenor, Malcolm Fyffe, Anne & Michael O’Brien, Frances Cincotta, Louise Jiricek, Dave Hall, Karly Smith, Liz & Doug Bell, Ros Hart, Ray Culvenor, Gabrielle Maunsell.

Minutes of the previous AGM:

The minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting of Newstead 2021 held Thursday Oct 27, 2010 were correct. Moved – Saide Gray, seconded – Dave Stratton.

Reports: (see attached Annual Report 2010/11)

President: report presented by Geoff Park. Productive 12 months. Meeting recorded a vote of thanks for Cr Michael Redden’s efforts at ‘flying the flag’ for Newstead on Mount Alexander Shire Council.

Renewable Newstead: Busy year. Expect 200 Home Energy Assessments to be completed in partnership with Central Victoria Solar City (CVSC). Feasibility study into renewable energy sources for Newstead completed and launched. Investigative work continuing on renewable energy project for Newstead.

Network Newstead – Wireless Project: report prepared by Dave Hall

Newstead website: report prepared by Dave Hall

The River Project: report presented by Patrick Kavanagh. Great to have North Central Catchment Management Authority on board. Extensive clearing of willows, tree planting and riparian veg rehabilitation on Loddon River in town area.

The Community Garden & Produce Exchange: report prepared by Mary Park

Treasurer’s Report: see summary of financial statementsfor year ended 30 June 2011 and as at 23 September 2011 (as prepared by Kylie Richardson). Gary Gibson moved that financial reportsbe accepted. Gen Barlow seconded.

General Comments:

1. All grant funds almost spent. Most of remaining funds of $13,025 will be used by garden art project and website upgrade.

2. Public Liability insurance (which covers all Newstead 2021 activities e.g. Community garden) paid to July 2012.

3. Michael Redden advised that Newstead’s Rural Transaction Centre has ceased operating as a trading co-operative and is now an incorporated body known as Newstead RTC Inc. It’s in a healthy financial state, with op shop producing good income, and RTC is seeking guidance on how it could return some of that money to the community. Possibility that Newstead Echo will become a sub-committee of the RTC.

4. Michael Redden informed meeting that N2021 summit model likely to be adopted by council for community planning forums across the shire. Council to run forums in nine communities across the shire. Don Culvenor has been appointed to committee overseeing planning for these forums. It’s hoped Newstead will be among the first three communities chosen to have forums. Michael also advised that Newstead’s community garden and playground were the only two projects that received funding from stimulus packages that weren’t on the council’s books at the time the stimulus was announced. A feather in N2021’s cap. Michael emphasized council’s goal for forums was for communities to identify their own priorities so that when funds become available, council knows which projects communities want done.

Election of office bearers:

Michael Redden presided over the election of the officer bearers. All positions were declared vacant.

The positions elected were:

President – Geoff Park Nominated by Saide Gray and seconded by Patrick Kavanagh

Vice-President – Genevieve Barlow Nominated by Geoff Park and seconded by Dave Stratton

Treasurer & Public Officer – Kylie Richardson Nominated by Mary Park and seconded by Patrick Kavanagh

Secretary – Karly Smith Nominated by Patrick Kavanagh and seconded by Geoff Park

Committee members: Andrew Shirres, Saide Gray, Mary Park, Patrick Kavanagh, Angela Down, Dave Stratton, Don Culvenor, Nick Hudson.

Meeting discussed general committee’s role. Discussion resolved that N2021 and its general committee could play an important role in projects emanating from Mount Alexander Shire’s proposed community planning forum in Newstead.

General Business

1. Meeting resolved for N2021 reps to meet with Dave Hall and Newstead website editorial committee to discuss grant received from Mount Alexander Shire Community Grants program to upgrade the Newstead website. Grant is due for acquittal end of September 2011

2. Special thanks to Geoff Park for his great leadership during the past 12 months. And for organizing an AGM in the beautiful riverside setting.

Meeting closed: 6.00pm


A. Annual report – download here.

B. Summary of financial statements for year ended 30th June 2011 and as at 23rdSeptember 2011 – download here.

2010 AGM minutes

October 30, 2010

Minutes of the Second Annual General Meeting of Newstead 2021 Inc.

Thursday 7th October 2010 @ Welshmans Reef Winery

Meeting commenced 7.35pm

Present: Wes Martin, Kirsty Mackay, Mary Park, Geoff Park, Melissa Proposch, Steve Proposch, Dean McLaren, Saide Gray, Anne O’Brien, Michael O’Brien, Ros Hart, David Stratton, Georgina Duckett, Andrew Shirres, Martin Lynzaat, Sharon Fraser, Allex Hall, Maritsa Gronda, Patrick Kavanagh, Angela Down, Karly Smith, Gordon Dowell, Genevieve Barlow, Bob Clutterbuck, Suzan Redlande, Xanya Mamunya, Dave Hall, Julie Tisdale, Ron Snep, Julia Elkins, Jayson Burhop (departed at 7.45pm)

Apologies: Kylie Richardson, Don Culvenor, Malcolm Fyffe

Minutes of the previous AGM: The minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting of Newstead 2021 held Sunday 24th May 2009 were correct.

Moved – Wes Martin, seconded – Dean McLaren. Reports: (see attached Annual Report 2009/10)

Presidents report presented by Geoff Park

Renewable Newstead: Jayson Burhop introduced to N2021. He is employed to lead this program.

50km speed restriction: report presented by Geoff Park

Playground Project: report presented by Dean McLaren

Network Newstead – Wireless Project: report presented by Dave Hall

Newstead website: report presented by Dave Hall

Rocket Science: report presented by Geoff Park

The River Project: report presented by Patrick Kavanagh

The Community Garden & Produce Exchange: report presented by Mary Park

Treasurer’s Report: see summary of financial statement as at 30th September 2010 (as prepared by Kylie Richardson).

Election of office bearers: Martin Lynzaat presided over the election of the officer bearers. All positions were declared vacant.

Position Nomination Nomination by Seconder Resolved to appoint
President Geoff Park Dean McLaren Dave Hall Geoff Park
Vice-President Genevieve Barlow Melissa Proposch Xanya Mamunya Genevieve Barlow
Treasurer & Public Officer Kylie Richardson Geoff Park Dave Hall Kylie Richardson
Secretary Karly Smith (assistant Angela Down) Dean McLaren David Stratton Karly Smith

Committee members: Dean McLaren, Sharon Fraser, Dave Hall, David Stratton, Mary Park, Allex Hall, Steve Proposch, Andrew Shirres, Patrick Kavanagh, Xanya Mamunya, Angela Down.

Special thanks to Geoff Park for his great leadership during the past 12 months. And thanks to the Ron & Julia (Welshmans Reef Winery) for their great food & wine tonight, and to the community gardeners for the delicious home-grown salads.

Meeting closed: 8.30pm

Annual General Meeting

October 9, 2010

The 2nd Newstead 2021 AGM was conducted at the Welshman’s Reef Winery and Vineyard on Thursday 7th October. There was a terrific turnout with adults and children enjoying a dazzling array of pizza’s direct from the oven. Salads travelled fom the Community Garden and it was wonderful to share the rewards of our gardeners have provided with an enthusiastic crowd.

I have attached a copy of our Annual Report including a summary financial statement below. Minutes from the meeting will be posted shortly.

Annual Report 2009/10 – Geoff Park (President N2021)

Newstead 2021 comprises citizens formed after a summit held in May 2008. The summit was organised by our local community and included a wide range of participants including farmers, self-employed business people, professionals and school children. Inspired by the then newly-elected Federal Government’s 2020 Summit, we wanted to sound out ideas – social, environmental and economic – to strengthen our community. As a result of that Summit, N2021 was formed and we have since developed a community garden, established a locally available free wi-fi service, installed new play equipment in our community playground, set up a town website and are establishing a community project to reduce our energy use and switch to renewable energy. Our first AGM was held on the 24th May 2009. We became officially incorporated on 16th June 2009. Tonight, the 7th October sees our second AGM! This report provides a snapshot of activities and achievements’ over the past 12 months or so …

Read more…

Magic happens – Newstead to go 100% renewable?

June 3, 2010

The Newstead 2021 blog has been a bit quiet of late … just waiting for something magical to happen. At our May 2008 summit there was major interest in doing something around renewable energy options for our community. A number of meetings were held, discussions were wide ranging and exciting possibilities were canvassed. Since then our community has been pretty busy and the “energy thing” has been simmering away. Well, serendipity is a wonderful thing.

Last week we were approached by Leah Sertori from Central Victorian Solar City. “The Central Victoria Solar City (CVSC) project is part of the Australian Government’s $94 million Solar Cities program that offers incentives to local residents and businesses to participate in a trial range of energy efficiency, local energy generation and demand management products and services. The project aims to discover innovative local energy solutions for you, your community and the planet.”

Here is a summary of the notes provided by Leah following the meeting.

On Friday evening Leah Sertori from Central Victoria Solar City met with a number of local community members. The group included Genevieve Barlow, Geoff Park, Don Culvenor, Ron Snep, Melissa Proposch and Liz Bell. Newstead is well known for its capability in leading and implementing initiatives that benefit the broader community. Over the past year Newstead 2021 has successfully developed and implemented a number of initiatives: Community Playground, a free wireless network and the recently launched Community Garden. Newstead is a very tight knit, resourceful community. 
The Offer
Leah met with the group to run them through the opportunities to engage in the solar city project as well as an overview of what the project hopes to achieve. Leah offered to provide the group with some support from the CVSC office if they were interested in engaging their whole town in reducing their energy use and engaging in renewable energy creation. We discussed a community based challenge, for residents of Newstead to reduce their energy consumption by up to 20% and to shift to 100% solar renewable energy in the next twelve months to two years.  At this stage, the idea is very fluid and open. It will be further shaped by the residents of Newstead.

We identified the following benefits of a potential project:
•  Converting an entire town (around 150 residences) to renewable energy is a great story 
•  Highly visible project 
•  Will attract interest from visitors to Newstead 
•  Will engage the entire community in a project that benefits everyone
•  Opportunity for Newstead to generate income from excess energy created by PV 
•  Opportunity for residents to complete some training to become qualified energy auditors, generating employment outcomes
•  CVSC can take that model to other small towns in Central Victoria, its scalable 
•  We can share the lessons learned and the towns experience through a media campaign

There was a huge amount of interest from the group in the potential for Newstead to build a small solar park, if they secured pledge amounts to cover the financing of the project. There was generally a great atmosphere at the meeting and enormous excitement around what could be achieved. 

Next steps include:
•  Leah to find out how much electricity Newstead currently uses daily, monthly, annually from Powercor.
•  Genevieve, Geoff and the Newstead Gang to hold another meeting to scope the potential for the project.
•  CVSC to facilitate a community planning session with up to 25 residents and business owners/operators to develop a project.
•  Newstead and CVSC to develop a project proposal which provides the scope of the project, its intended outcomes, deliverables and timeframes. 
•  Leah to engage John Harvey from Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance in the discussion and Sally Morris, Manager of Economic Development from the Mount Alexander Shire.

This is a very exciting opportunity for our town and community. Not just because it offers an opportunity to be part of direct practical action to address climate change but importantly it provides us with the scope to plot our own path … with support and expertise from CVSC. Stay tuned for an invitation to participate in what happens next.

Visit from MAS Planning Unit

March 18, 2010

Newstead community representatives Helen Watters, Don Culvenor and Geoff Park were pleased to host a visit from the Mount Alexander Shire Planning Unit today. The purpose of the visit was to look at current initiatives – for example the RTC, HMAS Bell, community garden and Recreation Reserve, but also at sites where development was proposed according to the Newstead Framework Plan (part of the 2004 Urban Living Strategy). The visit provided an excellent opportunity for us to better understand the MAS planning approach and to share information and ideas about current and future projects. It is always pleasing to see our Local Government officers taking the time to understand issues and needs of the smaller towns across the Shire.

The visit concluded with refreshments at Dig Cafe.