Grand Opening Speech by Anne-Marie Delahunt

Welcome everyone to the grand opening of the Lyneham commons food forest, and a special welcome to Minister Shane Rattenbury, and the kids from our neighbourhood schools, Lyneham Primary, Lyneham High and Brindabella school.

I am Anne-Marie Delahunt, one of the commoners and your MC for this morning.

I’d like to acknowledge the Ngunnawal people on whose land we are standing and to honour their elders, past and present.   We hope that Lyneham Commons also respects and emulates the Ngunnawal as we seek to manage this land and to provide for out community thorough its use.

It seems to some of us that Lyneham Commons has been a long time coming – and it has.  It has taken two years of planning, negotiating, and hard work to get to this point.

We need to acknowledge a few people who were crucial in achieving approval for this project.  Alison Stewart has provided leadership to our group throughout the past two years and has been a model of persistence, resilience and patience – without Alison; I doubt that we would be here today.  Thank you Alison.

Thanks also to Minister Rattenbury- Shane, your confidence in us, your support for us, and also your approval of the project is much appreciated.  We have also been well supported by various TAMS staff, with Rachel Tokley deserving special mention

Thanks to supporters and volunteers who have participated in our working bees and remained enthusiastic and engaged.  It’s great to share this day with you.

While it is not possible to thank all who have helped along the way, two volunteers deserve special mention as they contributed their time and professional expertise to the project:  Cam Wilson, a land rehabilitation expert and Matt Kilby, a biological horticulturalist.

Thanks to everyone who helped us here.

Lyneham Commons, above all, a community project -we are committed to learning how best to use permaculture and ecological principles so that we can make our public urban food growing as sustainable as possible.

We are an open group and have planted an open food forest – a place for all to enjoy, for all to share – and a place where we each have a responsibility to each other and the land.  Lyneham Commons will be a place where we can meet, share produce, meet our neighbours, build friendships and have fun!

Today we are planting our first trees and completing preparation of the land.

Next major steps

  • Developing the next stage of our water management strategy
  • Making final decisions about spring planting a – both support plants and food trees
  • Fundraising for water management

Make sure we have your contacts so you can be informed and you can decide how much involvement you want.

So today we will have a ceremonial tree planting – with Minister Rattenbury and Alison Stewart planning the first two trees.

After that, we will have morning tea and then a working bee induction, all volunteers today need to be registered and inducted, so If you intend to help with planting, making seed bombs, or mulching – you must register.

The site manager for today will be Alison Stewart – she will oversight our work and is responsible for the day.

After induction, the jobs are

  • Digging the holes for planting
  • Adding compost to the soil
  • Planting trees

The planting team leader is…..

Students from each of the schools will help to plant a tree…

We also have seed bomb making, with William, as the team leader,

And finally mulching.

We will break for a shared lunch at 12.30

So that’s the plan.  Now, I am very pleased to invite Minister Shane Rattenbury to speak to us.

Thanks so much Shane.

(Shane’s Speech)

Now Shane and Alison will plant the first trees.

Hurrah!!!!  Thank you.

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