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Gawler Local Council Elections

Local Council elections are happening soon! In November everyone eligible to vote will receive a ballot form in the post.

If you are enrolled to vote in the normal state elections, you are already on the roll for council elections. Local council rolls also include people who are property owners but not residents. Voting is not compulsory, if you want to know more check out the Electoral Commission of SA website here.

Transition Gawler has prepared a few questions on sustainability issues relevant to the Gawler area, and will be distributing 5 questions to each candidate shortly. Each response will be posted on our website, to enable our community to get to know more about the sustainability credentials of the candidates.

Happy reading!!

Transition Gawler encourages everyone to have their say and vote in November!

Click here to read response from Cody Davies

Click here to read response from Alex Bradley

Click here to read response from David Hughes

Click here to read response from Paul Koch

Click here to read response from Adrian Shackley

Click here to read response from Paul Little.

Click here to read response from Ian Tooley

Click here to read response from Diane Fraser

Gawler Farmers Market

We are holding a Working Group Meeting to discuss the new Farmers Market.

Time: 7.00 pm
When:  24th of August 2017
Where: Gawler Elderly Centre, 7 Fourteenth St, Gawler South (Thank you Town of Gawler for the room hire).

This will be a facilitated session, held by volunteers.

If you want to contribute an active role in progressing a new Gawler Farmers Market, please come along and have your say, …your help is appreciated and essential.

For more information, you can email or telephone Miriam Yip 0427 316 976

For more info,
Please note the site is still under construction.



We need your thoughts and opinions on what makes a good farmers market.

Please fill out out quick online survey.

Find out more about Transition Gawler at

Battery Storage Information Night for Gawler


Following the recent state-wide electricity blackout and with South Australia‘s 16c per kilowatt-hour (kWh) solar feed-in tariff for excess solar energy dropping to 6.8c/kWh from the 1st October, many in the community will be looking for options for the storage and use of their excess solar.

To help answer these questions, Transition Gawler (with support from the Town of Gawler) will be hosting a Battery and Energy Information Night on Monday the 31st of October, 2016 at the Gawler Sports and Community Centre.

Zen Energy’s Chairman, Professor Ross Garnaut, will provide a  “Post Paris” debrief and discuss the opportunities for South Australia, as well as an introduction to the latest Energy Storage Technologies for on-grid and off grid options.

Professor Garnaut is known as the author of the Garnaut Climate Change Review under the Rudd-Gillard Governments, which was established to investigate the impacts of climate change on the Australian economy.

“This is such an exciting and timely event for the people of Gawler and South Australia”, said Kathryn Warhurst, Chair of Transition Gawler.  “We are interested in opportunities for community storage and keen to learn more about the opportunities available presently and in the future”.

In addition to keynote speaker Professor Garnaut, other speakers from Zen Energy and other Adelaide energy and storage businesses will discuss different battery technologies. The event will also allow for people to ask questions and learn about the economics, social and environmental implications of electricity storage.

To find out more, go to the Transition Gawler Facebook or web site

Event details:  

Date and Time – Monday 31st October 2016, 6.30pm

Location – Gawler Sport and Community Centre, Nixon Tce, Gawler

RSVP – Please register via Eventbrite on www.

What will a future Gawler look like?

by Leigh Dalwood


What will a future Gawler look like? When it comes to getting around the town, be it for business, social interaction or getting to work and school, the future movement of people is an interesting topic.

The car based lifestyles and economy in which we currently live would suggest that a shift to electric vehicles will be the most logical solution, however that alone is unlikely to solve all our problems. Here are some trends I have been hearing about and starting to see occur in other cities and towns around the world.

  • Increase in cycling numbers, not just the lycra clad but the treadlie is back (along with beards that would make Ned Kelly feel quite a trendy hipster).
  • A move away from private vehicle ownership to on- demand car services such as go-get, uber and more informal car sharing schemes.
  • A greater awareness of the health and wellbeing benefits of walking (helped along with the trend of personal fitness monitors like the fitbit and apps like Strava).
  • Increased technology in vehicle safety and a strong market push on development of autonomous and driverless vehicles.
  • Even technology improvements in the areas of video conferencing, 3D printing and use of drones are having effects on people’s choices about travel and transport.

So how could this effect Gawler?

Here is one version of transport in Gawler some time in the future.

Gary and Gretta don’t own a car and they are both enjoying the fact that they are feeling fitter and healthier than the last 30 years. Gary walks to the train and enjoys the 30 minute express to Adelaide on the new electric train. On the way he uses his phone and the free wifi on the train to book an electric share car for Saturday morning when he and Gretta will head out to visit a new pub in Clare that is serving the best pork belly in SA (that comes from not too far away Atherton farm at Lochiel).

Gretta heads out in the morning on her trusty Treadlie after sending their two children, Molly and Michael, out the door to walk to school. Gretta arrives at work and is a bit annoyed there are no more bike spaces left – all 10 spaces are already taken by her work colleagues bikes. Gretta settles for locking her bike to the nearby pole and is distracted from her annoyance by a buzzing of her personal fitness monitor advising that she has just achieved a personal best for km’s ridden in one week.

Meanwhile at school Molly’s class is excited as they choose their favourite historical character to research. They get to download the file and use the classroom 3D printer to produce a miniature figurine they will paint in the afternoon.

Michael is sitting in his maths class trying to work through his assignment but is distracted as he watches out the classroom widow at the small aerial drone delivering the weekly school stationary supplies to the front office.

Thinking about Batteries?

By Tom Brdanovic from Down to Earth Sustainable Solutions

tom solar

Recently there has been a lot of interest in battery storage solutions for households. People often ask me what they need to do in order to install batteries at their home. In my opinion there are two paths we, as designers, can take when designing a storage system solution, and the choice of path depends on the desired level of end user contribution.

The first path is where money is not a driving factor for the end user. In this case, maintaining the current customer comfort levels is the primary goal and consumption patterns remain the priority. These systems are easy to design but they come at a much higher cost. As compromise is not an option, a storage system will need to be designed to meet heavy energy demands, which results in an expensive storage solution.To reduce the system cost, this scenario could drive an out­-of-­the-­box solution, using one of the storage packages currently available on the market. This might not exactly fit the needs of the consumer, as these storage systems will usually be either too big and with limitations not usually advertised, such as lack of back­up function, maximum load demand etc.

The second path, our preferred approach, is where customer takes part in the process and a more cost ­effective system is developed. So how do we start this process and how do we engage the household in the process?

The first step is acknowledgment of what energy the household uses daily and how those habits contribute to the overall energy load. Once they understand these patterns (and perhaps make some changes), we then need to look into the energy consumption of the electrical equipment currently powering their habits. This process requires an understanding of basic units of energy and their cost which will assist in understanding what is required to install a storage system coupled with a solar system. Once the home­owner grasps this, they will start to realise some potential savings and this is the place where we want them to be.

From this point we can talk about the strategies to further minimise the overall consumption, shifting the loads to daytime hours if there is solar on the site and emphasising the benefits of smaller and cheaper energy storage alternatives. This second approach will help people save money even if they aren’t in the market for an energy storage purchase.

For all these reasons, we encourage our customers to get involved and contribute to their system in a design process. This service is a critical part of all our offers, and during our consultation period we make sure we understand our customer’s needs and that they understand the solution we are offering.

As we always say, put yourself in control and if you want to save on energy costs, the cheapest way is to not use it. This is still the cheapest and the most cost effective energy saving solution.

Tom is also a member of the Transition Gawler Steering Committee and is passionate about renewable energy, and new emerging technologies. If you are interested in finding out more about solar power and battery storage, or how to make your house more energy efficient, contact Tom or Rachel at Down to Earth Sustainable Solutions



Have a Workshop, its easier than you think!

By Miriam Yip

jills double dig

Community groups like Transition Gawler rely on the community getting together at events and doing stuff. Whats more fun than getting together at a workshop or garden blitz.

Everyone can host a workshop, it isn’t that hard. In the past 2 years we have hosted 4 activities from slabs to grafting, tree planting and double digging.

Heres a few things to consider when planning a workshop at your house.
1. Be a good host. Prepare your home/yard. Be mindful of elderly and the young kids. Remove dangerous items, secure valuables.

2. Plan the activities before hand ­ you don’t want people showing up with nothing to do. Make sure there is enough activity to go around. Busy people are happy people. have a range of activities so no one feels left out.

3. have a clear start and stop time. 3 hours per session with a food break in between works well. Or a shorter session with a cup of tea at the end.

4. Food for everyone ­ means everyone can eat. Not everyone eats meat, but everyone will eat vegan. Tea/Coffee/drinks snack station in a central location close to the activities.

5. Be open minded on the day, plans can change and people can bring some good stuff to the table.

6. Good dose of trust, there will be new people who you haven’t seen before, but maybe only met on social media. Make everyone feel welcome.

7. Make the most of the groups skill set. YOu want a compost heap in the corner of the yard but don’t know what to do. Ask around, you’ll be surprised who will put their hand up to lead the activity.

8. Take pride in what you have achieved and reward the team with a photo. A report back on FB and few photos is always welcomed and promotes further activity.

You’ll be astounded by the amount of work that could be achieved by a small/large team.

And hosting a workshop at your house will encourage others to put up their hands and have a go.

Farmers Markets, there’s more to it than just Fresh Produce

By Neil Atherton


We’d been running The Atherton Farms in an official capacity for at least 6 months before the idea of selling at market occurred to us. In fact, it didn’t occur to us before the opportunity actually presented itself. Our business model had been to sell in bulk via internet orders. We didn’t really attend markets ourselves, and didn’t believe that there was a place there for meat.

We were very, very wrong.

The first market we joined was great, but wasn’t a true farmers market. It was mostly re-sellers, with very few producers. The produce was invariably cheap, often both in price and quality. What we wanted was a market home where we could not just sell our wares but also spread a message of ethically raised meat and sustainable farming practices. We found that demographic at The Adelaide Showground Farmers Market.

The showground market has been voted the best in the country, and was what we were aiming for. The fact that they had been asked to open one in Gawler, quite close to home, was just icing on the market cake. The market management know what they’re doing, know how to run a market, and know how to engage the public. I can’t sing their praises enough.

We live in a country dominated by a supermarket duopoly, where clever marketing tells people what they should buy, what they should pay, and even what constitutes quality. People no longer know the provenance of their fruit, veggies, or meat. They can’t definitively say where their food comes from, or what chemicals they’re putting into their bodies as a result. Farmers markets break that mould.

At a farmers market the person selling you the produce is the person who grew it. You can have a conversation with them about their methods, about what chemicals they use, about how their animals are transported/fed/bred/housed/slaughtered. You can look that person in the eye and build an actual relationship with them. You can’t even do that with butchers now a days, nor have you been able to for years. The market management at the Showground markets go so far as to come out and inspect the farms of the producers before they allow a stall at the market, and this producer guarantee is then hung from the back of each producer market stall. For the first time in a long time, you can be entirely sure of where your meat comes from, and how the animal was treated throughout its entire life.

Apart from growing it yourself, farmers markets are the best way to connect back with your food and be sure of its source and quality. It’s how it should be. Don’t take my word for it though. Listen to the guy on this video about The Gawler Farmers Market.

Pruning and Grafting workshop at Willaston

Local Willaston residents, and Transition Gawler members, Andrew and Miriam had been wanting to learn how to prune their fruit trees and also try their hand at grafting some different varieties of stone fruit onto some young fruit trees which had grown from seed from their compost.

Ian Tooley (another Transition Gawler member, local Gawler resident and Deputy Mayor) offered to show off his “graftsman” skills, and share his self taught knowledge and skills in pruning and grafting to enable Andrew and Miriam to also learn how to undertake these tasks.

In true “Transition” fashion, Andrew and Miriam decided to turn the afternoon into a “workshop” extending the invite for others to attend and learn, and even have a go themselves.

Ian explained the tools that are needed (a sharp knife and grafting tape, and occasionally a candle to provide melted wax covering) and where he sourced his materials from (being the local hardware store), and the methods he has found are the easiest and most effective, he then gave a hands on demonstration, letting everyone have a go themselves

All up there ended up being 21 grafts onto 4 trees, with all attendees having a go at at a number of grafts themselves, resulting in them heading home armed with the confidence to be able to do it themselves, so watch out for “ornamental” street trees, which may soon turn in to multigrafted “productive” on a road verge near you)

Remember “Transition” is all building a resilient community and about finding the answers ourselves, rather than waiting for others to come up with them for us. So if you want to organise something in your local community which works towards this goal, be it a workshop, and event or a gathering, take the plunge and do it, and if you don’t know where to start, feel free to contact us, or ask on the Transition Gawler Chat Group on Facebook.

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‘Gawler Garden and Produce Share’ moves into its 7th year in 2020

The Gawler Garden and Produce Share, started in May 2013, and was always intended to be self sustaining, and we think we’ve done a pretty good job of that.

The idea was to keep it simple, and open to who ever wanted to be a part of it, while also not needing people to commit to things like keeping records of memberships, keeping and obtaining keys, and setting and packing up.

It all started on the Transition Gawler Chat Group when a few people got talking about the idea of starting up a fruit and veg swap, and decided to give it a go….and it actually worked!!!

After looking into a few other “Fruit and Veg Swaps” that were happening around the place, and were already quite successful, we decided that we didn’t want to have to deal with fees, or memberships, or needing anyone to commit to attending every single “event” (we all have our own lives and families, and sometimes other things take priority) so we based it along the same lines as the Community Fruit and Vege Swap, which already existed at West Croydon, South Australia.

We wanted the meeting place to be in an easily accessible, public place (no need for keys or making bookings) which could cater for a few people or a bigger crowd, so we decided on Apex Park, where it ran for several years, but is now at:

Pioneer Park, 10.45am for 11.00am sharp Swap every Saturday at the benches just near the rotunda.

!!In this COVID-19 era, we have started back up again as of July 2020, with social distancing in place!!


Because we couldn’t guarantee, each of us could be at each event, we wanted to keep things simple and pretty self explanatory, so hence came the name ‘Gawler Garden and Produce Share’. ‘Swapping’ or ‘trading’ wasn’t necessary, as it was all about ‘sharing’ and anything related to ‘garden’ or ‘produce’ was welcome.

The “Rules” around the Gawler Garden and Produce share are fairly simple and as follows:

  1. If what you bring doesn’t get taken by others, you are responsible for taking it home.
  2. If it relates to “garden” and/or “produce” then feel free to bring it along to share (as long as Rule #1 is adhered to)
  3. Homemade and home grown is preferable, but if you have excess of food you have bought in bulk, feel free to bring it along for others to share rather than having it go to waste
  4. It is a “Share” so no trading or swapping occurs, you bring what you have as excess and take what you can use.
  5. In light of Rule #4 connecting with others and organising “trades” or “swaps” outside of the Gawler Garden and Produce Share is encouraged and welcomed (many people have found a wonderful supply of tasty, local, ethically raised pork, citrus, etc) via connections made at the Gawler Garden and Produce Share”)
  6. You don’t have to have bring anything to be part of the share, whether that is because there isn’t much happening in your garden, or you are new to gardening. We welcome anyone who is interested, especially people just starting out, and feel that over time what you give and take evens out.

And that is how the Gawler Garden and Produce Share came to be. Check out the Facebook group where there is generally some chat in the lead up to each week’s share.

If you are interested in starting a “Fruit and Veg Swap” (or a “Garden and Produce Share) in your local area we recommend you give it a go. If you have any questions feel free to Contact us.

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Bushfire Resilience Forum


Transition Gawler is proud to be hosting a Bushfire Resilience Strategy Forum at Hewett Community Centre, 24 Kingfisher Drive, Hewett (near Gawler) at 7pm on Friday 24 April 2015. If you are a property owner, this forum will provide you with some valuable support and ideas to help reduce the risk of bushfire damaging your property. Keynote speaker is David Holmgren, co-founder of permaculture and builder of several bushfire resilient properties. Also speaking are Helen Hennessy of the Country Fire Service, and Tony Fox from Natural Resources Management Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges. There will also be information stands and the opportunity to speak to people from BlazeAid, Sampson Flat Garden Revival and other relevant organisations. Entry is by gold coin donation (free if you have been affected by recent bushfires). There will also be tea and coffee and light refreshments for sale as a fundraiser to help cover costs of the event. David’s books will also be available for purchase on the evening. Please RSVP by email to or at the Facebook group: so we have an idea of attendance numbers.