Founder Lyndall Parris begins to speak in public about her dream of community living.
The Sydney Coastal Ecovillage (SCEV) Incorporated Association is set up with a website to attract other interested people (being close to Sydney and the coast were key criteria).
Research begins of Ecovillages world wide.
19 November 2006, a public launch at Greenwich welcoming 60 people. Monthly gatherings have been held since.
February 2008, The Gosford Horticultural Institute property at Narara is advertised for sale.
April 2008, Tender submitted to the NSW State Property Authority (SPA)
July 2008, First Open Day on the Narara property, held monthly thereafter.
September 2008, First presentation of ‘A Taste of Sociocracy’ aka Dynamic Governance – a governance methodology designed to encourage transparent and inclusive decision-making.
December 2008, the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) hits and our developer partner’s company goes under. Negotiations for the land abruptly end and the Narara property is taken off the market.
Late 2010, after some media coverage the database passed the 500 subscriptions mark.
SCEV contacts more than a hundred developers but gets very little interest. The whole property development scene had drastically changed since the GFC, with developers unable to readily access capital.
SCEV makes presentations to Gosford Council, including a presentation about the proposed Ecovillage project on the Narara land.
Approaches made to the local State Government members for the Central Coast electorates, familiarising them with our concepts.
A permaculture assessment of the Narara site is done.
We begin to organise some gatherings for our local Narara neighbours informing them of our plans.
We start to consider Ecovillage bylaws.
SCEV begins marketing for the Ecovillage and the Narara Ecovillage (NEV) Co-op is set up, preferring the co-op structure to the corporate structure.
Financial modeling is undertaken.
February 2012, the NSW Government returns the Narara property to the market for sale. The NEV Co-op lodges an application to purchase the land and is successful, thanks to the Pioneer members who dig deeply into their pockets to ‘make it happen’
28th August, contract signed.
30th May, property settled
Late 2013, the Co-op lodges a Development Application (DA) with Gosford Council for Stage one and two clusters therein.
Working bees start on the property and are held regularly for members and friends
In early 2014, the current memberships pass 50 with a community of 120 people.
May 2014, the two cluster DA’s are approved by Gosford City Council with Stage 1 DA imminent.
The Sydney Coastal Ecovillage (SCEV) Inc no longer with the task of kicking off an Ecovillage (NEV Co-op is the Ecovillage developer now) is replaced with the Narara Eco Living Network Inc (NELN) and organises regular outreach events including the inaugural Ecoburbia held at Narara Valley High School, just down the road from NEV.
August 2014, Stage 1 DA approved.
We have a Board of 7 members; John Talbott, our Project Director leading our Project Development, 4 teams – Community Development, Land, Buildings and Infrastructure and Business Development. The latter is the only team not in full swing. We also have various Working Groups set up to help the teams.
The Wellbeing WG starts conversations around supporting members and dealing with conflict.
March: Rob Stokes, the Minister for the Environment and the Central Coast came to our site to announce that we had won a grant for $70,000 to research a ‘smart grid’ for Narara Ecovillage.
May: The Member’s Annual Contribution Hours (MACH) Working Group was set up to determine how each membership might contribute their annual 52 hours of community work. Also in May, the Steering Circle Implementation Working Group was set up to introduce into our structure, the much needed interface [the Steering Committee/Circle] between the Board and the Teams. This important body will facilitate the aims and domains of our teams and assist communication flow throughout the organisation. The principals of Sociocracy, our chosen system of Governance are being further implemented.
June: Our total in received shares and loans from Narara Ecovillage members was approximately $15m, we were on target to self fund our amazing project.
July: we appointed Joel Green as our Project & Cluster Housing Construction Manager
September: We held a working bee where 24 people contributed over 100 hours of their collective time.
October: We held the inaugural ‘Guys bakin’ pies’ in honour of Ecovillage at Ithaca, from which we have learnt so much.
November: More rigour is brought in to our membership joining process by setting up the Member’s Orientation Working Group (MOWG). We asked prospective members to fill in a Reflective Questionnaire and asked them to participate in 5 ecovillage events before they completed the joining forms and paid their money. After joining the NEV Co-op, the MOWG took new members through an Orientation and Welcome process.
December: Lot Selection weekend when members were given two dots on which was written their Co-op Membership number, to place on our first and second lot preference. The fun continues!
Meanwhile, life continues within our community. Concerning quotes come in for our retaining walls, our water license is not moving forward easily, everything seems to take ages. We celebrate the good times, say sad farewells to members who need to leave us, watch relationships do their thing and welcome the arrival of babies, new members and families.
The community is 140 people ranging in age from 8 months to 80 years.
March: A number of visionary members get behind holding a lot from sale, so that we make a provision for a Common House in Stage 1. They are thinking forward to our social sustainability goals when we are 150 homes and possibly 400 people. This is upheld and endorsed at a Member’s Meeting which follows.
April: Nine people are elected to form the inaugural Steering Circle. These people are chosen from the board and teams and ensure the important Sociocratic principle of ‘double linking’ is engaged. And the Business Development Team becomes more active with a focus on Food, Accommodation, Learning and Business Support
May: We are looking at ~$7m for the water, sewer, roads, and electricity infrastructure build. Stage 1 members need to sign a commitment to make Progress Payments ($100k and later $50k) on their lot so that we can manage our payments to the Civil contractors.
July: the Civil work begins with every type of Big Rig on site. We are excited, appalled, shocked and pleased.
September: Stage 1 lots are fully subscribed
October: Preparations for design of Stage 2 start