Introducing… Transition Tamar

Contributors: Alexia and Karen (Transition Tamar)

Did you know a new Transition group has formed in the North?
Transition Tamar kindly provided some details about how they started, who they are, what they hope to do. Oh, and there is a BIG permaculture connection…

Way back in (what seems a decade ago) 2018, David Holmgren (you’ve probably heard of him) visited Launceston as part of the tour for his new book ‘Retrosuburbia’, and at the presentation a handful of people put their names down to say they were interested in forming a Retrosuburbia book club. A particularly brave soul offered to host strangers in her house, and the date was set: the first few chapters of ‘Retrosuburbia’ were read, the host cleaned house and cooked a few pizzas, and then… one of the eight invitees arrived with her daughter – but nobody else made it along. After some delicious food and good conversation, the two decided to try once more, listing an event on our local permaculture facebook page to see if anyone was interested… and this time twelve people came together, bringing amazing food, drink, flowers, produce, seeds, connection and conversation about how to live more sustainably.

As we got to know each other, it turned out that at least half of our book club members had moved to Tasmania from mainland Australia over the last few years, with the hope of living a lifestyle that would reduce their carbon footprint and make a difference to climate change. As we continued to meet, one spring afternoon – a year after David’s presentation – a small speech and a nervous invitation to gather for a different reason was made by one of the members: how did we feel about doing SOMETHING? Would people consider gathering to explore Transition and whether it was something they’d like to be involved with? 

Transition Tamar was formed over more food, videos and discussion – everyone who ended up being involved being super-passionate about what we could do to bring community with us on this journey. In that spirit, after only three meetings, an open invitation to the permaculturalists gathering at the Launceston PDC earlier this year (also feels like a decade ago!) was made, and our Committee literally doubled overnight! This extended group only got the chance to meet twice before lockdown occurred, but Transition Tamar has leant on the resilience and adaptability that Holmgren’s book is saturated in, and moved swiftly online, meeting fortnightly since to continue organising the “unleashing”, co-ordinate grant applications, relate conversations with councils, like-minded organisations & people, brainstorm publicity opportunities and move ahead with initiatives that we can launch even if we are still in isolation.  Our ideas for ways to bring food, beauty, connection and wellbeing to our community still remain, we just have to be more patient or more creative about how we go about them.  In that spirit, a decision was made to start a Facebook group to reach out to community and start sharing ideas whilst we couldn’t meet in person. From a tiny book club meeting, to the seeds of hope for a more resilient community, to launching online in a time of crisis. What a rollercoaster!

Transition Tamar still hope to unleash later this year. We are the local face of a worldwide movement co-created only a little over ten years ago by an English permaculture teacher called Rob Hopkins (you’ve probably heard of him too). Local groups, networked together, but on their own trajectories to create resilient communities around our world in response to the climate and ecological emergencies facing us. Transition communities adapt to the changing environment through skill-sharing, sustainable living, localised food production, circular economies and regenerative development. If it is good for the community and the planet we are for it! If it feels familiar to you, it should be: Transition has been described as permaculture on steroids! 

If you live in the following municipalities (Launceston, West Tamar, Georgetown) we would love to have you join our fledgling community online whilst we are in lockdown. You can find us on Facebook at:

Residents of these councils are also eligible to vote for us in the Regional City Challenge:  where we have put an application in for some funding to help us launch and start projects – we’d love your support! Voting closes May 31st. 

We hope to keep you regularly updated through the space being so generously made for us in Permaculture Tasmania’s newsletter. If it wasn’t for the people at Permaculture Tas organising David Holmgren’s book tour, this page would likely be blank, 12 friends would not have met, and the communities along our beautiful Tamar Valley would not be able to look forward to coming together later this year to plan a transition to a low-carbon, connected community for all. Thanks PT ☺️