“Participation - that's what's gonna save the human race.”
American folk singer and social activist
Our Working Group
We have pulled together some of the best minds in the area to develop the framework and communications for Bruns Eco Village.
Wroth Wall - Consulting Lawyer
Wroth Wall is a practicing solicitor from Mullumbimby with over 30 years experience in the issues that relate to or affect communities and groups of individuals who own land together. His experience in this area is unsurpassed in Australia. Wroth has drawn up constitutions, co-owners deeds, trust deeds and other founding documents for hundreds of communities and groups of people on the north coast of NSW and elsewhere. He has pioneered the widespread use of co-owner deeds in the Byron area, initiated the use of lease-hold interests for rural land sharing communities and was the original proponent for the conversion of rural land sharing communities to community title subdivisions. He has represented groups of individuals forming communities, as well as individual landowners and developers.
His work has involved advising on the structure of forming communities, drafting constitutional documents, revising legal arrangements, dealing with conveyancing issues and dealing with disputes between members of groups. As well as working with residential communities, Wroth has acted for religious, permaculture, environmental, indigenous and other not-for-profit groups to help them work together to achieve their shared goals.
Rob Doolan - Town Planner & Environmental Planner
Rob Doolan has been a planner within Byron shire for 37 years and has run a private planning consultancy since 1991. 30 years ago Rob worked as a counsellor within a larger team to guide the shire to become a point of difference from other coastal areas along the eastern seaboard.
Many people come to the Byron area with a dream – to live rurally, grow trees, harvest their own food, create a home for their family. Rob has helped make that dream true for countless numbers of people in the area, particularly intentional communities.
Rob specialises in rural development, intentional communities, Multiple Occupancies (MO’s), Community Titles (CT's), rural tourism facilities, and cultural events such as festivals.
David Jacobson - Architect
David has been bringing architectural and planning projects to fruition since 1975. In that time he has designed environmentally sustainable housing, designed and built a co-op for artists in the city and designed communal living spaces with shared facilities. In recent years David has been involved in Narara eco village north of Sydney. He has amassed significant experience in master planning, where a whole complex is initially mapped out over a number of years, and then allowed to develop into an organic whole over time.
A testament to David’s work is the long-term relationships he develops with his clients, sometimes spanning 20 years. David is trusted to satisfy people’s needs and aspirations emotionally, physically and financially by producing quality every time.
David has taught design at Sydney University and served as a Councillor on Manly Council when the town centre and beachfront development and planning controls were at a critical stage. During this time and in the years afterwards, he chaired and served on the Landscape Management Committee and the Town Centre Working Party, which over the years has seen the revitalisation of the Town Centre and beachfront.
Mairéad Cleary - Project Development & Written Content
Mairéad is an engineer by profession but a researcher and writer at heart. She has a background in mechanical engineering, wind farm design, EIS compilation, residential solar design and sustainability consulting. Mairéad secured a development application for a small-scale eco-housing development in Ireland in 2006 and ran the national marketing campaign for Sungevity Australia during its time in the Australian market in recent years. She enjoys using her knowledge of sustainability to take complex concepts and communicate them in a way that’s easy to understand.
Mairéad has a passion for making positive change accessible and easy to embrace. She has recently published Byron Trails, a book of walking trails in the Byron area, to encourage people to get outdoors and connect with the many beautiful naturescapes that the area has to offer.
Shane Sylvanspring - Eco Village Design, Social Design & Education
Shane has been an environmental and social activist for 20 years, a professional town planner for 15, and an eco village designer for 9 years. He is passionate about eco living and intentional communities and has been part of the developmental process for 10 eco villages to date.
He thrives on making communities flourish through the invisible structures involved and loves giving people great tools to embody what's required to succeed in a community.
Shane will be the workshop trainer on the Village Development Program as well as being involved in the invisible structures of the village as it develops.
He is a representative and ambassador of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN). He has run a number of Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) courses based on curriculum taught from the Scottish eco village Findhorn in Australia and around the world. He has also run many workshops on eco village design, education and community living.
Shane draws upon his own experiences of living in communities around the world, time with indigenous communities and the EDE framework. Shane has also trained in dynamic facilitation, earth bag building, permaculture, Transition Towns, and the Deep Ecology movement. He is a facilitator in the Changing the Dream movement.
As an active member of the local community cofounding Community Owned Renewable Energy Mullumbimby (COREM), and is an active volunteer in sustainable events and movements in the area. He is excited to bring his gifts to the Bruns Eco Village project.
Kelvin Daly - Land Steward / Conceptualiser
Kelvin has been a spray free farmer for 9 years and a biodynamic farmer for 3. He was introduced to natural sequence farming, that in turn led to permaculture, followed by natural cattle care, organic food production and holistic farming to name a few. He is a registered hemp grower and active member of the Northern Rivers Biodynamic Group.
In 2014 Kelvin won the first Sustainable House Competition, Community category. The scope was to design an affordable granny flat that met specific sustainability criteria. He had previously worked on an Earthship at Agnes Waters and explored the adaptation of Earthships for Australia with Martin Freeney in SA. With this in mind Kelvin designed a sustainable house based on the concepts of the Earthship design. Kelvin’s sustainable house could be built for under $100,000, the plans remain available for free at Print Rescue in Brunswick Heads. It was also suitable for rural land and would facilitate rural landowners to allow potential renters to contribute to the construction of the home in return for a long lease. In this way the renter’s relationship with the affordable home would be utterly different to the norm as it would create a sense of ownership and pride. This concept has now evolved into Bruns Eco Village.
Kelvin and Skai are the current landowners of the Saddle Road land on which the eco village is proposed. Kelvin and Skai moved to Byron Shire in 2007 with a desire to bring their kids up in the same way that they had grown up - in community. They bought the land as a run down farm and have brought it back to a healthy working farm over the years. Since 2013 they have explored this project from its initial conception through to the multi-layered eco village that is now being proposed in the heart of the Byron shire. Needless to say their two daughters are very excited about the idea of being only a stone's throw away from playmates and school friends. Kelvin and Skai Daly are committed to seeing this community project come to fruition.
Blair Beattie - Event and Communications Management
Blair is a creative with a rich and varied history in visuals and branding. He proudly supports people to bring forth their dreams and ideas and then helps them create their new vision of living. He is inspired by alternative structures that allow new ways of living and interacting and is passionate about human rights, freedom of choice, protecting our environment and believes in activism that creates a better life for everyone.
Blair is a long time photographer, marketer and branding specialist and has more recently expanded into the area of event management. He has supported and produced a variety of local and international campaigns and events for activists, educators and visionaries in the areas of human rights, environment, health and well being, etc. His skill is in bringing forth concepts, branding them and creating a platform for that concept to reach the world.
Ella Rose Goninan - Events & Communications
Ella has been involved in creative arts event direction and communications for 10 years, bringing to life events such as Renew Fest in 2016 - a celebration all things ecologically sustainable as well as Australia’s first zero-waste festival - for which she is the creative director.
Ella is dedicated to social and environmental health. She is the president, secretary and a founding member of COREM a volunteer community group working towards transitioning Mullumbimby and surrounding areas to 100% renewable energy. Ella played various support roles to the coordinating team at the Bentley Protectors Camp in 2014. She is also the founding director of First Light Community Mental Health Peer Support Network and a member on the board at Kulcha Jam.
Ella has the ability to inspire and bring people together and uses her resourcefulness to identify solutions for positive change through collaboration. She is passionate about creative actions for Mullumbimby’s sustainable future and supports the mass-mobilisation of actions to this effect both nationally and globally for the future of the next generations.
Shane Johns - Visual Communications
Shane is a talented senior graphic designer with oodles of creative experience under his belt in the areas of brand development and graphic design. Over 20 years Shane has gone from creative directorships in large advertising agencies to running his own successful design consultancy. Shane has a knack for understanding the essence of a project and presenting that essence in visual form.
Shane has designed the website you are looking at right now, along with all the imagery that it contains. Some of Shane’s other work includes:
- Rebranding the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Victoria
- Designing the logo for the first Formula1 event in Australia
John Stewart - Educational Support Consultant
John is a passionate visionary. He is currently planning the inception of Living School Byron. John has been at the forefront of recasting schools into holistic models to meet learners’ personal needs for 25 years. He is unique as a leader of education in terms of his breadth of experience.
John strives to challenge us all to reconsider how schooling could be more relevant, more engaging, providing a progressive model that's totally different and fun. He believes in giving the student a voice in their education and engaging them in the ownership of their learning. He understands that schools must nurture a sense of wonder to engage and develop life-long learners. Curiosity and community are keys.
John believes there is a difference between a performer and a learner, an instructor and a teacher. His experience has taught him there needs to be greater diversity in education. Standardised schooling driven by testing regimes will not promote excellence. Instead, nurturing positive attitudes (like confidence, openness, resilience and excellence) and forming constructive habits are the foundations for a successful life.
John is driven by the desire to show that schools can be designed to maximise learning opportunities and focus on the future, rather than staying entrenched in the past.
John is an author, international speaker, interactive textbook designer, global consultant, and media spokesperson on education.
Alice Moffett - Founding member (Project Management)
Alice has been involved in varying aspects of community engagement since 1999. In 2014 Alice pioneered the Sustainable House Day in Northern Rivers, which includes 10 partner organisations (including Byron, Ballina, Tweed and Lismore Councils) that work collaboratively to hold the Sustainable House Design Competition annually. Last year, Alice became a founding member of the Zero Emissions Byron Buildings Working Group. She has also been instrumental in creating Byron Bay's CO*OP Kulcha Jam, an organic food co-op run entirely by volunteers. She has worked within the team that brought the Sustainable Streets Program to Brunswick Heads and smoothed the way for neighbours to work together to live sustainability.
In South Australia, Alice spent a year developing a Food Security & Health program for the Onkaparinga Council with local communities and organisations. This program addressed fair access to sustainable food sources and helped carve new policies and governance to ensure lasting support.
Alice runs Self Seed and is a sustainability leader in the Northern Rivers area. Her passion for social justice, community empowerment and environmental regeneration is evident in her work. She enjoys delivering sustainability engagement through project and event coordination and is committed to community enterprise and wellbeing. From having a chemical free home to changing the way we work as a society, Alice lives and breathes sustainability!
With this strong, experienced capable team of experts at the helm Bruns Eco Village stands to be a flagship sustainable community that others will want to follow. Be part of the story.