“In our opinion, the most important key to success of any community or eco-village is … the beliefs and values on which it is based, and the relationships which bind members and enable them to work together.”

Christine Connelly, Sustainable Communities: Lessons from Aspiring Eco-Villages


The Village Development Program is a series of gatherings and workshops over a 14-month period that will begin the collective creation of the eco village. All residents on Bruns Eco Village are required to participate in this program.

The current VDP was fully subscribed with over 120 people signing up and is underway. An intensive shorter format VDP will be held in early 2018. Due to its shorter nature the future VDP will have a different structure, including different presenters. Some content offered in the current program may no longer be relevant.

Our aim in offering the Village Development Program is to form community and social structures for the future Bruns Eco Village co-op as well as educate prospective members on the basic skills needed to live in community.


The main element of the Village Development Program is a series of 5 weekend workshops. Each workshop will build on the last and will include an incredible range of guest facilitators who will offer their unique expertise over the 5 weekends.

There are certain skills needed to live well together and most of us don’t get the opportunity to learn these in our lives. By attending these workshops participants will learn how to resolve conflicts that can arise as well as how to communicate effectively and compassionately. They will also contribute to and learn how to shape the social and community structures of the village.

Shane Sylvanspring, Ecovillage Design Education facilitator Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) member, will run the workshops. His team of experienced facilitators will help deliver a rich and excellent education program, using lectures, games, exercises and experiences that will ground what you are learning.

Workshop Topics

  • Introduction to Eco Villages and Community Living
  • Social Design and Invisible Structures
  • Ecological Design
  • Sustainable Livelihood and Economics
  • Values and Ethics


The planned gatherings are informal one-day events where we all become familiar with the newly forming community and create connections with the land and each other. They're also great days for getting your hands dirty!

Sun 11th Sep 2016

Field Day Gathering 1

This first field day will allow you to walk the land of the proposed eco village and celebrate the start of the journey
Bruns Eco Village site
Sat 10th – Sun 11th Dec 2016

Workshop 1:
Introduction to Eco Villages and Community Living

Guest Speaker: John Talbot

This workshop explores eco villages, what they are and how they function. We will be looking at existing eco villages around Australia and the world and John Talbot will present lessons and concepts from his experiences at Narara Ecovillage near Sydney and Findhorn Ecovillage in Scotland. You will learn about the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) and be introduced to their particular education platform. We will start to become familiar with this developing eco village community by learning each other’s backgrounds, skills and hopes. You will take part in exercises that will help identify others with similar interests to you. This will be part of what forms the foundation for the eco village housing clusters and the on-going program. An optional night activity of a social night will be offered.
Mullumbimby Civic Hall
Sat 11th – Sun 12th Mar 2017

Workshop 2:
Social Design and Invisible Structures

Guest Speakers/Facilitators:
To be announced

In this workshop you will be introduced to the concept of ‘social design’ - a design process that contributes to improving our well-being.

You will also learn conflict resolution skills and non-violent communication (NVC) tools. We will explore archetypes and common personalities to understand people’s natures and how they behave in community. We will also delve into the main contributor to conflict within a community – lack of communication and trust.

An optional night activity will include a viewing of Deep Listening: The Secret of Community
Durrumbull Hall Main Arm
Sat 29th Apr 2017

Field Day Gathering 2

Bruns Eco Village site
Sat 3rd – Sun 4th Jun 2017

Workshop 3:
Ecological Design

Guest Speakers/Facilitators:
To be announced

We will look at the physical design of the Bruns Eco Village and in particular the various clusters that will form, their design and the design of the houses themselves.

We will explore the available options for energy, water and waste, consider building materials, and look at the opportunities that exist for food production and permaculture.

We will also revisit social design (from Workshop 2) and look at our agreements around some of the difficult issues within community.

There will be an optional night activity where you can meet some of the eco village partners and explore opportunities with them.
Mullumbimby Civic Hall
Sun 11th Jun 2017

Field Day Gathering 3
Winter Solstice

Bruns Eco Village site
Sat 9th – Sun 10th Sep 2017

Workshop 4:
Sustainable Livelihood and Economics

Guest Speakers/Facilitators:
To be announced

In this workshop you will get to express your and other’s intentions for the eco village. You will explore your purpose in the eco village, what livelihood you seek and how the eco village can help to provide a complementary livelihood for everyone.

We will delve into the world of economic issues and inequality and learn about Bruns Eco Village’s Alternative Ownership Model. We will also explore community enterprise options for the eco village.

An optional night activity will be available.
Mullumbimby Civic Hall
Sat 14th Oct 2017

Field Day Gathering 4

Bruns Eco Village site
Sat 9th – Sun 10th Dec 2017

Workshop 5:
Values and Ethics

Guest Speakers/Facilitators:
To be announced

In this last workshop of the series we will be exploring our worldview and values as an emerging community, in the context of the information we have assimilated.

We will focus on the intentions and values of each cluster and how they can be implemented. We will ask the question: ‘what message collectively does Bruns Eco Village want to give?’

We also we be looking at our ethics and values in relation to children, the aged and the disabled, education and culture.

We will also be looking at the next steps in the journey and celebrating our new community.

An optional collective community activity will be offered to also explore this further.
Mullumbimby Civic Hall

If you would like to be informed about the future Village Development program (to be held in early 2018) please register your interest to receive further information.