Welcome to Co-ops, commons & Communities Canberra (CoCanberra)

CoCanberra is here to provide ongoing support and resources for new and existing organisations who align with our mission and vision in Canberra and its surrounds.

Our aims are:

  • To invent, facilitate, implement and support resilient ways of providing for our needs, while recognising the natural limits inherent to the places we live, and designing our new systems within those limits.
  • To invent, facilitate, implement and support ways of providing equality amongst all humans, and a fair and decent life for all.
  • To begin this change at the local level, scaling up to broader community horizons as local needs are progressively met, providing that the skills and resources to do so are available.
  • To make the designs, results and methods we work on as easy as possible to share with and distribute to others who share the same goals, to help them set up their own similar groups.
  • To communicate clearly and accessibly with the general public about why these changes (see 1 and 2) are a good thing, and why they are necessary.
  • To work alongside other groups who can help us further our goals.
  • To use the patterns of the Natural World as a guide in our design work - “What would Nature do?”


We meet monthly, at 7pm on the last Monday of the month, at the Food Co-shop in Canberra city. Find them with this link. The best parking is on Watson St.

The meetups are a collaboration between ourselves and the The New Economy Network of Australia (NENA) Canberra Region Hub.

You can bring your own meals to the meetups, and tea will be available there. If you get there early (they close at 7pm), the shop is also packed with top notch food!


We usually have a talk at 7pm followed by QnA with the guest speakers, then a discussion on a related topic.

A very brief update of Co-Canberra projects with QnA will round off the night.

This Month: Localising food production: A proposal for a Community Owned Farming Enterprise Co-op

We will be inviting those further afield to join us at 6:50pm (to allow for connection issues) for a 7pm start via this Zoom link:


You can prepare by downloading the Zoom Client for meetings, or scroll down the same page for mobile phone apps.

February 24th 2020: Regenerative food systems in the Canberra region - part 2

A presentation of the proposals main components, and a last round of feedback.


The proposal is designed around the principles of:

  • Access for all to good, healthy food
  • Providing a stable, secure living for farmers
  • Connecting people with the sources of their food - building an inclusive community across cultures
  • Food sovereignty - Community ownership of food producing land
  • Localism - Food production and ownership in local ownership and control
  • Healing the Earth / Care for the land / Regenerative farming
  • Education - Farming techniques, normalising the need for change, demonstrating feasibility, maintaining interest and engagement, and helping it replicate elsewhere - Reframing farming

The main components of the design are:

  • Customers and workers will both own the co-op, and will aim to achieve the most beneficial balance of both their interests.
  • Community Supported Agriculture: http://www.csanetworkausnz.org/
  • Cote Jardins volunteering system in France: Little info available in English. Their CSA customers must dedicate 4 Sundays each year to volunteering on the farm. This means that nearly every weekend has a big group descend on one job or another with a large workforce. The Sunday afternoon / evening is a meal / party.
  • Enterprise stacking: Joel Salatins talks "Stacking Fiefdoms" and  "Successional Success - Fields of Farmers" give a good background.
  • Internal Capital Accounts: The ICA Group explains these fairly well - This example unfortunately includes lots of references to the USA's tax laws. It will still give a good idea of what the intent is. 
  • Holacracy: Official Holacracy Site and Actual software example which provides a clear, well organised way to operate a complicated organisation. Click on the different circles and tabs in the software to explore the actual Holacracy organisation.
  • The Pre Power method of funding for land purchases.


We are also taking a final roud of feedback from the community about what a regional farming co-op could do to help you or your existing enterprise, as a customer, co-ordinator, or workplace (or anything else).


Past meetups:

Jan 28th 2019: Case study - Cote Jardins - community supported agriculture in France

Feb 25th 2019: Web linkup - Meet the current CoCanberra Partners - ORICoop, Earthworker, SEE-Change, Pingala Co-op, The New Economy Network of Australia

Mar 25th 2019: Web linkup - Intro to East Gippsland - before the NENA East Gippsland symposium

Apr 29th 2019: Case study - The Food Co-op Shop

May 27th 2019: Case study - Canberra Alliance for Participatory Democracy

Jun 24th 2019 : Case study - Trove Co-op - Artist owned shopfront

Jul 29th 2019: Case study - Harmony cleaning co-op - worker owned - union co-op - refugee enterprise

Aug 26th 2019: Case study - Co-operative health care - The National Health Co-op and The Co-operative Life

Sep 30th 2019: Community Development - Regenerative food systems in the Canberra region - part 1 

Oct 28th 2019: Reframing CoCanberra - the new CoCanberra mission and vision

Dec 2019: CoCanberra Party - rather small due to heavy smoke

Jan 2020: Community Development - Workshop on two Comunity Development tools, Community Asset Mapping and Puzzle Problem Speed Dating.


Future meetups:

March 30th 2020: Coming soon!


Current projects include:


The Prepower Renewable Energy Cooperatives:

PrePower is pioneering a new form of self-funding cooperative. The Prepower Co-op has been formed, and is in the process of being built into the first of many renewable enrgy cooperatives.

The unique self-funding model is transferrable to other sectors, which will be developed in the future.

See the websites for further information:

Prepower One


Farmart - Community Owned Farming Enterprise Cooperatives:

Inspired by the sale of some local organic farms, Co-Canberra is developing models for ensuring the succession of organic farms can run smoothly, transferring the ownership from the existing farmer to a farming Co-operative which is owned and controlled in common by the farmers and the customers. Providing a secure place for farmers to collaborate, bringing in young farmers and developing the art of farming to fully utilise our ecological inheritance in a productive, multi enterprise whole farm system. This Project is collaborating with the Organic and Regenerative Investment Cooperative (ORIcoop).



Becoming the Media:

The mainstream media is not showcasing the best of humanity.

In order for

  • good news about well designed projects and enterprises,
  • related thoughts, ideas and philosophies,
  • thorough analysis of the causes of our problems

to be brought out of the shadows, we will just have to get on and do it ourselves.

Talks at the CoCanberra meetups are recorded, and are posted on the soundcloud site of local Community Radio 2XX 98.3FM's show Behind the Lines.

Behind the lines works alongside CoCanberra to produce the weekly show, and has recorded 3 national conferences for the New Economy Network of Australia (NENA), and one Australasian Permaculture Convergence. They are working closely with NENA to start up NENAs Podcast, Align in the Sound.


The New Economy Network of Australia (NENA) Canberra Region Hub:

Is now active, working closely with CoCanberra.




Please email us at scotty at canberracooperatives.com.au to volunteer for any of these projects, or to help out with convening CoCanberra itself.



Contributors to this page: admin , Rob Mitchell , scotty f and mark .
Page last modified on Monday February 10, 2020 14:03:07 AEDT by admin.

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