herbs and seedlings in a large plastic container placed outside a front picket fence

How are groups surviving after months of lockdown and unpredictability?

Just hanging in there?

Or putting ideas of community resilience into action?

The COVID pandemic has provided a taste of the type of disruption which we are likely to face if climate change is not abated, and a test of our community resilience.

Transition Darebin decided to modify our activities with the flexibility to deliver either online or in person according to COVID-19 safety requirements at the time, and sometimes in collaboration with other groups.

a new red on/off switch on a radio

home repairs during lockdown: new radio switch


We purchased a zoom account, for use by Transition Darebin but also available to other community groups.

Transition Darebin undertook to run a series of workshops, online if necessary. By offering local people the opportunity to share their skills at a time when their regular work was disrupted, we attracted presenters and topics the group may not otherwise have considered.

These included:

  • Cloth Nappies and other ways to reduce waste with a baby (by zoom)
  • Sowing Seeds of Resilience in the Suburbs (by zoom)
  • Fix-It workshop for children (once in person, once by zoom)

When restrictions were on, our bi-monthly Repair Café switched to an online ‘virtual’ repair café. 

four shirts whose collars have been turned

Home repairs: turned shirt collars

This provided encouragement for people to share online information about any repairs made at home with the added benefit of keeping in contact during lockdown. It still achieved the main repair goal of keeping goods out of landfill.

A monthly food swap switched to a non-contact front fence swap, which people could visit during their ‘within 5km’ walk.


colourful cloth boomerang bags

Shopping bags for local stores and food relief programs

Boomerang bag sewers continued making bags from rescued fabrics. They serviced requests from several food relief programs, Save Preston Market campaign, and indigenous grandmothers wellness group. Plus masks and scrubs for Northern Territory indigenous health.

lightweight fabric bags for produce to be weighed when shopping

bags for weighing loose produce


While still feeling flat and taking a while to regain momentum, we found it satisfying that we managed to keep some activity going.

But after months of ticking over on a non-contact basis there is no substitute for being back in person!!!

Christine Pinniger

Transition Darebin

February 2022

Note from editors: How did your group respond to the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic during 2020 and 2021?  We’d like to hear your story. Contact us here