Our Journey So Far

Curious as to how it all began?

The Village Project was created to empower communities to make positive everyday choices for themselves, others and the planet. The initial planning revolved around transforming a 16 year vacant, three storey warehouse, in Summer Hill, into a green building, community hub and ethical business precinct.

We launched work on the project in early 2020 and a week later Covid-19 hit Australia and we went into lockdown. We took a step back to reevaluate and work out our next steps. We decided to forge ahead, despite being in lockdown and it was, in fact, lockdown that revealed to us what our greatest needs were. Connection, compassion, sharing and kindness became the ties that bound us together, when we couldn’t actually be together.

After the first lockdown we were keen to start connecting with the community again and then our good ol’ friend Covid returned, along with another lockdown. This delayed the opening of the building again, but also inspired new ideas, which included this digital platform and online share economy. Our dedicated team of 35+ volunteers are working towards opening the  building to the community by January 2023, so watch this space! 

Or, if long paragraphs are not for you, here are some pretty pictures from over the years:

Early 2019

One of the co-founders, Bindi, meets with the building owner and shares her vision for The Village Project and how the building could be transformed into a green building & community space.

Late 2019

A small group of community members come together to start researching and planning. Initial brainstorming sessions are held to help form a more cohesive & defined strategy.

March 2020

The Village Project hosts an open day for the community where they can tour the building and share ideas. A crowdfunding campaign is launched which is then paused due to Covid-19.

Mid 2020

A group of five co-founders is formed in order to set The Village Project up as a NFP and co-op and to create a more structured plan. The initial funding of the project is provided by this group.

June to Dec 2020

Volunteer positions are opened up and we begin with around 10 to 20 people who want to help out across different areas. We now have a dynamic team that fluctuates between 30 - 40 people.

June to Dec 2020

With the help of a co-op consultant, we write our Constitution, create our Ethos, form a Board of Directors and officially become a registered co-operative & not-for-profit.

December 2020

MP Jo Haylen speaks about TVP in Parliament, visits the building to meet the team and take a tour, later presenting us with a Community Recognition Statement. We also give Clr Mark Drury a tour.

February 2021

After 4 months of our volunteer team working on it, our first website is launched. We also set up a section on the new website which enables us to receive donations for the first time.

March 2021

Local artists spend a day painting a colourful mural on the roller door of the building that says, 'Change the world without leaving the village', a reminder to our community that we can all make a difference.

April 2021

In conjunction with the building owner, our volunteer architects help put together a pre-DA document which we submit to council before meeting with them to discuss our plans & ideas for the building.

April 2021

Over three days we partner with Arnie's Recon. to host an e-waste collection event for the community where 4.5 tones of waste are diverted from landfill and $5,00 is raised, half of which is given to The Village Project.

May 2021

In collaboration with the building owner, we invite Auntie Deb and Auntie Jenny to host a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony at the building which is open to our teams, families and the community.

June 2021

We host a glass and textile waste collection day for the community. The glass & textiles we collect will be transformed into tiles & furniture for the building, using the SMaRT Centre's revolutionary technology.

July to November 2021

We are selected by the UTS program, Shopfront, to be appointed around 100 students to work with us. The MBA students help write our business plan & the product innovation students work on partnerships.

July to December 2021

We win three grants: the first two are from the Inner West Council, one for $400 to host another community event & one for $5k to build the digital platform. The third grant for $35k is awarded to us by MP Jo Haylen.

October 2021 to March 2022

A local web developer generously offers us pro bono work building the platform. Our volunteer team work alongside him to build the platform, launch it to beta testing members and then to the entire community.

2022 to 2023

Our aim is to submit our DA, find tenants, sign our lease and do our renovations from April to December 2022. All going well, we hope to open the building to our community by January 2023.

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