Executive Officer Vacancy

Executive Officer Vacancy

As the Executive Officer, steps down after an exciting and creative period with the Darebin Information, Volunteer and Resource Service (DIVRS), the Committee of Management (COM) is looking for an energetic person with strong leadership skills to build on the work achieved, and ensure that the organisation continues to deliver a responsive and quality service to the Darebin community.

Organic Gardner Features the Fruit Squad

Organic Gardner Features the Fruit Squad

A team of enthusiastic Melbourne volunteers known as the Darebin Fruit Squad have solved the problem of what to do when a backyard fruit tree does into overdrive.

In 2013, community group Transition Darebin realised that a mass of fruit was being wasted in their area (in Melbourne's northern suburbs) because householders couldn't use it all, or didn't know how to look after their trees.

In its first year the Darebin Fruit Squad proved so popular that it helped distribute more than 1000kg of fruit.  Three years later, it now has over 120 householders registered and 4152kg of fruit harvested to date.  The collected fruit is distributed through emergency relief food security services including SecondBite, Darebin Food Bank and The Salvation Army.

Martin O'Callaghan, the squad's coordinator, working as part of the Darebin Information Volunteer and Resource Service (DIVRS), said householders were initially contacted via letterbox drops and local market and festival stalls.  "We soon discovered behind those neighbourhood fences there's a much larger urban orchard than we though." O'Callaghan said.

The squad harvests a wide variety of backyard fruit, including apples, plums, apricots, oranges, lemons, persimmons, pears and grapes.  when a new household contacts the squad they receive a friendly visit from experienced volunteers.

"For us it's about finding out their (householder) expectations and an opportunity to check the tree's health and what fruit will be available.  Once a backyard tree is on or list, we send out reminders when it's harvest time and arrange to pick the fruit (leaving a portion for the householder) and disposing of any rotten pieces." O'Callaghan said.  "For some households with more than one fruit tree this can happen three or four times a year."

Darebin Fruit Squad also runs fruit tree maintenance workshops as a natural extension of their rescue work.  "We've been contacted by people whose parents were the ones looking after the backyard trees, but the skills weren't passed on.  There are also people interested in growing their own produce and increasing their knowledge we run general workshops on pruning and maintenance, even fruit preserving and pickling."

While the squad receives some funding from Darebin City Council and the DIVRS, they ave been looking at other ways to bee financially sustainable.  "Through the urban food program grant from the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation, we are setting up a small urban orchard business selling root stock fruit trees that have local heritage fruit wood grafted onto them.  We hope to sell these trees back to the neighbourhood increasing our local urban food supply," O'Callaghan said.

"For us, it's an important part of maintaining and preserving our precious urban trees and teaching locals how to keep their backyard fruit trees healthy for future generations."

Words by Kaye Roberts-Palmer, Published in Organic Gardner July/August 2017, p12

Award Winner Olive Preserver hosts a Workshop

Award Winner Olive Preserver hosts a Workshop

Book your ticket today to preserve your home-grown olives in a fun and practical workshop!

2 PM, SATURDAY, 3 JUNE 2017

Sam Ferraro, Mediterranean master of home-grown produce and Jessica Ridout, Winner of the Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festivals’ 2015 best preserved olives , will show you how easy it is to preserve your home-grown olives in a fun and practical workshop. You will also take home with you a jar of preserved olives that you make on the day.

follow this link : PRESERVING WORKSHOP

Nourish Body and Mind

Nourish Body and Mind

There was a time when Samantha Cunningham was on top of the world.  A model, a dancer and a title-winning bodybuilder, she was confident and successful but her life spiraled downwards with illness and depression.

Apple of our Eye

Apple of our Eye

These Apple Trees directly support the work of DIVRS who actively contribute to reducing food insecurity and increasing sustainability in the City of Darebin.

divrs A YEAR IN REVIEW

divrs A YEAR IN REVIEW

For a reflective review of DIVRS' 2015-2016 year,  view the tab above 'About Us' and you will be able to download the 2016 Annual Review.

KOGO Warms our Winter

KOGO Warms our Winter

DIVRS provides over 3,800 types of emergency relief assistance in a year, and this Winter we are able to provide so much more.

A partner community initiative Knit One Give One (KOGO), provides over 62,500 hand crafted winter woollies to the most vulnerable in our community through services like ours.

KOGO have over 5,000 knitters/crocheters across Australia and all are volunteers.

As we approach National Volunteer Week, DIVRS Volunteers thank KOGO for providing basics to our Darebin residents as winter approaches.

You can read more about KOGO by visiting their website www.kogo.org.au

knit one give one - charity knitting project

Olive Preserving – Mediterranean Style

Olive Preserving – Mediterranean Style

Our  Urban Food Programme with produce from the Darebin Fruit Squad will be at the Darebin Home Made Food and Wine Festival this year.   Meet the Mediterranean masters of home grown produce Ilias Papadopoulos (Greece) and Sam Ferraro (Italy), who will show you how easy it is to preserve your home grown olives in a fun and practical workshop.  

When

Saturday, 14 May 2016 from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM (AEST) - Add to Calendar

Where

Darebin Intercultural Centre - The Community Kitchen in The Old Preston Courthouse 59A Roseberry Ave (Corner Kelvin Grove), Preston, VIC 3072, Australia - View Map

Tickets SOLD OUT!

Feed Melbourne Feeds Darebin

Darebin residents will benefit from more than $50,000 in Feed Melbourne grants handed to four local food charities.

Three $15,000 grants were last month handed to the Aborigines Advancement League, Big Group Hug and the Whittlesea Community Connections, while the Darebin Information Volunteer & Resource Service (DIVRS) received $11,740.

DIVRS manager Freedom Preston said the grant would help to purchase fresh food and infant formula, harvesting equipment and a car trailer.

“The grant has given us the tools to gather, collect and harvest more food to distribute,” Ms Preston-Clark said.

The 2015 Feed Melbourne Appeal raised $481,711. The appeal is run by Leader Newspapers, charity FareShare and the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

Two-thirds of the money will go to 32 Melbourne food charities in the form of grants of up to $15,000. Onethird goes to FareShare, which will help it produce one million charity meals in the next year.

Every dollar donated goes to charities to help them transport, store, cook and distribute rescued food.