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Who will be our next councillor?

October 9, 2020

The candidates, Damien Kingsbury, Hilton Hazeltine and Matt Driscoll, vying for election as the Loddon Ward representative on Mount Alexander Shire Council addressed an online forum hosted by Newstead 2021 Inc on Oct 7, 2020.

Each explained why he wanted to be our local government councillor.

If you missed it, don’t worry. Click here to watch it.

Our thanks to the candidates, our host N2021 Inc President Sharon Fraser and conversation manager Chris Johnston. We wish the candidates success and thank them for their willingness to represent our ward.

Our thanks also to Cr John Nieman who has represented Loddon Ward for the past three years and is stepping down.

Make sure you complete your postal vote. Ballot packs were mailed to voters on October 8. Voting closes 6pm , Friday Oct 23. Results will be declared Friday Nov 13, 2020.

2019 AGM minutes

March 19, 2020

Here are the minutes from our 2019 AGM, held at the Newstead Community Garden on Tuesday 19th November 2019.

Click here to view or download.

Newstead 2021 Inc 2018-2019 – Notice of Annual General Meeting

October 22, 2019


Notice of Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2018-2019

Notice is given that Newstead 2021 Inc will hold its Annual General Meeting at 7pm on Tuesday 19th November 2019 at the Newstead Community Garden, Layard St, Newstead VIC 3462.

All community members are welcome to attend. Voting at the AGM is restricted to members of the Association. Membership is open to residents of Newstead and the immediate surrounds, who support N2021’s Statement of Purposes. Membership forms are available from the Association’s website

Nominations for the Committee of the Association are welcome prior to or at the meeting.

Please bring a chair or rug and some food to share.

The ordinary business of the meeting will be:

  1. to confirm the minutes of the previous AGM of the Association and of any special general meeting held since then;
  2. to receive and consider –
    1. the annual report of the Committee on the activities of the Association during the preceding financial year; and
    2. the financial statements of the Association for the preceding financial year submitted by the Committee in accordance with Part 7 of the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (Vic);
    3. other reports from the Committee / its sub-Committee(s) upon the transactions and affairs of the Association during the preceding financial year;
  3. to elect officers of the Association and ordinary members of the Committee;
  4. to confirm that the annual subscription fee / joining fee for membership of the Association for 2019/20 shall remain nil.

The special business of the meeting will be:

  1. to discuss the Association’s current Statement of Purposes and Rules with a view to ensuring that these remain accurate and reflective of the intentions of the Association into the future;
  2. to discuss Registrations and endorsements that may benefit the Association, its purposes and activities, including registration as a charity and tax endorsements (e.g. tax exemption, deductible gift recipient status, etc);
  3. to acknowledge that 2020 is N2021’s ten-year anniversary, and to discuss if we would should celebrate and, if so, how?
  4. to consider any other business arising.


A member entitled to attend and vote at the AGM may appoint a person to attend and vote at the meeting as the member’s proxy. The appointment of a proxy must be in writing and signed by the member making the appointment. The form appointing the proxy must be given to the Chairperson of the AGM before or at the commencement of the meeting, or prior to the AGM by post or electronically. A form appointing a proxy sent by post or electronically is of no effect unless it is received by the Association no later than 24 hours before the commencement of the meeting.


Further enquiries can be made to President Gen Barlow 0427 762 633 or


Secretary Saide Gray 0419 543 667 or




2017 AGM

December 19, 2017

Our 2017 AGM was held on Sunday the 12th November, at the railway station, in the midst of the Newstead Historical Society’s then exhibition. Dave Stratton made the journey out to join us, and the meeting was both positive and a good summary of all the was achieved in the past year.

Andrew Skeoch, president for the last two years, announced he was stepping down, and a new committee was elected as:
President: Genevieve Barlow (temporary acting)
Secretary: Saide Gray
Treasurer: Kyle Richardson
with a general committee of:
David Stratton, Geoff Park, Ros Hart, Andrew Skeoch, Gordon Dowell, Don Culvenor, Gen Barlow, Gary Gibson & Saide Gray

Newstead 2021 Inc AGM 2017-11-12 – minutes & financial statements

Project reports include:
Renewable Newstead,
The Newstead Railway Arts Hub,
Community Garden,
Walks and Wheels,
plus a summary of several past projects that are either being transferred to other auspices or concluded.

2016 AGM

December 18, 2016

Our new councillor, John Nieman (Nemo), joined current and newer members of Newstead 2021 for our AGM on Sunday, 27th November.

We gathered on the platform of the railway station as the sun set, to hear reports on the association’s activities through the year, get to know Nemo, and discuss matters for the future.

Nemo conducted the election of the executive for 2017, which voted for the following:
President: Andrew Skeoch
Secretary: Saide Gray
Treasurer: Kylie Richardson
and committee members (reporting on specific projects):
Pat Fensham, Don Culvenor (for Renewable Newstead), Dave Stratton (for Rocket Science), Gen Barlow (for Community Garden), Ros Hart, Neal Bethune (for affordable housing), Geoff Park, Andrew Skeoch (for Arts Hub) and Gary Gibson.

2017 dates for 2021 meetings (venue/times to be announced):
Feb 16, May 18, Aug 17
AGM: Nov 16

View Newstead 2021 Inc. 2015-2016 AGM minutes here.

2015 AGM Minutes

December 6, 2015


Meeting commenced at 5pm

Present: Mary Park, Karly Smith, Andrew Skeoch (Chair), Dave Stratton, Ros Hart, Saide Gray, Gary Gibson, Geoff Park, Genevieve Barlow.

Apologies: Janet Barker, Don Culvenor, Sarah Koschak, Kylie Richardson.

Guests: Monique Kerr, Lachie Park

Our guest speakers Monique and Lachie gave terrific presentations on their experiences growing up in Newstead, their travels and adventures since leaving school and some observations on the benefits and challenges of growing up in a small village regional setting.

Andrew thanked them on behalf of N2021 and gave them a small gift.


President Report provided by Andrew Skeoch. Andrew reminded the meeting of the N2021 Statement of Purpose.

Treasurers Report and Financial statements – provided by Kylie Richardson (presented by Mary Park) – attached.

Community Garden – Mary Park (report attached)

Newstead Railway Arts Hub – Andrew Skeoch

Renewable Newstead – Geoff Park (report attached)

Community Planning – Genevieve Barlow

Skate Park – No report.  Andrew Skeoch advised that things are progressing.

Election of Office-bearers

Andrew vacated the Chair. Lachie Park chaired election of committee.

All positions were declared vacant and nominations were called.

President – Andrew Skeoch nominated by Saide Gray, seconded Genevieve Barlow. Elected.

Treasurer – Kylie Richardson nominated by Geoff Park, seconded by Andrew Skeoch. Elected.

Secretary – Saide Gray nominated by Geoff Park, seconded by Gary Gibson. Elected.

The following ordinary Committee were elected: Genevieve Barlow, Mary Park, David Stratton, Gary Gibson, Ros Hart, Geoff Park and Don Culvenor.

The meeting closed at 7.27pm

Click here to download a copy of the minutes.


2014 AGM Minutes

December 2, 2014

Newstead 2021 held its 2014 AGM on Sunday October 19th.

Click here to see the financial statements.


Ann and Melissa go to town

December 19, 2013

Congrats to Ann Berg and Melissa Proposch who attended the Meg Wheatley workshop in Melbourne in November , thanks to N2021 sponsorship.

Feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone!

December 19, 2013

Melissa Proposch and Ann Berg spent a day in Melbourne recently with thinker and world worker Meg Wheatley, discussing why building community and being together as a community is so important in these times.  They discovered that a feeling of ‘overwhelm’ is common among people and communities everywhere. 

Here Ann Berg says thanks to Newstead 2021 for sponsoring her day with Meg and reports back on what she discovered.  It makes for a terrific read. Thanks Ann.


Dear N2021

Thank you very much for the honour and wonderful opportunity to attend Meg Wheatley’s ‘Engaging Communities in Challenging Times: Cultivating Change and the Art of Perseverance’ workshop on November 21st.  This interesting and fun day was enhanced further for me through being able to share the experience and get to know Genevieve and Melissa. 

The workshop with Meg /Margaret Wheatley was a full and enriching day, with multiple layers of information that I am still processing.  I feel the information and inspiration gained from attending is a valuable resource to draw on over time, with much beneficial potential on both a personal as well as community level. 

Below is my report about the day.  Thank you N2021!

‘Engaging Communities in Challenging Times: Cultivating Change and the Art of Perseverance’ 

Meg presented a day of deeply engaging topics in a light and conversational atmosphere.  Small group processes throughout the day underpinned the focus and importance of ‘turning to one another’ [as it is] ‘the only we can move forwards in these challenging times’. 

We started the day with reflection about what desire first drew or compelled us to work with community.  Memories were shared as a way to ‘bring it alive’, to re-energize the desire to re-commit and focus our energy.  Given that so many people are currently struggling with feelings of stress, exhaustion and frustration it was refreshing to re-evaluate and discuss how such dynamics are showing up in our lives and affecting who we are now, or what we might become if we continue these trends. 

Meg referred to some of the ‘global dynamics beyond our control’ that impact on the wellbeing of both individual and community life as ‘the dark forces that are driving us apart’.  Three significant areas were expounded upon, along with examples of how they operate in our culture as forces of separation.  To briefly summarize: these ‘dark forces’ de-value, distract and rob from our sense of humanity.   Generating numerous layers of denial and promoting distrust between people such forces also act to erode memory.  For example:

  • Time compression:  The daily pressures of being so busy create denial and ignorance of what it takes to grow and build relationship.  ‘Overloading, multi-loading and perpetual loading’ obstruct making space for deeper communication and taking time to get to know each other. 
  • Burgeoning bureaucracy:  we live in a time of ‘morbidly obese bureaucracy that can no longer produce the outcomes needed’.  ‘Its decision based evidence making’ with an ossifying amount of reports and measures that foster distrust in creativity.    
  • Distraction: ‘what is the real price of distraction?’   The Titanic was used as an example here; along with research on what technological forms of distraction are doing to the human brain, such as the shallowing effect[1]  related to physiological changes occurring within the ‘electronic brain’ that affect loss of attention, vision, judgement, morals and memory. 

Meg suggested that a significant key for coping with the ‘craziness’ (and rampant levels of attention deficit disorder) induced by contemporary culture, is through being a community and ‘Creating places to be together, with sufficient time to learn about each other and restore thinking to whatever work we are doing’.  Focusing on what we can do, through asking questions about ‘what is possible?[2] and valuing everyone’s input, builds relationship to communicate about what matters, for as Meg stated ‘There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.’ 

When asked ‘What have you discovered in your experience that works to evoke peoples inherent creativity, caring and intelligence?‘ our small Newstead group brainstormed ideas about the power of play, as both a source of inspiration and potential space for change.  When asked to commit to paper some of the insights, design principals or beliefs that might be possible (while ‘letting go of the need to make a difference’) we thought a ‘Party for No Reason’ or ‘Play without Agenda’ type gathering for the town, might be a way to invite everyone in, to explore the creative force of play, together as a community.  (Although, it needs to be mentioned that in such a short space of time we didn’t get a chance to discuss the ‘how’s’ of implementing the ideas!). 

Themes linked throughout the day to support ideas about rediscovering the joy of being together, as Meg reiterated ‘The real gift that we can bring is re-introducing people to one another’ for ‘the joy we feel in being together is the essence of being human’.  Challenges were provided to deepen our conversations as a way of celebrating and remembering our humanity, along with the urgent need to ‘pay attention to our root system’.  Linking quantum physics notions about being ‘bundles of potential that only manifest in relationship’ with a biblical reference to the synergy generated ‘… when two or more are gathered …’ Meg offered an assortment of prompts to reconsider the importance of biological principals related to ‘creating health, through creating more connections’.  (For as a species, we are the ones who gather around the fire to be together, in warmth and community). 

Afternoon sessions were focused on the need to look after ourselves and make time to reclaim and pay attention to the peace we carry.  Meg reminded us that we need to ‘give up trying to save the world’ and be warriors for doing the work.  Along with tips on being ‘warriors for the human spirit’ we were given a signed copy of Meg’s oracle style book Peserverence, which she has based on prophecies from the Hopi Elders. 

(For your interest please see below, a version of the Hopi message). 

Subject: A Message from the Hopi Elders

Sunday, March 13, 2011

 ‘A Message from the Hopi Elders’

“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.

Now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour. 

Here are the things that must be considered:

Where are you living? 

What are you doing? 

What are your relationships?

Are you in right relation? 

Where is your water? 

Know our garden. 

It is time to speak your Truth. 

Create your community. 

Be good to each other.

And do not look outside yourself for the leader. 

This could be a good time! 

There is a river flowing now very fast. 

It is so great and swift, that there are those who will be afraid. 

They will try to hold on to the shore. 

They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. 

Know the river has its destination. 

The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river,

keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water. 

And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. 

At this time in history, we are to take nothing personal.  Least of all, ourselves. 

For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt. 

The time of the lone wolf is over.  Gather yourselves! 

Banish the word ‘struggle’ from your attitude and your vocabulary. 

All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration. 

We are the ones we have been waiting for!” 

–          Oraibi, Arizona, Hopi Nation

[1]    …, The Shallows, (title of a book referred to, sorry did not get authors name). 

[2] Quote Meg used from Marvin Weisbord, “I used to ask: ‘What’s wrong and how can I fix it?’  Then I realized the right question is ‘What’s possible and who cares?’” (Further reference details not provided).

2013 AGM Minutes

November 7, 2013

The 2013 AGM of Newstead 2021 was held on Thursday 24th November at the Newstead Community Garden.

Our office bearers for 2014 are:

President – Genevieve Barlow

Vice-President – Wayne Zantuck

Secretary & Public Officer – Karly Smith

Treasurer – Kylie Richardson

Committee members: Don Culvenor, Saide Gray, Patrick Kavanagh, Mary Park, Andrew Shirres, Dave Stratton, Kate Tucker, Geoff Park.

Click on the links below to view:

Please note the minutes include the following written reports that were tabled/presented at the meeting.

  1. Presidents Report – Geoff Park
  2. Community Garden & Produce Exchange Report – Mary Park
  3. Newstead Railway Station Project – Janet Barker
  4. Accessible Newstead – David Stratton
  5. Loddon River Report – Patrick Kavanagh

Verbal reports on a number of other project are included within the minutes.