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Community exchange program to support Macedon Ranges residents

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The North Central Review
The North Central Review
The North Central Review is an independently owned newspaper publishing company based in Kilmore that is responsible for publishing two community newspapers each week, covering communities within the Mitchell Shire

Lancefield Neighbourhood House is among many in the region gearing up for the re-launch of Macedon Ranges Community Exchange, aiming to encourage the community to share their resources, skills and knowledge with one another.

The Community Exchange System provides people the opportunity to ‘trade’ their goods and services without conventional money.

Facilitator Samantha Wittenberg described the system as a ‘vibrant village level person-to-person economy’.

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“We all have passions, resources, skills, services, knowledge and opportunities that we can share with others. And we all have things we need,” she said.

“When we get together with the intention to strengthen our community, we make visible the invisible gifts of everyone.”

The Offers and Needs Workshops bring people together to explore what people can offer with their time, skills and resources, and discover what other people are offering.

The two-hour workshops will be a guided process where people meet to identify and exchange passions, knowledge, skills, resources, opportunities, and needs.

From finding a place to live, to sharing a recipe, or engaging a professional service or a tutor, organisers said the opportunities were endless.

Following the workshops, organisers will host a market where people can bring along items to trade or let people know about the things they have on offer.

“Several years ago, in a meeting of the coordinators of the Macedon Ranges neighbourhood houses, we all agreed that reviving the Community Exchange was probably the single most important thing we could do for our communities,” Lancefield Neighbourhood House coordinator Vivien Philpotts said.

“Technology let us down when we first started the MRCE in 2012 but this is now all updated and it is fabulous to have the opportunity to work with Leanganook Exchange and have Samantha’s experience to start the offers and needs workshops.”

The workshops are on Saturday, at Woodend Neighbourhood House, and Sunday, at Castlemaine Community Centre. A gold coin donation is required for entry.

For more information and bookings, visit or call 0490 501 671.

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