Wurruk’an is a humble but beautiful body of land, water, and forest in the Gunai district of Gippsland, Victoria. In recent years it has become an inclusive gathering space for people seeking to pioneer and demonstrate a ‘simpler way’ of living based on permaculture principles.
Among other things, we have been running mud-building workshops and growing organic food, capturing water from the skies, learning the skills of self-sufficiency, experimenting with alternative technologies, reconnecting with nature, and moving toward systems of renewable energy. Although these are still early days, the emerging vision is aglow with promise and potential. As a strategy for social change, our small and evolving community is trying to build a new world from within the shell of the old.
The overlapping cultural, economic, and environmental crises humanity is facing can seem overwhelming – can seem like challenges so great and urgent that they have no solutions. But rather than sticking our heads in the clay or responding with despair, Wurruk’an signifies an act of defiant positivity.
‘To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.’ – Buckminster Fuller
A growing network of individuals and communities are forming bonds as they pass through our woods and waters. People come to Wurruk’an to share, learn, teach, and be inspired. Others come to regenerate, heal, or tell new stories of prosperity. More than anything else, perhaps, Wurruk’an is an evolving demonstration project that is seeking to envision and prefigure a world that respects people, place, and planet, while connecting others who are pioneering the same journey. We are also making a documentary which is intended to share what we are learning in the hope of reaching out to the broader community. Our aim is not to escape the system but to see if we can contribute to its positive transformation.
As stewards of this beautiful land we feel it is our responsibility to explore the question of what ‘one planet’ living might look like. We ask the question: ‘how can we flourish as human beings without degrading the ecosystems upon which the entire community of life depends?’ Through this enquiry we hope to provoke a broader social conversation about the need to transcend consumer culture and advance toward a simpler way of life based on notions of sufficiency, frugality, mindfulness, local economy, non-violence, and appropriate technology. Our existing civilisation is in the process of destroying itself. Consumerism is a gross failure of imagination. Our efforts are an attempt to turn these crises into an opportunity for creative renewal.
‘When we are asked how we are going to build a new world, our answer is, “We don’t know, but let’s build it together.”’– John Jordan
Wurruk’an is a journey not a destination; an experiment not a blueprint. But more important than any answers we may or may not discover are the questions we are asking. So do not ask what we intend to become or where we intend to end up. Only ask us why we are moving in the direction we do – and join us on the journey.
Wurruk is the local indigenous term meaning both ‘Earth’ and ‘story’. K’an is the Mayan term for ‘seed’. We created the term Wurruk’an to express our endeavour to ‘seed a new Earth story’.
Please look around our website, share it with others, and let’s seed this new story together.