Join Our Community!

There are heaps of ways to get involved with the Farm. With regular volunteering, holiday programs and events, there is something for everyone!



 

Volunteering

 

The Farm relies on a hardy troupe of volunteers to help keep animals and plants healthy and happy, and to contribute in many ways to the ongoing operation of the Farm and its activities.

Please note: It is now compulsory for all volunteers to have a current Working with Children Check. As a volunteer you may get one for free, and just need to pay for the photos. Forms can be obtained from the post office.

There is an all day car park next door. It costs $12 for the day.

Volunteer in the Gardens

Time:  Tuesdays 1.30-4pm during term times.

Contact: Anita, volunteer@farm.org.au

If you are a keen gardener and would like to help out in our many gardens, please contact Anita to book your space. (you will need a current working with childrens check). There is no fee for joining this program

Corporate Volunteering Opportunities

Contact: Anita, volunteer@farm.org.au
Time:  10am-1pm or 10am-4pm


Volunteer activity details: Volunteers assist with Farmer’s Market set-up, including placing straw bales out for seating, setting up signage, trestles, umbrellas, recycling stations and the Farm’s own produce stall. Harvesting produce for the Farm Stall is seasonal and may involve harvesting fruit, picking veggies and flowers, packaging seeds and/or dried herbs. This happens on the second Friday of the month.
Volunteer activity details: Volunteers assist with land care/gardening depending on the time of the year. Includes weeding (usually weeds are then fed to the animals), mulching, planting, harvesting, watering and building pathways in the gardens. This happens any Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday. 
What to wear and bring: We ask that you wear closed-toe shoes and bring a hat and waterproof jacket, as the weather is always changing.
Lunch: Volunteers are required to bring their own lunch and water bottles. Alternatively, lunch can be purchased at the Farm Cafe or the Convent bakery.
What is the Collingwood Children's Farm? The Collingwood Children's Farm is a not-for-profit community organisation working to connect city people with land, animals, farm life and community. It is a farm where people come together around animals, chores and activities. Children and young people develop life skills in a safe, supportive and stimulating environment.

Supported Volunteering Program

This program provides the opportunity for groups and individuals to learn work skills, develop social skills, work successfully in a team situation and foster a positive connection with the farm community.

The volunteers involved have a wide range of abilities involving physical, emotional or intellectual difficulties. Many students are on the Autism Spectrum which has its own unique challenges.

We are also increasingly working with people who have a broad range of mental illnesses and also acquired brain injuries.

Regular weekly groups come from special schools and adult disability services. These volunteers are usually responsible for specific tasks each week which gives them a sense of ownership and develops independence as the individuals learn the procedures and can set to work with minimal assistance from their staff.

Participants in the program are from a wide age range, and time spent at the farm is governed by their specific goals and capabilities.

Work experience is offered through the schools and TAFE either as a block of time or one day a week. The program also caters for the VCAL and VET students for one day a week ongoing placements.

One day a week placements give the continuity of staff and tasks that many of our students need for a positive outcome.

Participation in this supported program involves no cost. In all there is an average of over 100 workers per week, quite a work force for the farm.

Requests and referrals come through mainstream schools, special schools, adult support groups, disability agencies, TAFE, and mental health agencies.

For more information on volunteering options and availability, please contact;:

Steve at community@farm.org.au - for any supported volunteering opportunities, or

Anita at volunteer@farm.org.au - for any corporate or general volunteering information


Programs for Kids!

School Holiday Program

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‘Be A Farmer for a Day’ is a one-day paid  program.  It is similar group to our Young Farmers Program, but it is open to everyone between the ages of 10-16 years.  Like the Young Farmers, kids get to help with the cows, ride the horses, help with the guinea pig cuddles and looking after the guinea pigs, gardening, maintenance around the Farm, plus feeding and looking after the animals.  Limited to 12 children a day, it means everyone can have a go and try their hand at jobs they are interested in.

Booking forms are available on this link:

https://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=769

Bookings open a fortnight prior to the end of terms 1, 2 and 3.

 

Young Farmers Program

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The Young Farmers Program has been going so long we now have the second generation of young farmers teaching the third generation!

Open to anyone between the ages of 8 and 16 who is a resident in the City of Yarra.  The program gives people an opportunity to learn things like animal care and handling, gardening, cooking, horse riding, and guinea pig cuddling (most people seem to need a lot of practice with this!).

The program runs on either a Saturday, or a Sunday, three days of each month during the school terms.  

To get involved, participants need to email the Farm Manager at reception@farm.org.auor call on 9417 5806 to organise an interview for themselves and their parent/carer.  There is an annual cost and parents/carers are required to contribute by volunteering at times during the year.


Garden Plots

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There is an active Community Garden on the banks of the river. It has been running since 1979 and was one of the first community gardens to open in Melbourne.

Traditionally it has been very popular and at times had a very long waiting list. At present however it is under review, as plans for works on the Farm may mean some plots will need to move or be vacated for a time. There are costs involved.

 Please contact the manager at reception@farm.com.au for more information.


Riding for the Disabled Australia (R.D.A)

Riding for the Disabled runs from this venue. 

As we have a long waiting list, if you are interested in joining as a rider, you will need to contact the RDA headquarters directly to register you interest at www.rdav.asn.au. Help People with a Disability Learn to Ride Horses with  the RDA

The Collingwood branch of the RDA uses our horses and facilities to run sessions for their clients.  They are often looking for committed volunteers with Horse experience to help with the horses and/or the riders.

Sessions run Tuesday mornings, Wednesday and Thursday evenings through school terms 1, 2 and 4.

More information can be obtained from their website at www.rdav.asn.au/centres/collingwood/  

Email:  rdacollingwood@gmail.com

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Learn About the Bees

Have you ever wanted to look inside a beehive, watch beekeepers open hives, or even don a protective bee suit to help them do this?

Are you interested in learning more about bees and beekeeping? Perhaps you already keep bees or are considering becoming a beekeeper.

Do you wish to learn more about the importance of honey bees for our food security?

Then our apiary may be just the place for you to visit. 

It is open on the second and fourth Sunday of each month from 10:30 to 3:30, except during winter when it is only open on the fourth Sunday. (In 2018 it will be open on 16th December in lieu of 23rd December).

Entry is free.

To reach the apiary, go to the end of St Heliers St, Abbotsford and go through the main entrance to the Farm precinct. At the Capital City path turn right and walk approx. 300 metres along it. The apiary can also be reached along the Capital City path from a westerly direction.

The apiary is jointly managed by the Collingwood Children’s Farm and the Victorian Apiarists’ Association Melbourne Section.

If you wish to book a ticket to join the beekeepers at the hive openings, then email a request to collingwoodbees@gmail.com
If you wish to learn more about our apiary, go to www.facebook.com/collingwood.bees

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Join Our Committee of Management

The Farm has been run by a volunteer Committee of Management since the early 1980s.  They give selflessly of their time and expertise. Expectations are that the members are able to commit to monthly meetings, be a member of a subcommittee, and able to support the Farm practically on some of our fundraiser days and Farmer’s Market days.

Interested people must be a current financial member of the Farm ($15). For more information please contact the manager, on reception@farm.org.au