Norlane is a northern suburb of Geelong. The area had its heyday in the 1960s, when it was a busy working class neighbourhood housing workers from nearby factories, including Ford. When the car industry went into decline in the 1970s, hundreds of Norlane residents lost their jobs. Many in Norlane now experience long-term unemployment and generational poverty.
However, this is a resilient neighbourhood, as evidenced by the enthusiasm of local people who have got involved with Urban Seed projects. Urban Seed has a committed and energetic residential community.
Urban Seed’s Norlane projects include:
Longroom Community MealS
Every Monday dinner and Wednesday lunch during the school term the neighbourhood gathers to share in a community meal together. All are welcome and everyone is invited to help shop, cook and prepare the meal. This program is a wonderful time of sharing that nourishes the body and the soul. Food is provided by Second Bite and Foodbank Victoria.
Kids club is a space for kids in the neighbourhood to come and play, do craft and learn about community values- with a healthy meal at the end! The program hosts a junior leader development initiative where older siblings (and other youth) in the neighbourhood are invited to develop their leadership capacity. During the program, parents, grandparents and adults in the neighbourhood prepare a nutritious meal for the kids at the end of the session. Kids club is a multigenerational, 'whole of neighbourhood' way of raising children.
A once-a-month program run for teenagers in the neighbourhood. It is a time to have fun, connect, and share experiences. Youth group engages young people in the community to further connect with other teenagers and local youth leaders.
The People’s Pantry redistributes excess food from the Foodbank Victoria. Members form the cooperative work together to distribute quality food amongst the members and wider community.
The community garden is a place people can come and learn how to grow their own food, care for chickens and compost garden waste. The garden connects to the food programs through providing home grown vegetables, eggs and fruit and composting the waste from the neighbourhood dinners. As we garden together we continue to increase our social connections and friendships as we work to beautify our neighbourhood.
A weekly Tuesday morning organised by a group of local men who gather together to share life, eat and garden together. Through Men's Breakfast we are able to contribute to the life of the land at Norlane Baptist Church.
Urban Seed partner up with Red Cross once a week to run a breakfast club at the local primary school. This program promotes healthy eating for children, helping them to have a positive start to the day.
Unearth is a community development training program for people in the neighbourhood. This program cultivates skills for people to identify and develop programs that benefit and influence the neighbourhood.
The members of the long room community meet weekly to develop these and other programs in the neighbourhood as well as ideintify issues in the community and people needing care.
Programs are held at Norlane Baptist Church (4-6 Spruhan Avenue, Norlane)
Click here for program times.