- 20 Sep, 2019
- Locations: Woorooma
A ConFest Working Bee is an event where volunteers attend the site grounds and work at enhancing areas, fixing up anything that requires it, protecting Aboriginal sacred sites, preserving the environment, building infrastructure, learning skills, along with discussing and developing solutions. There's also some fun thrown in, because all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
Why do we have Working Bees?
We have working bees to build connections with our community, our HOME on Woorooma Country and for a huge range purposes. The purpose may be initiated as an idea put forward by any individual or group within the Confest Community.
See below for more information on How Can I Get Involved
In the past we have focussed on
* Aboriginal Heritage (Workshops with site Elders, sacred site mapping and demarcation with signage and logs)
* Asset Management (servicing and fixing of vehicles and maintenance of infrastructure) ITC ( deployment of internet wifi station and cabling for our ticketing booth)
* Earthworks (toilet holes filled in after the festival, road grooming, dead tree removal)
* Fire Fuel Reduction (removal of lead debris, excess logs and sticks and slashing)
* General Land Care (rejuvenation, grooming,weeding, fencing and rubbish removal)
View the location, map and directions page to find out more about the location of ConFest and the working bees.
How can I get Involved?
There are many ways you can get involved from communicating your fantastic ideas to leading a working bee for the community. As we are all Volunteers, you can get involved in each step of the process from leading a project to seeing the promotions on this website and facebook, to registering your name and then turning up and getting into the work fun.
1. Leading a Working Bee
Here is a brief outline of the existing process (2017): Each working bee could be faciliated by whomever presents an idea (depending on your experience) and possibly assisted by others who have facilitated roles and working bees before. There are various pathways to take all the way towards securing funding and support by the Confest or Organising Committees (depending on the project).
Being and organic and volunteer driven organisation, we tend to update the process of how to get involved each time we have a bee. We would love to hear your ideas so please start by contacting us :) and somebody will do their best to assist you.
2. Participation in a Working Bee
Everyone is encouraged and welcomed to attend the working bees. No matter the skill level, you can help out and improve the environment, land and future of ConFest.
Information will be released about each working bee closer to the time. Each working bee is slightly different so details on how people can help out will defined depending on the focus of the bee.
Please join us here
- Connection to Country
We have covered most FAQs, but if you have any more. Feel free to contact our Working Bee Coordinators here
Focus - Moovers and Groovers
We aim to start moving and setting up our festival kit in a new position, on our property at Woorooma, where ConFest is held (our last Confest was Easter 2017).
Many people are not aware, that Woorooma can theoretically stage 4 festivals, side by side, our land holding is over 1000 acres. We like to give it a chance to rejuvenate, so we move the locale of the festival, to other sites on this same block.
By festival kit we mean a whole gamut of items. This includes inventory for First Aid, Villages, Hub Kitchen, Operations, containers which store these items and a bunch of other stuff.
Please help us with relocating Aboriginal heritage signgage, using diggers and tractors to slash new roads and groom exisiting old roads, collecting all the broken logs and debris from recent floods, moving logs in place to demarcate roads, weeding of prickly burrs so campers can be comfortable ❤ we will love you forever ❤ feeding everybody with meals and building new Hub and First Aid facilities.
Please join the facebook event page here for all the updates.
- Woorooma gate 2 will be open from midday. Set up your camps and share a dinner we make together.
- Work will commence the next day. Facilitators are arriving early, to get the site safe from snakes and groom the roads.
- Gates will then stay open, so you can arrive at your own schedule, until end of working Bee
(time enough to set up your camp and join us for numerous days work)
- General works will stop around midday prior to end of working Bee. You will then have time to pack away your tents, share dinner and fun.
- We will finish shared meals with a lovely breakfast on the last day, help pack up the kitchen and leave site officially by midday.
- Facilitators and a few bees may linger onsite to close the site and finish scheduled works.
PLEASE LET US KNOW
- If you change your plans and arrival dates or if you cant make it, pop us an email so we dont make you dinner and worry about you.
ConFest festival grounds on Edward/Koletty River, West of Deniliquin and around East of12km from Moulamein in NSW.
View the location, map and directions page
❤ Look for our glow in the dark Working Bee Sign ❤
- The site does look very different when there are not 7000 festival people and their tents etc on it (we expect around 50 people attending a bee) so try to arrive before night time, especially if it is your first working bee. Some people have ended up a little lost for hours.
What to bring? drinking water, showers and toilets?
It is still chilly at night during September. Please bring
- Warm coats, beanies and a high visability top (if you have one)
- Light, long sleeved t-shirts and long heavy pants for day work wear,
- Good thick socks, work boots or closed shoes/trainers.
- Water bottle.
- Your own camping set up
- Safty glasses, ear muffs and chaps if you have a chainsaw licence,
- Gloves to protect your hands from logs
- FUN items you wish to share with all of us such as drums and craft FOR EVENING
? I personally like to wear some pretty frocks and get naked on my days off, though I keep myself safely covered when I am working with my high visability vest on at all times. This means the digger drivers/work vehicles can see me and it shows respect for my fellow Volunteers..
What will we provide?
- Three meals and snacks per day, by the Volunteer kitchen crew..plus some yummy treats
- Sunscreen and bug spray
- Communal, sheltered places and warm fires for chilling and resting
- Some of us brave the icy depths of the river, its exhilarating after a hot day’s work to freshen up. Sadly there will be no hot tub nor steam room facilities
- Filtered drinking water at a few taps near the Cottage. Bring a large vessel for your convenience and keep this at your camp site.
- Two flushing toilets in the Woolshed
- A few Confest toilets (with toilet paper) .
- One basic shower to share and limited hot water. If you have a camping shower we encourage you to bring that.
- There are showers in Moulemein, at the camp grounds for small fee if you decide to pamper yourself.
Important - where/when to set up your camp
- After the gate, keep to the left roads towards the big Woolshed and down toward the Cottage. Find a cuppa and be inducted to site BEFORE you set up your camp.
- We are moving across a fair distance to the new site. We will start serving meals across there, early in the bee.
- You may need to set up camp twice depending on when you arrive at the bee.
- Keep this in mind when you set up.
- Check into the Cottage on arrival otherwise you might set up where there are no facilities!
Timesheets and fuel reimbursements
- We are all Volunteers, each person’s effort is valued. Our work enables ConFest to keep giving to all of us in return.
- All food or fuel expenditure is closely budgeted by the community.
- Our fuel reimbursement process and provision of meals has been offered by the ConFest Committee to show appreciation for your hard work towards moving Confest festival kit. You will also enjoy an amazing camping place to explore when not working.
- Your journey fuel reimbursements will be paid via internet banking, directly to the bank details you provide at your induction to site.
- We will not be able to reimburse you for any food/snacks
? Please keep your fuel receipts otherwise we will not be able to pay you ?
- Your outward journey receipts will be stapled to your timesheets at your induction on arrival to site or with a group who arrive on the same day.
- Your homeward receipts will need to be scanned/photographed and emailed to us as soon as you get home so that you don’t loose your receipts nor miss the payment period.
- Post hard copies to the address which we will provide at your induction to site.
- We are trying to include Confesters from interstate as best we can, considering we have limited funds.
- The community has decided on a range of amounts as a rough guide. If you are in between or further than any of the these places. Please don’t hesitate to email us and ask for an estimate.
- You will receive a carpooling email, after you register if somebody living near you has registered. You can appreciate car-pooling not only saves the community funds towards Confest but also towards our environment.
From Mel *upto* $120 per car
From Ade or Syd *upto* $180 per car
From Bris *upto* $240 per car.
- We have some provision to reimburse you with cash for your outward journey, however, as we will have limited cash kept onsite, you will need to organise this via email within 14 days of working bee
How many hours do I work?
- We encourage a minimum 4-6 hours per person/day. During these hours, you will share lunch, smoko and a tea breaks.
- Each task group will decide when to break, though lunch will be served at roughly the same time each day.
- Many of the bees love to work roughly 8 hours/ day, sometimes more if it’s a good day weatherwise. It can be so beautiful working in the early morning mist that drifts across Woorooma. It can be hot in the midday Sun. We try to work in the early day and then again in the afternoon till Sunset (630)
- There will be the odd day, morning or afternoon off to fully appreciate your lush surroundings, perhaps go for a walk or brisk swim
- Timesheets will be given to each bee at your Welcome to Site Induction. Using the timesheets will enable us to be fair with our work ethic and to each other.
- We are encouraging everybody to see this a work space though it will also be rewarding and exhilarating on many levels, with all the flavour you choose to bring to the mix.
IN THE FLOW..
- It can feel so amazing to work with such as freethinking bunch of people. The chats are amazing. At previous bees we even had to insist people take breaks, because once they got started and felt the flow of achievement, it was difficult to know when to stop for the day
- 3 lovely fresh meals will be prepared and served by the Vol Kitchen Crew. We are planning to provide Vegan, Vegetarian and Meat options. Almond/Soy/Dairy Milks, Teas and Coffee plus snacks including muesli bars, fruit and homemade biscuits.
- If you wish to bring your own special foods that are not communal, please be aware we will have limited storage in the shared kitchen facilities. Though there may be a little space here and there in the fridge/freezer to tuck away your items. Please ask the Kitchen crew on arrival.
- The specific menu will depend on the skills of any of the Volunteers who register and their arrival to site, though we aim to recruit Kitchen Facilitators from the community to ensure some consistency.
Families and children
- Our children are very welcome.
- Children are encouraged to help prep dinner and wipe down tables. They will be provided with 3 meals a day (a simpler version of the adult food generally) plus snacks during the day. We ask that parents supervise young children around the snack bar.
- Children will be generally fed about an hour before Adults (inc parents) in the kitchen to diffuse conflict situations (see below) when workers are hungry and waiting. They will be offered a fruit snack after Adults have been fed
- Older children will have an age appropriate works list that is both fun and educational. We can all form agreements as to what works for your family, on arrival. We ask Parents to assist with this program, by bringing positivity, ideas and any games to share.
- Older children are encouraged to play together and to include ALL the children who are present though older kids sometimes hang with the adults and get rides in trucks with permission
- There will be a child care minder present, who is a young grandmother and has a WWCC. She is also a Volunteer and not obligated to look after your children. Some of her task will be to ensure the children do NOT go into the *out of bounds* working quadrants (more details about this at induction) This person will also encourage some planned craft and drawing activities, forest walks and swims with parents permission
- The duty of care of the children stills sits with the parents. Each parent will need to have their own agreement with the child care minder, in the same way you do, if you leave your children for playdates at their friend’s place.
- Parents are encouraged to share some of their time with their children and/or alongside our child minder for company, so that you will all enjoy the school holidays.
- Some of the Facilitators have children and we will be balancing our parenting and working commitments with the other working Volunteers, to ensure we all contribute fairly towards our community
Organic self authority, communal effort and respectful action
- Just like ConFest things only happen when a Volunteer sees and decides to make it happen.
- The Facilitators are simply dedicated Vols like you, doing our best to set up a project, to move sites AND (hopefully) give us a better option to apply again for a Summer Confest. This new location has been considered potentially more fire safe.
- Nobody can think of everything so we truly welcome your actions.
When you are wondering what to do about something .. We suggest 3 steps:
- Ask if its already happening and by whom/where is it being coordinated.
- If nothing is…Have a look around and ask HOW to organise it, chances are somebody has had the idea just no time/help to make it happen
- Let people know you are organising something and then go about making this happen.
Conflicts, upsets, confusion and misunderstandings
- Bring a water bottle for yourself and be sure to fill it up. Sunscreen will be provided. Its amazing how much more confusion and misunderstandings occur when people are dehydrated.
- As a community, we encourage open respectful discussion about all issues. Try first to raise your issue carefully and directly with the person/s you have the issue with.
- If you do not feel comfortable to do this, do not hesitiate to approach one of the Facilitators.
- Morning Circle each day will be a place we can raise communal issues that have been reported, observed or felt by anyone onsite
Our guiding principles in action
e.g. Young children holding up the que, with games and chats, at meals when workers (those generally who are not parents) are very hungry after working hard all day.
Resolution: The issue was raised with the Facilitators and was discussed collectively at Morning Circle. We all decided it would be great for everybody to encourage the children to help prep a simplified meal, roughly 1 hour earlier than the main meal. This included the children in the process, decreased wastage and children felt valued. This also allowed for the hungry working adults to feel relaxed and valued for their hard days work. Parents were content when their children were content
e.g. People not working consistently or spacing out their work days with ALOT of time in between, THEN eating the lovingly prepared meals, whilst the rest of the community is working hard.
Resolution: The Facilitators decided to have a quiet chat with the few people, that were not aware of how their behaviours were upsetting other Volunteers. People were all asked at Morning Circle how they felt about days off and an open discussion concluded that days off here and there were appreciated, depending on how long you stay. But the focus was on the work theme.
Snakes and hazards
- The Cottage and Woolshed are usually cleared first with a whipper snipper to deter snakes from this area. The new site will also be slashed before you arrive.
- Generally the site is pretty unkempt during the non festival times…just like a forest camp area…it is not groomed so this is parents discretion.
- Most of the sand roads are still drivable and clear as good foot paths
- A river entry is usually cleared for snags and logs but with no sandy beach though best to check this on arrival.
- There will be limited power points in the Cottage to share for recharging your devices.
PLEASE BE AWARE:
Items are left at your own discretion. Though we will do our best to collect all lost property. We are all Volunteers and can not take responsibility for lost or forgotten items.
Do I have to register on the form? Can I bring somebody at the last minute?
FAQ: If I bring another person who is not registered, but who is willing to work and wants to be fed, can this be arranged at the last minute or could this be a problem?
We do have limited funds but may be able to extend for a few more people. We ask that you please register this person even if its on the way to the bee/ the day before, then send us an email to alert us, so we can check their registration and make sure our kitchen crew knows
FAQ Do I have to camp onsite or can I stay elsewhere?
- The gate is not locked at night during the working bee so you can come and go as you need to
- Drive slowly at night as there are older children and tired workers about
How can I get involved?
To support our WH&S, fuel reimbursements and catering process, please use our registration form, press submit and we will be in touch.
We are Volunteers and will do our best to respond in a timely flow (aiming for 2-3 days)
We hope to have covered most FAQs, but if you have any more. Feel free to contact our Working Bee Coordinators here