A New Name & A Manifesto

Kookaburra Rise. That’s the new name for our farm. Do you like it?

Each morning, we’ve been waking up to the Kookaburra’s raucous laughter. Like a joyous hopeful symphony, the sound inspires us to rise, roll up the blind and watch the sunrise before making plans for the day.


Each evening, the Kookaburra’s laughter rings once more, a resounding bell urging us to stop work. It’s time to retire to the comfy couch on our verandah with a beer, marvel at the golden-orange sunset and make plans for the evening.

Kookaburra Rise was Ric’s suggestion about two months ago. While we toyed with other options, we agreed that if we heard the Kookaburra laugh morning and night for 10 days straight, that would become the new name.

After learning of the incredible work of The Torch Project, we purchased this stunning limited edition print entitled Journey of the Kookaburra by S. Morrison of Gunaikurni/Wirangu/Kokatha Country for our entrance wall.

Since 2011, The Torch has been providing art, cultural and arts industry support to Indigenous offenders and ex-offenders in Victoria through its Indigenous Arts in Prisons and Community Programs. We highly recommend supporting them!

A photo of the print Journey of the Kookaburra published with permission.

With a new moniker, came new inspiration for our manifesto. A manifesto is a creative way to paint our vision for the farm and invite our family, friends and community to contribute. The manifesto guides us in our decision-making and the projects we choose to take on. At last count we had 39 projects!*

The manifesto is not a fait accompli. We’re going to sit with it, share it and allow it to evolve as each day brings new revelations at Kookaburra Rise.


A Manifesto for Kookaburra Rise

We are the current custodians of the land that always was, and always will be, the land of the Boon Wurrung/Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation.

Our vision is to create a safe and happy haven for humans to connect with the land and live in harmony with Mother Nature, in recognition and respect of the traditional owners.

Our gate is open. Enter and be greeted by Harvey, our jolly Golden Retriever, a row of Crab Apple trees, our welcoming 1960s home and various other works-in-progress. Feel free to wear your gumboots and grab a spade. There’s always plenty to do!


We’re on a mission towards zero emissions, zero waste and zero chemicals. We do our best to follow all the R’s of rethink, refuse, repair, reduce, repurpose, reuse, refill, regift and recycle. It’s about progress, not perfection.


We take what we need to live and give back what we have taken. The soil is replenished and rich. Our food forest is abuzz with bees offering abundant supplies of fruit and veggies. Our pantry is full of pickled and dried produce. Our chooks are safe and happy.


Our farm is a place to gather around the fire-circle, share stories and have brave conversations. Join us and explore how we might turn our words into deeds for a more beautiful world — for our family, friends, community and future generations.

Kookaburra Rise is a place of awe and wonder, a playground where curiosity turns into unexpected adventures. It’s a safe space for the wholehearted human — for connection and kindness, healing and happiness.


We look to Mother Nature to guide us in our work. We’re committed to freeing the land from invasive trees and plants and rewilding it with native species to create a sanctuary for an abundance of birds and wildlife.


Our dream is that one day, a colony of Koala’s will have found a new home alongside our friends the Kookaburra’s; a sign that we have earned our right to be here, even while knowing that our work has just begun.


Our Projects

In just four months, so much has happened already. Here’s a list of the projects we’ve identified so far, in no particular order.

1.     Makeover the kitchen. DONE

2.     Sand the floors. DONE

3.     Paint the house inside. HALF-DONE

4.     Furnish home with seconds. HALF-DONE

5.     Establish financial plans and agreements.

6.     Repair leaks in house roof and garage.

7.     Build pergola on east side of house.

8.     Install guttering on house & garage.

9.     Replace rose garden with natives and herbs.

10.  Install an outdoor bath and shower.

11.  Build a campfire circle. DONE

12.  Purchase tractor. DONE

13.  Build an adventure playground.

14.  Install (and fill) water tanks.

15.  Create a water habitat for wildlife.

16.  Level the driveway.

17.  Repair the dam.

18.  Plant a vegetable garden.

19.  Plant more fruit trees.

20.  Build swales to slow water flow.

21.  Build greenhouse. HALF-DONE

22.  Build a machinery shed.

23.  Establish worm farm.

24.  Sort out composting.

25.  Get chipper working.

26.  Build a sawmill.

27.  Prune fruit trees.

28.  Build a ThinkTank retreat.

29.  Build chook house and buy chooks.

30.  Build outdoor BBQ/Pizza oven entertainment area.

31.  Remove invasive species and plant natives.

32.  Get beehives.

33.  Build the Games Field.

34.  Develop a plan for the Field of Dreams.

35.  Put solar panels on house roof.

36.  Replace ducted gas with heat pumps.

37.  Replace hot water system with heat pump.

38.  Explore Tiny Homes.

39.  Explore business idea to connect Red Hill with Clifton Hill