25 March 2029
Djandak, Dja Dja Wurrung Country
We’re writing to enthusiastically accept your application for custody of 1/34 Thunberg Lane, Djandak. Congratulations and welcome to the community! You will find enclosed;
- This cover letter
- Safety and evacuation protocols
- Introduction to forest care
- Firefighter training info
- Remote rescue application
- Swap meet documentary [link]
- Story archive [link]
- Mini welcome pack (gift from ET/JS)
You’ll be able to move into your new home at the end of the month. If you need housing between now and then, let the Emergency Resources Team know and they will set you up. Many of our newer residents have moved to this part of the hills from lower-lying areas due to flood emergencies like your own, so we have good systems in place and plenty of vacancies at present.
The process from here might seem a little formal, but don’t worry, I will guide you through it. This is my 15th relocation so I’m an experienced mentor to new residents. Please call or message me if you have any questions at all. Here is an overview of what to expect.
The offer will be considered formalised when the Djaara owners officially welcome you to their country and bestow on you the care of 1/34 Thunberg Lane. The ceremony is scheduled for 11am on April 29, 2029. Normally we would hold a welcome party for new residents that same evening, but I thought since it’s so close to May Day we could fold it into our traditional celebrations. Or you might not want a party at all, it’s up to you. Let me know how you feel.
After the formal welcome ceremony the current custodians of 1/24 Thunberg will run you through the handover, go over the special needs of the old house and make sure you know how everything works. I know you’re across most of this already, but it will have to be completed quite quickly as they are off to Euskal Herria to research the expansion of workers’ co-operatives there.
Terms and duration
As the enclosed agreement states, the default contract is for ten years, with a grace period of 12 months. If you’re happy, you can renew at any town hall meeting. As you know, custodianship can’t be inherited, but your nominated kin will get renewal rights in the event something happens to you. If the community feels that you are not fulfilling the terms of your custodianship there is a justice process by which we resolve disputes; that will have been outlined already. Adjudicators and facilitators are brought in from other communities for this, as is standard. We are proud to say we have never needed to use this process here but I have seen it done in other communities and it is very fair. Most disputes between neighbours are resolved directly through a local mediation or restorative process, but even that is rarely needed.
One of the most important ceremonies we have in our community is the annual swap meet, where goods and their stories are passed on and shared among residents. This is coming up in early June so give some thought to what you’d like to give away. We were one of the first communities to embrace the Redistribution and we pride ourselves on our strong culture of reciprocity and resource efficiency. Every year we move closer to our goal of a circular, gift-based economy.
The swap meet is a celebration of abundance and provenance. Practical things like furniture and tools are always welcome, but you’re encouraged to be creative and share something that has a story. The gift exchange takes a couple of hours, but the story exchange usually goes on late into the night. From what I hear, the menu planning has already started!
While continuing your own work and interests at a sustainable level, I know you mentioned you wanted to get out in the bush if you could. We have vacancies in firefighting, remote rescue, and forest care programs, and I have included these applications in your welcome pack. Our firefighters are having their annual cultural burning training on the 9th of July this year so if you are interested, it would be good if you could come along.
I think you would also be a great asset in our documentary and archive team, or in the library. You don’t need to commit to anything right away. Some of our residents try many different roles before they settle into what works for them.
You will have met all your neighbours by now and hopefully some of our medical and education teams. We also have international exchanges and strong trade relations with several other communities, including Central Java 4 and Beijing 3RNE. Skillshare and language exchanges are as important to us as physical resources.
Our local conservation region also has a sibling in Salbertrand, the alpine conservation park in Piemonte. Since the closure of the rail tunnel, wolves are returning to the forest, just as koalas are to ours since the highway collapsed. We are thinking of holding a shared festival to celebrate these twin successes.
Central Java are running a textile manufacturing and labour organising workshop for us in July and we have a carbon exchange project with Beijing 3RNE which is led by both our high schools as part of their final exhibition. If you want to be involved in any of those I can put you in touch.
But I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information! Have a read of the enclosed and let me know your thoughts. I will check in with you again in the next week or so.
We can’t wait to welcome you to your new place.
Solidarity, and happy packing,
PS The gifts in this pack come via the Education Team – the junior school is learning about our welcome process for new custodians, so they’ve made a mini pack of their own for you and your kin. The berry jam is from their garden, and it’s delicious. I might have to make this a regular feature in future…
[Dispatch 25-03-2029 – Jen and Matt]