Susan Clarke, Director
Susan has been a Friend since becoming a member of Devonshire Street Meeting in 1994. In 1997, she moved to Queensland and attended Meeting at Kelvin Grove.
In a time of spiritual seeking and renewal, she heard about Silver Wattle and served as cook a number of times before being led to leave music teaching and her home in Brisbane to volunteer for eighteen months as cook at Silver Wattle in 2013. After a time working at the Bungendore Post Office, she returned in 2016 to be Housekeeper and answered the call to apply as Director mid-year.
“Silver Wattle has given me a sense of place and belonging, it is my spiritual home and I believe I have been brought here to build community and contribute to achieving the vision discerned by the founders in 2009. ”
Silver Wattle has inspired her love of photography, which has led to exhibitions in Canberra and the local community. She is also a facilitator and practitioner in Non Violent Communication.
Mariann Bremner, Business Manager
What draws me to Silver Wattle is respect for each other, our diversity, our community, the land and all living creatures, as well as sustainable living practices.
After taking a break my professional life to nurture my son, my connection to Silver Wattle began as housekeeper a few years ago. It now continues as Business Manager where I can contribute skills acquired through diverse professional experiences including business management, travel, interpreting and administration. I am drawn to be of service and participate in this flourishing community. I aspire to fostering a greater connection with the local and greater community to secure Silver Wattle’s ongoing and future success.
Dick Field, Property Maintenance
Dick came to Silver Wattle as a member of the St Joseph's House of Prayer, originally housed in Goulburn. When the community was disbanded by the Catholic Church in 2009, Dick stayed on to become an integral part of establishing the Silver Wattle Quaker Centre, with his love and knowledge of the land, property maintenance, machinery and training in weed spraying.
Shirin Richards, Farm Manager
I’ve been on a life journey of self-discovery and meaning for many years, training in different aspects of health and wellbeing, which has without doubt aided my growth and development. However when I studied a permaculture design certificate a year ago I gained the practical understanding of how we can help care and heal for mother earth. Last year was an opportunity for me to learn from farmers who are doing great work for the land and their local community through ethical farming, food production and education. The farmers I have encountered see elements of organics, sustainable farming, and permaculture as the way we have to move forward in order to protect the land and our food & water sources. They have shown me great generosity by sharing their knowledge in order to grow new famers to carry this ethical way of being. This is what I bring with me to Silver wattle in a hope to establish sustainable living through healthy food production, and regenerative work on the land to support the environment we are so privileged to reside in at this time.
Ruth Gaha-Morris, Cook/House Manager
Many of my earliest memories are of growing, cooking and preserving food. I am passionate about eating ethically and sustainably, having local food security, and I love to feed people amazingly tasty and nourishing food. As well as managing the cooking and provisioning for Silverwattle I am deeply involved with other local food projects. I work at a Canberra school to integrate gardening, cooking and healthy food programs for the kids. I am also manager of our local farmers market and work on multiple associated projects and committees. I provide catering and run workshops in preserving, fermenting and cooking so that others can experience the satisfaction of preserving the harvest.
Much of the food we serve at Silverwattle is local and/or organic, and as sustainable and ethical as we can make it. Food is lovingly made from scratch, such as bread, yoghurt, muesli, jams and chutneys, cakes, sauces and dressings. Meals are prepared from the produce of our gardens as well as those of local farmers, so that food miles are kept to a minimum. In addition to this, knowing where our food comes from, and the farmers who have grown it, also us to ensure that it is chemical free and the animals are ethically treated. Bulk dry goods are purchased through co-ops and wholesalers and we attempt buy mostly organic Australian produce.
Liam Harper, Assistant Cook
Here at SIlverwattle I found a community of people who highest calling is respect for people, the land and spirituality. In Silverwattle have found a place for service, rest and contemplation, To cook and serve food that has come from the land. This is a honor that not many can claim and i will always be grateful this opportunity to learn and serve here at Silverwattle.
I was welcomed into the community and project of Silverwattle in 2016. I had been trained as a chef in restaurants in Canberra throughout 2014 and 2015. I was offered the position of assistant cook by Susan, the director when cooking for my own youth group on site.
Bob Westwood, Friend in Residence
There is such great beauty here in Silver Wattle and in very many different ways:-
Driven to a place of calling, I became a convinced Quaker during the early nineties by way of my readings about early Friends; I'd not met a Quaker at the time. In 2005, I was accepted into membership and found myself called to the ministry of healing; following this leading I first saw Silver Wattle in 2009 as the original Friend in Residence in the establishment of The Australian Quaker Centre. I lived and breathed the air and spirit of Weereewa for about three months, then, and had a life-changing experience here! The power in the depth of this lead me to withdraw from the world almost completely. I have lived alone for most of these past eight years as a hermit in forests; I questioned all that is, with Worship & Prayer... I returned in 2013 to learn about "Quaker Universalism and Buddhist Mysticism" in a course facilitated by Arthur Wells, and had my faith & calling to the ministry of healing re-confirmed - I also got to feel the wonder of the Sprit here once again. AND NOW, after having just attended the course "Sink Down To Seed" I received "the way" for me to act forward in my calling... There was the need for a long term Friend in Residence and I have been accepted on a trial bases, whereby, I will be able to put my "two pence worth" into the - already great - Spirit of Healing that has grown here! I feel blessed in this and dedicated my life to this.
Now I am but a reflection of my former self - reinvigorated for the work of what is to come in the unknown wonder of what may be...