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Intentional Community

By Glenn Wilson, Aspiring Intentional Community Member, Waterfall Creek

In many countries, including Australia, a quiet revolution is taking place.

Clusters of innovative, energy efficient and very comfortable homes are popping up in what are now called, ‘intentional communities’.

These homes are the creation of people with similar values and philosophies coming together to build and be part of a healthy, nurturing and vibrant community.

‘Intentional Community’ is seen by some as the grandchild of a commune, however humans have been living this way for thousands of years and members now benefit from the global experience of what works and what doesn’t.  Intentional Community relies on a shared vision of how people can live in harmony with the environment, and with each other where members typically hold common social, spiritual, environmental or philosophical beliefs.   

Intentional communities can include collective households, cohousing communities, eco villages, rural communes and housing cooperatives.  Land ownership could be on a cooperative structure, a company basis or a strata title concept.  

Members enjoy a feeling of belonging and mutual support that is increasingly hard to find in mainstream society.

Typically, members of Intentional Communities embrace the concepts of ‘Living Lightly’; meaning much of their food and energy needs are grown, gathered and generated on the community land.  Organic agriculture, respect for the environment and a desire to reduce human impact on the earth’s finite resources are also tenets commonly found in Intentional Communities.

Rather than create islands, as is common practice in mainstream society today, Intentional Community members gain much benefit from sharing.  It would seem smart for a cluster of households or farmlets to share one tractor, one slasher, one set of animal handling yards and so on.  Our current way of each household or property owning a fleet of machines and equipment that are often underutilised seems wasteful.  Collective ownership means that better use can be made from what is an expensive investment.  The sharing of specialist personal skills is also widely beneficial to members.

This region is ideal for this kind of living and community.  We have a climate that enables us to grow a wide variety of food all year round; our seasons are predictable and reliable, and we have abundant water resources.  Land is also available and affordable.

If you feel the “loss of community,” and are looking for ways to reintroduce community values into your life then let the discussion begin.