Welcome to CERES
CERES – Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies, is an award winning, not-for-profit, sustainability centre located on 4.5 hectares on the Merri Creek in East Brunswick, Melbourne.
We are a not-for-loss community business. We run extensive environmental education programs, urban agriculture projects, green technology demonstrations and a number of social enterprises including a market, grocery, café, community kitchen, organic online supermarket and a permaculture and bushfood nursery.
CERES (pronounced ‘series’) is a place where people come together to share ideas about living well together, and directly participate in meeting their social and material needs in a sustainable way. Through social enterprises, education and training, employment and community engagement, CERES provides the means by which people can build awareness of current local and global issues, and join in the movement for economic, social and environmental sustainability.
For thousands of years the Wurundjeri people lived on the land where CERES now stands. The Merri Creek was a focus of their lifestyle, a place to swim and play and a vital source of food. Following the European invasion, the Victorian gold rush and the growth of Melbourne city, the site was quarried for bluestone then turned into a landfill site… As industry moved in the water became polluted and the trees and wildlife disappeared.
CERES is a place for community-based learning and action to create environmentally beneficial, socially just, economically satisfying, culturally enriching and spiritually nurturing ways of living together.
CERES is an incorporated not-for-profit organisation, governed by a Board of Management elected annually at our Annual General Meeting. The Annual General Meeting is held in November each year and members are encouraged to attend.
The 11 dedicated people making up the CERES Board for 2019 are:
- Chairperson: Jo Barraket
- Deputy Chair: Mikaela Stafrace
- Secretary: Noel Blencowe
- Treasurer: Thomas Dobson
- General Member: Rod Duncan
- General Member: Tony Marjoram
- General Member: Sophie Newing
- Council Representative: Cr Jess Dorney
- Site Groups Representative: Jan Garood
- Staff Representative: John Burne
- Chief Executive Officer: Cinnamon Evans
The CERES Board meets monthly, generally on the fourth Tuesday at 6.30pm. Members are welcome to attend. For more information please email Noel Blencowe, CERES Secretary, at email@example.com.
A copy of Board meeting minutes is available for perusal at Reception. If you wish to obtain a copy of minutes of a particular meeting please contact reception at firstname.lastname@example.org or (03) 9389 0100.
CERES employs around 130 paid staff.
Cinnamon Evans (CEO)
Sieta Beckwith – Communications
Nick Curmi – Site (Habitat)
Chris Ennis – Fair Food
Melissa Lawson – Farm & Food
Lorna Pettifer – Education & Training
Nicolas Porter – Finance
Luisa Cardamone – Courses
John Burne – Infrastructure
Jane Burns – Education Outreach
Laurel Coad – Nursery
Barbara Cimino – Finance
Shane French – Education Excursions & Incursions
Sally Kennedy – The Merri Cafe
Beck Morley – Grocery
Adrian Richardson – IT
Meg Stewart – Propagation
Ben Walta – Global
Cass Froese – Venue Hire
We also engage many hundreds of volunteers, without whom we would not be able to achieve our mission.
Organisational Chart (PDF)
Above: the early days of CERES – not a tree in sight!
Since CERES was established in 1982, the efforts of many groups, staff, volunteers and labour market programs have transformed the site. Once a desolate wasteland, today CERES is a place of nature and beauty, inhabited by a vibrant and diverse community. We attract around 400,000 visits each year through our on-site education and training programs, Nursery, Organic Market & Grocery and the Merri Table. CERES continues to provide opportunities for the community to come together in site groups or as volunteers, through community programs, venue hire and events.
We reach out to over 200,000 people through our work in schools across metropolitan Melbourne, and regional and rural Victoria. We have a growing following on social media, which further widens our audience and reach. CERES Fair Food delivers organic food and the sustainable food message across metropolitan Melbourne. CERES also partners with a wide variety of organisations to bring about mutually beneficial outcomes, and reaches across the planet with CERES Global taking groups to India, Indonesia, Cuba and Aboriginal
Updates from the CERES Board:
Prepared 7 April 2019 In a decision released late on Friday, VCAT has required the developer proposing a large apartment complex at 269 Stewart Street to make additional changes to the design to further [...]
By Rod Duncan, CERES Board Member and Pro bono planning advisor to CERES in this matter. -- We spent five days at VCAT last week advocating CERES’ concerns about this proposal. The plans had [...]
07/08/18 Despite being rejected by Council and VCAT last year, an even taller development has been proposed immediately beside the CERES Park main entrance. While this proposal is slightly smaller than the 2017 application, [...]