Word is getting out. In fact, enthusiastic word of mouth is our primary marketing and sales tool (aren’t we lucky?). However, we’re pretty excited now that the Australian media has discovered the Witchcliffe Ecovillage and we welcome the coverage of our unique, innovative, world-leading sustainable development.
Print, radio, TV, podcasts, presentations & awards
Mike Hulme, Michelle Sheridan (Sustainable Settlements) and Lyle Kenny (Perron Group) at the UDIA Awards 2023.
The West Australian: Land Report
RAC Horizons Magazine
Australian Traveller Magazine
RAC Horizons Magazine
7News Regional WA
Australian Geographic Magazine
The West, Renewable WA
The West Australian
All The Dirt podcast
The Post newspaper (Perth)
ABC Radio South West
The Urbanist (UDIA)
The Fifth Estate
The Witchcliffe Ecovillage team at the UDIA WA Excellence Awards.
By Keren Bellos, Senior Journalist, The West Australian
A vibrant community believed to be one of the world’s most sustainable urban developments is taking shape in the South West.
The Witchcliffe Ecovillage won the ‘Sustainability ‘ and ‘Affordable Housing’ awards at the prestigious Urban Development Industry of Australia WA Awards for Excellence on 16 September 2023. It was also a Finalist in the ‘Masterplanned Communities’ category.
“It takes a village”
By Ruth Callaghan
In a small South West town, a unique housing development is creating a vibrant new community in WA’s first fully developed ecovillage.
1. Witchy casts its spell with ecovillage
Travelling with: Fleur Bainger
Whenever I drive through Witchcliffe, Western Australia, my car slows to a dawdle and I give in to the urge to pull in. The highway-straddling hamlet is only a 10-minute drive south of Margaret River, yet for years it seemed like there was an invisible boundary line that few cross over. Fair enough: the likes of Leeuwin and Voyager estates prove strong vinaceous lures and the turn-off is before the community’s perimeter, yet those who stay the course have long identified the magic in this incy-wincy town.
Jo Thierfelder introduces us to a world-class sustainable ecovillage in the hinterlands of south-west Australia.
Witchcliffe is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sized town, only 10 minutes south of its much-vaunted big sister, Margaret River, in WA’s spectacular South West. But times they are a-changin’. This sleepy, semi-rural hamlet is now home to a burgeoning community of diverse, eco-minded folk who are putting down roots in the Witchcliffe Ecovillage. And I’m one of them. >> READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
“Margaret River pulls back its velvet curtain to reveal a surprising and inspiring commitment to eco-conscious survival – and it’s working.”
“Plenty more people are likely to move to Margaret River in the coming years, as a game-changing eco development grows. Witchcliffe Ecovillage already has two dozen residents. >> READ MORE
Is the Witchcliffe Ecovillage one of the world’s most sustainable residential communities? It is, in the opinion of Peter Newman AO, Distinguished Professor of Sustainability at the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute, who said:
“I don’t know of any other development in the world that can claim to achieve energy, water and food self-sufficiency all on one site as well as being a place for real community.” >> READ MORE
Having experienced life in diverse places and climate zones, Aron and Jodie chose an ecovillage near Margaret River to put down roots and build their small, high-performing family home.
Jodie Passmore and Aron Dyer were born and raised in Perth, and moved around the country before building their home in the Witchcliffe Ecovillage, 10 kilometres south of Margaret River. >> READ MORE
At Witchcliffe Ecovillage in Western Australia, life cycle assessment (LCA) to ensure homes are net zero or better for both operational and embodied energy is a requirement for approval of the design.
Ecovillage project manager Jeff Thierfelder and LCA expert and eTool CEO Richard Haynes explain their collaboration to produce a fast, easy-to-use app to help – and what it can offer to homeowners everywhere. >> READ MORE
To kick off Cosmos Magazine’ year-long Greenlight Project – a series looking at how regional Australia is responding to climate change – Greenlight editor Marie Low checks out an ambitious ecovillage in south-west WA.
Is it feasible to live off-grid and still enjoy the comforts of community and modern living? Nearly 30 years ago, Mike Hulme wanted to know the answer. Today, his vision – Witchcliffe Ecovillage – has just launched stage 4 of a project that could see up to 1,000 people living in a community that is 100% self-sufficient in renewable energy, water and organic fresh produce. >> READ MORE
Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA) interviewed Jeff Thierfelder, Planning and Architecture Manager at the Witchcliffe Ecovillage, for its quarterly member magazine, The Urbanist. >> READ MORE HERE
With the aim of facilitating a unique retirement alongside a close-knit and like-minded community, work on the Kyloring Housing Co-operative has begun near Margaret River. The community will occupy a pocket neighbourhood of 25 homes and a collection of shared facilities within the larger Witchcliffe Ecovillage – a residential co-housing community under development by Sustainable Settlements and Perron Group.
>> READ FULL ARTICLE
While in the depths of winter it can be easy to forget the heat of summer, forward planning for summers to come is integral. With devastating bushfires unfortunately a reality for many parts of Australia, Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute Professor Peter Newman warned there needed to be more thought and action around how to prevent these blazes from damaging properties and putting lives at risk.
>> READ FULL ARTICLE
Jeff Thierfelder, Planning and Architecture Manager at Sustainable Settlements, was invited to present the Witchcliffe Ecovillage project at the Planning Institute of Australia Regional Forum in Margaret River in June 2021. At just under an hour long, this is much more than simply a project overview. He opens with a brief exploration of social connection and cultural change through human evolution. The Ecovillage, he contends, proposes a shift in mindset from one of isolation to connection, scarcity to abundance and extraction to stewardship of the land. >> WATCH IT HERE
Pip and Cate from local community internet radio station, Radio Margaret River (RMR), interviewed Ecovillage Communications and Marketing Manager, Jo Thierfelder, on 4 June 2021. Click here to listen to the podcast and start the broadcast at 16:24 mins for the Ecovillage interview.
‘All The Dirt’ podcast presenter Steve Wood spoke to Witchcliffe Ecovillage staff members Jo Thierfelder (Communications and Marketing Manager) and Mark Tupman (Horticulture Manager) on 27 May 2021.
>> LISTEN TO THE FULL BROADCAST
The world is beating a path to the door of Cottesloe ideas man Mike Hulme. His idea, now becoming a reality, was to create a unique, friendly village that was self sufficient in renewable energy, water and fresh food from community gardens. >> Download the full article
Urban planner and designer Mike Day has touted Witchcliffe’s Ecovillage as the way of the future for the South West. With housing affordability and supply issues impacting many residents within the region, Mr Day said the Ecovillage was a great example of what should be done more often with new housing developments. >> READ MORE