Polly Update #2 Justice not vengeance

Much has happened over the past few days. Polly has been steadily improving, though today she suffered a relapse – more on this later. We are heartened to see her faith in human kindness being restored with all the love and caring attention she’s been receiving.

The Summer Solstice on the evening of Wednesday 21st Dec was a very healing community event. Around 100 people came to inundate us with love and support. We enjoyed music with Brommers followed by the captivating Nomads dancing on the meadow. Our Swedish interns and guests made a traditional Swedish summer solstice maypole and played a beautiful folk song as it was erected to celebrate the abundance of summer. We then proceeded to the Celtic tree circle for the solstice ceremony.

Summer Solstice at Djanbung Gardens 2016
Summer Solstice at Djanbung Gardens 2016

Summer Solstice is a time for giving, for love and compassion, a time to recognise the beauty and unique talents we each possess to give to our family, our community and create a better world. The solstice symbolises the power light to overcome darkness. This was poignantly reinforced by mother nature herself as storm clouds raced over us and issued a timely flash of lightening. We were blessed with a light shower of rain, not enough to dampen the ceremony or quench the fire, but enough to impart of sense of cleansing and renewal.

During the ceremony I made a plea for justice and asked people to trust that justice will done, and to please not harbour feelings of vengeance. Vengeance feeds hatred, which in turn fosters violence, and that is exactly what we need to rise above. The shadow we’ve felt here is but a reflection of the shadows that are encroaching in many parts of the world at present. Our best response is to put our trust in love and truth and the strength of community standing together in the face of darkness. After the ceremony everyone lit candles to float on tubs of water on the meadow and infuse the gardens with light.

People danced on, to the live music of local bands, through the rest of the evening. I think everyone felt a sense of relief that the shadow that had descended the previous week was dissipating and a healing for the community had been initiated.

The following day,Thursday, two suspects were arrested by the police and on Friday morning, Melian, Andrew and I went into Lismore to witness their bail hearing in court. It felt important to be there and face them, and for them to see we are not cowed by their actions. We were there representing our animals, representing Djanbung Gardens and the Nimbin community, as well as our friends around the world who’ve been distressed by what happened. Bail was denied, as was a request to have their names withheld from the public. The judge said that it was in the best interest of the community that their identities be known.

While the assault on our beloved animals was truly shocking and barbaric, and even though the suspects are now apprehended, we do ask you all to respect that the court case has not yet been heard, and until a final verdict has been duly reached we should refrain from passing judgment and venting hate speech towards these two men. Trial by social media can jeopardise a fair trial in court.

We sincerely thank everyone for your overwhelming support, all the love and good wishes you’ve been sending us over the past nine days. A very special thank you to everyone who has given donations to help us cover the costs incurred, instigate security measures, rebuild our flock of heritage birds and move forward.

Polly bleeding again from her internal injuries, Dec 24.
Polly bleeding again from her internal injuries, Dec 24.

Polly has been recovering well in recent days, however we had to call the vet out for another visit this afternoon as she started bleeding again late this morning. She’s been given another injection of antibiotics. The vet says she must have sustained a serious injury inside her uterus, which has re-inflamed as the first antibiotic treatment has worn off. Dear Polly still has some serious healing to do. We continue to monitor her health and well being carefully over the coming days and weeks.

The chickens we lost in the massacre have been respectfully buried in places where we’ll be planting fruit trees for our Bill Mollison Memorial Food Forest, so their lost lives will not be completely in vain and will provide nutrient to new life. In a few weeks we’ll be looking for some new heritage chickens to replenish our laying flock.


Everyone here at Djanbung Gardens wishes you all peace, goodwill and much love over the holiday season and for the New Year.


Robyn Francis December 24, 2016

We are still accepting donations to cover our costs:  BSB 728-728 Account # 22299449 Account name: Djanbung Gardens (Robyn Francis). Please identify your donation “For Polly”


Leave a Reply