Knitting Nannas of Toolangi
The Knitting Nannas of Toolangi (KNOT) was a group of grandmothers from Toolangi and Healesville who were deeply concerned about the logging of Toolangi State Forest. Even though there was a history of logging over the decades in Toolangi, it had changed from logging for mills to logging mainly for paper products and for exporting logs to China. The logging was intense and ruthless in destroying the natural habitat of wildlife, especially the Leadbeater’s Possum, which also happened to be the Victorian emblem and was becoming extinct. The bushfires in 2009 had not helped the wildlife habitats.
In July 2011, four grandmothers locked onto machinery in a logging coupe to protest against the destruction of the habitat and wildlife. There was a deep concern for what was not being left for our grandchildren, who would never see a 150+-year-old forest or tree.
In 2012 the Knitting Nannas of Toolangi was formed and became a major force for letting the public know what was happening to our State Forest. We were in touch with other grandparent groups, including one which was called KNAG (Knitting Nannas against Gas) in Northern NSW, and eventually there became a Knitting Nanas environmental protest movement in other parts of Australia and Europe, following the same model.
We would sit and knit peacefully outside logging coupes, using social media to spread the word.
The Knitting Nannas continued to show their disapproval to the government and demanded a better environmental future for the children of the future. These protests became known as ‘knit-ins’ and sometimes we would have up to 25 nannas and friends knitting away, having cups of tea and sharing food, as logging trucks took the forest away for paper. We continued to request the government to transition and move to farmed plantations for paper products.
Environment Victoria awarded the Toolangi Knitting Nannas an environmental award in 2013.
Knitting Nanas of Toolangi at Myers Creek coupe knit-in
Knitting Nanas of Toolangi receive their Environment Victoria Award, 5 November 2013