SydneyLETS promo article for newsletters

Here is a short stock publicity article you can use in you community organisation newsletters. Adapt or edit and add your logo, and your members can share it in their community, educational or religious groups, business or workplace, or Facebook groups.

L.E.T.S. – Think About It!

Local Energy Trading System…Local Energy Transfer System…Local Enterprise Trading System… those are just three of the possible titles behind the acronym L.E.T.S. There may be more!
The Sydney L.E.T.S organisation prefers to use the first of these. The others are used elsewhere. The precise wording is not important because the basic idea conveyed by all the interpretations remains the same: it’s local, and it’s a system.

The easiest way to describe L.E.T.S is that it is a sort of expanded barter system, with a central co-ordination point where trading units are recorded. The name chosen by Sydney L.E.T.S to describe trading units, is Operas. The philosophy is that ‘all time is valuable, and everyone’s time is of equal value’. The standard rate charged for services is 25 operas per hour.

This is how it works. Zahara would like some gardening done, which John is prepared to do for her. John charges Zahara fifty operas, and enters this in to the online system, which debits her account and credits his account. Meanwhile, Rachel has decided she needs to destress, so comes to Zahara for some relaxation therapy, which she is happy to provide, for thirty operas. Zahara enters the thirty operas in to the LETS system, to credit her account and debit Rachel’s. Operas, of course, don’t physically exist, and therefore, theoretically, there is an unlimited supply, so no-one is forced to trade or to provide a service when it is not really convenient for them to do so, simply to earn some operas.
The L.E.T.S System allows for cashless exchange of goods and services in a comparatively relaxed way, with no pressure on anyone to trade, or to provide a service simply because they have used a service provided by someone else. There is no pressure to reduce debits. It is a self-regulating system based on co-operation.

At the moment, Sydney LETS has approximately 340 individual members, plus 6 companies and 20 organisations. Sydney LETS is also linked online to 59 other LETS exchanges in Australia, and over 800 internationally.

The benefits for individuals are many and varied, as current L.E.T.S members provide a wide variety of services, including all kinds of labouring, gardening, computer help and web design, accommodation, cooking, sewing, animal care, domestic services, counselling, childcare, relaxation and stress management. Some say the biggest benefit is the building of community. Business and organisations can benefit as well: for example maintenance and cleaning of premises and grounds, occasional morning teas, lunches and functions catered for, outsourcing of some office tasks such as wordprocessing, courier services and perhaps stress management for staff!

As well as their normal services, LETS members can attend Trading Days, where fresh produce, preserves, craft items and practically anything else can be traded on the spot.

So if you are considering alternatives to cash exchanges, you may like to consider L.E.T.S. To join, or for more information, visit

Adapted from an article by Martie Juszka of Albury-Wodonga L.E.T.S

Picninc and Trading Day – 29 May 2016 @Enmore Park

LETS Picnic and Trading Day 1

Hi All !!

We are going to have a LETS picnic/trading day on May 29 from 1pm onwards at Enmore Park in Marrickville. This will be a great opportunity to meet other LETS members.

If everyone could bring some food to share that would be awesome and don’t forget to also bring your skills and goods to trade.

Any new members can join on the day so please invite your friends who are not yet LETS members.

We look forward to seeing you there. In the meantime you can follow the Event on facebook:

Trading Day – 2 March, 2014 @ The Bower, Marrickville

Sydney and Hunter LETS members trading at The Bower, Addison Road Community Centre, on Marrickville market day. (Photos: Celine Massa)

2012 National LETS Conference Notes

Notes on the 2012 National LETS Conference have been posted on the Easter Suburbs Warranwood LETS  site.

Graeme Sweeney (DVNS LETS)

Graeme Sweeney (DVNS LETS) spoke of how the Buddy system helps LETS members

63 LETS members & friends attended the Melbourne Conference at the gorgeous Upper Plenty Conference Centre.  From the feedback we have received it was a fun and inspiring weekend.  A special thanks to Howard & Wendy Stokes, our hosts, who provided wonderful accommodation with amazing views, yummy food and a gorgeous environment.

Full conference wrap up >>


Accommodation Wants and Offers in LETS/CES


1. Accommodation wants in Australian exchanges

  • Enter the want remotely and check remote offerings in other Australian CES exchanges via the Sydney LETS website. Use the drop down menu and click on the relevant exchange under the ‘Offerings’ and ‘Wants’ headings.
  • If urgent contact the remote exchange administrator to ask them to send out a notice to all members in that area. Some exchanges are not on the online CES system. Use Google to see if there is a LETS or CES in your desired area, contact the local administrator
    to register the want, and offer to join that exchange to facilitate trading.

2. International accommodation offers and wants

3. Australasian Accommodation Exchange (AUAE)

  • Any CES member can add an offer of accommodation or housesitting to the AUAE exchange. To add the offerings to a remote LETS/CES exchange simply select the remote exchange when you are adding the offering.
  • Offers are advertised only. The AUAE is good for seeing the full range of offers around Australasia.

Email to register.

Trading Day Sun Oct 20th in Marrickville

We have a bumper trading day coming up on Sunday the 20th of October 2013.

It will be held at the Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville and will coincide with markets there on Sundays, giving us lots of exposure to lots of like minded people.

The Trading day and Membership drive will be held in front of the Bower Re-Use and Repair Centre and a Member’s picnic will be held at the Marrickville Community Gardens.

Both these events will run from 10am – 1pm and are one building apart within the same complex at the Addison Road Community Centre.

We are seeking members who would like to prepare or provide goods, produce, food, services, therapies and skills stalls to trade with our other members. We have 12 stalls available, and it is first come, best dressed!

If you would like a stall, please let us know before the 1st of October.

The Trading Day will likely draw a lot of attention and because of this, we think it would be a great opportunity to run a membership drive at the same time and place. There will be two tables set up to introduce newbies to the system, and to demonstrate, live, what is available currently in offers, and how it all works.

The wonderful people at the Community Gardens, Marrickville have offered their lovely space for our members to host our ten year anniversary celebrations! It will be a time to come together to share a picnic and to get to know other members.

We have special guests attending this major event. The Korean Foundation for Social Development (KSIF), is a senior research group, which encourages social economy campaigns and relevant activities.  It will be a delegation of six and will include local journalists.  Their stated purpose is ‘research into the theme of community currency under the theme of Australia’s LETS’.  They want to see ‘the real deal’ of trades happening and to interview trading partners, so the trading day will be perfect for them!

Also, a new initiative called LETS WORKSHOP! will also be promoted at this event (details in second part of Spring Newsletter)

1. Stall holders, we will need:

A description of your trade, what you may need and how we could help

2. Members, we will need* :

-Members who would like to introduce and explain how LETS works to the public
-Members who would like to sign new members up on the spot
-Members who would like to help organise the Members picnic
-Members who would like to bake or cook for the Members Picnic
-Members who would like to organise, set up and decorate the Trading Day area
-Members who would like to provide entertainment or music
-Members who can provide transport of LETS tables, banners etc
-Members who can provide accommodation for members who live out of Sydney to attend

*All members who are able to formally help out at this event, will be remunerated by the LETS ADMIN account (25 Operas an hour)

It will be a bumper event, and we hope you can all make it. We would love you, you families and your friends (who are, of course, also LETS members, right?!) to be involved in the first of many more exciting events to come.

Our motto this trading day:

LETS SYDNEY/ ILLAWARRA, going strong into our next ten years!

Thuy Le and Diana Van Bell

How to improve Sydney LETS

At our July Trading Day Eammon O’Flaherty facilitated a great group conversation about ways we can improve Sydney LETS. Here are his notes on the ideas we all came up with:


Thanks to everyone who came along to the trading day on Sunday, and contributed to the lively discussion of LETS and other politics. Here is the compilation of all suggestions about how to improve LETS:


  • word of mouth very important- each member is best placed to attract new members in their local area and those they are most likely to trade with, and every new person strengthens the LETS system for everyone else.
  • when holding an event, eg.a concert or performance, consider charging part or all in Operas.
  • when attending an event, eg. a dance class, handing out flyers.
  • to communities most in need, such as asylum seekers, the Aboriginal community of Redfern/Waterloo
  • outreach to community centre managers; welfare agency managers.
  • write articles in/letters to appropriate newsletters, newspapers, blogs etc.
  • leaflets in libraries
  • linking up with other similar initiatives and with councils
  • have more of a presence on and similar.
  • market stalls

The LETS website:

  • make it easier to use. How can the website be made easier to use? Please add your ideas in the comments below!
  • make it more attractive including photos; photos of members alongside trades.
  • include an online discussion forum to allow ongoing discussion of how to improve LETS and to build community.
  • hide offers of non-responsive traders.

LETS held events….

Trading Days:

  • regular and more frequent.
  • localised trading days, such as in the western suburbs, organised primarily by local members.
  • name tags with bullet point trading information

Social evenings:

  • to meet other traders, organise trades and enjoy our community.
  • potluck dinners
  • movie nights

Combine efforts:

  • coordinate with and learn from other LETS groups
  • work with different organisations to organise specific, themed events.

I feel it was a very productive day, and I’m really proud to have initiated the discussion. Now we’ll need help to make it happen. If anyone can help out, has other ideas and such please contact me directly (SYCE0704) or through the admin account, or speak to other administrators. Or if you feel inspired – talk to others and start your own team in your area!

I’d particularly like to hear from those interested in helping out with forming an outreach team to discuss methods, opportunities, larger group projects. Together we can cause an influx of new members, which really would be great. It would also be very good if someone has the technical skills and opportunity to upgrade the website – I’d love to see a forum there myself, to help us communicate better.

Thanks all, see you at the next trading day :)

Eammon O’Flaherty

How can the website be made easier to use? Please let us know…

Sydney LETS Trading Day – Sun 7 July, 2-5 pm

Our next trading day will be on Sun 7 July, 2-5 pm at the Factory Community Centre, 67 Raglan St Waterloo.

Please bring along items to trade – or even services like massage, reiki or haircuts.  Or if you’d just like to shop, it’s the perfect place to spend some Operas.

As well as trading, member Eamonn O’Flaherty will give a talk on LETS and social action, and Abigail Macanchoiligh will treat us to her beautiful recorder music.

We are also looking for members willing to help with setting up, packing up and cleaning, to be paid at 25 operas an hour from the admin account.

Setting up & packing up – tables, chairs, leaflet/info table, tea/coffee/cups/urn

Cleaning – washing up & cleaning the kitchen, sweeping floor of main area

If you would like to help with these tasks on the day, please let Diana van Bell know –

Happy trading!!

Announcing: Australian National CES / LETS Conference 2013

When: 2nd-3rd November, 2013
Where: Gowrie Park Wilderness Village, Gowrie Park, TAS

2013 Australian LETS Conference

2013 National CES / LETS Conference proudly hosted by CENTs – Community Exchange North West Tasmania. CENTs invite you to browse the conference page of their website for further information and look forward to meeting you all. We welcome Expressions of Interest for guest speakers/workshops/talks via the EOI Form.