A weekend "Transition Living Camp"was held from 3 - 5 July 2009 at Wild Mountains. The purpose was to consolidate understandings and plan for greater community engagement on environmental issues confronting us, centred on peak oil, climate change and their ramifications, and with the overarching context of our transition to resilience.
There were 17 attendees, with 5 from the Scenic Rim Region and others from Northern NSW, greater Brisbane and our creative facilitator, Robin Clayfield, of Earthcare Education at CrystalWaters. The program for the weekend was co-designed with Robin's guidance. This process was very successful and allowed for everyone's needs to be met.
The weekend provided much-appreciated rest and relaxation for committed community workers, with guided bushwalks and vigorous unstructured discussions, as well as preparing and sharing meals. As well, the group divided for 2 in-depth discussions, on "Burn out" and on "Ideas to empower and connect people with the transition town/climate change -peak oil movement". See the Outcomes document from the second workshop. A plenary session on "Engaging with local government"was also conducted with welcome contributions from two attendees, a Lismore City employee and a Ballina Shire councillor.
Comments on the weekend in the Wild Mountains Visitors Book included "A worthwhile and rewarding weekend in a special place." and " Thank you all at Wild Mountains for your efforts and compassion for preserving our earth. All the best in education forever."
Further workshops using a newly-completed frame for Wild Mountains courses will continue to harness growing interest and concern for action in Scenic Rim Region and beyond. Scenic Rim Region Council support of Wild Mountains' for this weekend is visionary and foundational, not only for our region but also more broadly in our bioregion, as shown by the wide geographical spread of attendees at the workshop.
Wild Mountains looks forward to further collaboration with agencies in the Scenic Rim Region as well as Scenic Rim Region Council, including Ethos Foundation and Scenic Rim Escapes.
Ideas to empower and connect people with the transition town/climate change - peak oil movement.
Film nights -
Organise regular film nights at the local movie theatre. Negotiate a reasonable price with the movie theatre on one of a traditionally quiet night ie. Monday nights, advertise through community notices and email networks and host film nights. You can charge $5 - $10, and have a table of info that people can take. Also guest speakers could do a presentation or facilitate a question and answer session. To assist with free press and editorial coverage you could invite the Mayor/Local members to give a talk or at least attend.
Invite neighbours and friends around to your house for a film night. A great way to meet your neighbours. You could call it a 'House Party' and invite people to bring food to share also to increase the energy. House Party sounds more exciting somehow.
Link the community groups, make sure events (film nights) are sent out to all the different mailing lists in your community. It would be great if each community group could have at least one active member who is interested in assisting with Transition Towns.
Bush tucker audit of the Shire, bush tucker trail
Community gardens -
Perma-blitz (operates in Brisbane ) - have a group that goes around and creates herb/veggie gardens in peoples front/back yard. The idea is that a group of people each help each other to create veggie gardens and set up composting. To promote the idea of ‘grow your own' hold a competition with the winner/s getting a veggie patch built in their yards. (Front yard veggie gardens provide a visible display to help promote.)
Get some bands together with speakers and community groups with info to promote Transition Towns and bring a new audience into the movement.
Parking Day (google parking day 18th September) invite various people from within the community to be involved - this started in San Francisco .
A Database of all the community groups, schools, churches etc with a contact name and email, send info to all groups and encourage two way correspondence.
Resilience days- involve older folks, CWA (Country Womens Association) etc to pass on skills (knitting, sewing, preserving fruits and vegies, repairing bicycles, motors, etc)
Promote and join cyclist groups, and lobby for safer bikeways connecting towns, residences, sports fields and shopping areas.
Social networking - facebook group. Have links to other groups on emails, and have your email link on other groups emails (ie newsletter emails) Blogs and Getup style connections for quick lobby action.
Go and speak at community groups, business groups, schools - some have Environment Clubs
Munch and crunch - Bangalow Primary School has a worm farm and herb/veggie garden with produce used in canteen and classrooms. P & C are active and parents take turns ensuring they are cared for. Also kids cooking classes for older students - could do school cookbook as a school project
To encourage veggie gardens in schools, link with an interested school teacher. This book is a great resource. Outdoor Classrooms - A Handbook for School Gardens By Carolyn Nuttall and Janet Millington
Organise an event that gets all the professionals (doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc) to an event and get them involved with the campaign.
Look for those people who have solar hotwater or solar panels, and veggie gardens and put info in those letterboxes.
Articles in the local newspapers that let people know what Transition Towns are about, local radio stations.
Get to local food growers from the farmers market involved and promoting the Transition Towns philosophy - they will benefit greatly if more people buyfood that is grown locally.
Potential DVD's Power of Community (53 Minutes),
Story of Stuff (about the supply chain and consumption patterns goes for 20 minutes - is down loadable off the internet), and on this website
An Inconvenient Truth
Think Global, Eat Local by Morag Gamble - a 15 minute film that is right on topic.
There is also a Maleny Co-ops film by Paul Alistair called 'Building Prosperous Community' or something close to that.
Free Speakers - Kate Jones MP, Opening 10am, Annette McFarlane, ABC Gardening Guru and many more great presenters Market Stalls showcasing green businesses Variety of local Food Stalls Free Music Free Activities for kids and prizes to give away Photography exhibition
"The Story of Stuff " is a highly informative and entertaining web video that documents the destructive impacts of consumerism and waste. The video features American activist Annie Leonard taking viewers through the process of creating a consumer good - from the extraction of materials to the disposal.
Topics discussed include materials economy, linear systems, the golden arrow of consumption, wealthy corporations, the role of government, toxics, human breast milk, toxic waste. Check it out but beware: Your trash will never look the same.
This is the full version however you can select other links to view it in chapters.
A Transition Initiative is a community working together to look Peak Oil and Climate Change squarely in the eye and address this BIG question: "for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?"
The Transition Movement was born out of the Kinsale Energy Descent Action Plan (see link below), inspired by David Holgrem's book Permaculture - Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability and Richard Heinberg's book Powerdown. While this movement started in the UK in late 2005, it has spread rapidly in Europe, North & South America, South Africa, Australia & NZ. There are over 100 officially recognised Transition Towns (or cities, districts, villages, islands & even a forest!) and over 900 other communities worldwide thinking about the energy descent journey (see links)
In the transition approach, cutting carbon is one of many resilience indicators for communities to prepare for an energy-lean future.
Other community resilience indicators might include: