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March / April, 2015 Edition
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'Community & Economic Development Matters' Newsletter


Introduction

Greetings
 
Wow . . . four months already into a new year, and the Bank of I.D. E.A.S. has been privileged to have learnt so much from inspirational community-led initiatives in rebuilding local communities and economies. This March/April Edition provides wonderful illustrations of such innovation – enjoy!
 
As can be seen from the Events Section of the Newsletter, there are so many amazing learning opportunities in the coming months. In particular, we would like to mention the ABCD Festival being held in the UK in June – what an amazing event this will be for those of us committed to Asset Based Community Development principles and processes….well worth the investment it will take to get there. For Australian subscribers, check the details on Jim Diers and Cormac Russell who will be visiting our shores.
 
For the months of March and April, two Global Community Builder Giraffe Awards were given to the residents of an amazing small town in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia – the town of Kulin. Kulin is a Shire and town that over the last 20 years has kicked some amazing goals related to the reinvention of their town – so many initiatives for a community of 400 persons – instigation of the first community bank in Western Australia, the tourism award winning Kulin Races, mainstreet revitalisation, modern sports facilities, water park development, retirement home precinct, a calendar of special events, the Tin Horse Highway Touring Trail . . . and so much more. Kulin’s achievements have been resident and Shire led and it is a wonderful example of inside out, bottom up development. Congratulations to the town, shire and its leadership especially Greg Hadlow (Shire CEO) and Graeme Robertson (passionate resident). While a few of years old, the article on Kulin in the publication “The Small Town Renewal Kit” is worth reading to capture their innovation (download the Kit here to read a copy of the article). That article contains a wonderful quote by Graeme Robertson that illustrates their spirit – “Besides my family and farm, Kulin is the most important thing in my life, and there is a lot of Kulin people with the same feeling. Our aim is to get everyone feeling that way, and then we will be unstoppable . . . to not do anything is to go backwards and that is not an option”.  
 
Go well.
 
Peter Kenyon  (Director)                    
Maria D'Souza (Executive Officer)

Graeme Robertson, Peter Kenyon and Greg Hadlow celebrating 20 years of initiatives since the first community planning event. 

 Events 



“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen”.
(Ernest Hemingway)

‘Fostering Entrepreneurship in Rural Communities and Regional Economies’: 21 April, 2015

“Q & A” Session facilitated by Peter Kenyon, Tuesday April 21st, Geelong.
The Centre for the Study of Rural Australia, Geelong invites you to an entertaining and informative evening (5.00pm-8.30pm) with five famous and high achieving rural entrepreneurs. Adopting the famous “Q & A” format popularised by the ABC, this event will focus on a theme that matters to rural and regional Australia; namely the importance of entrepreneurism and entrepreneurs in rebuilding the future of rural communities and local economies.
Click here to download the brochure.

Small Town Sexy: May, 2015

Come and spend an inspiring and practical thought-provoking day with Kim Huston (USA), author of ‘Small Town Sexy’ and president of Nelson Economic Development Agency. Kim is from Bardstown, Kentucky, USA, voted the most beautiful small town in America. She will be joined by Gilbert Rochecouste of Village Well, one of the world’s leading place-makers who has helped re-vitalise hundreds of small towns, main streets and communities over the last 25 years. This event will be held on Friday 8th May, 2015 at the Mercure Hotel, Treasury Gardens, Melbourne. Click here to download brochure. Click here to register.
 

Social Innovation Learning Village: Creating not Waiting – May, 2015

Mt Tamborine, Queensland, 5-8 May, 2015
This may be the best opportunity you have this year to contribute to positive change in the sector you care about. The 2015 Social Innovation Learning Village is a four day, live-in event which will host emerging leaders and innovative thinkers from multiple sectors to not only talk about transformation but to actively rethink and redesign our products, services and systems. Click here for more information and to register.
 

Lead with Heart: Warrior of the Heart Training – May, 2015

Cedar Ck, Mt Tamborine, QLD, 1st – 3rd May 2015
A two-day residential workshop in a beautiful setting with great people aimed at providing inspiration to lead your life with strength, courage and compassion. Through guidance and fellowship the workshop will explore a number of philosophies and practices that offer insight into the nature of leading self and others as a ‘Warrior of the Heart’ . In dealing with the challenges, complexities, and demands of modern life this workshop offers you an opportunity to explore ways to work from a place of peace and strength: a place that has the heart at the centre is balanced, calm and clearly decisive when action is needed. Click here for more information and to register.
 

Spark of Life: International Master Course: May, 2015

Spark of Life is a therapeutic program implemented for people with advanced dementia. The Spark of Life International Master Course is the only course that certifies a person to educate in the Spark of Life within their own workplace. This enables them to positively influence the lives of many residents, clients and patients. Graduates can implement the Spark of Life Philosophy and can take their facilities on the journey to become a Spark of Life Centre of Excellence. The next International Master Course will be held in Perth from 9th-29th May, 2015. Click here to download the brochure.
 

Rural Education Conference: May, 2015

The Rural Education Conference is focused on enhancing and improving rural and remote young people’s opportunities and outcomes within their communities. This is an opportunity for rural learning communities to come together at a state-wide level to examine the purpose and context of rural education. This conference is being held in Melbourne, 28th-29th May, 2015. Click here for more details.

Return Visit of Jim Diers in 2015: May-June, 2015

It is a privilege to have the community enthusiast Jim Diers back in Australia from 26 May – 6 June. Jim is a brilliant communicator about why community matters. To appreciate this, click here to view his wonderful blog.
If you would be interested in having Jim in your community as a presenter or workshop facilitator, contact Peter Kenyon (pk@bankofideas.com.au).  Click here to view a flyer.
 

ABCD Festival, June 2015

As many of you will be aware, in 1995 John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann convened a circle of friends to help them establish the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute at Northwestern University in Illinois. The work of John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann spans over forty years, and the establishment of the ABCD Institute builds on that work and their research. Supporters of ABCD believe it is time to have an international celebration, and thus the creation of the ABCD Festival. This celebration will be held from the 15 - 19 June, 2015 in the village of Ribby Hall (Preston, UK) where the participants will create their own community/village. This will be an event not to miss. Plan to be there! Click here to download the flyer.

2015 Safe Cities Conference: July, 2015

This one day event provides an opportunity for a diverse range of safety professionals to come together to discuss thought provoking ideas and concepts to improve safety in our communities. The Conference will be held on the 8 July 2015 at the Pullman Melbourne on the Park. Visit the conference website for more information.

Developing Northern Australia Conference: July, 2015
The Conference will bring together industry leaders, government department heads with researchers, academics and interested parties to discuss the opportunities, needs and concerns regarding the development of the Northern Australia Region.  The program features nine keynote speakers, over 45 presenters, study tours and poster presentations addressing issues ranging from infrastructure, land and water management, defence growth, indigenous participation, sustainable development and community building. Click here for the program and further details.

Visit to OZ by Cormac Russell, Director, ABCD Europe – August, 2015

One of the best exponents of Asset Based Community Development is Cormac Russell from ABCD Europe. He is a brilliant presenter, and will be in Australia from 15- 29 August. Click here to learn more on Cormac and his insights on ABCD. Also, click here to watch ‘Cormac Russell Talks ABCD’.   If interested in having Cormac present for a workshop, contact Peter Kenyon pk@bankofideas.com.au or mobile 0417 183 719.
 

SAVE THE DATE: “Power to the People” Conference - 2015

 

This unique Australian national conference, organised jointly between BOI and the Municipal Association of Victoria will be held 26-27 August, 2015 with Cormac Russell from ABCD Europe as one of the keynote presenters.

SAVE THE DATE: 8th International Urban Design Conference – November, 2015
The 8th International Urban Design Conference is being held at the Sofitel Brisbane from the 16 - 18 November 2015. This conference will showcase these innovations and projects which embrace and create transformational change in urban environments, ranging from the modest but high impact idea to the new eco-city, from technological experimentation to multicultural cities, from the use of big data to physical city making.
For further information please visit the conference website.

The New Barn-Raising – international webinars on sustaining community and civic assets: April – December, 2015

What is your community, town or city doing – and what can it do - to sustain key assets such as parks, libraries, theaters and museums? This may seem like a local issue, but communities, towns and cities globally are all asking these same questions – from Amsterdam and Accra to Brasilia and Beirut. The New Barn-Raising inaugural webinar series - starting in April – captures 28 examples of global best practice (from 10 countries across 6 continents) on how best to sustain community and civic assets. Click here to find out more and register.

 

 Rural & Small Town  Development 

“Living in a  rural setting exposures you to see many marvelous things – the natural world and the particular texture of small town life, and the exhilarating experience of open space.”
(Susan Orlean)

What to Do with Roofless Buildings

Becky McCray of smallbizsurvival.com is always stimulating conversation and ideas about hidden economic assets in small towns. In her recent E-Newsletter she shares the 19 ideas generated around the question - "What do you do with roofless buildings in the Main Street?" Click here to read responses.  

The Town of Esperance and its Plans to Develop its own Seafood Brand

WA's south-east coastal town of Esperance is hoping to establish itself as a seafood brand in a bid to protect the region's economic security. To learn more, click here to read Rebecca Curtin’s article on the ABC website.
 

Small Town Wiped Off the May Due to Cyclone Marcia

Our thoughts are with many small towns in Central Queensland affected by recent Cyclone Marcia, particularly for the town of Marmor which was physically wiped off the map. Click here to see the story on the ABC by Lisa Clarke.

Regional Australia Institute wants country post offices to become communication service hubs

With a steady decline in the volume of letters being posted, Australia Post faces some serious sustainability issues.  Click here to read an article discussing how rural Australia Post outlets might evolve to better serve the community in changing times.

Caption: The Chewton post office in central Victoria has been in operation since 1879.
(photo by Tony Allan, courtesy of the ABC)

 Community Building 

 

“This world of ours... must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower)
 

“Now is the time for a bold new era of people-centered action where communities position as powerhouses of innovation, entrepreneurship and future thinking focusing on the crucial relationship between culture-led economic and community development, unprecedented turbulent times, energy, climate change and the environment.” (David Wilson)

Faith in Action, Wednesday Reading Club, South Australia

This is an interesting initiative aimed at generating deeper discussion and action around Asset Based Community Development. Each week, the group meet over a coffee to discuss a chosen article.  It is envisaged that the Wednesday Reading Group will be a good way to get some fresh input, meet colleagues and enjoy and share stories shaped by a reading each month. Click here to have a look at the upcoming readings and for more information.

The Binky Collective

Binky is a community initiative that started in Brisbane through an art of “gratefulness”. It is based on craft making with the notions of gratitude, exchange and reciprocity. It has the flexibility to work and adapt across a range of issues and groups in finding things “we are grateful for” as a commonality despite our differences. It started as an online Facebook page and has grown from there with members locally and internationally. It is not resource intensive and they funded their recent exhibition through crowd funding. Follow the links to find out more about Binky, The Grateful Project and YarnHeart.
Click here to check out a post on the Arts Queensland blog which gives some background on Binky and the YarnHeart project.
 

Place-Based and Community-Led - Specific Disaster Preparedness and Generalisable Community Resilience

Click here to download a copy of Place-Based and Community-Led - Specific Disaster Preparedness and Generalisable Community Resilience, a report compiled by Daryl Taylor and Helen Goodman. The participatory action research study began two and half years into the community recovery process after the Black Saturday mega-firestorm. The learning’s from the study emphasise the need for systemic change in emergency management and disaster preparedness and in neighbourhood and community and community economy and small business recovery, renewal and regeneration.

Appreciative Inquiry Australia Website – New Look

Click here to check out the new look of the Appreciative Inquiry Australia website. The site has also become more interactive allowing the AI community to share news, resources and events.

 

Why Libraries Should Be the Next Great Start-Up Incubators

This article acknowledges libraries as the original co-working spaces and explores a revamped role for libraries as start up incubators for entrepreneurs. Click here to read.
 

The Charette Concept

Click here to read an informative handout on putting that great tool – the Charette – to use in a community building context. (Please note: this PDF version is backwards.  Read the second page first, and the first page last).

Corrimal’s Connecting with God and Community

Click here to read an informative article on asset based community development (ABCD) in faith based communities. Thanks to Louise Beaton for sharing. (Please note: this PDF version is backwards.  Read the second page first, and the first page last).

 Localism & Social  Connection 

 

 


“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone else.”
(Gladys Stern)

“There’s an alternative. There’s always a third way, and it’s not a combination of the other two ways. It’s a different way.”
(David Carradine)

Hulbert Street, Fremantle

Hulbert Street in Fremantle remains one of the best examples of resident driven localism and social connection that we know.  Click here to read a brilliant article from SCOOP Magazine. Click here to view a very watchable TED talk by one of the residents, Sharni Graham. Click here to read an interview with Sharni Graham where she shares her thoughts on community and sustainability.
(Photo courtesy of LoveFreo)

 

‘Towards a life, not a service’

This recording of Cormac Russell’s presentation at the One Community Conference, convened by Aberdeen Council, (Self Directed Support Aberdeen) Scotland, reflects on the challenges and opportunities that the Self Direct Support movement presents. Cormac paints a picture of what life might look like for us if all people who have been exiled from their communities were at the centre. In short, the video blog asks the critical question: “how can we support people to make the journey from dependence on institutional programmes, to a life of interdependence in community, with agencies playing a supporting role?”
Click here to view.

Saga of the Children’s Cubby House

Click here to read the story of the father and two children who built a cubby house and encountered local council bureaucracy. We live in changing times!

 

PerthSoup

Click here to read about PerthSoup – a not-for-profit organisation set up to encourage interaction between the community and good ideas. Based on the original DetroitSoup in Michigan, everyone who attends pays an entry fee for a bowl of soup and the right to vote on various local project ideas being pitched that night.  The project which gets the most votes wins the nights takings to grow their idea. Not only does this article explore a very effective and replicable crowd funding and idea sharing initiative, it also draws attention to a fantastic urban bee keeping and conservation initiative.
Click here to read a great article on the original DetroitSoup.
 


NABO

‘Nabo describes itself as a major new neighbourhood social network aimed at the majority of Australians who are not connected with their neighbours and who say there are no community initiatives to help them connect. The initiative is based on US social network Nextdoor, which has been credited with kickstarting a "wave" of community focus in the United States’. Click here to read an article from The Australian. Click here to listen to an interview with founder Adam Rigby. 
 

Loneliness and social isolation are just as much a threat to longevity as obesity

Research from Brigham Young University shows that loneliness and social isolation are just as much a threat to longevity as obesity. Click here to read more.

Drink Stand Soured

The long-time tradition of opening a lemonade stand for kids to raise a bit of money is under threat.  The Council make some valid points, but perhaps the problem could have been solved in a more encouraging way. Supporting the entrepreneurial spirit of young children is so important. Click here to read the article from The West Australian, Tuesday, December, 2014.
MYazpiration
Myazpiration is about giving back, raising lots of money for great causes, and having good time while doing it. This website is dedicated to one purpose: empowering passionate individuals , entrepreneurs , startups  and nonprofit supporters to raise more money than they ever thought possible for the causes they love.  It provides a platform and techniques for people all over the world to join forces to make ideas happen. Click here to view some of the projects and find out how it works.
 


Lost Perth
This is an excellent website and book that arose from Warren Duffy’s interest and passion in preserving Perth’s history by calling on the community to share photo’s and stories of times gone by. It has become an invaluable resource for the residents of Perth and has also been recently made into a TV series.

 


 

Garage Sales as a Vehicle for Neighbourhood Connection

The City of Swan’s Suburb Garage Sale Season has kicked off again.  This simple community building event is a great way to build neighbourhood partnerships and recycle! Click here to read more.

Bruce Avenue

Last month, BOI received news of a fantastic initiative in New Zealand that we just had to share.  Here is the story of Bruce Avenue in a couple of paragraphs –
Ours is one of many streets that is largely dominated by apartments. None of these apartments have common rooms or areas and local residents had lost their sense of community. We started one small initiative on our street, hosting get togethers on specials events. Since October 2014, this has flourished. It is a real demonstration of the need for greater community connection. We now hold weekly get togethers at the park.
The benefits are not just about the social connections (which are invaluable) but; at least two people have been helped to find jobs, we have older residents volunteering to be much needed "adopted grandparents" at the local schools, upcoming grandparents day for children who do not have grandparents who live locally and recently                     when there was a lift breakdown, neighbours helped each other by getting groceries for others who are unable to use the fire stairs. We are rebuilding the "old fashioned" concept of community and want to encourage more of it across the Ku-ring-gai area. Please share our story.”
To find out more about Bruce Avenue, click here to visit their Facebook Page.
 

Dutch nursing home lets students live rent free

This is a just a really beautiful and ingenious initiative with social, health and economic benefits. Click here to read the article.
 

 Local Economic  Development 

“World class communities come in all shapes and sizes, they are not determined by geography, and/or natural resources so much as by the mindset of their local leadership.”
(Don Allen Holbrook, The Little Black Book of Economic Development)

‘These Neighbors Got Together to Buy Vacant Buildings. Now they are Renting to Bakers and Brewers’

Click here to read about a new real estate cooperative model that has catalysed the creation of new jobs, engaged its more than 200 members in reimagining their neighborhood, and given residents a way to put their capital to work in their local economy.

An Inquiry into the role that cooperatives and mutuals can play in the Australian economy

On 2 March 2015, the Senate referred the above to the Economics Reference Committee for inquiry and report by 14 May 2015.  Click here to read the terms of reference. Thanks to Alan Grieg for sharing this information.

 

The Future Economy

Click here to visit an informative website exploring the impact of new economic models - couch surfing, credit unions, community supported agriculture and co-ops. Well worth having a look.

Tourism

“We hold the principle that only a city that is good for its people can be good for its visitors. A city that is safe and healthy for its people is safe for its visitors. A city that is enjoyed by its people can be enjoyed by its visitors. If you believe in this principle, then we can see tourism as a force to rejuvenate cities and infrastructure, boost trade and commerce, and enhance economic activities in cities. We see tourism as an igniter of many activities within the city.”
(UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai in Metropolis Magazine)

Tourism and the City: A Conversation with Taleb Rifai and the UNWTO

Click here to read an interview with UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai on Tourism in Cities following the annual Conference in Barcelona which addresses urban space and tourism.

Food Tourism

The fastest growth in tourism is the food tourism sector – Farmers Markets, taste tours, agri-entertainment, glamping, restaurants, farm shops, wineries and boutique food retailers. Book a presentation / workshop for your community with renowned speaker and retail consultant John Stanley to explore this growing sector. Click here to visit John Stanley and Associates website.

There are more museums in the U.S. than there are Starbucks and McDonalds – combined

A somewhat reassuring fact and, a great little article on museums in the U.S.! Click here to view.

Caption: The Salvador Dali museum in St. Petersburg, Fla. (Photo by Flickr user Matthew Paulson)
 

 Youth Empowerment & Participation  

“Youth is when you blame everything on your parents. Maturity is when you learn that everything is the fault of the younger generation.” (George Bernard Shaw)

Face the Facts: Growing Youth Employment 

The Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies (ACYS) has launched their latest Face the Facts: Growing Youth Employment briefing. The Growing Youth Employment briefing focuses on the strategy that growing sustainable employment opportunities for young people is not just to find jobs, but to create jobs through commercial and social entrepreneurship. It provides analysis of international evidence and good practice, featuring case studies, links to further resources and thought pieces as well as featuring interviews with a young unemployed person and a number of representatives from organisations working to empower young people to transition away from welfare payments into sustainable employment. Click here to access these resources.
 

Web is a Girl’s Social Domain

Click here to read some fascinating research on the use of social networking sites by young girls in Western Australia.

 Food / Community  Agriculture 


"If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart." (Cesar Chavez)
 

Have you heard of Crowd Farming?

Grow it Local celebrates backyard, balcony, community and windowsill food farming in urban areas. It is about supporting local food producers, sharing growing know-how and bringing people together. Grow it Local have also been behind the ‘crowd farming’ initiative. Crowd farming events essentially involve any number of backyard gardeners or local growers / producers who contribute produce to, and then consume, a meal cooked by renowned Australian chefs.
The first Grow It Local Supper took place in Bondi in 2012 at Three Blue Ducks as part of a pilot project for Waverley Council to encourage local food production. Take a look at the case study video here. From 200 people at Three Blue Ducks to 2,200 people at the Sydney Opera House for TEDxSydney, the ‘Crowd farming’ model has been creating a massive stir among non-traditional growers and chefs alike. Check out the TEDxSydney story here.
 

Community Food Initiatives

R&S Muller Enterprise Pty Ltd is excited to have been selected by the NSW Environmental Trust to deliver a major project all about Community Food Initiatives. This nationwide consultation and survey is a chance for anyone involved in community food initiatives to share their thoughts and experiences. Click here for more information.

Local Harvest – Take the Challenge

A great resource for all Australians - join the local harvest initiative - find out what is near you in terms of supporting eating local and sign up for the Local Harvest Challenge Week as a individual, household or community - this website is well worth spending some time on and contributing too! Click here to view.

Barnraiser: Feeding Change

Introducing a new crowd funding platform from the US that's helping people grow an idea for a food project into a reality – Barnraiser is filling a niche in crowd funding for food projects. Click here for more information.
 

 Leadership & Personal  Development 

‘A year from now you will have wished you had started today’. (Karen Lamb)

“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” (Douglas McArthur)

Creative Male Ageing

Creative Male Ageing, a 12-part radio and internet project, was produced at PBA FM in Adelaide, with funding from the SA Government, through the Office for the Ageing (SA Health). Interviews for the programs were recorded in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. Creative Male Ageing challenges the ‘decrepitude and debilitation’ view of ageing, and seeks to determine whether, in reasonable circumstances, ageing men can actually seize the day and make ageing not only less distressing, but a time that is satisfyingly meaningful, healthy, creative, and yes, good. The website provides 12 podcasts and related print materials.  Click here to view the website.

Time to converse – at the heart of human warmth by Alan Stewart

Who is it for? Anyone who intuits that conversation is at the core of our everyday living and also of our evolution as human ‘becomings : people who wish to expand their understanding of what ‘to converse’ means in regard to continuing learning, co-creation, constructive collaboration and what ‘to converse’ means as the foundation of the practice of education; people who facilitate or host gatherings in which ‘all voices are heard’; and lively spirits who wish to develop their ‘people skills.’ Click here to buy a copy or find out more.
 

Sustainable   Development 

'Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." (anon)




The miracle is this -  the more we share, the more we have.” (Leonard Nemoy)

The global renewable energy boom: how Australia is missing out

Australia is lagging behind the world's major economies when it comes to renewable energy generation despite having enough renewable energy resources to power the country 500 times over. Click here to get the facts and statistics and download the report from the Climate Council.
 

Vertical Forest: An Urban Treehouse That Protect Residents from Air and Noise Pollution

Amazing sustainability architecture - this urban treehouse in Turin, Italy is functional and just beautiful! Click here to see more photos and find out more.

Caption: Photo © Beppe Giardino

Speed Date a Sustainability Expert

This is a great event by the Alternative Technology Association and Marrickville Council giving residents the chance to get advice and tips from Australia’s leading green architects and experts on energy efficient products, solar, green roofs and more. Click here for more information.

The Moral Implications of Inaction on Climate Change

Pope Francis’s anticipated encyclical on the environment has sparked much discussion. It is believed the Pope’s statement will shift the tenor of the public and political conversation on climate change in needed ways. Click here and here to read two interesting articles relating to climate change action as a moral obligation.

Demystifying Sustainability

Here is a great podcast from Radio National about the overuse/misuse of the word sustainability. As one of the commenters wittily says, “the word 'sustainable' now autonomically means the reverse, and it needs a long lexical lie-down to recover."... It's interesting to hear from environmental scientist and author Hayden Washington about what is, and is not, sustainability. Click here to listen.

Plates in a Paddock

Can you create a pop up restaurant in the middle of a cattle farm? You'd better believe it! Plates in a Paddock is a unique dining experience event to celebrate Earth Hour held this year on 28th March. The Sunshine Coast Environmental Council teamed up with Eumundi Beef to deliver a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience. For one night only they transformed one of the biodynamic paddocks of this majestic property into a hundred-thousand star dining venue (once the sun had gone down)! Participants enjoyed local produce prepared by some of the region’s best chefs and listened to local farmers as they shared their story of how climate change is impacting on their farms, their livelihoods and their ability to provide food for us. Click here to visit the website.

The Cycle-Powered Cinema

Click here to read about one of many inspiring Bike Week events held in Perth during March. Instigated by Transition Town Guildford, the initiative puts a novel twist on regular movie nights. Article from The Reporter, Tuesday March 3, 2015.

 Social Development  

 

“I'm convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they're stones that don't matter. As long as you're breathing, it's never too late to do some good."
(Maya Angelou)

 

I believe the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st Century”. (Hilary Clinton)

Rare paintings by stolen generation children to return to WA

More than 100 works of art produced by Noongar children who lived at the Carrolup Native School and Settlement during the 1940s & 1950s have been returned to WA from America. A Lotterywest Grant to Curtin University will help collect the oral histories of these children who are now adults, providing an important resource for building historical knowledge, cultural healing & reconciliation. Click here to read the ABC article.

Tim Winton's Palm Sunday plea: Start the soul-searching Australia

Click here to read a brilliant and moving speech by the famous Western Australian author, Tim Winton recently given at the Palm Sunday Walk for Justice4Refugees in Perth.

Caption: photo courtesy of Martin Godwin / The Guardian
 

The Search

Click here to read about The Search – a new initiative designed by the Centre for Social Impact to improve disadvantaged areas. The Search is a "cradle to career" strategy aimed at addressing low school retention rates and intergenerational unemployment.

Good Deeds Day

Have you heard of Good Deeds Day? Held in March, this year saw 900,000 volunteers in 58 countries participate. Good Deeds Day is an annual celebration of good deeds. All over the world, hundreds of thousands choose to volunteer and help others, putting into practice the simple idea that every single person can do something good, be it large or small, to improve the lives of others and positively change the world. Click here to check it out - something to think about for next year.

The Welcome Dinner Project

The Welcome Dinner Project is enabling newly arrived people and established Australians to meet over dinner conversation in the comfort of their own home. Newly arrived people include migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and international students. 
The aim of these pot-luck-style dinners is to create a platform for meaningful connection, sparking friendships between people of diverse cultures who are living in close proximity to one another but have not had an opportunity to connect in a supported environment. Click here for more information.
 

How Tjuntjuntjara has worked to become a sustainable remote community

With the recent decision by the government to shut down remote Aboriginal communities, here is a positive story of a remote Aboriginal community. Click here to view the ABC article.

 Inspirational People &  Stories 

‘Be amusing; never tell unkind stories above all, never tell long ones’. (Benjamin Disraeli)


Peter Sharp – Reminding humanity of our common connection

Click here to read an interview by the inspiring ‘joy junkie’ Peter Sharp of Liberators International, the Perth man behind the ‘train dancing’ video that went viral.


Caption: photo courtesy Scoop Magazine
 

 Humour... 

An Obituary printed in the London Times

Click here to read a humourous but sadly true obituary for common sense. Thanks to Peter Palmer for sharing.

Kilroy Was Here – Some Historic Humour

Thanks to David Wilson of Heritage International for sharing the great story related to "Kilroy was here!" and the way an art movement developed. Click here to view.
 

Some funny signs...

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