It’s been a big and adventurous trip this year for us in Transition Bondi! The Steering Group has had their shoulders to the wheel for our regular monthly programs, now finished: the Inner Transition, the Farmers Markets stalls, the Film/Talk & Feast’s and the Garden Working Bees; with a number of weekend workshops as well.
We like to have monthly themes set in advance (relating to the international environmental calendars, for dates like Permaculture Day, Oceans Day etc) but often there are exciting films or speakers who appear without warning and who are too good to miss.
The year began on a high, with the visit of Nicole Lamarche, an elder from Avignon France who specialises in costume-making, textiles and natural dyes. She ran workshops and inspired us to be more observant and experimental with local plants, for colour.
At the Film/Talk & Feast events, at Margaret Whitlam Recreation Centre, our speakers have delighted us with their various passions and perspectives: native bees (Amelie Vanderstock) edible weeds (Diego Bonetto), climate change responses (Lance Lieber, AJ Linke, Dominic Wykanak, Michael Mobbs), and two symposiums led by Victoria Phillips and Ben Zion Weiss: A New Story for Humanity and Drawdown, and finally YARN Australia, bringing aboriginal and non-aboriginal people together.
Mixing with locals on a Saturday morning once a month, at our stalls at the Farmers Market has given us the opportunity to teach people bike-fixing skills, to listen and share stories about gardening, waste and climate change, and to give away seeds from our seed library, and seedlings (‘Adopt a Plant ‘). Children have been a delight, with their curiosity and eagerness to tell.
Our community garden – including the community composting program – has gone from strength to strength, under the guidance of our garden champion. We have a full watering roster over the hot holiday period ahead, which is a great achievement. Last month had our eyes opened with a tour of the Cooper Park Community Garden.
Inner Transition (a unique mode of the Transition Town network) has provided a chance to taste the reflective and contemplative practices of non-violent communication, listening partnerships, co-counseling and dialogue circles. As well, we’ve begun an Indigenous cultural awareness series.
Workshops covering native bee-hive splitting, making rugs from rags, baking sourdough bread, and organic pest-management have brought pleasure to a number of people.
Other highlights were our Plastic Free July display at a Trivia Night at Bronte RSL, a tour of Michael Mobbs’ Sustainable House in Chippendale, and joining a nation-wide hook-up with Transition Australia for a Convergence of Transition Groups, in September.
Many people have joined us, some locals, some travelers and recently university students have come our way to volunteer in the programs, and also on our planning and organising committee, which meets twice a month.
Time now for a rest to digest, a pause to plan for the year ahead. We look forward to seeing old friends in 2020, meeting new ones, and welcoming those who find us in their own journeys toward creating a better world.
Kit Shepherd, Convenor, Transition Bondi