Words by Kit
Recently, Transition Bondi had a social visit from two key members of the International Transition Town movement, Sophy Banks and Naresh Giangrande. Sophy was one of the founders of the Heart and Soul dimension, and Naresh heads up training in the Transition Network. They were visiting Australia for family reasons and wanted to, in their words, ‘hang out’ with some Transitioners’. My dinner table in Bondi hosted a lively international conversation! Lucy, Aisha, me (Kit) and Sandra were the hosts.
We spoke about Totnes, the source (and continuing centre) of the global TT movement. We heard about groups in Japan, the Philippines, Chile and other parts of South America and Europe – there are 39 hubs, who keep in touch with the central organisations.
We looked at our own TB from the outside, through the eyes of newcomers. How does our location – Bondi – give us a particular flavour? How does being part of a big city impact on our activities and our vision? What do other Transition Town groups do that we can learn from, or adopt?
It’s true that Bondi attracts overseas visitors, and they will not stay forever. We have had the great pleasure of welcoming into our Steering Group keen and skilled people who work with us while they can (say six months), bringing an international flavour. We also are always on the lookout for people who live long term in Bondi, to build a strong local community.
In a big city, a group such as ours is standing for something that goes against the grain for many urban dwellers…..lowering our impact on the environment as consumers, taking a long-term view of how our actions can bring positive change.
We heard from Sophy and Naresh about how other Transition groups have built in a mentoring layer for their workers, and may prioritise the ‘heart and soul’ work of nourishing their relationships by pulling back from Doing, and fostering some Being for a while.
We were reminded how important it is to revisit from time to time our Vision for the sort of world we are working towards; and to regularly pause to appreciate what we have achieved, and to acknowledge our connections with each other and our neighbourhoods.
And into the future, we were invited (again) to send some of our stories to the Transition Network’s website. Maybe parts of our monthly Postcard will enjoy a global audience from time to time. We will also be tapping into the international website for inspiration and a broader perspective on what we do. After all, we are part of a world-wide network, and can strengthen this connection through the www.
Kit Shepherd, volunteer co-ordinator, Transition Bondi