Registrations are now open for the
2009 Queensland Community Climate Summit!
Registration for Students of Sustainability 2009 is OPEN!
SoS09 is going to be held on Wurundjeri Land at Monash University’s Clayton Campus from July 6-10. The theme this year is “Doing It For Ourselves” and we’re looking forward to a jam-packed week as participants come from all around Australia and the world to share knowledge, experience and skills in the struggle for justice.
To find out more, and to do the actual registration, go to
For general inquiries, send emails to
For registration inquiries, send emails to
To submit workshop proposals, download a form from
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by Steve Skitmore
‘Twas a dusty dusk that saw a bunch of intrepid Brisbanites pile into four wheeled transport and head west, following the dying sun towards its setting in the Bunya Mountains. On the eve of ANZAC Day, QEAN had once again formed out of the ether, in this instance linking students from across South-East Queensland for a weekend of awesome skill-shares and inspiring discussions in the bush and mountains.
Saturday morning dawned raw and gusty and with the arrival of Ben and Karina from the Sunshine Coast we kicked off into the Theories of Change and Facilitation workshops, some of the core ASEN skill-shares which proved relevant and thought-provoking for both seasoned activists and those of us who had never done the workshops before.
Emily then facilitated an amazing games workshop around the ideas of Augusto Boal and the Theatre of the Oppressed, a fascinating experience in which cultural criticism and personal empowerment are enacted through play. Some of us are really interested in seeing a Theatre of the Oppressed happen back in Brisbane in the near future and I for one absolutely love the use of tactile action in sometimes very heady activist work.
The last workshop of the day was on Climate Justice, jointly developed by Ellie and Clare, a fantastic mix of theory, critique and role play which has plans to be repeated at World Environment Day on the Sunshine Coast.
It was a packed Saturday, and as the wind died down and the sun moved slowly below the trees on the ridge, the fire was built and our pledges for action on Climate Justice curled and smoked towards the heavens. Imogen’s hard work over the previous two days saw us feast on some delightful vegan food over the weekend, and that evening’s curry was well received by hungry stomachs, as was Paulie and Ko’s screening of bell hooks‘ series of discussion starters on popular culture.
After the busyness of Saturday, Sunday sauntered along; except for a flat tyre (cue Ben!) that proved a tad more difficult to fix than the normal bike tyre change. It was also Suzy’s birthday (yay!) and we shared a delicious chocolate cake in the national park. The rest of the day was a combination of acro-yoga, bushwalking and waterhole dips, a really cruisy way to spend a Sunday afternoon. =)
All in all, while it would have been brilliant to have more people from outside of Briz able to come along, it was a fantastic weekend, spent with some awesome people. Big love to you all!
north Qld outreach, March 09
In early March this year, I paid a visit to our dear environment collective friends in the humid, and recently drenched, North Queensland. I headed to Townsville and Cairns in the aftermath of both the Victorian bushfires and North Queensland floods, to find a handful of passionate change-agents. It really is all one needs to feel hopeful.
In a sweaty rush before I left Brissie, I gathered as many enviro/social-justice resources as I could. The impact of sharing leaflets, films, posters and nifty things like GMO-free guides can have a profound effect – connecting people to issues currently made invincible or de-politicised in their own towns or at their universities.
The JCU Townsville enviro collective is finding its feet again, as new activists or budding-activists link in. I met up with Lauren and Tom, who are keen to put energy into getting a handful of Townsville JCU folk to Students of Sustainability this year – hooray! I filled them in on state/national organising, ASEN Training Camp, climate camp, direct action on coal, and activist education. They gave me the scoop on T’ville enviro activist movement and the cultural barriers they face in taking direct action in a fairly conservative city. They acknowledged that national days of direct action grant them greater legitimacy with targets and the media, than isolated efforts which are easily marginalised.
Tom is studying visual media at JCU and has some rad skills to share with the network. He’s nominated to be on the ASEN germinate collective, which pulls together all aspects of ASEN’s annual publication on the latest social movement and student-activist happenings. This is an awesome example of supporting activism through people’s interests and skills.
Sarah, environment officer for JCU Cairns enviro collective, is developing an awesome relationship with the JCU Student Union, and getting some good support in return. They’ve collected a few thousand signatures for a petition to switch the Union refectory to 100% free-range eggs! A campus permaculture garden, and food co-operative are on the horizons. They’re hoping to get a few people to Student of Sustainability this year. It’s a small campus, but there collective is passionate.
I think the most important thing I learnt was the power of face-to-face communication – there’s really no substitute of parity. The movement is about people and the webs of inter-relationships we form and sustain. More so, in the past, QEAN hasn’t been so great at regional outreach – so let’s treat this as the start for a more concerted and sustained effort to support these folk in their activism, and where possible, link them into our networks and plans for revolution. Oops, did I say that? Ha!