Transition Newcastle AGM

We had a good Transition Newcastle AGM on Tuesday with 20 people showing up.

After three years of being the primary movers of Transition Newcastle, Will and Maureen wanted to step back a bit. This means we need a strong committee to fulfill the mutiple roles they have played over the year. I agreed to be convenor, which is a bit scary, but hopefully we can continue the great work started by Will and Maureen. And of course they are still going to be actively involved.

I really appreciate all the work they have put into the group and their welcoming nature. They have big shoes to fill.

It was good to reflect a bit on the past 12 months as we have been involved in a variety of activites including an Earth Hour celebration in Braye Park, bringing a song story to Newcastle (the Gift of the Furies), creating a Memorial to Oil for a Waste as Art exhibition, holding ideas cafes and open spaces, being involved in the Sustainable House Day, and organising a variety of stalls and other events. There are three sub groups which have grown out of Transition Newcastle: Nourishing Newcastle, a Sensible Transport Working Group, and a newly established Heart and Soul group.

Will gave a couple of good talks: a convenor report and some thoughts as the ex-convenor about where we could head next. These will soon be on the Transition Newcastle Webpage. We finished the night with a few videos from the net (I’ll add some links to them later).

We could have done with a bit more planning, preparation and contingency planning as a couple of parts of the evening didn’t go smoothly.A series of things combined to make it difficult. Will has been interviewed by the Newcastle Herald for a story this Saturday and the photographer came about 10 minutes before the meeting to take some photos. This meant that when we should have been setting up, we were having our photos taken.

We had trouble using the sound system in our meeting place, my computer is playing up (I’m on an old one at the moment) and this meant we couldn’t play some of the videos Will had downloaded, the toggle I had for the internet had just run out of credit that morning (so I had to recharge it in order to play some of the videos directly from the net) and we didn’t have some of the papers we had wanted for the meeting (e.g., I forgot to bring spare copies of the minutes from last years AGM). It didn’t matter too much, as we had planned it as an informal evening and things went OK, but it would have been nice if it had been a bit smoother sailing.

So what does the future hold for Transition Newcastle? Will encouraged us to

Build and champion our vision of a clean, healthy, non-nuclear, safe, more connected, more equitable, relocalised, sensible active and public transport, low-carbon future.”

I hope that this can be a bit of a focus for us over the coming year. Newcastle City Council has just adopted their community strategic plan and (as I discussed before), if it as acted on strongly, it could make a signficant difference (although they have a long way to go before they catch up to Lake Macquarie). I hope that Transition Newcastle will play an important role in helping to make the straegic plan a reality.

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, environmentalist, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace, sustainability.
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