Fair Share Festival

The Fair Share Festival (9-11 March at Hamilton Public School in Newcastle) is now less than four weeks away! It is looking great, but there is still a lot to do!

There are a few events that particularly interest me. (The full program – which is still evolving a bit – is here.)  On the Friday evening there is a forum being organised by One Just WorldClosing the Poverty Gap: Creating a Fair Share for All. It will be a Q&A (from ABC TV) type forum and the panel will include:

  1. Cheryl Kernot (Chair of the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand, Former Member of Parliament and Director of Social Business at the Centre for Social Impact)
  2. Doris Puiahi (Program Manager, Tugeda Tude fo Tumoro Project, Solomon Islands)
  3. Daniel Ben-Ami (Finance and economic journalist, and author of “Ferraris for All”)
  4. Donnie Maclurcan Founder and Ideas Guy at Project Australia and Co-founder of the Post Growth Institute.

We had quite a bit of discussion about who to have on the panel. Daniel Ben-Ami is pro-growth (hence his book “Ferraris for All”) which is quite different to most of us involved in Transition Newcastle and the Festival organising committee. We thought, however, that it was important to have a range of view points, and the panel also includes Donnie Maclurcan who is a co-founder of the Post Growth Institute.  It should be an interesting evening.

We also have some interesting speakers including:

  1. Fox Rogers (Project Director Partnerships and Engagement – Sunshine Coast Council) who is speaking about how the Sunshine Coast is aiming to be Australia’s most sustainable region. They have been doing some interesting work and I first came across them through their Peak Oil and Energy Transition plans.
  2. Dave Kerin (Project Worker – Eureka’s Future) who is helping to establish a solar hot water cooperative to manufacture solar hot water units and creating jobs in regional Australia. The three pillars of the project are job creation, sustainability and workers rights. At the heart of the project is the creative use of Enterprise Bargaining Agreements to negotiate solar hot water systems as part of a wage agreement between unions and employers.
  3. Penny Davies (Community Development Officer – Carrathool Shire Council) who is part of a whole of community project which rescues produce rejected by the major super market chains as ‘out of specification’ (too big, too small, has blemishes), none of which effects the quality of the produce. Historically, this food goes to land fill, ploughed back into the ground or used as cattle feed, it is now being used to provide food for those in need in NSW and the ACT.
  4. A number of people involved in Transition Initiatives will also be talking about their work.

There are also a variety of workshop including:

  1. Community Gardens
  2. Frugal living: learning to live with less  facilitated by Tricia Hogbin who is behind the blog Little Eco Footprints
  3. Chapter 14: Permaculture beyond the garden led by Kate Beveridge and Mark Brown from Purple Pear Organics
  4. Asset based community development taken by either by me or Dee Brooks from the Family Action Centre
  5. School Gardens with Leonie Shanahan the author of “Eat your garden: Organic gardening for home and school
  6. Blogs, Tumblr’s  and communicating with confidence – social equity and self expression for young people in an online environment presented by the Loft Youth Arts and Cultural Centre. (I should attend this one!)
  7. Building a 12v sound system with pedal power presented by Magnificent Revolution, in which participants will learn how to build a sound system running on DC electricity powered by a bicycle!

Over the weekend a small group of 18-25 year olds will take part in Slum Survivor where they will build their own slum housing and participate in challenges that simulate different aspects of slum life.

There will also be music, entertainment, food, stalls and a community art project.

Please help pass on details if you can!

About Graeme Stuart

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