Workshops / Panels

Please see Program for Dates and Times


“A Just World”

Facilitated by Dr Joan Staples

Join panelists Joanne McCarthy, John Watts, David Belcher, Alison Rahill, Naomi Hogan, Leanne Howard and David Morris for a lively and interesting discussion.

“Walking Together – A First People’s Heart”

Join panelists Ken Eveleigh, Michael Manikas, Pedda Cody, Leanne Howard, Glenn Jonas, Skye Apthorpe

“The Echo of Young Voices”

Facilitated by Millie Rooney

Join panelists Stacey Mitchell, Maddie Rose Braddon, Ray Jacobs, Manjot Kaur, Anita Jackson, William Bowden, Will Lai and others.

“Active Hope”

Facilitated by Ann Porcino and convention facilitators

An inspiring and uplifting session for all participants!


Telling the good news stories of the energy transition

Community Power Agency (Nicky Ison and Dr Jarra Hicks), Energise Gloucester (David Marston) and Enova (Svea Pitman)

At this workshop, you will hear stories of the transition to clean energy that is being led by communities across Australia. It’s happening right now and it’s exciting! Through this workshop you will gain skills, information and confidence to be an ambassador of this good news story, to help inspire more people to hope and action.
The workshop is led by the Community Power Agency, a not for profit organisation that supports communities to participate in and benefit from renewable energy. They are joined by members of Energise Gloucester (Gloucester’s own community energy powerhouse) and Enova (Australia’s first community-owned energy retailer).

The Symbiocene: A Vision for the Future

Dr Glenn A. Albrecht PhD

The Anthropocene, or period of human dominance over nature must give way to the Symbiocene or period of human re-integration with nature. Australia produced a radical thinker who published the following thought in 1946, “The courageous decision to build civilization into a symbiosis with a revitalised world, possessing stable, healthy soil, clear streams, unburnt forests and dust-free air, with people working on the land, close to reality, would bring new balance and new life.”

That thinker was Elyne Mitchell, famous as the author of the Silver Brumby series of horse books for children, less so for her prescient book, ‘Soil and Civilisation’ (1946). I propose a number of Symbiocene principles, based on symbiotic science, that will bring Mitchell’s vision into reality, all of them consistent with Australia ReMADE and especially part 2, a natural world for now and the future. – READ MORE

Building an Economy that Works for People and Planet

Dr Amanda Cahill

What would an economy that works for both people and the natural world look like? What are communities around the world doing to make sure that the benefits and costs of economic activities are shared fairly while still regenerating the environment on which we all depend? What can you do to start to build an economy that is good for everyone – now and in the future? We will explore these questions and more, with the aim of generating a list of practical actions participants can take away and apply in their own communities. – READ MORE

Rescuing our Democracy

Dr Joan Staples

During the early 20th century, Australia led the world in democratic reforms – the secret ballot, votes for women.  But now, Australia is slipping down Transparency International’s Corruption list, and sits at 13th place.  Civil society wants to stop this corruption slide.  Over 40 Australian NGOs across all sectors are coming together to defend our faltering democracy.  After working successfully during 2018, the group, Hands Off Our Charities, is reforming to take action.

What do you think should be the first steps to bring about A Thriving Democracy?  – READ MORE

Why we need to anchor Australian democracy in an ‘ethic of care’ 

Sandy Killick

Imagine if the prerequisites for a thriving democracy are the same as caring relationships? If the central focus of our democracy is how we treat each other? If democracy is a skill, how do we develop the skills needed to build communities in which ethical citizens actively care for the most vulnerable? How do we communicate these expectations widely and consistently? How can psychologist Carol Gilligan’s ‘ethic of care’ research shift the democracy paradigm? – READ MORE

Transformation NOW: Ideas into action

Millie Rooney and Ann Porcino

So much excitement! So many interesting ideas! So many challenges in the world! And so many different places to put ones energy to create an Australia that puts people and planet first.
Join Ann Porcino and Millie Rooney for an interactive workshop as they pull together the various themes of the convention and help you to work out ‘what next?

The Mouse that Roared – Gloucester on the world climate stage!

Julie Lyford and David Morris

Why is the Gloucester and NSW Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) success story on climate litigation now popping up in media outlets around the world? How did we, a small rural town in the beautiful Gloucester and Manning Catchment areas, work with so many incredible groups and people to protect our land, water and future? Come and join us for a speed-dating history of the Gloucester community’s fight against coal mines and coal seam gas fields!
We are being called ‘The mouse that roared” – behind every roar is the strategy, support and guidance every community needs for success. With the incredible lawyers from NSW EDO, our communities can stand up and fight in the courts – and win! Take heart, things are changing.

Community Owned Renewable Energy – Big or Small?

Svea Pitman and David Marston

Big or small Community Energy is taking the power back for communities all over Australia – come and find out what size fits your community.  Join David Marston, Chair of Energise Gloucester and Svea Pitman from Enova Community Energy to discuss Community Owned Renewable Energy models, innovative projects such as Solar Gardens and Micro Grids, and how to undertake a large scale solar development application.

Find out about the history and projects of Enova, Australia’s first community owned renewable energy company, a social enterprise re-shaping community energy in the evolving electricity market in Australia.

Business Women Blooming

Sam Green, Sharon France, Clair Deen, Natalie Simshauser, Michalie Fry

A New Dawn for Women is emerging right now!

Connect with the pick of the bunch, five diverse women who value business beyond dollars. We will be collectively building on our knowledge, nurturing networks, tackling the thorny issues and brainstorming how to grow connected communities.

Climate Justice in Frontline Communities

Naomi Hogan

People who have contributed the least to causing dangerous climate change are the ones already bearing the worst brunt of the impacts. First Nations people, disadvantaged people, women and children are one the frontline of impacts around Australia and the world. And it’s going to get worse.

Water shortages, loss of homelands, heat related deaths and forced migration – this is serious. What can we do about it? How can we be better allies to fight for Climate Justice?

In this workshop, learn more about what Climate Justice means, hear examples of how climate change impacts us differently, and start to make a plan for a fairer future. – READ MORE

The Lighthouse Permaculture Farm – Choosing Positivism

William Lai and Aaron Rowe

What is it that gives us the energy to create change? What are the practices we need to take to implement change in our own lives? William and Aaron will take you through the practices and philosophy that have helped to create the change in their own lives and the community they have helped to create for themselves and others. Understand your own place in the world we are all creating. Everyday we are faced with a fundamental choice about how we approach life. – READ MORE

Developing and Celebrating Cultural Diversity in our Communities

Kevin Costa and Lara Hoye

Education and understanding are the keys to accepting, embracing and celebrating the cultural diversity which we have in modern Australia. We will explore what this looks like and how communities can go about developing this. We will also look at how we can break down barriers in traditionally conservative communities, with many personal anecdotes and examples of how this has been achieved. – READ MORE

Ending Slavery will make the best version of ourselves even better

Alison Rahill

The scale of modern slavery is staggering.
There are more slaves now than at any time in history.
An estimated 40.3 million people are in slavery worldwide. About 70% are women and girls. 52% live in 15,000 of the estimated total live in slavery or slave-like conditions in Australia.
Victims of modern slavery are forced to work for little or no pay while someone else takes control of their money. They are held against their will by deception or under threat of violence to themselves or to their families and friends. – READ MORE

Importance of place making on mental health

Michael Mannikas and Leanne Howard

Michael and Leanne will discuss the importance of having a sense of belonging to place making and the importance of preservation of historical places and gathering places.A vital and powerful connection to

Country is of major importance for First Nations Peoples and ties into mental health issues including suicide from the effect of being displaced from land.

Rural communities in a time of change

Hedda Askland

As the international political elites debate how to deal with the contemporary challenges of climate change, food security and migration, these debates are localised realities of rural populations across the globe. Within these local places, battles of land continue to mark individual’s daily life and through the movement of people—both to and from rural places—inequality and isolation, power and privilege, conflict and creativity emerge. As part of this workshop, the notion of rural localities as spaces for collaboration and cohesion, conflict and contest will be explored.

Climate change is a public health issue. Exploring  a diet that is healthy for people and planet

Dr Virginia Reid and Dr Michael Schien

Climate change is a  public health issue impacting health already in several important ways. What can be done? Virginia and Michael will present some of  the scientific data on climate change and its impacts on human health in brief! 

Where to go for resources to back up this statement and find out more. Learning a bit more about EAT, its resources and how we can apply the concept of a planetary diet that is good for all,  to our local environment.

Cooperatives: what they are, why they are powerful and how to set one up

Dr Jarra Hicks, Ann Apps and Dr Sidsel Grimstad

Have you heard about cooperatives but don’t really know what the fuss is about? This workshop will take you through what a cooperative is, why they are different and what makes them a powerful option for organising our economy. It will give you some inspiring examples of cooperatives helping communities achieve great things. It will also take you through the first steps of forming a cooperative and provide you with tips and resources.

This workshop is hosted by three people who live and breathe cooperatives. –READ MORE

The Fire and The Practice

– a workshop to connect head, heart and hands, through story.
Annie Kia

We’re at a threshold now, with climate breakdown and other big worrying threats all around. What’s our story? Retreat? Action? Distraction? Despair? How do we re-write our story, and connect our heart, our head and our hands? This experiential workshop is for anyone who feels deep disquiet at our situation, and is willing to explore, together, our collective story.

The Science of Sound Healing

Arlene Stapleton

Arlene will share with you her wonderful musical talents and healing through sound with her beautiful harp and singing voice. This workshop will demonstrate how we can enhance the quality of life through passively hearing and feeling vibration.  Coupled with a pure, sustained human voice being focused to the body, it is an experience of healing and inner peace.

This fascinating and empowering knowledge, along with discussion about the amazing “Messages from water” book by Dr. Emoto, will inform participants about the incredible effects of sound, music and emotions on water. Our bodies are mostly composed of water!  Experience a new appreciation for the therapeutic and uplifting power of music through the soothing sounds of the harp. – READ MORE

Farming in a Changing Climate

Jim McDonald

Experts are easy to find – they’re called locals.
The workshop will be built around the knowledge that Farmers for Climate Action has, and activities that Farmers for Climate Action are doing. Our climate is already highly variable, but climate change is leading to shifts beyond this natural variability. The impacts of higher temperatures, fewer frost days, changing rainfall patterns, hotter and more frequent hot days and harsher fire weather pose direct risks to all agriculturally based regions. These risks include changing pests and diseases, heat stress on plants and livestock, reduced water security, disruption to supply chains and the erosion of natural and social capital.

Creating the best version of yourself with mindfulness

Sharn Rocco

Change begins with, and within, you and mindfulness can help. Mindfulness is simple but not easy. This workshop will introduce you to the practice and practical benefits of mindfulness. You will leave with simple strategies for reducing stress and emotional reactivity and nurturing calm, clarity and compassion in daily life. Mindfulness can help you notice, accept and change what no longer serves you well. This workshop will support your efforts to become the best version of yourself.

Simple Sustainability for Young Families and Educator

(How To Do Sustainability With Kids!!)

Rachelle Worth

• You will uncover a simple SUSTAINABILITY definition and then discover practical ideas on HOW TO bring that definition to life for a young child and how to ENGAGE with these simple fun activities (brief PowerPoint presentation, Games and Activities)
• You can then actively participate in “sensory Nature Play exploration and creative activities” that you can use with your child straight away
• You may now be more confident in understanding how to address SUSTAINABILITY for your YOUNG CHILD and will leave TAKING AWAY a list of great resources and ideas to use at home or outdoors – READ MORE

PHOENIX – She rises!

Ilze Jaunberzins

Crushed by the NSW NLP Government, Tweed Valley Women’s Service (TVWS), a 30 year, award winning specialist Family & Domestic Violence service (F&DVS) ceased to exist in December 2015. In NSW, forty other such specialised FDVS suffered the same fate under this government policy. 

Shocked and alarmed, the community of Murwillumbah rallied and secured 10,000 signatures from all corners of NSW for the closure of TVWS to be debated in NSW Parliament. Fifteen minutes of passionate debate lead to no change in the Government’s position. Confused and deflated, the community regrouped and decided to rebuild a wholistic F &DVS based on a social enterprise model, thereby securing its own source of continual funding. Here is our story. – READ MORE

Being Human in a Changing Climate

Jacquie Svenson, Jai Allison and Kath Teagle

Do you grieve for a safe climate? Do you ache for a future we can all be hopeful about? If you want to explore the emotional realities of what it means to be human in a changing climate then this workshop is you. You’ll get a chance to embrace your own story, as part of the universal heroine’s journey. Together, we’ll find ways of becoming creative. To understand ourselves and use our emotions as practical tools in nourishing action. We hope to leave this workshop having connected and able to share what we’ve learnt.

More to come!
Check regularly for more Presenters and Workshops