Today's episode takes a bit of a different format.
Usually I have long-form, intimate conversations with people, often in their home. And I like that. Something I really love about this podcast medium is its long-form, grassroots, intimate nature… which for me is completely different to our 24hr media & social media clickbait society.
But today’s episode was a live interview. Yes this is the first conversation in a 5-part series of live workshops, as part of Renew Fest and Resilient Byron's 'Resilience & Regeneration Roadshow'.
This is where community forums are being held in 5 different villages in the Byron Shire, bring locals together to talk about and workshop what resilience could and should look like, and to build community networks and plans
It’s really exciting to be part these workshops and let me just say, these are not just fluffy conversations where people go home feeling warm and fuzzy. These are serious, in-depth, big thinking forums and I have been blown by away by the interaction and effort that participants have been putting in.
All of these forums booked out very quickly and people are getting stuck in to these issues, which just speaks to our collective awareness and desire for connecting our communities.
So like I said this is a new format… and given that this is the first in a 5-part live recorded series, I’m actually going to start by sharing the live introduction from the day.
The forum is MC’d by Jean Renouf, who is a former international aid worker who has worked in developing countries all over the world, including in disaster relief and war torn environments. He is now a lecturer in the areas of climate change and community security at Southern Cross University, and he is the co-founder and chair of Resilient Byron; a not-for-profit that builds capacity and social infrastructure in the Byron Shire Region.
Jean starts by introducing the purpose of the workshop, and gives a flavour of Resilient Byron. He then introduces me as the interviewer for the speaker who was supposed to be local Arakwal custodian, Delta Kay. Unfortunately Delta got caught up in last minute in Victorian coronavirus restrictions and couldn’t be with us, which is actually quite symbolic given the purpose of the whole forum was to discuss resilience and adapting to change.
But what it meant was that Jean stepped in as the main speaker for this one… and his stories are incredible, particularly his work in disaster areas. Not only do they put our ‘first world problems’ into a bit of perspective, but they also have so many learnings and parallels that we can draw and compare to what we are going though collectively right now, especially following droughts, bushfires, pandemic, and economic uncertainty.
For the four future live workshops with different speakers, which I’ll release fortnightly in-between my normal, long form episodes, I’ll jump straight into the interviews, but I really hope this introduction from Jean helps paint the picture of the importance of community assembly like this, and makes you feel, at least somewhat, like you were a participant.
With that, I hope you enjoy the very first Resilience and Regeneration Roadshow, live from Byron Bay, and my conversation with Dr Jean Renouf