Two of us sang some guitar songs and one led a meditation session. Some of the comments from participants:
“Brilliant, stimulating, the informality is good, it’s a safe space for people to have an opinion”.
“This is my first experience of speaking intimately with Aboriginal people. I’m amazed at how complex Aboriginal society is”.
“It’s thought-provoking. I live alone so this is good. Could we include other groups like conservatives who may not agree with us?”
“I have so appreciated having Gary and Ray here”.
“Our views are part of us”.
Workshop Summary Report
Previous attempts to hold an SDN workshop on the mid north coast had failed – it was too hot and humid in summer on the coast, we couldn’t seem to get enough people interested, suitable venues were hard to find… Then, just as the Covid-19 crisis had eased enough for small groups to get together, we found a venue that would be suitable - The Falls Forest Retreat.
Seven people attended, plus the SDN Coordinator, a total of 8. Small but workable. The Falls has motel-style units with private rooms for sleeping, a large kitchen and a distinctive sunken meeting space reflecting the 1970s architecture. Outside, there are tables under a pergola and a short walk through sub-tropical rainforest to an impressive waterfall.
Some of the topics covered during our discussions:
- How do we live in a world in crisis? The ancient philosophers and their teaching on virtues.
- Neo-liberalism and the corona virus. Yuval Noah Harari TED talk.
- Jess Hill’s book – See What You Made Me Do – Power, Control and Domestic Abuse. Presentation and discussion.
- Psychopathic world leaders, wildlife trade and life story including migration from Holland and service in the Vietnam war.
- Life story, ex tempore. Gary is a veteran Aboriginal activist – freedom rides, tent embassy.
- Thunghutti language essentials – ‘Irri-urri-arri’.
This was the first SDN workshop held on the NSW mid north coast. It was a success, reflecting in many ways what an SDN workshop is about – a coming together of people to enjoy honest and open discussion of topics of interest and learn from others in an atmosphere of positive creativity, shared trust and support.