After the Workshop
Participants of the 2020 SDN Annual Workshop

Workshop Summary Report

The 2020 SDN workshop was very successful. The event took place from 17-22 January at the Don Bosco Retreat Centre Lysterfield, east of Melbourne. This was ideal – everyone accommodated on site, a large meeting room with good IT equipment, a well-equipped kitchen and spacious dining room, set in delightful pastoral surrounds of grazing paddocks, elegant gum trees and giant granite rocks.
There were fourteen participants - six women and eight men. Three were younger than 45, three in their 50s, four in their 60s, and four in their 70s or 80s. Seven had attended an SDN workshop before, but for seven this was their first experience. We came from Melbourne, Canberra, other NSW and South Australia, all wonderful and talented people, working in areas like restorative practice, climate change and sustainability, community development, and in Indigenous communities (one participant was an Aboriginal man from northern NSW).
We formed an instant ‘family of friends’, ready to share our thoughts and emotions, our perceptions and feelings, our hopes and fears in an atmosphere of trust and support. The range of topics covered in presentations, each one carefully prepared and delivered, was outstanding. Restorative practice in the ACT, the Uluru Statement, ageing, money and society, theories of change, feedback loops, story-telling, ‘Love, culpability and responsibility’, intimate relationships, imagining the future (2100), and a Truth Mandala.
As SDN grows there will be more workshops like this one.  Don’t miss the next!

Participant Reflections On the 2020 Workshop

  • Harry Creamer, SDN Co-ordinator: "The best participation incorporates both intellectual and emotional. So people were moved. I mean, yes, they were moved to tears at times by the depth of the discussions, of the sort of topics that we were covering".
  • Tom Livanos: "I've met various individuals, which is the other motivator to come to a place like this, because I felt it was very open to anyone who was interested in the wider world of modern society to come along and thrash out ideas. So that openness was a big appeal to me."
  • John Russell: "(Ned Iceton) and I started these workshops as a way of trying to promote social change and help people to participate in social change movements. We had the concept of looking at both the personal and the community (so these) workshops are different from most in that they attempt to cover both aspects."