Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Water Campaigners from Victoria visit with us

Today two experienced social campaigners from the Victorian Women's Trust staff visited with Kim, Bernie and myself to discuss water campaigns. Liz and Wayne have both worked on the "Watermark Australia" program which was hosted by the VWT.

This groundbreaking project has an interesting history, growing out from an earlier project, known as the "Purple Sage Project".

  • "The Watermark Australia project opened up like never before, opportunities for women, as well as men, to become actively involved.
  • "The Purple Sage Project, carried out in Victoria between 1998-2000, showed how women in particular could drive a wide-ranging process of civic engagement at the grass roots level. The people who stepped forward to act as Group Leaders were mainly women. Their energy abounded. They were comfortable with the ethic of dialogue and collaboration. In many ways, the success of the project lay in the way it harnessed women’s capacity for local leadership.
  • "In much the same way, the issue of water use and management provides an enormous opportunity for women everywhere to support a similar and extensive public process of dialogue and action, and to make it work.
  • "A successful process of dialogue that triggers exploration of wide-ranging ideas, identifies solutions and supports their implementation, has the capacity to transcend the adversarial culture that often prevents us from moving forward on issues of national importance.
  • "Women’s active support of this sort of deliberative process may well be the circuit breaker that is needed."
Bernie, Kim and I, along with the RiversSOS group, have been working towards the establishment of a national water network. Today we shared many happy and productive hours with Liz and Wayne, swapping notes on our various discussions with other like-minded groups across the two States where we reside. We also considered where our two organisations have shared aims and objectives. Our aim for our group is to prepare to form a truly effective national network of water campaigners. So the advice of such experienced social campaigners as Liz and Wayne is invaluable. We hope ultimately to be able to work in closely with the Watermark Australia team, once our network is actually up and running.

I would comment that Liz and Wayne were very nice company to be with at Kim and Peter's farm today. Thanks to Kim for the hospitality (again), and for the fresh vegies (such as these stunning red and green lettuces) from Kim's vegetable patch!


Miss Eagle said...

Was Mary Crooks there?

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Miss Eagle

No. Unfortunately, she was unable to come, but Liz and Wayne will report back to her.
We discussed the fact that Mary had been been at a meeting with your Green Faith mob.