TTG Meeting & Newsletter August 2015

Transition The GrovePO Box 471

Ferny Hills DC  QLD  4055


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Dear {usertag:name},


The Planting - WoodfordPhoto of Anne, John, Joan, Chris at The Planting - Woodford taken by Caroline (Transition The Gap)

1. Coming Events

Transition The Grove August Community Gathering - at Chris & Joan Wright's

81 Bernarra St, The Gap (corner Cedarhurst St). Phone: 3300 4145 or 0409 278 439

Sunday 16th August 2015, 5:30pm - 8:00pm.

Please bring a plate for a shared pot-luck meal as usual.

Back to basics revisiting our roots! What is Transition Towns movement about? What are the precepts of the Transition movement?

There'll be a showing of a Transition Towns DVD with discussion.

Chris will go through some of the latest Transition Network Newsletters from the UK and bring highlights of where they are heading for discussion too.

Also a debrief on the Sustainability Day.

Chris will also give a tour of his sustainable energy/battery storage in his home (semi-off-grid! - very experimental!).

Hillbrook Sustainability Day - Transition Towns & BrisLETS stall

10am-3pm Saturday 15 August 2015 at Hillbrook Anglican School, Hurdicotte St, Enoggera.  Transition The Grove has had a stall at the last two Sustainability Days, and will be there again this year. We plan to share a stall with BrisLETS and make the theme for this year 'Community Exchange'

How you can participate:

  • Come along and enjoy the day
  • Volunteer on the roster to be present on the Transition The Grove stall for one hour (committed) during the 10am-3pm period. This will involve being friendly and chatting with people who come by about what we do in Transition Towns. Inviting them to participate in a small activity (probably sitting down to do a survey and giving them a cuppa). Helping people who are interested in joining.

2. Report of July Community Meeting at Carolyn Turton's on Sport, Dance and Recreation Locally

At the meeting on 19th July, Carolyn opened the evening's activity by asking us to join in a few stretch and balance exercises. Many Ambulance call-outs and hospital stays are the result of falls.

It is important that as we age we aim to improve and maintain our Strength, Balance, Flexibility and Endurance (which is fitness). Physical activities get our bodies moving and include things such as walking to the shop or gardening while exercise is an organised activity. eg. Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates, Dancing, Gym or Fitness Classes. The important thing is to do things you enjoy and try to increase the level of activity over time.

Carolyn is one of the Volunteer Tutors for 'Strong People Stay Young' which is run by the Pine Rivers U3A at the Fishing Club in Everton Hills. she enjoys the classes and says that some of the benefits of this group are the friendships made and the social and emotional support.

Next we shared our personal stories of the activies we do in order to stay active.

3. Resilience Award 2015 - winners

We had some excellent applications for the Resilience Award 2015 focusing on sustainable local sport and recreation and how it builds resilience in individuals and our community. The winners shared the $1000 annual prize.

The winners were:

Wahminda Grove Bushcare Northside Fitness Strong People Stay Young
Wahminda Grove Bushcare Northside Fitness Strong People Stay Young

 Click here for more details about the awards.

The winning entry was Wahminda Grove Bushcare Group who undertake bushland restoration work on the riparian corridor of a section of Kedron brook in the Ferny Grove/Ferny Hills area. For the past 14 years they've got their exercise working to transform the site from degraded weed-infested bush to an enhanced environment delightful for all as a recreation area. While getting physical exercise in a peaceful outdoor setting, they interacti socially and have made friends. They get a sense of community pride, achievement and satisfaction from what they do, as well as enjoyment and fun. They feel it has built their character and stengthened mental resolve when dealing with challenges and setbacks caused by extreme weather events and vandals. The area is well-used by the community for cycling, walking and picnicing. They share an educational role with the Joey Scouts and ACU students. The bushland they care for provides noise and dust pollution reduction values for the community. They have developed sound principles for working with and retaining volunteer workers. The contact people are Lyn and Ann Ellerman (3351 1805).

Northside Fitness, founded by Nick Ellson (0434 990 572) took out 2nd prize. They have been operating in the Hills District for almost 7 years as mobile personal trainers and group fitness small business. They now offer 11 weekly classes with 3 regular instructors to a pretty loyal group of members. Nick spends a lot of time in very personal follow-up before/after classes ensuring clients stay on track in their fitness goals. He does a lot of research on fitness and wellness, and publishes an excellent professionally-produced newsletter each month covering nutrition, hydration, relaxation/breathing techniques and other wellness techniques. He also puts on a number of special events each year such as Christmas Annual Awards, a Winter Gathering, regular Fermenting Workshops open to the wider community. The classes take place in the hall under All Saints Anglican Church in Ferny Hills. Classes are open to all ages from 16 and over and typically attract people from their 20s to late 50s.

Strong People Stay Young took out 3rd prize. Our member Carolyn Turton (3351 5569) is one of the tutors for this U3A (University of the Third Age) group that operates out of the Ferny Hills Fishing Club and has 4 very popular classes each week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The classes use strength thraining, weight-resistant exercise programs to improve balance, posture, bone density and fitness within a supportive social group. It includes stretches and an aerobic segment. It can help prevent bone fractures from osteoporosis, halt bone loss, energize, improve flexibility, and even keep dementia symptoms at bay. All this helps improve the health of the 50+ age group, and they become more able to cope with the ageing process and be active members of the community.

4. Member reports from meetings/seminars/workshops attended

  • The Environmental Defenders Office of QLD put on a forum  on Climate Change Litigation with 3 speakers:
    • EDO QLD Principal Solicitor Sean Ryan
    • EDO NSW Sue Higgins
    • Marjan Minnesma - Urgenda - successful litigation in Holland against the Dutch Government for not doing enough to mitigate against climate change.

The Courts play a major role because witnesses appearing before them swear to tell the truth and risk gaol if they lie. What comes out is quite different from what is told in the media or to Parliament (because it is not illegal to tell lies to the public or Parliament). For example, one courtcase against a mining company elicited an 80% reduction in the jobs and economic benefits they claimed the mine would bring!

The Dutch case is now being mimicked in other countries and could be here. She urges us to read the conclusions of the court case (they've been translated). for those of you who have any grasp of legal talk, the case was fought under tort law addressing the State's serious duty of care to take measures to look after its citizens.

She says the secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on creating the new. Urgenda also wants to stay small and move quickly and completely independently (sounds like TTG!)

Marjan is inspirational, to say the least. She asks: Is it possible (technically? financially:) and what will it give us? She is the author of the book Revolution Justified: why only the law can save us now

  • Future Infrastructure Think Tank: Who pays? Who at the helm is doing any planning?  In the July newsletter we mentioned that member Wally Wight spoke about Peak Oil at the Community Infrastructure Forum at QUT on 24 June. We helped organise a follow-up meeting on 31 July for those who had registered an interest in maintaining the momentum.

    The meeting recognised a key issue that current planning policies fail to address threats arising from climate change and environmental degradation. A major obstacle is establishing how reponsibility for the costs is to be apportioned: Individuals, developers, communities, governments, insurance?

    It was agreed that, between meetings, we whould put our thoughts on web forum and prioritize it so that for the next meeting we can focus on an agreed aspect.

    The group adopted the name of "Future Infrastructure Think Tank" and explored prospect for collaboration to influence policy, legislation, planning approval processes to prevent wasting of core assets and irreplaceable resources.

5. Tips for living sustainably locally to increase resilience

  • Fitness: Here's a quick exercise routine that uses our own fitness level as the measure of how hard to push it. Source: Graeme Sait.  Eight bursts of life
    • This strategy can be used on a treadmill, exercise bike, out on a run/walk or in the gym, and it involves a series of 8 bursts of energy over a 20 minute session.
    • Warm up for 2 minutes
    • Exercise until you are breathless for 30 seconds (to the point you can't continue)  - very high intensity or VO2 max
    • Allow 90 seconds for recovery
    • Repeat the intense exercise, followed by recovery, a further 7 times
    • 2 minutes of cool down time.
  • Energy use cuts: Have a look at John Dee's Do something website at
  • Water: We are now in a 'monster' El Nino. El Ninos are associated with droughts. Remember the last one, when Brisbane's water supply straight-lined down over 4 years to 16%. We came so close to running out of water. Some other big cities are facing this right now too. At present our dams here are close to full (97%), but NOW is the time to start strengthening our water-conservation behaviour. Brisbane might face another drought in this El Nino that uses up our water supply alarmingly.
  • Heart stuff - caring for each other: Ask yourself these questions and talk about them with friends
    • When have you received help from someone that saved you and enabled you to go forward?
    • Do the people who have been most valuable in mentoring or helping you in your life know the contribution they have made?
    • When have you been able to help someone?
    • What help could you use now?
    • What help/skills could you offer now?
    • How kind and compassionate are you?
    • When have you been treated kindly and compassionately?
  • Soil: A recipe for soil for orchids: By volume - 300 parts tip mulch, 50 parts sharp sand, 12 parts fresh chook poo, 1 part blood & bone, 1 part complete garden fertiliser strong in phosphoric acid.  Which ingredients can you source locally ('made' locally)? Where can you source the ingredients for soil locally?

6. Transition Network Newsletter for July 2015 - from the UK

7. News of global megatrends

  • 'Monster' El Nino

Adding to the concerns is that this year's El Nino is gearing up to be what some scientists are calling a "super" El Nino, or a "monster" one.

That's making a record-hot year seem almost inevitable, and a sobering new report about the Earth's temperature shows it's right on track to do just that.

The latest monthly tally from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows the average global temperature in June reached  16.33 C., breaking the old record set last year by 0.12 degrees C. That makes the first six months of 2015 the hottest on record, according to the U.S. scientific agency.
NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden says, in addition to the dwindling snow pack, "glaciers are melting, sea ice is melting, sea levels reached record highs last year, the ocean heat was record high last year, sea surface temperatures were record highs last year, so you put it all together and there's a definite trend." It's a trend Blunden expects to continue into 2015 and beyond as long as, she says, greenhouse gas levels continue to rise year after year.

8. From the Management Committee

  • Fund-raising is going well. Our main fund-raising avenue is website construction, and it is keeping the organisation afloat and independent without need to be applying for grants, and it gives us enough funds to be able to fund the Resilience Award annually.
  • Very happy with the way the monthly Community Meetings are working with a lot of good friendship and social networking happening in our homes along with real learning about resilience themes. It is working well the way members are all taking a share of active roles, and participating regularly.
  • Let's remember to start meetings with a short section sharing what is happening in each of our lives. It would be good if we can share things we're doing in the resilience theme too.
  • Transition The Grove Inc has put in an application under the Community Groups and Not-For-Profits category for the Resilient Australia Award (this is statewide, then Australia-wide).  Thanks to Alison Bird for discovering this Award. We came across it a bit late to put in a well-prepared application, but have thrown our hat in the ring, and should make a more serious application next year.
  • September Community Meeting Topic:  Emergency Response and Survival Strategies for a Peak Oil Event.  20th September 2015. Australia only has about 3-days oil supply in country! We are now entirely dependent on oil refined in Singapore. We have turmoil (chaos) in the oil regions of the Middle East, and China is huffing and puffing in the South China Sea. It would only take one fuel tanker to not deliver for supply shortages to develop here!  Q. How fast would you respond? How can you prepare? What would you do? Let by Association for Peak Oil and Gas QLD Chapter President Wally Wight. Tell your friends about this upcoming meeting now.


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