Recently Naresh Giangrande, Transition Network Training Co-ordinator, and Sophy Banks, formerly of TN, had an opportunity to visit Bondi Transition Initiative. Below is a blog from Transition Bondi about the evening, and following, a lovely exchange of emails between Sophy and some of the team. We thought it was a rather nice expression of the sentiment and feeling that was captured so quickly through sharing Transition:
From Transition Bondi:
Recently, Transition Bondi had a social visit from two key members of the International Transition Town movement, Sophy Banks and Naresh Giangrande. Sophy was one of the founders of the Heart and Soul dimension, and Naresh heads up training in the Transition Network. They were visiting Australia for family reasons and wanted to, in their words, ‘hang out’ with some Transitioners’. My dinner table in Bondi hosted a lively international conversation! Lucy, Aisha, me (Kit) and Sandra were the hosts.
We spoke about Totnes, the source (and continuing centre) of the global TT movement. We heard about groups in Japan, the Philippines, Chile and other parts of South America and Europe – there are 39 hubs, who keep in touch with the central organisations.
We looked at our own TB from the outside, through the eyes of newcomers. How does our location – Bondi – give us a particular flavour? How does being part of a big city impact on our activities and our vision? What do other Transition Town groups do that we can learn from, or adopt?
It’s true that Bondi attracts overseas visitors, and they will not stay forever. We have had the great pleasure of welcoming into our Steering Group keen and skilled people who work with us while they can (say six months), bringing an international flavour. We also are always on the lookout for people who live long term in Bondi, to build a strong local community.
In a big city, a group such as ours is standing for something that goes against the grain for many urban dwellers…..lowering our impact on the environment as consumers, taking a long-term view of how our actions can bring positive change.
We heard from Sophy and Naresh about how other Transition groups have built in a mentoring layer for their workers, and may prioritise the ‘heart and soul’ work of nourishing their relationships by pulling back from Doing, and fostering some Being for a while.
We were reminded how important it is to revisit from time to time our Vision for the sort of world we are working towards; and to regularly pause to appreciate what we have achieved, and to acknowledge our connections with each other and our neighbourhoods.
And into the future, we were invited (again) to send some of our stories to the Transition Network’s website. Maybe parts of our monthly Postcard will enjoy a global audience from time to time. We will also be tapping into the international website for inspiration and a broader perspective on what we do. After all, we are part of a world-wide network, and can strengthen this connection through the www.
Kit Shepherd, volunteer co-ordinator, Transition Bondi
Postcard from Transition Bondi Beach, Australia
I just want to say a huge thank you for our meal on Monday – it was a great pleasure to meet you, Sandra, Aisha, and Lucy – we both felt inspired and heart warmed afterwards (and sad not to meet others who couldn’t make it that evening).
I felt again the privilege of the position that Naresh and I have held – having the opportunity to meet such wonderful, loving and effective people from many places in the world, joined by our passion for this curious animal that is Transition. I hope we left you with some of the feeling of connection and warmth that kept me going with such energy for the 10 years I spent in the movement.
I had a sense of how lucky Transition Bondi is to have you in their team – as well as the excellent weave of skills, ages, personalities and interests that you have helped bring together. I encourage you to share any of your stories – including the ones that are harder to see – how you hold space in a way that allows everyone to feel valued, how you make a rhythm of action and reflection in your meetings, how you appreciate what each person brings, how you include qualities of listening and presence, and how you welcome new people into the group – all things that are vital to the health and momentum of groups, and which can be harder to find in much of the writing about Transition.
I thought after I left that I should have mentioned that there used to be an international Inner Transition group that mainly met through skype. You could contact Claire Milne, my successor, and see if that international group still meets (we used to have calls every 4 months, sometimes spanning from Japan to the US, and even Australia once or twice).
With love, gratitude and deep respect!
Dear Sophy and Naresh,
It was very special for me – and I think for the others too – to meet you and to have a global conversation in person, about the Transition Towns movement!
I was worried that a small group would not provide enough ballast, but in fact the size was perfect, allowing everyone to be properly on the map.
I’m writing a little article for our monthly Postcard blog, about the evening. ( http://transitionbondi.org/2017/04/10/sophy-banks-and-naresh-giangrande-came-for-dinner-at-bondi/)
Hearing news from your past involvements, and your travels around the world was nourishing and tantalising, and brings home to me the value in a global and personal conversation for such a network. It is easy to become sunk in our own round of organising and projects.
Thank you Sophy for your email with support and encouragement; yes, I’d like to follow up all the connections you mentioned
I hope your stay in Australia has been all that you hoped.
Thank you so much for your prodigious work and influence over the years, and for making contact with us here in Bondi.
All the best to you both, and I hope we’ll stay in touch.
PS – check out Sandra’s inspiring vision of making Bondi Beach Australia’s 1st sustainable seafood destination.How? Happy Fish makes it ridiculously easy for seafood sellers and consumers to know what seafood‘s sustainable and where to get it. (http://happyfish.org.au/)