It's like a big family dinner

Updated: Jun 4, 2018

We meet face-to-face and a whole lot happens—that’s peer-to-peer learning!


On the basis of our Bellarine Forum, it’s clear we are on an important trajectory with LVI’s Forums. Put 40 or 50 highly motivated people together, in a lovely part of Victoria, hosted by the people from that region, and well, amazing things happen. It’s like cooking with gas, as they used to say in my parents’ generation!


Susi Johnson dropped me a note to say she really enjoyed the Forum. I told her that at times, I felt like I was at a very large family dinner, wondering why had I ever offered to facilitate this bunch!


We did all the things we talked about in our sessions on peer-to-peer learning:

  • We walked the shoreline of Swan Bay and visited a beautifully managed farm, hearing what's been done and why, and seeing the results.

  • We had great barnstorming sessions of talking and thinking in the main room (which I want to discuss in a later post). We listened to each other. We shared what we were doing, and the things that are difficult and that trouble us.

  • We sat down for breakfast and lunch and kept nattering.

  • We made new connections, and caught up with old friends.

  • We went out to dinner, and heard from an amazing woman hell-bent on putting indigenous plants into our cooking and indigenous knowledge where it can respected and used.

  • We kick-started the LVI Members Council.

We had a good time, and we need places like this, that hum with warmth and inventiveness. LVI's Forums are a place to recharge and reset direction, where we can absorb what others are doing, and think collectively. This is important for Landcare, but it’s important too for the wider NRM system, because Landcare often leads the way in setting up and insisting on collaboration between equals. That takes strength, stamina, but also inventiveness.


Our passion we know about, but there’s our inventiveness as well, which our sessions on Saturday and Sunday morning opened up. That gene line of inventiveness stretches back into country life—being able to mend a fence, being able to make do.[1]


Jury rigged, creaking under the strain, staying on good terms with each other, the crazy Landcare caravan wound its way along. And it was like a big family gathering, with much to talk about, and lots of love!


Ross Colliver, Organiser for LVI’s CLEA Project




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