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Transition Town Margaret River


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Presentation – introducing Transition Margaret River

By Karen Majer

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Transition Margaret River is a grass-roots community group, part of the worldwide Transition Network.

It’s a community-led local approach to creating a more sustainable, resilient, happier society in the face of challenges in today’s world, especially climate change, economic uncertainty and unsustainable resource use.

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We formed in 2012, recognising the need for a group to tackle the issues of becoming a more sustainable community. Transition provided a good model of a positive local approach. At that stage there were several organisations focusing on specific issues.

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Over the years, more activities started up, and we took on a networking function, supporting other groups and providing the big-picture story.

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Celebrating ten years of Transition Margaret River

Greg, Jodie and Karen cutting the cake. Organic Garden 15 March 2022

2012

It all started in March 2012 when a group of people met at Felicity Haynes’ Tingrith Meeting House and Jodie Lane introduced us to Transition. The rest, as they say —. We hit the ground running, hosting a film screening of ‘In Transition 2’, with about 60 people taking part in the following discussion. Soon after, we ran an “Open Space”, breaking into groups to propose ideas in answer to the question “What are the opportunities for the Margaret River and Capes communities to become more cooperative and resilient in uncertain times?” This kick-started our first projects, some of which like Swap Shuffle Share are still going to this day. In December we hosted a regional gathering of 85 people from Transition groups and celebrated being recognised as WA’s first official Transition Town by the international Transition Network.

Up and running! We launched several working groups, held a planning meeting that included discussion of how we would work with local government, developed a Communication Plan and hosted several events including Plastic Free July, Open Edible Gardens, Climate Action Day and our very first Sustainability Shed at the Ag Show.

2013

Up and running! We launched several working groups, held a planning meeting that included discussion of how we would work with local government, developed a Communication Plan and hosted several events including Plastic Free July, Open Edible Gardens, Climate Action Day and our very first Sustainability Shed at the Ag Show.

2014

A partnership with Curtin University saw us launch regular Sustainability seminars, as well as monthly Swap Shuffle Share, films, meetings and a Sustainability Shed theme of Energy. A highlight was partnering with the Shire to host the “Energise Margaret River” community workshop – the genesis of Augusta Margaret River Clean Community Energy.

2015

A highlight of our event calendar was a seminar by Gardening Australia’s Josh Byrne on Sustainable Living – a great intro to our Show theme of ‘Bee the change you wish to see in the world’. The Transition community was building long-lasting friendships and our Christmas celebrations at Tingrith were to become a tradition.

2016

Each year a planning workshop guided our 12-month program and by this time we had settled on annual themes to link seminars and events for the year, supported for many years by Shire grants. Our theme that year was One Planet Living, leading into the specific topics of water, energy, food etc in subsequent years – ‘waste’ in 2017.

2017

What a year of celebrations! We were a finalist in the WA Regional Achievement and Community Awards, and Transition in partnership with the Shire won the KABC Environmental Sustainability Award. AMR Clean Community Energy (AMRCCE) launched. And we found our “soul place” in the Organic Garden – a turning point in building community.

2018

Activities abounded with a theme of Energy, a Fix-it-up Café, and our first Margaret River Peace Weekend in partnership with the Medical Association for Prevention of War. But it was a year of sadness, with the loss of our dear Cynda Miles and her family. Transition played a role in community recovery activities and vowed to carry on the Sustainability Shed – that she had renamed the “Love where you live” pavilion – in her honour.

2019

The Water Connection was a great theme and was celebrated at a community “Project Snapshot” in partnership with Giant Light Steps, as well as seminars and the Show. Several transition folk became deeply involved volunteers in Augusta Margaret River Climate Action, which partnered the Shire to mount the Climate Action Summit – Mitigation, eventually culminating in the ambitious Climate Action Plan. That was also the year we gave birth to Death and Dying Matters.

2020

The theme of LOCAL-IS-More, born as an action from the Climate Summit, saw us working in partnership with Shire and Margaret River Chamber of Commerce. A highlight was Live Local Month during which we hosted a local food seminar, Bush Tucker Workshop with the Undalup Association, Swap Shuffle Share with Fair Harvest and a Building Bridges Morning Tea with the Intercultural Group. Then along came COVID, and a small group established a Community Alliance through a desire to support community volunteers – still a work in progress.

2021

Though our events were limited by COVID, we met regularly in the Organic Garden and enjoyed our theme of Celebrating Country in partnership with the Tribute Tree and the Undalup Association, reflecting growing ties with our Wadandi friends. The theme offered a way to share reflections on our special place and to heal through connection with nature. We reflected on personal and community resilience, at a time when living more lightly on the earth and connecting and supporting each other has never been more vital.

2022

A celebration and time to reflect on ten years of friendship, sharing, awareness raising, action and partnerships across the community.

Photos Janny Lane