Conference 2020: Connection, Creativity, Community: Finding Hope in a Climate of Crisis

May you live in interesting times. It wasn’t meant to be a blessing.

But interesting times is what we’ve got.

The planet was in crisis even before COVID-19 came along. Now we’re in an even bigger mess. The streets are empty, save for joggers and essential workers holding their breaths as they pass. Things that we thought impossible a month ago – borders closed; planes grounded; schools shut; mortgages and rents suspended; entire workforces working from home; entire industries collapsing; homeless people being welcomed into fancy hotels; and on and on – are now suddenly done. The budget surplus we yearned for is now revealed as an absurdity. The concept of ‘Monday’ is an absurdity! We’ve seen the worst of people (sometimes) and the best (often), and we still have a long way to go.

There is hope. It comes in the form of a vaccine, but also community. The arts goes online. Neighbours connect (and share loo roll). Families discover the delights of Skype and Zoom, somehow closer than they were before we retreated into iso. In the streets and online we witness countless acts of kindness. Teachers and nurses and childcare workers and shelf-stackers are revealed as the heroes they always were. We suddenly know – really know – what matters. Community sector workers have always known we’re all in this together; now we have the proof.

This conference was going to be about communities responding to a changing climate. Well, everything’s changed now. The conference was going to be in May. Now it’ll be in November. We hope. It was going to be face-to-face. We really hope it still will be. Everything’s uncertain, except the power of community. Come to Communities in Control 2020 and find out how to identify a path through the confusion. We can promise you it’ll be interesting. In a good way.

For more information visit the conference website.

We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people and other peoples of the Kulin nation as the traditional owners of the land on which our work in the community takes place. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

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