4. Relationships and connection

In Episode 4 of the Social Permaculture Online Bootcamp, Ben Habib draws on the concept of permaculture “zones,” and specifically how they might be interpreted in a social permaculture context, to inventory our networks of interpersonal relationships. Ben also introduces a social permaculture patterning tool, inspired by the zoning concept, of levels of political organisation of increasing scale from the individual to the global.

Read Article →

3. Subsistence needs and gift economies

In Episode 3 of the Social Permaculture Online Bootcamp, Ben Habib explores reclaiming more control over our subsistence through gift economies and the commons, as a compliment to food production. This video’s activity prompts participants to create a basic “gift circle” as an easily replicable model of community-level exchange to obtain some of the things we need, outside of money economy. The objective is not just to obtain more of what we need through networks of mutual aid, but also to lay the foundation of sharing and reciprocity needed for larger-scale alternative economic systems for the post-COVID19 recovery and post-carbon transition.

Read Article →

The Carbon Pricing Debate — A Battle for Australia’s Soul

BY BEN HABIB. In the past fortnight, Australian political discourse has been dominated by the debate over the pricing of carbon. The Prime Minister’s announcement of a draft carbon pricing policy with the Greens and the independent members has sparked off a vicious volley of hyperbole from those who would object to carbon pricing. The electorate has vacillated somewhere between cautious and hostile on the policy announcement. The ALP has not helped its cause with four years in government characterised by inaction, hot air and spin. We sit now poised at the beginning of a debate over a great systemic reform that will shape our nation for years to come. In many ways, this debate is a battle for Australia’s soul.

Read Article →

Making Climate Action Happen—Part I, The Plague of Manufactured Consciousness

BY BEN HABIB. Climate change is an existential threat to human civilisation, a threat which we ourselves are contributing to as individuals and as members of various social collectives. The damage we are doing is a product of destructive behaviours that are underpinned by ideas and assumptions that are not our own, which originate as the propaganda of our economic systems.

Read Article →

Interview with Bruce Pennay — The Role of the Border Region in Our National Story

On this podcast, Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga is privileged to talk local history with Professor Bruce Pennay OAM. Bruce Pennay is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at Charles Sturt University, Thurgoona Campus. In a fascinating discussion, Bruce takes us back in time to examine some key periods of local history with great significance to the story of Australia: the gold rush, federation, and the post-World War II migrant influx—in which we touch on the border region’s rich migrant history, antagonistic water politics dating back to the 19th century, and much more.

Read Article →

Healthy Mind, Healthy Community, Healthy World — Interview with Marie Jackson

One of the enjoyable aspects of administering Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga has been the opportunity it has given me to interview all kinds of interesting people from across the local community. One of those interesting people is today’s guest, Marie Jackson. Marie is a local legend, best known through her role as a much-loved DRU Yoga instructor in Wodonga. She has been nominated for Australian of the Year for her community work and has a wealth of wisdom to share on many matters spiritual, emotional and practical. We cover a lot of terrain in this discussion, but it is a fascinating journey…

Read Article →

Federal Election 2010: Candidates Forum for the Electorate of Farrer

Podcast interviews with each of the candidates for the seat of Farrer in the 2010 federal election: Sussan Ley (Lib), Christian Emmery (ALP). The candidates were asked a set of similar questions on local issues, the state of political debate in Australia, climate change, the economy, and border security. This framework provides a basis to directly compare the positions and policy proposals of each candidate and the party they represent.

Read Article →