The Work That Reconnects in Western Australia (WTR WA)
The call from the WTR Weavers for Regional Gatherings came at a great time. Two of us were co-convening an Active Hope group, others of us were well established WTR Facilitators and others were long standing activists with connections to Joanna and the WTR going back many years. The legacy of Joanna’s many visits to Western Australia continues.
The Weavers enabled us to connect, not only with each other here in the West, but also with those in other states. Together on our Australia-wide Zoom calls we decided to go ahead with a Gathering for the ‘west village’ and another for the ‘east village’. Those of you familiar with our geography and the vastness of our country know this hardly conforms to the idea of ‘bio-regions’ but it made logistical sense to us.
My intention here is not to give you a detailed overview of our initial ‘west village’ gathering, but rather to reflect on the chain of events that have occurred and are propelling us forward in exciting ways.
Our gathering was held on Sunday 22nd September in the morning followed by our participation in the UN International Day of Peace celebration being held that afternoon. We were seven of us on the day, and using the spiral we began exploring the work and building our connections with each other. In a bold move, and encouraged by the Extinction Rebellion person in our midst, at the end of the gathering we committed to holding an immersion workshop in November.
The UN Peace Fair culminated in Jo Vallentine, long time peace activist with strong links to the work of Joanna Macy, leading hundreds of people in the Elm Dance. It was a fitting finale to our WTR Gathering and the Peace Fair. We remembered the people of Novozybkov, honoured the important tradition of the dance in Joanna’s work and the ongoing connection of our own elder Jo Vallentine with the people of Novozybkov. (photos used with permission)
The immersion, held in November was organised by a team of five, and was a first for our facilitation team of three. While it was a bit of a scramble organising it so quickly we did it, taking another step in coming together as a group. We quickly decided on a name (WTR WA) and set up a Facebook page, at The Work That Reconnects WA, to facilitate registration. Offering the immersion was enormously satisfying for us and enthusiastically received.
As I write this in February 2020 a number of initiatives are unfolding. The core group, now six have begun meeting to progress the WTR in WA. We’ve begun organising immersion workshops in the City (Perth) and in Margaret River, a country town in our ‘south west’. Once we have run several more immersions we hope to run a Council of All Beings as a next step for participants.
We’re also holding a visioning day on February 22, where we’ll do some blue sky thinking about what WTR WA could be and do, and how we best organise ourselves to enable the work going forward.
While we in West Australia are somewhat geographically cushioned from the devastation of the catastrophic bushfires this summer, we are living this moment as a country. The WTR is urgently needed and we’re inspired to enable, deliver and grow this work. For any West Australians reading this on the WTR website, please make contact with us – either through one of the listed facilitators on the website or by contacting [email protected].
Finally, we are enormously grateful to Joanna Macy and the Weavers, to the movement we are connected to, and the enormous body of work available to assist us in doing the work.
Jennifer de Vries (on behalf of WTR WA)