Reflections on Deep Listening

Our 2019 Deep Listening Festival, on the theme of “Finding a Place to Call Home”, was inspirational. We’re finding that we are being changed by this experience in ways which deepen our compassion and faith.

Homelessness, multicultural difficulties of settling in a new country and Margaret River and our inner home were explored through sharing stories, experiences, art and music. The dynamic presentations and conversations, complimented by the interactive art and music, created a community of people who were surprised at new learnings and heartfelt connections.

Why ‘deep listening’?
Sometimes we only half hear, or find someone else’s point of view difficult, or perhaps we just don’t have time to let their story unfold. We don’t quite know where it’s going and occasionally where we think it was going is absolutely not where a conversation ends up!

Ultimately we hoped that the community would think about the myriad of aspects of “Finding a Place to Call Home” in a way that they may not have thought about before.

This Deep Listening Festival gave us the opportunity for change in what we think is valuable, and our capabilities to respond to issues which can be painful and leave people on the edge of the community. When we can do this there is a change in culture and community hopefully for the common good.

A BIG thanks to our amazing team of volunteers who helped make Deep Listening possible this year, and to our wonderful contributors and participants. Plans are already underway for 2020, with a slight name change to ‘Deep Listening Forum’ and a growing list of ideas for another meaningful community event.  Follow our Facebook page for news and updates throughout the year – https://www.facebook.com/deeplisteningmruc/

Thanks to Kay Dowling for contributing to this reflection.

Please enjoy looking through some photos from our wonderful weekend! Big thanks to Clare Smith for capturing these moments!

 

Deep Listening – Engage, Connect and Listen

Deep Listening Festival Margaret River – 6 & 7 April 2018

The inaugural Deep Listening Festival invites you to step outside your normal busy schedule to engage, connect and listen. Through an impressive collection of speakers, presenter and artists you will hear wonderful stories to inspire and enrich. Listen to positive stories of overcoming adversity, be inspired by art and hear from the artists, and find ways to broaden your understanding of the community around you.

The festival, hosted by the Margaret River Uniting Church, arose from the congregation’s desire to engage with the wider community, and to share stories of resilience through music, storytelling and art. The inspiration for the weekend came from a similar festival run in rural Victoria called ‘Sacred Edge’.

We are excited to have the delightful ABC ‘gardening guru’ Sabrina Hahn as one of our guest presenters. Sabrina Hahn is a whole lot of hort with heart – master gardener, storyteller of note, qualified horticulturalist with a passion for the creation of sustainable environments that bring life back into cities and rural areas. Sabrina will share some of her story about her connection with nature, and how that has helped her to heal from traumas of her childhood.
It will also feature Scott Darlow from the Yorta Yorta region along the Murray River in Victoria. Scott is a highly respected musician and storyteller who presents sought after workshops for youth. His mission is to unite cultures through his love of music, promoting forgiveness, love, understanding, tolerance and empathy.
The impressive festival lineup will also feature local’s from Undalup Association, Bella Burgemeister with Bella’s Challenge; Ian Hackett from Tig-Le House and Sean Allen from Beyond Blue. We are lucky enough to have Dr Robert Hoskin talk about his relationship with north west Mowanjum community and Lisa Moriarty an international Master Labyrinth Maker.
An exciting part of the Festival will be the opening night where new art commissioned especially for the festival will be on display, featuring local artists Aidan Lee Smith, Laurie Posa, Rebecca Cool, Karin Luciano, Joanna Alferink and Cynamon Aeria. At the Friday sundowner you will be able to get a first glimpse at the artwork, meet some of the artists and hear some of their inspiration for the commissioned work.
We would love to see people from the Margaret River community and beyond join us at Deep Listening. Registration options include full day and half day options. The program is available on our website.
To register or for more information visit https://events.ticketbooth.com.au/event/deep-listening-festival or follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/deeplisteningmruc

Art Exhibition DL

‘SacredEdge’ Festival Margaret River 2018

Sabrina Hahn at “SacredEdge” Festival Margaret River – 6 – 7 April 2018

The SacredEdge Margaret River organising team are pleased to announce we have secured two main presenters for our April 2018 event:

Scott Darlow – aboriginal singer/songwriter from Melbourne will be with us for the weekend. He will share his experience through story and song.

Sabrina Hahn – of ABC radio fame, will also join us on the Saturday and speak of how her connection with the land through gardening has brought healing in her life as she suffered domestic violence as a child.

We are beginning conversations with local indigenous people to explore how they would like to be involved. We are also in the process of securing more fantastic people to share their story and lead workshops, including Greg Miller

The goal of the festival is to take time to listen and engage with people from the edges of society. The ‘edge’ refers to those people who are marginalised because of issues that are not often openly acknowledged and spoken about. This will be achieved through story-telling, art, music and spirituality. In 2018, our focus areas will be ‘Families on the edge’ (mental health, homelessness and family violence) and ‘Land on the edge’ (environment, indigenous people and sustainability). Our hope is that the participants will hear stories of overcoming adversity in a positive way and will gain awareness, be inspired, develop understanding and assist to build inclusive community.

Throughout the weekend we hope to cater for both adults and young people, attracting people from both the church and our wider Margaret River community. Included in the program will be an art exhibition featuring local artists, times to eat together, panel discussions, workshops, community building practices and presentations. All of these will be done within a sacred space where all are valued and included, with the overarching aim of demonstrating positive community.

We look forward to sharing more updates about this exciting new event over the coming months!