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!

 

Finding a Place to call Home – Deep Listening 2019

The Deep Listening Festival returns this April with a new theme and line-up of speakers. The Festival aims to explore what it means to live in a community of acceptance and understanding through music, story-telling, art and the opportunity to hear from inspiring speakers and share stories.

The festival, which runs from Friday April 5 to Saturday April 6 offers an impressive collection of speakers, presenters and artists who will highlight the theme ‘Finding a place to call home’, particularly around the areas of homelessness and multiculturalism.

The Festival will feature an art exhibition on Friday evening from local ARTISTS Ian Dowling, Jenny Sanderson, Elaine Clocherty and Christopher Williamson, as well as live music by female vocal group the Charis Ensemble.

The program will have a series of WORKSHOPS such as ‘Building Bridges Across Cultures’, R U House Ready? And ‘The Inner Home’. It will also feature the ‘Cuppa With…’ sessions, which are approachable and informal chats with the presenters. ‘Building a Nest’ will be a community art project taking place throughout the festival, led by Cathie Lambert.

Festival Committee Member Mary Elton said the Church wants the festival to be an inspiring and inclusive activity.

“It’s a chance for people to 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,” she said.

This year’s SPEAKERS:

Esther Amito Onek – Esther was a South Sudanese refugee before moving permanently to Australia in 2003. Esther earned a Bachelor or Social Work at Curtin University and got her first job with Women’s Health and Family Services as a Multicultural Women’s Domestic Violence Advocate.

Suresh Rajan – One of WA’s leading speakers and advocates on all things multicultural. Suresh was CEO of the Epilepsy Association of WA and President of the National Ethnic Disability Alliance. He is the Chair of West Australians for Racial Equality and Secretary of the Ethnic Communities Council of WA.

Naydeene Edwards – Naydeene is a proud and culturally aware woman from the ancestral line of the Ngoonooru Wadjari people in Yamatji country Midwest WA. Her extensive experience in the public housing sector, specifically as an Aboriginal Support Officer enabled her to identify the gaps and barriers which the most vulnerable experienced when stuck in the revolving door of homelessness. This inspired her to start her own business ‘R U House Ready’ to inspire, educate, inform and empower people on the pathway from homeless to home ownership.

Sean Hsu – Originally from Taiwan, Sean first came to Margaret River in 2012. After a stint of work elsewhere, Sean decided Margaret River was where he wanted to call home. Sean started a business with a local person, Chinafriendly, with the aim of building bridges between the two countries. Sean faced the disappointment of being offered sponsorship to stay in Australia, only for that company to close down. Fortunately another opportunity arose and Sean now works at Voyager Estate, where he can use his Chinese speaking and cultural skills.

Meire de Mello – Who is originally from Brazil, before moving to Margaret River worked as a Cultural Support Worker, helping young people from Afghanistan, Vietnam and South Sudan find their way in a new culture. Meire worked for public libraries for almost 3 years and created the first ongoing Multicultural Story-time program presented at the Victoria State Library/Melbourne in 2017. Meire was appointed and volunteered as Multicultural Ambassador for the City of Ballarat between 2014-2016.

Craig Mathieson – Craig grew up in Bunbury and has a string of acting and performing credits to his name, including the SBS TV series ‘Circuit’ and the Australian Opera Company. Craig has experienced difficulties with secure housing, along with his physical, emotional and mental health. This is a story he will share with those in attendance at the festival. He is presently Deputy Chairperson of Just Home Margaret River,where he is currently focusing on developing his creative talent and looks forward to finding secure decent housing that offers himself and his child more consistency and security.

Cathie Lambert – Cathie runs her own business Deep Water Dwelling, which is based around spiritual direction. She provides individual spiritual direction and runs retreats and workshops for groups. Cathie specialises in mandala workshops, which was the topic for her spiritual direction project and released a book in early 2018 through Mediacom, titled ‘A Mandala a Month Workbook’.

Michael Kiernan – Has extensive commercial and corporate background experience with previous positions as chairman and managing director roles in Australian and UK publicly listed companies. From a comfortable lifestyle, following an unfortunate financial occurrence with the ATO he became bankrupt with nothing left but his experiences. He regrouped and embarked on a life of helping homeless people and formed the Saint Benedict’s Homeless Foundation to help address the rough sleepers’ issue in our community of which there are some 2,500 in Western Australia with just under half being women.

More on the speakers here: https://margaretriveruniting.com/deep-listening-festival/speakers/

The 2019 Deep Listening Festival will take place on Friday 5th April and Saturday 6th April at the Margaret River Uniting Church. Prices to attend range from $18 -$85. For more information visit: https://margaretriveruniting.com/deep-listening-festival/

TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS TO THIS UNIQUE EVENT GO TO OUR TRYBOOKING PAGE

Deep Listening logo

Creative Mindfulness Workshops

Workshops for calmness, centering and peace – 14 & 15 September 2018

The Margaret River community has experienced loss, stress and trauma in recent times. These workshops are designed by Margaret River Uniting Church, Wildart Weaving and Tig-Le House to acknowledge that in a creative, mindful and respectful way.

CM Flyer

DOWNLOAD FLYER HERE – Creative Mindfulness Flyer

There will be two sessions available (see full program details below):Creative Mindfulness logo

Friday 14 September – 10 – 3pm

Saturday 15 September –  10 – 3pm

 

Tickets are $30 per session and can be purchased from our Trybooking page – www.trybooking.com/XRPU

Who can attend?
These workshops are for adults only and are not suitable for children to attend.  No previous art experience necessary.
What will we be creating?
In the Friday workshop, we will use the technique of Random Weaving to create big sculptural orbs that will be made from locally found natural materials, recycled materials and paper. This will then be followed by a Clay Sculpture workshop on Saturday morning, where participants will create small symbolic hanging sculptures from seeded clay.

On Saturday afternoon, we will finish off our pieces and then assemble our hanging artworks. The clay items will then be hung or placed in each of the woven orbs to create 5-8 big hanging pieces that will be part of a community artwork installation. We then finish with a ‘hanging the art’ ceremony, feedback and a plan for the artworks.

Throughout the workshops, participants will be guided to practice mindfulness as they create their artworks. They will initially work on pieces for the community artwork, but will also be given opportunity to create their own individual pieces, which they can take home. The workshops can be attended separately, however we encourage people to attend both sessions where possible. Given availability, Friday workshop participants may be able to attend the Saturday afternoon session (for a donation), to finish off their art pieces and attend the ceremony.

Full Program:

CM Workshop Program

 

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