An invitation to OUR PLACE – COUNTRY TOWN LIVING 2025 Forum

November 30, 2009

Christmas time in Australia is often celebrated with friends and relatives catching up and sharing time and experiences. Country towns have a particularly strong tradition in this.

Often the discussion is about the future. What will our country towns be like? What factors will provide opportunities or force changes? Can we forecast these, and be better prepared to plan and progress “our place”?

Bingara and District VISION 20/20 and Gwydir Shire Council are co-hosting a Forum on February 24 & 25, 2010, to consider just what Our Place – Country Town Living will be like, in the year 2025, just fifteen years away.

The Forum is open to all interested persons across the New England / North West Region and beyond, and an excellent group of presenters have been invited to set the scene.

The first is Dr Peter Ellyard; futurist, strategist and a leading international conference speaker.  He is the former Executive Director for the Australian Commission for the Future.

He has been a Senior Adviser to the United Nations system for more than 30 years including to the 1992 Earth Summit where he was a senior advisor on both the climate change and the biodiversity conventions. In this he was the only Australian and one of only 20 globally.

Dr Ellyard is the author of the best-selling book Ideas for the New Millennium (1998, 2001) and Designing 2050: Pathways to Sustainable Prosperity on Spaceship Earth (2008). He is an enlightening, challenging, thought-provoking and inspirational speaker.

Our second presenter is Dr Maarten Stapper; a man with some fascinating ideas on how to manage our land better.  As an advocate for biological farming, Dr Stapper has paid a high price for promoting a greener, cleaner way to grow food. Originally a CSIRO scientist, he left when it became clear his views on biological farming were incompatible with his employer.

Today, he travels the country to educate farmers on how to use less chemicals in their soil and on their crops. He will address the future of country communities based on how he views the future of agriculture.

Third presenter is John Mongard who heads a dynamic team of “designers of living spaces”.  He actively pursues a practice which moves across many fields and disciplines to create new forms for living and gathering.

Leading his practice, John strives for creative “placemaking” between community, ecology and design and he insists on engaging local people through a community orientated process.

As well as our three keynote speakers, the Our Place Forum, has invited a number of experienced people to speak on specific successes and trends that are both leading the way forward, and scoring goals for country towns.

For more information about this exciting Forum contact Vision 20/20 Secretary, Rick Hutton on 0428 255 380

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