On Friday 12 May Knitting Nannas from around NSW gathered for a day of listening and plotting. Over eighty Nannas and friends attended the morning session where first up we were welcomed to Gadigal land by Aunty Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor. Aunty wished us a healthy and safe stay and also encouraged us in our Nanna activism.
Nannas Judi, Jally and Janet told us stories from our history in the decade since the first Nanna loop formed in Lismore. Then it was time to all sing for the climate, against fossil fuels and for renewables.
Our keynote speaker was Professor Lesley Hughes, a climate scientist from the Climate Council. What a shakeup that was! Climate scientists now believe that the globe has already warmed to 1.5⁰C. Stopping it at or before 2⁰ is now the critical objective. The good news is it can still be done, but we need to get moving now.
This was disturbing as the big climate news of the day was that the federal Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek, had just given the green light to the first new coal mine since Labor took office a year ago. This is not listening to the very clear message of climate scientists that governments cannot approve any more fossil fuel mines if we are to protect the climate.
Nannas will keep sending Professor Hughes’ facts about the climate emergency out to our networks in the months ahead.
New Nanna, Bernie Hobbs, was the MC and she was glad the occasion provided her with an opportunity to wear a bright yellow leather jacket for the first time after purchasing it years ago while on holiday. Most Nannas could relate to that!
The lucky door prize was drawn by Nannas Dom and Helen who were in court this week for the Constitutional Challenge. There were many items to choose from, including a climate scarf knitted by Nanna Cherry. This raised over $500 for the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO).
After lunch Nanna Eury gave a presentation on boosting our social media work, with a focus on using Twitter to get our messages out and supporting other posters we agree with.
The Nannas split up for discussions in breakout groups on coal, gas, koalas and logging, waste and incinerators. Short reports were given and written reports about each topic will be circulated and posted on this website as will forthcoming actions.
Nannas attending the conference were from the Illawarra, Hunter, Lismore, Central Coast, Mid Coast, Gloucester, Milton-Ulladulah, Manly and Sydney.
The mini-conference was held at the Temple on the Park in Newtown. Lunch catering was provided by Parliament on King a social enterprise in Newtown providing work for refugee and asylum seeker chefs and feeding the homeless and those in need for free.
Knitting Nannas come from different backgrounds and have lots of different skills. We aim to use our time and skills to make the public and politicians more aware of the urgency of reducing emissions and protecting nature. To do this we need to be up to date and communicate accurate information that’s easily understood.
Sydney Nannas are very pleased to have new Nannas joining us lately – they have stepped up and taken on Nanna roles with respect, humour and kindness.
So, if you’re thinking the time has come to join a group and be more active you’re welcome to check us out. We find that one of the best antidotes for climate anxiety is to be part of collective activism.