Communities in Control 2020 is a two-day virtual community conference, streamed live from Melbourne, Australia.
May you live in interesting times. It wasn’t meant to be a blessing.
But interesting times is what we’ve got.
The planet was in crisis even before COVID-19 came along. Now we’re in an even bigger mess. The streets are empty, save for joggers and essential workers holding their breath as they pass. Things that we thought impossible a month ago – borders closed; workplaces shut; planes grounded; school online; mortgages and rents suspended; entire industries collapsing; homeless people being welcomed into fancy hotels; and on and on – are now suddenly done. The budget surplus we yearned for is now revealed as an absurdity. For those of us still in lockdown, the concept of ‘Monday’ is an absurdity! We’ve seen the worst of people (sometimes) and the best (often), and we still have a long way to go.
There is hope. It comes in the form of a vaccine, but also community. The arts goes online. Neighbours connect (and share loo roll). Families discover Skype and Zoom (not the same, but not too bad, considering). In the streets and online we witness countless acts of kindness. Teachers and nurses and childcare workers and social workers and shelf-stackers and those who knock on doors to ask "are you OK?" are revealed as the heroes they always were. We suddenly know – really know – what matters.
As the pandemic grinds on, everything feels uncertain. Except the power of community.
This is not a time for despair. If we’re going to get through this intact, we need community workers to be laser focused on the task ahead. You’re needed. You’re valued. You deserve to carve these two days out of your diary to connect with your peers, celebrate your successes, and draw strength for what lies ahead.
Log on to Communities in Control 2020 and find out how to identify a path through the confusion. We can promise you it’ll be interesting. In a good way.
Take control, generate debate, raise awareness, ensure people have a voice, let people know that alternatives are possible. Take your pick from a range of tools that are easy to use and that will help you learn about why advocacy is important.
Commissioner, 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal CommissionView biography
Head of School at the School of Public Health and Social Work, QUTView biography
Journalist, editor, and passionate advocate for gender equality and mental healthView biography
Program Director, Budget Policy and Institutional Reform, Grattan InstituteView biography
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