Cobargo Community Catch-ups
In the aftermath of the fires, how can we best work together for our wellbeing & the future of Cobargo?
In the month after the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires ravaged the small Far South Coast NSW community of Cobargo, long-term local and Campfire Co-op member Dave Newell and partner Debra Summer, knew that something needed to happen to bring the community together. Their combined decades of experience in hosting people in participatory and healing ways, were now turned on their own lives and community.
In the midst of their own trauma, exhaustion and depleted resources, they called people together, with the support of fellow Art of Hosting practitioners Liane Munro and Sunny Goddard and with Campfire mates at their back, supporting with invitation and harvest.
The first Cobargo Catch up was hastily organised and invited for the 10 February - more than 100 people turned up. From a population of close to 800 people, this was big. The calling question was: In the aftermath of the fires, how can we best work together for our wellbeing and the future of Cobargo?
People sat in small groups to talk with each other about what they were noticing in the community, what they felt the needs were now, and what they could offer. People changing groups between rounds so they could meet and get to know other people in the community.
In the subsequent three Catch-ups, people worked in Open Space to identify and develop projects and ideas for the community. Smaller and changing groups of people continued to meet until Covid restrictions came into force in March.
Many of those project ideas identified at that first event have taken off, and the Community Catch-ups Covid-style, have become updates from project holders, live streamed through Facebook. As of the end of 2020, 12 months on from the fires, they are still happening every three weeks.
In the words of ...
Participants as they checked out of the first Catch-up:
Encouraged, lighter, open, curious, connected, love, willingness, grateful, better, inspired, included, belonging