Conversations with a super star
They say there’s two things will make you come take action – love or fear. Gab does everything through love.
We talked about the importance of play and how that connects us with nature and community.
“I’m motivated to make a difference - to be an active member of our community, and make our wider community a better place to be.”
“It’s great to be able to put a project idea to the group, and once it’s decided then everyone is there to support you to make your dreams come true. Everyone takes on a job and we feel empowered. As a collective we’ve made a huge difference."
“I like that we take on such a range of projects, from picking up rubbish with a group of friends; to stopping things going in to landfill through the Repair Café.
Sustainability means different things to different people, and we encompass a huge scope that goes right across everything, including economic and mental health.”
Gab is the driving force behind the successful series of Nature Play Adventures, run by the Warners Bay Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group.
“Our Nature Play Adventures have included building cubbies, jumping in puddles, using real tools, fire play, indigenous connection with storytelling and more. It’s a holistic approach to wellness, incorporating physical play, curiosity, and mindfulness. We have multiple generations there and involve everybody.”
“It’s really important to be connected to our natural environment. We are nature, and we need to be within nature on a regular basis. If you empower children and families to find connection with their natural environment, they can learn that appreciation and love for nature. Once you instill that, they will always care for the environment around them. It’s proven. They will come back.”
“We all need to play every day. It’s the best way that children and adults learn, and it’s the basis of our joy. Play brings us to our memories and really grounds us. Having playful experiences in our local bushland brings a greater depth of connection to our community and to the Country we are on.”
“I love that we can make our experiences affordable for everyone, and that it’s driven by volunteers, not profit.
I’ve been looking for years to be able to run these activities with children, and Sustainable Neighbourhoods is the ideal vehicle to make it happen. Our group was really happy to embrace it once they understood the benefits of being in nature and connecting different generations together with it.”
“The children still talk about their nature play experiences. It’s lovely when families stop you and say ‘It was wonderful! When is the next one?’.”
“People come up to me and say ‘You have no idea what that day did for my family!’. That family goes back there now on a regular basis to play. They say they could spend all day there, and the kids have had such a wonderful experience.”
“I have been a sole trader for 20 plus years, so Sustainable Neighbourhoods has given me a sense of belonging.
Working with this group has challenged me to grow personally, and given me a new sense of belonging and connection. That connection is most valuable.
Even if we had no projects, we still connect via Facebook, email and our friendly ‘coffee catch ups’ which is really great to experience.”
“That’s what I ultimately want to achieve - a connectedness with each other, and greater respect for our local community – in the individuals and the animals and plants that live there. Sense of belonging is so important, and we’re all part of one community.”