Conversations with a super star
Jonathan has lived in Kahibah for a few years, and joined the Greater Charlestown Sustainable Neighbourhood Group to get to know his neighbours.
We talked about how he is working to reconnect with community and nature.
Jonathan tries to live life true to himself, and is driven by re-connecting with nature and each other.
“I feel like disconnection – from nature, each other, and ourselves - is a big part of our global problems. I try to live my life by mending those disconnects, and Sustainable Neighbourhoods is a great way to do that.”
Jonathan’s favourite part about being involved is definitely the people. “Technically I’m the Chair of the group, but we try not to be so formal. We try to spread the roles around, so I don’t actually chair the meetings. We rotate that role for our meetings, so that everyone has a chance to be a bit more involved. It works really well, and increases conversation instead of just one person just talking all the time.”
“When I moved here from Melbourne a few years ago, I wanted to get to know my neighbours on a deeper level – it seemed to be a lot harder to do that in Melbourne.”
“Sustainable Neighbourhoods gives you an opportunity to be involved with your neighbours on long term projects. We get to build relationships and support each other in and outside the group.”
“For each of our meetings, one of our members does a little presentation describing their life in 20 photos. It’s been a great way to learn a bit more about each other.”
“Following the summer bushfires, we got together and had a really nice conversation. We checked in with how everyone was feeling, and came up with a plan about how we could respond locally to support a bushfire impacted community near Elands.”
Jonathan is also a strong advocate for increasing the tree cover in our urban areas, otherwise known as Urban Forestry or Urban Greening.
“I’m really proud of getting an Urban Forest working group up and running with Council."
Jonathan at the launch of the first local Community Renewable Energy project at Allambi Care.
"Increasing the tree canopy in our urban areas is at the top of my agenda. The closer you are to nature, the more opportunity you have to connect.”
"We’re responsible for more than our house. Why aren’t we all responsible for our verges, creeks, local parks? If we could invest more time in that, we’d be a lot better off, and close those disconnections.”
“I’d encourage anyone to come along and have a chat. You’ll find something you want to work on, or at least find someone you want to chat to. And if you have a good idea, we can support you.”