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Logical&Intuitive

This blog documents Steven and Nil's adventures as they continue their search for a better world... a better way of living. Each entry offers commentary about current events, ideas or possibilities for the future or examples of what others have already implemented. We will also be sharing our experiences on the road in a campervan (our new home) to demonstrate the possibility of living a mobile, spontaneous and adventurous lifestyle. A lifestyle not dictated by routine and ritual but one led by passion and fashioned by the people and experiences we encounter. We are no longer battling to achieve a work-life balance but rather interweaving our work and our life—as Confucius said: “Choose a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

It’s an exciting time to be alive as we are in the midst of a great transition. Social changes and disruption of existing systems are being driven by our newfound ability to connect and share information through the Internet coupled with an enormous range of new technologies.

Follow our blog and join us on this journey…

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Feeing the Pulse of the Universe

We are all part of an ocean of energy
Connected to each other and the world around us
A cosmic consciousness
That changes its mood to reflect
The light and dark of its environment
A heart beats. A gut aches
Places where energy converges
Leading us to think, we are unique beings
But our separation and apparent disconnection
Is but a function of the frequency at which we are vibrating
Like individual waves in an ocean

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A Future For All Of Us

There were over 400 packed into the civic pavilion at Chatswood. Richard Di Natale—the leader of the Australian Greens—is hosting events around the country to share the vision of the Greens and to discuss the opportunities and challenges in achieving it. We are excited to be here. Joining him yesterday was NSW Greens Senator Dr Mehreen Faruqi. Mehreen is the first female Muslim Senator and a migrant from Pakistan. She is also a civil/environmental engineer and an academic. Richard who was a GP before politics called him, is the son of Italian post war migrants who came here with no English skills. These two politicians represent the diversity and migrant success story that Australia has been founded on. Stories that both Steve and I can identify with and be motivated by. It was an inspiring evening listening to two politicians who are so well qualified to be in Canberra and are there to genuinely make a difference in causes that we believe in.

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Noah’s Ark: A Story from our past with a message for our future?
public interest, spiritual, urban sustainability, water

I am standing on the banks of the Logan River and the flood markers tower over me. The bottom of the river is more than 10m below. As I gaze up at these historic flood levels I am in awe of the power of Mother Earth and the consequences on people who live on her floodplains. The river is barely flowing today. Parts of Queensland and all of NSW are racked by drought, so it’s hard to imagine this area in flood. Our way of life in cities has completely disconnected us from the rhythms of nature and we have lost our resilience to her changing moods. The flood markers show that the frequency of major flood events in the last 70 years have increased sharply as compared with the previous 70. I’m reminded that research indicates the frequency of floods on the Australian Eastern Seaboard is increasing with climate change. These historic flood marks don’t dispute that.

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Australian Regional Development Conference 2018
economics, public interest

We were excited to attend and host a stall at the Australian Regional Development Conference this year for the first time. The conference provides a platform to network and be part of the conversation on the learnings, solutions and challenges that regional and rural towns experience. The conference theme for 2018 was Uncovering Regional Possibilities with the aim to encourage out of the box thinking and to learn from passionate advocates about what’s happening around the country to develop sustainable communities.

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Tweed Home Expo
public interest, urban sustainability

The Tweed Home Expo is a wonderful event organised by Tweed Shire Council which offers a one-stop-shop of stalls and practical workshops to help people embrace sustainable living principles and find out more about smart housing designs and renovations. It ia great initiative where people are given the tools they need to become more conscious consuers and reduce their environmental footprint. The survey conducted by council revealed that many people who had visited previoulsy had made changes to their water or energy consumption or took positive actions with respect to waste, biodiversity or with implementing food gardens.

This year, we had a chance to host a stall and give a presentation. We had some great conversations and made some wonderful contacts.

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Rise for Climate
economics, politics, public interest

Today people all over the world have taken a stand for climate—#RiseForClimate. The website tells me there were 850+ actions in over 95 countries. Communities in both hemispheres are rallying to demand that our leaders commit to a fast and fair transition to hundred percent renewables. We were at the rally at Tweed Heads where state and local representatives from Labour and Greens mingled with politicians, farmers, young people and numerous community action groups to demand that our politicians in Canberra listen. While a growing majority of Australians favor action on climate change, a strong, influential minority opposes taking action.

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The Music of Strangers: A Conduit for Connection
inspirational stories, public interest

Grassroots movements for the compassionate treatment of refugees are springing up everywhere in Regional Australia (ruralaustraliansforrefugees.org.au). The Uki Refugee Project is just one of them. We stumbled on it when we attended a screening of the Movie ‘The Music of Strangers.’ On the night of the fund raiser, this group of people from a small rural village in NSW raised $2,000 for refugee friendship visits and other causes. We often hear complaints that refugees and migrants don’t integrate but rarely do we ask why. Is it possible that problems arise because people feel isolated, especially when fingers are pointed at an entire group for the trangressions of a few? Many refugess and asylum seekers come here from war torn countries with little or no English skills. For many there was no other choice but to leave. When you have been forced to uproot yourself under traumatic conditions, isn’t it inevitable that settling in will take some adjustment?

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The Krishna Village: An Eco Yoga Community
inspirational stories, public interest, spiritual, urban sustainability

My curiosity has finally got the better of me and we find ourselves driving into the Krishna Village in Eungella in the Mount Warning caldera. We had passed the sign many times previously but it was only after I made friends with an Australian who had grown up there that I decided to prioritise a visit. When you cross the bridge a sense of peace washes over you. As an eco yoga community set on an organic farm, the Krishna Village say they endeavour to provide a blueprint for a simple, mindful, spiritually based lifestyle.

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Grass Roots Democracy: Its time has come
politics, public interest, urban sustainability

The tribe has spoken. Mal’s torch has been snuffed out, although there is little doubt as to whether it was ever given a chance to shine. Torn between his convictions and his desire to achieve his destiny, he failed to address the most pressing issue of our time. We caught a glimpse of what this Prime Minister could have been, both on the day he took office and the day he conceded defeat. As a nation we were held captive for a moment by his talk of innovation after Tony Abbott, the climate skeptic ex-PM, was relegated to the back bench. But we rejoiced too soon.

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PolisPlan at O’Heart Festival
public interest, urban sustainability

Nestled in the Wollumbin caldera lies the little village of Tyalgum. It’s not on the way to anywhere, so the people who live here have made it a destination that is now on the routes of many wanderers. There are festivals and celebrations all year long and we have found our way back for the O’Heart Festival. The festival is a mix of environmental awareness, wellness and some damn good music. This year we are hosting a stall as well as presenting at the celestial dew gardens. It’s exciting to be back.

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Jurlique: From Seed to Skin
conservation, urban sustainability

We’ve arrived at Jurlique farm early morning for a tour of this site. As it is situated in the Mount Barker area we are keen to learn about their business. Their story is inspirational. Dr Jürgen Klein, a biochemist, and his wife Ulrike, a botanist, were looking for ‘the purest place on earth’ to grow organic ingredients for their skin care region. They found their dream home in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia. They had always believed in the healing power of nature and as their website explains their vision was to create a pure and natural skin care range combining the ancient arts of alchemy, herbal medicine and homeopathy to reconnect people to back to nature.

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The Malkii Painting Site: From Boys to Men
history, inspirational stories, public interest, spiritual

We are chatting noisily as we walk up the gorge to the Malkii rock art site, when Cliff Coulthard, the senior cultural interpreter from Iga Warta stops in his tracks. “I’d like you to approach this sacred place in silence”, he says. “This used to be an ancient initiation site—a place where young boys travelled through, on their journeys to becoming men”. A hush descends on the group as we approach the cave and I search for a flat rock to sit on. In the silence, the sounds of the bush are amplified. As I pay attention to the wind in the trees and the chirping of birds, I think about the generations of men who passed through here. Cliff explains that this site has been dated at 35,000 years but dating rock art is tricky business and we can’t really be sure of its exact age.

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Rethinking our Diet & A Goat Muster
food, inspirational stories, public interest, water

“Why are you here?”, Terry is looking at me intently, waiting for a response.

Seated around the table at Iga Warta—while in the Northern Flinders last month—I ponder my answer. I’ve been fascinated by Aboriginal culture ever since I arrived in Australia, more than 20 years ago. It is, after all, the oldest living culture on our planet and one that enabled people to live off the land while enhancing it for thousands of years. The more I’ve experienced it, the sadder I feel at what we have lost since colonisation. But we’re here because we also want to incorporate ancient indigenous wisdom into the new paradigm for land development we are designing. Terry is intrigued by our work and persuades us to stay an extra day, so he can share another experience with us.

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The Magic of Ochre & Ancient Traditions
history, inspirational stories, spiritual

When we arrived at Iga Warta—a small community in the Northern Flinders Ranges (last month) we found Terry Coulthard hard at work. He was documenting his language—Yura Ngawarla—with two linguists from the University of Adelaide. It’s one of the languages of the Adnyamathanha (rock) people, who have occupied the Flinders for thousands of generations. There were more than 700 hundred languages spoken when white settlers came to Australia but forced relocation to centralised missions resulted in irreversible repercussions to the world’s longest continuing culture. Sadly, life in the missions often resulted in aboriginal people being persuaded to give up their cultural practices, settle for poor quality rations rather than forage and hunt, give up the practice of sacred ceremonies like initiation & fire stick marriage and forced to speak English.

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