This year, the Landcare movement celebrates its 30th birthday nationally. And one of the critical questions calling for attention is how can we sustain a healthy and thriving movement that continues to inspire people to care for our environment?
Our experience has shown that when we focus on authentic connection with people across generations, cultures and landscapes great stuff can happen, and storytelling is a powerful and profoundly simple way to establish and deepen these connections. We all have stories to share.
As part of our Intrepid Way Youth Engagement workshops, we explore the power of our personal stories as a tool to invite curiosity and participation in Landcare. Many participants tell us that sharing stories is their favourite component of the workshop with many reporting that they rarely have the opportunity to sit back and reflect on pivotal or inspiring moments in their life that have led to where they are today, let alone share this with others.
So we decided to take a rapid-fire version of our storytelling sesh on the road with Peter Pigott, a founding board member, and deliver it at the recent NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference in Broken Hill!
Pete shared a personal story about his role in supporting his daughter in an environmental protest and the importance of supporting youth to have a voice on stuff that matters to them. We then invited all 300+ participants to get involved and share their own stories. Handing it over to the floor, sharing in pairs, the rest of the session provided an opportunity for people to start practicing reflecting on their experiences and sharing this with others, and in the process they got to know a little bit more about each other.
A number of people shared post presentation that they had very much enjoyed connecting with each other, and some even appreciating the chance to get to know something new about their colleague.
The key ideas we wanted to leave the audience with were that we don’t always need to chase or create big shiny media opportunities to profile the great work we do and why it is important to inspire people to care or to get involved, we can share this in our everyday lives no matter where we are or what we are doing. And when we do this as humans, yeah, there can be a pretty nice connection too.
Whether you’re sharing your story via a blog, a personal post on social media, as a short video, or simply as a conversation with a friend, colleague or even at the checkout with a complete stranger, our stories are a great way to learn, invite others in, inspire a love for our environment, and collectively keep the voice of Landcare alive everywhere we go.
So keep sharing those stories about what matters to you.
Below is a visual summary of the session if you missed it, or would like to keep practicing these conversations in your own networks and communities. Allow yourself more time to explore your stories too (we were limited to 15 min in the conference program!).