Published in the Blue Mountains Gazette 21 September 2022:
By Damien Madigan
One of the silver linings of coming through difficult times has been Blue Mountains residents and businesses helping each other and building local connections.
As a researcher in community resilience, Blue Mountains Councillor Sarah Redshaw is familiar with the importance of knowing our neighbours.
“We all need to know our neighbours and beyond to our street and beyond that to our neighbourhood so that we develop a sense of knowing who is around us, a sense of community, and build a capacity to provide in times of crisis,” she said.
On the October long weekend, the Festival of Resilience is holding ‘Reconnect’ – a special event that is a call-out to hold events with your neighbours. People’s focus might be on sharing what they don’t need with a garage sale or swap meet, or helping out a neighbour with a weeding bee, or inviting all their neighbours to a picnic in the local park.
Faulconbridge locals are leading by example with a collection of small local events held last weekend. Geoff Matthews first organised the Faulco Fence Line Art Gallery last year as a way to lighten the burden of lockdown.
“As we were tied to our homes it seemed the perfect time to develop our creativity,” said Mr Matthews. “Residents were invited to display an artwork on or near their front fence on a particular weekend. The artwork did not have to be original, though most were. The community responded brilliantly with over 50 ‘exhibitors’ in the gallery.”
This year to coincide with the 2nd Fence Line Art Gallery, another Faulconbridge resident organised afternoon tea at the end of one of the nearby streets. Popular Faulconbridge café Chapters and Leaves got into the action with a vinyl record fair followed by a concert by accomplished local musician Ann Palumbo.
If you plan a picnic for Reconnect and time it right, you might see the Climate Action Superheroes who will be visiting some iconic Blue Mountains parks across the weekend:
- Saturday, October 1 – Glenbrook Park (1pm), Buttenshaw Park (2pm)
- Sunday, October 2 – Wentworth Falls Lake (1pm), Blackheath Park (2pm)
The Festival of Resilience is a partnership between Resilient Blue Mountains and the Blue Mountains City Council. Seed funding was provided through the NSW State Government Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund.
For more information go to the Festival of Resilience website www.festivalofresilience.org.