- Baha’is believe in the power of prayer and you’ll find Baha’is and their friends, throughout the world, getting together to pray. This is often referred to as a ‘devotional gathering’ or ‘devotional meeting’, and they happen in diverse settings, whether in cities or villages.
Today is World Environment Day, and thanks to filmmaker Cormac Mateer we have a little glimpse into community life in the northern town of Gracemere.
Inspired by friends in North Rockhampton (or Rocky as locals like to call it), a group of families came together in Gracemere, Central Queensland to consult, plan and action community building efforts in their neighbourhood.
Coming from households of diverse ethnic, racial and socio-economic backgrounds, the group was united in a vision of a vibrant devotional life and the need for taking simple but powerful social action.
Vegetable gardens in family backyards and street verges soon sprouted among these households!
Wherever possible, existing materials were repurposed – creating a simpler, cheaper and more sustainable approach. Veggie gardens encouraged healthy eating habits, sharing of produce, fostering physical exercise and creating a common identity.
From small things, big things can grow and soon the regularity and motivation to engage with all in the community has resulted in some 200 people all connected through this initiative. Families are working to create informal arrangements to address the needs of all. They host cultural gatherings and family festivals. Home visiting and taking care of the sick and elderly is a common occurrence. The activities include three children’s classes, a junior youth group and spaces to engage in social discourse.
For World Environment Day, the group is considering prevailing social issues and ways to reduce their impact at the neighbourhood level! Through these efforts they envision building a strong and vibrant social environment.
Recently they approached the Rockhampton Regional Council and consulted on the need to create a community garden that will become a basis for environmental mitigation activities. They host informal workshops at homes to learn about making natural fertilisers from banana peels, eggs and molasses. They collect grass clippings from households and egg cartons to make mulch and redistribute it to community members. The strength of the group is the understanding that they need to learn from others and create systems that build capacity for service.
This group is currently assisting a neighbouring community to form a new group with similar goals and structures. Jointly they have engaged in social action endeavours. The youth meet weekly for Youth Nights to create a safe and welcoming space for all youth.
Recently, they collected and packaged cow manure to sell and create a platform for youth to engage with adults and learn about income-generation activities. The youth have agreed to give a portion of the proceeds to buying chickens for a Chook Pen.
These two groups of families came together again to complete the Chook Pen. During this activity, children, youth and adults assisted each other. The space became a source of unity and cooperative activities. The group also planted winter crops in the verge garden.
Thanks to @MaccamatBux for taking us into this beautiful little community for World Environment Day 🌻🌏💛
Leave a Reply
"*" indicates required fields
The arts and media have a critical role in how we share our community experiences. We’ve got resources, projects and more to help you get involved.
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia.
We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.