Monday, June 28, 2010

Lifecycles: Food Roundup and Links

Our first Lifecycles workshop, focusing on food, went well. A big thank you to all the excellent participants who came down and were willing to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with each other and with us! The workshop opened with a brief introductory talk, including an outline of ideas for developing action plans. You can read more about developing action plans at the Living Smart website, which also provides a Home and Work Action Guide.

At Bluestocking, we think it's important to link actions at different levels, including individual lifestyle changes,community-level change, and advocacy for broader structural change. It's important to consider action in each of these areas because they're mutually supportive. Broad structural change helps people to make better choices in their own lives: for example, it's easier to shift from driving to cycling and walking if the government has been encouraged to build more cycle lanes and develop a healthy public transport system. Similarly, taking action at a community level helps to support individual lifestyle change, and helps to provide models of alternative models for food production, consumption, and distribution. Developing an action plan is a good way to start shifting towards the world as you'd like to see it. Some tips for creating an action plan include:

  • Think about what's realistic for you.
  • Frame your goals positively, rather than negatively. Remember, anything that you're committing to doing you're doing because you care, and because it will make your life and your community better. When you're working out your goals, keep your motivations in mind. Will the action help you to feel happier? Healthier? Will it save you money? Will it help you to feel more connected to the people around you?
  • Be specific: if you've chosen to do something like read an article or write a letter to an MP, give yourself a due date. If you're going with something like, “eat more vegetarian meals”, give yourself a specific number or rule, for example: 'I will make a vegetarian dinner five nights a week', or, 'I'm going to stick to vegetarian food on Mondays'.
  • Think about how the people around you can help you to achieve your goals. This could mean sharing your action plan with your partner, housemates, or friend.

During the workshop, participants shared useful tools and information. There were some great ideas for campaigns and organisations to get involved in, including:
  • Live Below the Line: Live Below the Line is an education and fundraising campaign that will be happening around Australia from the 2nd – 6th of August 2010. During this time, participants will feed themselves for just $2 a day to increase understanding of the obstacles faced by those currently living in extreme poverty, and to raise money for life-changing education programs.
  • The Animal Advocates Australia website has some excellent resources for finding out more about animal rights and suggestions for how to take action. There's also a campaign running at the moment against caged eggs being sold at supermarkets: as well as emailing the relevant ministers, you can take part by asking your local supermarket to stop stocking caged eggs.
  • There are also plenty of organisations and resources to help you get started on food gardens at home or in your local community: the permaculture WA website or City Farm are good places to start looking.
  • The Good Grocery Guide website provides ideas on how to shop more ethically, including an online guide to different products.

Have I missed something? Feel free to share ideas and resources in the comments!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Social Justice Workshop

Our friends at the Edmund Rice Institute for Social Justice are hosting an exciting new social justice workshop.

Be More - “Integrating Head, Heart, Hand for Social Justice”

ERISJ One-Day Intensive

Saturday, 26 June 2010: 10.00 am - 5:00 pm at ERISJ in Fremantle, Western Australia

This Intensive assists participants to find higher purpose in life
through solidarity with, and practical action for, those who suffer

Be More challenges people to consider ‘being more’ rather than
‘having more’. Participants will conclude this interactive Intensive with an inspired, clear sense of how practically to:

• connect with the worldwide experience of humanity beyond family and friends;
• become part of the solution to global poverty and suffering;
• live a life that does justice;
• turn compassion into doing more than just donating money;
• tackle the structural nature of global poverty;
• identify and organise their own Be More activities; and
• connect with thousands of other Australians as they take up the Be More Challenge.

Presenter: Janeen Murphy is Global Education Advisor for Caritas Australia. She has worked in this position for 9 years, and worked with Caritas partners ‘on the ground’ in Uganda, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Cambodia and India. Janeen runs education programs in schools and higher education institutions, providing pathways to engage with justice issues.

Registration & Payment: or call 9432 2400

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fair Trade Fortnight Prize Draw

Congratulations to Varnya, who won our Fair Trade Fortnight prize pack!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Reminder: Food workshop on 16th June

Lifecycles: Food
16th June, 6:30pm to 8:30pm
The Edmund Rice Centre for Social Justice
24 High St, Fremantle

Are you an urban gardener? Do you care about animal rights? Do you want clearer labelling on food in the supermarket? Or perhaps you want to buy more ethical food, but don't know where to start? If you're already passionate about changing how we eat or just want to know more, Lifecycles: Food will give you a chance to learn, share, and develop some ideas for change that suit your interests and level of commitment.

The Bluestocking Institute's Lifecycles: Food workshop will build on The Politics of Food workshop by helping participants to share their knowledge and develop action plans around ethical and sustainable food production and consumption. The workshop will begin with a brief introduction outlining key issues and discussing methods for taking action on an individual and community level. We will then break into smaller groups in which participants can share ideas, either about issues that they already care about or about areas where they want to learn more. We'll finish with a short discussion period.

For more information or to RSVP:
  • visit the Facebook event page at or
  • email us at
Suggested donation $5

Reading Food at the Downunder Feminists Carnival

The latest edition of the Downunder Feminists Carnival features some great blog posts that touch on how we produce food, who produces it, and what we eat, including:
  • Helen Razer criticises PETA for their use of sexism and racism in advertising campaigns, and argues that real argument is needed to change people's minds about meat.
  • Tammi Jonas talks about some of the debates surrounding the relationship between feminism and the local food movement.
  • Steph writes about the 'Hear Me Roar' forum, which considered 'the parallels and intersections between equal rights and animal rights in society and law'.