Purpose

Transition Adelaide Hills (TAH) is a project exploring our transition to life after cheap oil and adjustments to behaviours due to climate change. TAH has been in operation since 2009. We are a grass roots group focusing on finding community driven local solutions to the many challenges now evident – personal and community well-being, economic instability, living with our environment. Our task involves both the outer work of transition matched by inner transition. That is in order to move down the energy descent pathways effectively we need to rebuild our relations with ourselves, with each other and with the “natural” world.

Transition initiatives are based on four key assumptions:

1. It is inevitable that we will experience life with dramatically lower energy consumption, and it is better to plan for it than to be taken by surprise.
2. Our communities presently lack the resilience to enable them to weather these severe energy shocks that will accompany peak oil.
3. We have to act collectively, and we have to act now.
4. By unleashing the collective genius of those around us to creatively and proactively design our energy descent, we can build ways of living that are more connected, more enriching and that recognise the biological limits of our planet (Hopkins, 2008, p. 176).

Our main objective is to raise awareness and build local resilience for the future through a positive, solution-focused and community led exploration of community-scale responses to peak oil and climate change and their associated impacts. Transition Adelaide Hills is forming to help our region move towards a more resilient, sustainable and healthier future. Our objects are:

Transition Adelaide Hills has the aim of working with the hills people, and in particular local interest groups of all kinds, to reduce our dependence on carbon based energy and oil based manufactured products. Peak oil and global warming/climate change are two concepts we are all becoming familiar with. To live successfully and happily in the future will require that we image and work towards futures that are worth living in – but what does that future look like in the Adelaide Hills and how do we get there? Could it be a future that is energy-lean, time-rich, less stressful, healthier and happier?

TAH is about visioning a liveable low carbon world, including all community members in the transition process, raising awareness of the opportunities and challenges that peak oil and climate change bring, developing community resilience, generating a sense of well-being by creating safe spaces where people can talk and share concerns about how these issues affect them, and enact credible and appropriate solutions (Hopkins, 2008, p.144-5).

Whatever the future might be, to be a preferred future, it needs to value individual and group social, cultural and economic needs, and must therefore be resilient. A resilient community, while needing to import many things from beyond its borders, also provides for its own needs – energy, food, housing, cultural vibrancy and a healthy environment. The founder of the Transition Initiative movement, Robert Hopkins, points out that “The future with less oil could, if our thinking and design is applied sufficiently in advance, be preferable to be present (Hopkins, 2008, p. 137).

This transition initiative is not a process of duplicating other people’s ideas but generating and enacting solutions that fit our needs and our environments. We need to find new ways of being in a number of areas, all of which are about connecting to our special place: they include, renewable energy production, local food and water security, no/low carbon transport options, energy efficient homes, locally produced goods and services, re-use and recycling, local health and well-being services, connection with local government and personal empowerment, and last and possible the most important, rich biodiversity and healthy ecosystems. Initiatives in some of these areas are already underway. All of these areas have been identified by Adelaide Hills’ residents at public meetings (see past events section)

In conclusion

A Transition Initiative is a community-led response to the pressures of climate change, fossil fuel depletion and increasing economic uncertainty. There are thousands of Transition Initiatives around the world in various stages of their journey to finding and enacting answers to building resilient, sustainable and healthy communities. For the Adelaide Hills, let’s create the kind of community that we would all want to be part of, and that can sustain itself and thrive, by significantly rebuilding resilience and drastically reducing carbon emissions. We need to think bigger, we need to work together, and we need very much to accelerate our efforts. It’s easy to become involved in the transition of our community. You can join our mailing list, bring your children, friends and neighbours (your community!) to an event or volunteer your ideas. [Contact Name and e-mail needed] If you would like the organisation to which you belong to post bulletins on the TAH website or co-sponsor an event with TAH please let us know.


Keynote Talks

During our seasonal Film Nights and community gatherings we often invite visiting speakers and keynote guests to present on a range of topics important to the local area, including, biodiversity, food production and council policy.


Film Nights & Discussions

Serving as a means of information, inspiration and discussion on a range of topics our Film Nights have proved popular amongst everyone who attends, and they always come with refreshments and great community spirit for half the cost of a regular movie ticket!


Workshops

TAH has worked hard over the last year or more to secure funding for practical workshops. Our latest success involves working with Sturt Upper Reaches Landcare Group for the preservation of Hills native bee populations.


Team Members

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Sally Shaw

Living with climate change, animal extinction, loss of natural environmental, governments sold out to growing the economy instead sustainability made me feel miserable and very concerned about the future of this planet. When I saw the film Transition 2.0 in Adelaide I knew immediately that this was an organisation I

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Arthur Hay

My name is Arthur Hay and I live in Ironbank. I moved with my family to the area in 2010 and have been in an ongoing way adapting a house built in 1977 to a sustainable home.

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David Lloyd

I am at present primarily focused on ways to move towards a sustainable world. My motivation while primarily altruistic - caring for all- is also associated with my role as husband, father and grandfather. Like many I am concerned about the future we are leaving the next generations.

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Bron McNab

Bron first joined TAH after seeing the film 'In Transition 1.0' in 2011. This was inspirational! Rather than doom and gloom the core message of the film was of individuals and communities making sustainable and positive change around the world. It fitted well with my beliefs and values.

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Susan Greenwood

Hi, I’m Susan and I describe myself as a grandmother, gardener, herbalist and activist. I’ve been on a journey to live in harmony with our wonderful and precious planet for many years!

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Keri Chiveralls

I'm a cultural anthropologist with an interest in environmental anthropology, social movement studies and theories of social change. I joined Transition Adelaide Hills after returning from participation in the Dialogue Days for the drafting of the Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012.

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Jim Plum

TBC

Associates

  • Chris Thornton
  • Jenny Deans
  • Simon Goodhand
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