PacificEdge — about the blog
Technology and society, citizens’ media, photography, people and media reviews are the stopping-off points in our Journal. We take an excursion into the emerging and diverse community food movement in Food. We walk along impressionistic side streets in Wanderings where we reflect and wonder about the places where we set foot on our microadventures. In Permaculture 3.0, we enter a side street full of citizen experiments and projects and learn how people are applying the civil society design technology that is permaculture.
Memoir is an excursion into oral history, a place of personal writing about life as experienced by the author. It is about places, people and experience and I hope it sheds a little light on what it felt like to live in those times.
PacificEdge — the bio
I like to know about people whose blogs I read. Knowing a little of their lives can provide context and meaning. So, in this spirit, here’s my brief bio…
I’m an online and photojournalist living not far from the Pacific’s foaming breakers in coastal Eastern Sydney. How I arrived here is the result of the twists and turns, the dead ends and errors, the convolutions and byways of life… much as many of us end up where we happen to be. You can see that chance and accident play a large part in this, or it has in my life, anyway, the accidental meetings and coincidences leading usually to good things.
After the wanderings, the confusions, the experiments of growing up in the late sixties and seventies, life evolved into particular areas of interest and livelihood.
The adventure sports equipment industry was one of these and it provided my livelihood for quite some years, first in Tasmania and then in Sydney. This involved education, advising, testing and selling.
Just as life has its own cold, snowy winters and warm, dry summers, so I wandered through those seasons in Tasmania’s wild mountains and across its grassy plains. Through doing this I became a member of a search and rescue unit and the remote areas fire-fighting unit, Smokewalkers. These brought their own adventures.
I started freelance writing in Tasmania — something that has continued over the years in print, radio, photojournalism and online.
After completing the communications degree at University of Technology, Sydney, I reported — and later edited — a business periodical for the then-emerging environmental industries, and assisted community-based organisations to produce their newsletters and journals.
1985 was the year I did my Permaculture Design Certificate, following up later with a Diploma in Permaculture Design in media.
Later, my partner and I organised an urban Permaculture Design Course that we ran for a decade and, later again, I joined the board of directors of Permaculture Australia.
It was while teaching that permaculture certificate course that I made a start in food security and what we now call food sovereignty.
At the time I worked as program manager and development educator with an agency doing food security, farming systems training and organisational capacity building in the Solomon Islands. This was accompanied by the role of project manager for small business and metals recycling startup in Lae, Papua New Guinea, a side project to the food security focus.
A further excursion into food systems, this time of the DIY type, came when I was asked to join a small team to start the Australian City Farms & Community Gardens Network. At the same time my partner and I were teaching a community college course in organic growing. The course continues, now 25 years on, with my partner, Fiona, running it through a local government at the Randwick Sustainability Hub that she got going.
A stint as a director of a food co-operative brought insights into the dynamics of social enterprise. In 2010 I joined three others in different parts of the country to start the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, an educational and advocacy organisation.
The writings, the photographs, the memoir on the PacificEdge blog reflects this convoluted experience. I hope you find something of interest, possibly of value, in these digital pages and digital images.