Cheers-log 2006-05 camp & ouch

May 2006

Ouch! Owwww! Ah-chi-wa-wa! I broke a bit these last few weeks. The tipping-point was reached in my tolerance for trying to work through & with the public & private sector organizations & systems that affect Banksia Grove’s infrastructure. I can’t do it anymore. I don’t have the emotional capacity to believe anymore, that they can do anything for us. I have to bow out of almost all of those kinds of meetings, because I would cry if I sat in there anymore. Really. (Except for one, the private developer, who I still trust and will work with in design, I just can’t believe the others.)

If you will excuse the emotional download (this is not a guarded logic piece) I can no longer take the “Yes Minister” double-dutch (in the fullness of time, we’ll have a thorough investigation, form a committee, work with the relevant departments, blah blah blah); the disrespectful barrage of ‘we-know-more-than-you-do’ “considerations”; the illogical assertions; the arrogant assumption that they have more of a stake than us, when they don’t live here, & we’re really just another job to them; the co-opting & invalidating of community members’ efforts as if anything good was really all their department’s work; the “consultations” which are really just for show

But I could endure all that if it wasn’t for the constant inability of these organizations to listen to reason, let alone do anything reasonable for this neighborhood. In the end, my belief broke. With the pain of repeated failure I just can’t believe they can/will do anything for us. SO, I won’t give that approach any more time for now.

But don’t worry – I’m still in community development: I do believe in, and am still energized by, the local relationships. Genuine community is happening at that level. And happening so authentically that I feel like saying to those power-systems, we really don’t need you!


It’s amazing the good that happens when people meet, without power dynamics. We see God doing so much, just in people!

Last month we (about 40 people) had the Banksia Grove Family camp. Awesome. Mostly because of many positive experiences (outings, shared experiences, conversations, meals), but also through a few tense moments when harder stuff, conflicts & character flaws, had to be handled. These actually fast-tracked more genuine friendships.  In the all-age family time activities & adult-chat times, we looked at what it means to love with all our Heart; Mind; Soul; Strength. Giving rise to the mirthful catch-cry, “it’s all about the love” (pronounced lerv.)

“Boofy Blokes Walk.” Some louts chased a girl in the streets recently. So we thought what if every now and then a group of us big fellas could be seen walking the streets at night. It might make the thugs realize the streets aren’t their domain. A list of mobile phone numbers is activated when one of us is heading out, and the others respond. This sets the route, and forms the group. Nice.

Last week we attended the blessing of the site for the new Local school. You might recall that we fought to keep our local K-7 school. And now it is being up-graded from a school-in-houses, to a purpose built facility. The bush has just been cleared. So the whole school, staff & kids, choofed to the site. They released balloons with native seeds in hopes that the bush & native species might be replaced elsewhere, said prayers, & the chaplain sprinkled water on the site on their behalf. Profound how prayer can bring hope.

Core Practices: for them that are picking this up, it is having an encouraging effect. I think we’re onto something here. The trick is getting others to pick it up. Some are kicking around the idea of journaling as a way to make themselves do the practices (an extension of the reflection/action cycle.)

We love sharing our lives here.


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