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About the Encounter

As a response to a disconnected and manic world, this reflective process explores the world of delicate activism (see Kaplan & Davidoff, 2014, The Proteus Initiative) and is grounded in the question, 'Can a practice that foregrounds observation bring healing to the world?'

Through the practice of observation, reflection and connection with nature, the process invites an opportunity to practice a new form of activism in our personal and professional lives. In witnessing nature, we will write about our observations and interpretations through creative expression as a method of delicate activism.

What previous participants have said:

A deep dive into a wonderful new practice to support activism. The blending of the arts with the cerebral to feed the soul.

In discovering how to crochet the fibers of social, political and the ecological new refined muscles emerge. Wefting parts engages the wafting of the whole.

Exploring activism through observing the world in which we are situated. Discovering the importance of observation, and of reflection, in any action or activism.

Practical details

Participants are invited to arrive on Friday evening at 5.30pm for a shared dinner and poetry reading.

On Saturday morning we reconvene and sink into the practice of observation, creative expression and shared reflection. Reflection will include the realms of intimacy with living phenomenon encountered on the 1-acre property of the Camellia Centre for Reflective Practice in Maleny, Queensland.

There will be no requirement to share your creative expression, but the invitation is to participate in the practice of observation, creative expression and individual/collective reflection.

The process includes:

• gathering at 5,30pm for Friday night shared dinner cooked by your hosts, and sharing poetry.

• re-gathering on Saturday 8.30am until 5.30pm, for three rounds of observation, creative expression, and shared reflection. The Saturday will include shared morning and afternoon teas + lunch.

Participants are responsible for their own accommodation on Friday evening.

Please note: It's also worth being aware Friday afternoon traffic between Brisbane and Maleny can be rough, so plan carefully. With careful organising we can also arrange transport to and from Landsborough train station if this makes things possible.

About your facilitators & hosts:

From the age of 20, Peter has been on a journey of social practice, deeply shaped by three powerful rivers. The first, a river of dialogue, has informed decades of community and social development practice. This river still flows strong. The second, the river of soul has taken Peter into the depths of personal and social worlds, inviting an understanding of the ritual and mythic elements of social change. The third river, of phenomenology is the flow that most informs this poetic and delicate activism river, one that is most alive to Peter now.

Peter has been a writer or co-writer/editor of 14 books and over 50 professional journal articles on community development. He is currently working on his 15th book titled Understanding Phenomenological Reflective Practice in the Social and Ecological Fields: Three Rivers Flowing (Routledge, forthcoming).

But more importantly, he loves reading, walking, sitting by a fire under the moon or stars, wandering daily in Mary Cairncross Park, exploring his bio-region, being with friends, sipping a coffee at dawn, and going to bed about 8.30pm (yes, he’s a lark, not an owl).

At this present moment he is:

  • Director/consultant at Community Praxis Co-op;
  • Part time practitioner at Hummingbird House;
  • Custodian of Camellia Centre for Reflective Practice;
  • Associate of The Proteus Initiative, RSA; and
  • Visiting Professor, University of the Free State, South Africa.

As an advocate and community practitioner, Rachael has worked with women, young people and communities for the last two decades. Through incorporating the traditions of meditation, yoga and circle work, she has facilitated women’s circles and retreats to support people to reconnect to nature, presence and their inner wisdom. She is a qualified yoga teacher and has explored the world of Buddhism, Advaita and other eastern spiritual traditions throughout her life. She is currently immersed in the practice of phenomenology to grow her observational skills through a deep relationship to the natural world.  

Her greatest joys are being immersed in nature and the embodiment of yoga, both of which she practices regularly. Although she has been fortunate to explore (and live) in many parts of the world, her most favourite place is Girraween National Park, or, place of flowers, in the granite belt region of Queensland


Refund Policy

Refunds up to 14 days before the event, Refunds available up to 14 days prior to event. After this time ticket transfer option available if required. In the event of rescheduling due to COVID 19 directives, refunds will be available or event will be rescheduled to a later time.

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Camellia Centre for Soul-Work & Reflective Practice

Maleny QLD 4552, Australia

Organiser Information

Peter Westoby
Camellia Centre for Soul-Work & Reflective Practice trading as Peter Westoby (sole trader)

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