Nov 18, 2009

Sonya Wallace - Transition Town Trainer

I thought I'd post a little about me and how I ended up as a Transition Town trainer, facilitator and consultant to put this blog in some type of context for you.

I've been involved in Transition Town training since August 2006, when I first heard David Holmgren speak about the Kinsale Energy Descent Action Plan at a lecture he delivered on the Sunshine Coast.

At the time I was just about to start my Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course at Eumundi with Janet Millington and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAA) which was run in conjunction with a Dynamic Groups Creative Facilitation course at Crystal Waters Permaculture Village and led by Robin Clayfield.

This was all in preparation to eventually begin teaching permaculture after I'd left a long career in corporate communications and state and local government positions (media training, media liaison, strategic planning, crisis management, emergency response etc).

I had also worked as a university lecturer and tutor, lecturing in communications, public relations and media liaison.

The Certificate IV included learning how to deliver Accrediated Permaculture Training programs (APT) and it qualified me to work within the TAFE system (vocational training).

I started my Transition Town training experience in late 2006 by writing the curriculum for a 12-week part-time 'Time for an Oil Change' course - with help and guidance from permaculture teacher Janet Millington - which in turn created a great educational framework to gather community input, opinions and actions, which were then collated and delivered as an Energy Descent Action Plan for the entire Sunshine Coast region - which is the fourth largest council in Australia.

We were known then as the Sunshine Coast Energy Action Centre - SEAC.

This was all pre-Transition Towns going global but we were soon invited by Rob Hopkins and Ben Brangwyn to join the fledgling Transition Town Network and hence we became Australia's first Transition Town initiative and the first outside the UK.

Since then, myself and Janet have been invited to deliver a number of Transition Town workshops around Australia, which have sparked many successful initiatives.

The EDAP has also been delivered, in draft form at this stage, to the local council and I am a member of the region's Energy Transition Taskforce advising council on community engagement through the Transition Town model and addressing ways to reduce regional energy consumption, climate change and peak oil.

Each workshop is tailor-made for the community or council I'm working with.

Each aligns with and supports the participants' unique objectives and aims of sustainability and local resilience.

The work I'm doing now allows me to combine my passion for Transition Towns, permaculture and building resilience with my background in government strategic planning, emergency response and communications, which I love.

To help kick start successful Transition Towns on the ground, to be able to actively support people who want to move forward with their planning for a more resilient future, and to see Transition Towns and peak oil addressed in government policy and strategic planning documents are my aims now.

Sonya Wallace
Transition Sunshine Coast
Transition Town Eudlo
Think Green Consultancy

Transition Town trainer, facilitator and consultant

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