The Australian Greens are hosting their National Conference in Alice Springs in May, for the first time ever, and I’m excited!
I’m also really nervous, as it’s the first time I’ve had to organise a conference in another state without actually getting to see the venue first hand and I have only a perfunctory knowledge of the town. Luckily for me however, the Northern Territory Greens have taken to the logistics of conference organisation like ducks to water (yes, deliberate use of an inappropriate analogy for a conference being hosted in the desert).
Most people tend to arrive at least a day in advance of Conference, and in the case of this May it’s a bit of a necessity for out of towners such as myself because of flights, so the very generous NT Greens have arranged to host a meet and greet at the local RSL. There might even be a bonfire… it doesn’t get much more exciting than that.
Workshops and panels and plenary, oh my!
I’m also super excited about the agenda and looking forward to hearing back from participants about what their favourite sessions are. Saturday we’ll hear from our amazing parliamentary leader Senator Richard Di Natale in the traditional address to conference. Fabulous co-deputies Senator Larissa Waters and Senator Scott Ludlam will then get straight into tackling the far right so have your note books ready. We have sessions on Trump and terrorism, housing affordability, constitutional reform and oceans (see what I did there?), multiculturalism and school funding, unionism and clean energy, not to mention negotiating the next three years of funding for the Australian Greens…and that’s just day one!
Day two promises to be just as interesting as we kick off with an amazing panel on the 1967 referendum with some seriously interesting speakers, hosted by Senator Rachel Siewert. The spirit of Bernie Sanders features in a fascinating session on fundraising, and Senator Janet Rice will host a session on a healthy transport future, plus we have loads of sessions on supporting diversity, countering racism, and First Nations solidarity. So freakin’ exciting!
One of my favourite things to do at Conference is to catch up with others from around the country that I haven’t seen since the last Conference and what better time to do it than on a Saturday night? This time, the NT Greens are putting on a trivia night to bring everyone together. Seriously, it’s like utopia for me. Trivia, a bunch of like-minded folks trying to make the world a better place, food, beer and all within walking distance of a warm bed at the end of it!
And this is only half of it!
Senator Janet Rice is organising a bike ride on Saturday morning before conference kicks off, starting from Todd Street Mall around 7.45am. Janet will subsidise bike hire (up to a limited number) for people to join the ride. If you're keen to join Janet to check out local bike paths and enjoy some crisp morning air on the bike, email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest.
Sunday morning there will be a women’s breakfast in the café at the conference venue for anyone who is wanting to be involved in the formation of an Australian Greens Women’s Network. Plus in-between the serious business of conference there are heaps of breakout sessions that can allow people to get together and chat over morning or afternoon tea or lunch in an informal way about things that matter to them.
Finally, this May will see the formation of the Australian Greens Multicultural Committee, which is extremely exciting for me and I am so keen to see who ends up involved in this super important and incredibly relevant group. By the way, we have extended the deadline for expressions of interest for this position until Friday 12 May 2017, so you still have time!
There is also talk of other things that will be happening in and around the beautiful town of Alice Springs in May, but I like to keep some things as a surprise…
What are you waiting for?