Ian RT Colless—Gundungurra Choreographer and Artist

Communicating Indigenous Knowledge and Connection to Country through dance Ian RT Colless, a First Nations Artist and Dancer who lives and works between Sydney and New York, will give a talk at the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute Eco-Arts Seminar on Sunday 24 October, about his duty and deep sense of custodianship as a First  [...]

Designing Regenerative Cultures

Ecological Design David Orr, a professor Environmental Studies and Politics, suggests four reasons why ecological design provides a paradigm shift for thinking about how to tackles the various crises of our times that we can lay at the feet of the sort of thinking that has underpinned Western Civilisation that birthed economic globalisation and the [...]

Call of the Dakini—A Memoir of a Life Lived

I have now published my memoir, Call of the Dakini—A Memoir of a Life Lived, as a ebook and paperback on amazon.com.au.  Because the Amazon self publishing system does not have standard colour printing in Australia, I have also created a 2nd edition B&W edition with greyscale images inside, in order to significantly reduce its [...]

Tulkus, Tertons and Turmoil: East Tibet 1855-1955

Why is Tulkus, Tertons, Turmoil: East Tibet 1855-1955 an Important Story Published on Amazon.com Firstly it shows how the great 19th century spiritual renaissance of Buddhism in Kham, known as the Rimé (non-sectarian) period, occurred in a land rent by constant political turmoil, rather than in the romantic idea of ‘Shangri La’, a society of peace [...]

Songspirals: Sharing Women’s Wisdom of Country

Get yourself a copy of this most wondrous book if you would like to gain a deep insight into the songline (songspiral) traditions of First Nations cultures. In 2019, Allen and Unwin published the Gay'Wu Group of Women of North East Arnhem Land's book, Songspirals: Sharing women's wisdom of Country through songlines. It's authors, who [...]

Warrior Scholars

Decolonising Research—Storywork Decolonizing Research: Indigenous Storywork as Methodology (2019), edited by Jo-ann Archibald, Q’um Q’um Xiiem, Jenny Bol Jun Lee-Morgan, and Jason De Santolo, shows how Indigenous Warrior Scholars are using the epistemology of storywork to profoundly change research strategies used in the Academy, and reveal the potential for a transformation in pedagogies and the [...]

The Third Archive – The Promise of Songlines

The painting featured above, held in my personal collection, is of the Tingari Songline by George Ward Tjungurrayi, a Senior Knowledge man of the Gibson Desert (Barbara Lepani).   Songlines: The Power and Promise How to do justice to this small paperback, Songlines: The Power and Promise, written by Margo Neale Ngawagurrawa, Senior Indigenous Curator [...]

Why Epistemology and Ontology Matter

Epistemology and Culture Epistemology is the study of how we construct our systems of knowledge (ways of knowing) that express our worldview. These rest on our ontology, our ideas about the nature of reality. In a multicultural society, it is important to understand that our different cultures embody different assumptions about ontology and epistemology. I [...]

Embedding the Arts in Community

Community Matters Blue Mountains artist, Wendy Tsai, asks: “How do we garner and nurture the passion in why the arts are so important in cultural life?” The answer to this question lies in the strength of the relationships between the creative arts community of practitioners and the wider community of people who are interested in [...]

Jo Truman—Multimedia Artist

I sat down with Jo Truman, a multimedia artist living in Wentworth Falls to discuss her life journey as an artist working with sound, musical composition, voice and the visual arts.  While most of her works involve sound and musical compositions, she is also an accomplished visual artist as this watercolour, gouache and graphite image [...]

Closing the Gap in Ways of Knowing

The Uluru Statement from the Heart In 2017, 250 delegates of Australia's First Nations' people came together at Uluru for the National Constitutional Convention.  As a result of widespread consultation among First Nations' people, they issued the Uluru Statement from the Heart as a way forward for Australia and its peoples to heal the deep [...]

AI & The Struggle for Humane Technology

Center for Humane Technology We envision a world where technology is realigned with humanity’s best interests. Our work expands beyond tech addiction to the broader societal threats that the attention economy poses to our well-being, relationships, democracy, and shared information environment. We must address these threats to conquer our biggest global challenges like pandemics, inequality, [...]

Wildspace Learning Event 12 September

RECONNECTING WITH NATURE—AN EVENT FOR YOU https://events.humanitix.com/reconnecting-for-resilience-facing-change-together-a-workplayshop Uncertainty has always been here, now we’re noticing it. Wakeful leaders, thinkers and NATURE herself, implore us to listen. However, it may just be too hard to hear this knowing alone. Do we hide? Do we escape? Do we try to create ‘a normal’ from our cushioning among empty […]

Quotes for August—For Hunger-Proof cities: sustainable urban food systems

Food shortages have been in the media lately with lower production levels in Victoria due to the Covid outbreak. We are assured there will sufficient of everything available but the fragility of many of our food systems and supply chains has become evident over the past six months when panic buying left supermarket shelves bare. [...]

Quotes for July-August: From Richard Sennett

The Corrosion of Character: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism Richard Sennett’s book, The Corrosion of Character: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism, was published in 1998 yet it has a particular resonance today as employment becomes less and less stable. Before COVID, some young people seemed to enjoy [...]

James Bradley’s “Ghost Species”, 2020

James Bradley Trained as a lawyer  before becoming a writer, Bradley lives in Sydney with his partner, the novelist Mardi McConnochie. Bradley's novels, which have been published internationally, explore both past and future. His books include seven novels and a book of poetry. He has also edited two anthologies, Blur, a collection of writing by young Australian [...]

Jem Blendell—The Human Propensity for ‘Escape’ from the Reality of Death

The Ideology of Escape This post is taken from Professor Jem Bendell’s Deep Adaptation Forum newsletter That modern humans have been oppressing and destroying life on Earth is the most obvious and salient observational fact of our time. I am interested in the deepest reasons for that, beneath the injuries from colonialism, capitalism, patriarchy, anthropocentrism […]

Time for the Liveable Income Guarantee in a Post COVID World

Beyond Job Seeker and Job Keeper This article, published in The Conversation by John Quiggin, (UQ) Elise Klein (ANU) and Troy Henderson (USYD) was the product of discussion among a group that also included author Tim Dunlop, Western Sydney University emeritus professor Jane Goodall and QUT senior lecturer Dr Jenni Mays. It forms part of the [...]

Decolonisation of Knowledge—Alex Broadbent

Alex Broadbent Co-Director, African Centre for Epistemology and Philosophy of Science, and Executive Dean, Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg Academia and Decolonisation It has become unfashionable to admit that one doesn’t really understand what phrases like “decolonising knowledge” or “a decolonised curriculum” mean. This is unfortunate. The process of coming to understand what decolonisation […]

Timescapes Exhibition at Gang Gang Gallery, Lithgow

The Exhibition The Timescapes Exhibition will be held at the gorgeous Gang Gang Gallery in Lithgow during the month of July, with its official opening on Saturday 4 July at 2.30pm. The exhibition of paintings and sculptures has been curated by Sharon Howard, owner of Gang Gang Gallery, and the sculptor, Henryk Topolnicki of Gallery [...]

Jem Bendell—Dire Warnings on the Climate Crisis

Writing in his Deep Adaptation blog, Jim Bendell draws our attention to recent warning from leading climate scientists TIPPING POINTS In November 2019 seven leading climate scientists, including Professor Timothy Lenton of the University of Exeter and Professor Katherine Richardson of the University of Copenhagen published a review in the journal Nature which said:  “If damaging tipping [...]

Quotes for June—The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane

Lorraine: Well, as we move into a less restricted life we can also look forward to bookshops and libraries opening up and the joy of new books. My own bookshelves have been perused over and over. However, revisiting and rereading old books can renew forgotten aspirations, offer inspiration and hope at a time when it [...]

Ways of Thinking Ecologically—David Wright

David Wright David works through the Social Ecology group in the School of Education, Western Sydney University. He is increasingly interested in how ecological understanding can be articulated, communicated and approached through effective learning programs. David has a background in writing for performance and drama and performance studies and brings this to work in his [...]

A Wild Love for the World

Joanna Macy This post honours the life work of Joanna Macy. Joanna is a 90-year-old environmental activist, author, and inspiring teacher of Buddhism and deep ecology. She describes this moment in human history as The Great Turning, a revolutionary shift from an industrial growth society to a life-sustaining culture. Her most recent book is A [...]

Hibernation—Reflections on the Idea of Time

Carolo Rovelli (The Order of Time, 2018) We are time. We are this space, this clearing opened by the races of memory inside the connections between our neurons. We are memory. We are nostalgia. We are longing for a future that will not come. . . Rovelli is a theoretical physicist, currently directing the quantum [...]

Creative Arts Leadership Program 2020

••••• SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT ••••• Leadership is a hot topic – first around the summer bushfires, now around responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, revealing the intersection between health, economics, and community. Our creative arts sector has been severely impacted. This is where leadership counts. By reading this paper and joining the forum discussion, you are helping […]

Rhizomatic Thinking—Responding to Our Times

David Pledger—Thinker and Provocateur The following ideas in this blog post are taken from the writings of David Pledger an award-winning contemporary artist, curator, cultural commentator and thinker working within and between the performing, visual and media arts. David writes regularly for Daily Review. https://dailyreview.com.au/the-long-game/   David is a graduate of the National Institute of [...]

Four Possible Futures—Quotes for April

Insights from Simon Mair, Research Fellow, University of Sydney I am dithering about suitable quotes for this month – what might everyone want? Something light and escapist to offset the endless Corona Virus news or something that seriously addresses the issues that this pandemic raises? My own reading alternates between novels for emotional relief and [...]

Arts & Culture Cross Sector Collaboration

IMAGE: KATOOMBA STREET ART GALLERY, BLUE MOUNTAINS The Street Art Walk is a dynamic, community-driven cultural treasure of the Blue Mountains, created by Street Art Murals Australia (SAMA) in partnership with the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, University of Western Sydney and relevant stakeholders in the Beverly Place precinct. This example of cross sector collaboration resulted [...]

Art, Health and Wellbeing

Art and Wellbeing There is a burgeoning interest in the intersection between the creative arts and health and wellbeing, as countries all over the world grapple with an ageing population, the growing incidence of mental health problems across all age groups, and the need to take a more holistic attitude to the way we think [...]

‘Phosphorescence’ by Julia Baird

Baird is well known to many of us as the host of the ABC’s talk show, The Drum. However, she is also an historian and writer, author of Victoria, a biography of Queen Victoria, which critics have hailed as a triumph. In her recently published, Phosphorescence, Baird takes us on a journey that is acutely [...]

Mythic Ways of Knowing

Dream We are all familiar with the way dreams speak to us in strangely assembled images, drawn from the past, interspersed with our fears, and projected into our future. There is even the ‘science’ of travelling through space and time with lucid (consciously aware) dreaming. While dreams clearly have a function in helping us process [...]

Critical Reflections on Knowledge Systems

Defenders of Western Civilisation As Wollongong University charges ahead with its Ramsay Centre of Western Civilisation, and associated BA in Western Civilisation, at the behest of the champions of the British empire like Tony Abbott, we can only hope that this will not be a vain propaganda exercise, but a serious academic appraisal of the [...]

Genou Lepani—The Power of Family

A Tribute to my son Genou Tosibogwau Lepani My son's life has taught both him and me the importance of family.  On Genou's father's side, in the Trobriand Islands, family is everything and the network of family relationships and obligations is what holds society together through thick and thin.  On my side, although our family [...]

Cultural Burning as Caring for Country

When I tuned into the Q&A program that kicked off 2020 with an exploration of what we are calling our Black Summer of catastrophic bushfires, one of the speakers was Victor Steffensen, one of the founders of the Aboriginal Firestick Alliance. Victor’s voice was drowned out by the other members of the panel who were [...]

Jonathan Marshall—Depth Psychology, Disorder and Climate Change

Lorraine Shannon—Quotes for March As those of us who survived the fires with homes and families intact start to settle back into so-called normal life, it is impossible to ignore the impact the fires have had on communities, local businesses, the tourism industry and so on. Now is the time, not to return to ‘business [...]

Jo Truman—Bridge to Otherness Soundscape

FREE EVENT—In collaboration with Extinction Rebellion Blue Mountains Do not miss this unique and special experience. All welcome.  Donations are appreciated. Where: Bullaburra Hall, corner Noble St and Great Western Highway Bullaburra When: 2pm - 4pm, Sunday March 29 Tickets:https://www.trybooking.com/BIOON Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/178330183457774/ This special presentation of a "portrait in sound" of the Blue Mountains and [...]

Coming Together for a Just Transition

Mridula Amin's article in ABC Online 9 February points to the way in which the summer bushfires have brought communities together across the political divide between those focused on coal mining jobs and cheap energy prices, and those concerned about the impact of global warming on the whole socio-environmental system, and the need to reduce [...]

Freya Mathews: The Epistemic and Cultural Challenge

Conflicting Worldviews  Barbara Lepani—in her Opinion article on revisioning conservation for the ABC Religion and Ethics Report (18 Dec 2019), Professor Freya Mathews, a patron of the Wild Mountain Collective, also discusses the important difference between the modern Western idea of 'law' and the idea of 'Law' in Aboriginal culture.  We see this playing out [...]

Sally Gillespie, Climate Crisis and Consciousness: Re-imagining our world and ourselves

Lorraine Shannon, Wild Mountain Collective Seminars Coordinator Many authors write powerfully and insightfully on climate change and grief. Sally Gillespie’s recently published Climate Crisis and Consciousness: Re-imagining our world and ourselves is the one I have chosen for this month’s quotes.   Among the range of vital issues this book addresses, it holds out to us [...]

Finding our Inner Wilderness—Max St John

THE DARK MOUNTAIN PROJECT In this article, published by the Dark Mountain Project (https://dark-mountain.net/the-way-back-to-the-wilderness-within/) Max St John talks about his journey to find his own sense of the wilderness within, through the Daoist body practice of Nei Gong.  He describes the profound alienation from our inner wilderness that is 'built in' to our modern consumerist, [...]

Requiem for Blue Mountains National Parks

On 30 November, 2019, we held the 2019 annual Encountering the Wild arts festival at Gallery H and its basement and nearby cafe.  We were a little skittish as up the road there was a small grass fire near Bell Railway Station.  Our skittishness proved prescient. Huge areas of the Blue Mountains National Park and [...]

Lorraine Shannon—Quotes for January-February 2020

Dancing with Disaster—Kate Rigby It is difficult to think of appropriate quotes when half the country seems to be on fire, human life and homes have been lost, vast numbers of people are being asked to leave areas of NSW and the loss of animal life is estimated to be 500 million – a figure [...]

Encountering the Wild at Dargan 2019

With generous support from Bendigo Community Bank, BMCAN’s Wild Mountain Collective, together with Gallery H and Monkey Creek Café, held their annual Encountering the Wild multi-arts event on the edge of the spectacular Monkey Creek escarpment between Bell and Lithgow, on Saturday 30 November. Peter Carroll, Chair of the Bendigo Sponsorship Committee: The Board of [...]

Peter White on Hope in the Age of Anxiety

https://natureconnect.com.au/genuine-hope-within-the-moment-point-moving-beyond-sugar-coated-hope/BEYOND BEYOND SUGAR COATED OPTIMISM Hope can be genuinely expressed from a position of rationality, that is based on a considered assessment of the situation, the risks and the evidence underpinning the desired outcome. It can be also be expressed from a position of inner knowing, what I described in my last blog as arising […]

Introducing Eco-therapist, Dr Peter White to the WMC

We welcome Peter, a Wentworth Falls eco-psychology practitioner, to the Wild Mountain Collective. With graduate science degrees in ecology and sustainability, and a PhD in ecopsychology, he draws on a 20 year professional career in environmental planning, as well as community activism focused on nature conservation and environmental protection. Over 10 years ago, as part […]

Lorraine’s Quotes for November

From Glenn Albrech, Earth Emotions: New Words for a New World (Cornell University Press), 2019 Week 1 “As a consequence of the new scientific knowledge of symbiotic coexistence, I submit that we actually live in the ‘symbioment’. It is a recognition that, at its foundation, life is all about the sumbios, or ‘the living together’ [...]

The Environmental Loss of Solastalgia—Melissa Harrison

Melissa Harrison Have you cried yet? No? Don’t worry, you will. Maybe it will be a news story about the last ice in a glacier, the last living coral on a reef, or the extinction of a bird you have never seen and never will. Perhaps a TV report, or even a tweet, will finally […]

The Healing Power of Nature

Home to us all – How connecting with nature helps us care for ourselves and the earth Authors: Cheryl Charles, Rosalie Chapple, Karen Keenleyside et al. Published by the Children & Nature Network in partnership with the IUCN Commission for Education and Communication http://natureforall.global/why Report synopsis: This review paper reports on a 2018 research synthesis [...]

Re-Wilding: Quotes for October-November by Lorraine Shannon

David Rothenberg, The Survival of the Beautiful I have just returned from a trip to Germany. Although I recently read an alarming report on the rate of insect decline even in German nature reserves, I have come back with renewed hope that we may not be such a hopelessly self-destructive species as I had come [...]

Call of the Wild – Podcasts

Nathania Gilson in the Guardian Online 2 October discusses how people are using podcasts to reconnect with nature. Hilary Whitehouse from James Cook University, whose research focus includes environmental education, believes nature-related podcasts are finding an audience due to the rapid rates of animal and plant extinction across the world.  As we get closer and […]

Ways of Thinking—The Great Challenge

I feel as if this book, Sand Talk, by Tyson Yunkaporta is one I have been waiting for all my life—a book that probes into a whole different way of thinking and making sense of the world, without falling into the inevitable trap of having to talk about it in the language of another culture [...]

Amitav Gosh—The Great Derangement

Amitav Gosh was born in Calcutta in 1956 and was educated in India, before moving to the United States where he has held professorships at Queens College, City University of New York and Harvard University. He has published many works of fiction, starting with his debut novel, The Circle of Reason in 1986.  His Ibis [...]

September Quotes—Designing Regenerative Cultures

As a follow-up to the post on regenerative living the quotes for September are taken from: Daniel Christian Wahl’s book Designing Regenerative Cultures Published by Triarchy Press, Axminster, UK, 2016. (Page numbers are not available for these quotes). To see ourselves not as individuals but as living in a pattern of relationships with others; and [...]

Groundswell – KSCA

The Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation is putting on Groundswell over the weekend 6 - 9 September at Bingara in the New England region of NSW. Across rural NSW, people are adapting to our changing environment and climate. They are regenerating landscapes, reshaping the food system, and using ingenious methods – old and new – [...]

RE-GENERATION—Pathways out of the morass

The Wild Mountain Collective is joining with friends and colleagues to kickstart an exciting new project—REGENERATION. We envisage the project comprising a conference/symposium hosted by Charles Sturt University, Bathurst Campus, and a multi-arts event, hosted by Bathurst Regional Council. Leading the charge to establish the founding group are Dr Sarah Redshaw, Research Fellow, Charles Sturt [...]

Climate Change, Agriculture and Regeneration

The Economic Argument The value of the agricultural sector in 2017-2018 in Australia was $59 billion. It is expected to reach $60 billion in 2020, with the National Farmers Federation aiming for a $100 billion industry by 2030—based on the assumptions of modern industrial agricultural practices that include extensive use of irrigation, application of chemical [...]


LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION AND CLIMATE CHANGE Christopher Walker has developed a course in climate fiction at Colby College, a private liberal arts college founded in 1831. Colby is part of the US tradition of liberal arts education that has survived the trend for institutions of higher education to be driven by economic imperatives towards more [...]

Quotes for August—Focus on Aboriginal Rights: Lorraine Shannon

THE FIGHT FOR A VOICE TO PARLIAMENT It seems appropriate with the 2019 Garma festival having just finished and the Government’s intransigent attitude towards the Aboriginal Statement from the Heart to offer quotes from Political Theory and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, edited by Duncan Ivison, Paul Patton and Will Sanders. Published by Cambridge University [...]

Earth Healers—A Blue Mountains Community of Practice – Victoria Walker

BECOME A MEMBER OF THE BLUE MOUNTAINS EARTH HEALERS The Earth Healers—a community of practice will commence in early August and meet monthly out of business hours. Anyone interested in taking part please contact me at victoriastarwalker@gmail.com. There is a voluntary $5 donation per session. CLIMATE GRIEVING There are increasing signs from scientists and meteorologists [...]

Jim Blendell Year’s Review of Deep Adaptation to Climate Change

Working with my colleague Matthew Slater, I have produced a Compendium of Research Reports on Climate Chaos and Impacts, which we release today. In it I summarise 23 studies, which I consider key from the past 12 months. Last year it was unusual to claim that it is too late to stop runaway climate change damaging […]

Jem Bendell Interviews Dr Wolfgang Knorr

This blog post is reproduced from the Deep Adaptation newsletter Preamble: In June 2019 I met with Dr Wolfgang Knorr, a climate scientist with Lund University. With his dozens of peer reviewed climate papers generating thousands of citations, it is clear he has spent decades at the heart of the climate science profession. He wanted [...]

29 September Deep Ecology Workshop—Katoomba, Blue Mountains

FOR THE EARTH - A ONE DAY DEEP ECOLOGY WORKSHOP—Wild Mountain Collective SAVE THE DATE: Sunday 29th July 9:00 am – 6pm Bring lunch to share. Registration process advised later Venue: Katoomba Blue Mountains. Details given on registration Cost: $30 concession - $50/$100 other This event is non-profit and all money raised will go to [...]


Samuel Alexander, Entropia, 2019 When industrial civilisation collapsed in the third decade of the 21st century, a community living on a small island in the South Pacific Ocean found itself permanently isolated from the rest of the world. With no option but to build a self-sufficient economy with very limited energy supplies, this community set [...]

Mindscaping Tibet—Dan Smyer Yü

Dan Smyer Yü (2015) Mindscaping the Landscape of Tibet: Place, Memorability, Ecoaesthetics Religion and Society, Vol.60, Walter de Gruyer, Berlin Dan Smyer Yü is a Professor and Founding Director at the Centre for Trans-Himalayan Studies, Yunnan Minzu University, a core member of the Transregional Research Network at the University of Göttingen and a Research Group [...]

Lorraine Shannon—An Ode to Cicadas

Thirty-eight degrees Celsius today. It’s supposed to be early autumn. The plane trees, always the first to signal the end of summer, have crisp brown edges on their leaves. A day of no birds, shrivelled worms, burnt grasses. Only flies and ants seem to have survived. A microscopic view, of course, might reveal scores of […]


Chosen by Lorraine Shannon, Coordinator of the Wild Mountain Collective's Exploring Ideas occasional seminar series From: Graham Harvey, Animism: Respecting the Living World. Wakefield Press, South Australia, 2005. Graham Harvey argues in this book that a new understanding of animism can contribute significantly to contemporary debates about consciousness, cosmology and environmentalism. Notions that ‘animism’ is [...]

The Serpent Gurrangatch and the Hunter Mirragan

Bhante Sujato This essay was presented by Bhante Sujato at a plenary session of the Sakyadhita 2019 conference in Leura, NSW. Global warming is an unprecedented threat to the survival of our civilization and culture, indeed our very lives. The aboriginal myth of Gurrangatch and Mirragan tells of a time when the land of the […]


Ryan has been busy filming for several climate action campaigns, including Voice of the Barka (Murray-Darling Basin) and further filming in Fiji and New Zealand for WeWill.  Now we are finally pleased to share with you Ryan Jasper Walsh’s video record of our 2018 launch event, Encountering the Wild, which was held at Gallery H, […]

Lorraine Shannon—Eco-poetry in the Garden

The poet/gardener Alice Oswald writes: “I don’t know anything lovelier than those free shocks of sound happening against the backsound of your heart … spadescrapes, birdsong, gravel, rain on polythene, macks moving, … seeds kept in paper, potatoes coming out of boxes, high small leaves or large head-height leaves being shaken, frost on grass … [...]

June-July Quotes—Celebrating Deborah Bird Rose

LORRAINE SHANNON: From: Deborah Bird Rose, Wild Dog Dreaming: Love and Extinction. University of Virginia Press, 2011. It seems pertinent at the moment, following Deborah Bird Rose’s death in December 2018 to focus on some of her writings that examine both the positive and negative effects of human existence and actions on planet earth. In [...]

Three Options at the End of Civilisation as We Know It

Samuel Alexander:  Any of these three options outlined in this book will involve a transformation of such extreme magnitude that what emerges will no longer in any meaningful sense be this civilisation: the change will be the kind of extreme conceptual and existential magnitude that Thomas Kuhn, the philosopher of ‘paradigm-shifts’, calls ‘revolutionary’. Thus, one [...]

Anthropocene Noir—Quotes for June

Deborah Bird Rose, "Anthropocene Noir" Paper presented at People and the Planet 2013 Conference, ‘Transforming the Future", RMIT 2013 Quote 1 Anthropocene—the Age of Man—this era in which human action has become a planetary force. We know the climate change issue well because it has the greatest profile, but it is just one big part [...]

The Green Economy Movement—Quotes for May by Lorraine Shannon

Alison Hope Alkon, Black, White and Green: Farmers Markets, Race and the Green Economy. University of Georgia Press. This book is among many now appearing on how to move to a green economy. The examples are based in the United States but are still pertinent to the situation in Australia. For Australian publications on this [...]

Faith, Ceremony and Fearlessness

Today I attended my monthly gathering of dharma friends for a Riwo Sangchö practice. This is a smoke offering ceremony that acts as a physical metaphor for transforming all the negativities in the world, freeing them into the indivisible unity of space and wisdom. I am a Western woman, brought up culturally as an Anglican [...]

Beyond the Zero Sum Game

TRAFFIC JAM ON EVEREST This photo is likely to become one of the most famous images of 2019.  It perfectly encapsulates the zero-sum game of modern society.  Known to the Tibetan People as Chomolungma, Goddess Mother of the Universe, one of the Mountain Gods of ancient Tibet, for the modern cashed-up consumer it has become [...]

Australian Nature Writing

Unlike America and the United Kingdom, and despite the way in which our sense of Australian identity is anchored in our love affair with 'the bush', expressed in poetry and art, Australia does not have a well developed literary culture of nature writing.  One Australian writer who stands out is Mark Tredinnick, a member of [...]

Love Among the Ruins with Ian Milliss

Barbara Lepani: I recently met Ian Milliss who is one of the founders of the Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation (www.ksca.land). I was struck by a piece of writing Ian had on his wall, titled ‘Love among the Ruins’. For me this was the perfect response to the revisioning of our relationship to the natural [...]


Keynotes are presented by CLIMARTE’s ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2019 Festival in association with The Potter Museum of Art at The University of Melbourne MIRANDA MASSIE (USA), Director, Climate Museum, New York City, will give a public talk on Wednesday 1 May, Carillo Gantner Theatre, Sidney Myer Asia Centre A Museum for The Path Ahead: New York City’s Climate […]


Keynotes are presented by CLIMARTE’s ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2019 Festival in association with The Potter Museum of Art at The University of Melbourne On Tuesday 30 April 2019, Beka Economopoulos and Jason Jones (USA), Co-founders of The Natural History Museum and Not An Alternative, a collective that works at the intersection of art, activism and theory, will give […]


A group of artists from the Wild Mountain Collective got together to develop a proposal for the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Exposé Exhibition 2020 Program.  Unfortunately we were not one of the 4 submissions chosen from a field of 50 applications, but we thought it worth sharing our ideas with our readers. Our core theme/idea [...]

Lorraine Shannon’s April Quotes – Timely Reminders from Ernst Friedrich Schumacher

E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered, Vintage Classics, 2011. (First published, 1973). In his Introduction to this reprint of Small is Beautiful, Jonathan Porritt writes, “Fritz Schumacher (1911-1977) was a great synthesizer, bringing may disparate concerns within the same frame of reference. He was the first of the [...]

Lorraine Shannon—Plant Speak

M.Hale, 1677 Though the Earth be not animated with a Sensible soul, yet it is possible that it may be a great, Immortal Vegetable. The latest buzz-word, this morning’s radio program informs me, is conversation. Everyone is apparently having ‘conversations’ about what ails us. The announcer lists endless reports on conversations, conversations within families, in [...]

Resilience: Relinquishment: Restoration

Professor Jem Bendell of Cumbria University in the UK has been exploring how human society will adapt to the existential crisis that climate change is posing to our world as we fail to keep global warming below 2%.  Positive feedback loops will act to accelerate the impact of climate change on weather systems, the environment, [...]

ArtBytes | Wild Mountain Collective forges ahead

Following the successful Encountering the Wild Event at Dargan in December 2018, the Wild Mountain Collective is gearing up to support a number of activities. These will support our community in using the creative arts to explore and celebrate the ‘wild’ and our sense of interconnected relationship with nature and one another, and to engage [...]

Ryan Jasper Walsh—Filmmaker

Ryan is a young Australian documentary director, editor and film practitioner specialising in intimate, non-fiction storytelling, who is part of our Wild Mountain Collective community. Since returning from 4 years living in China, Ryan has turned his focus to storytelling about issues of climate change and ecological destruction. The recent mass fish kills in Menindee [...]

Week ending 15 March—Lorraine Shannon

Paddy Woodworth, Our Once and Future Planet, University of Chicago Press, 2013. Remember: “… first that the natural world is considerably more resilient than I had thought, and that damaged and degraded ecosystems can rebuild a great deal of their complex webs of species, communities and ecological processes, if we give them half a chance [...]

Quote for Week Ending 8 March 2019—Lorraine Shannon

Our Once and Future Planet, Paddy Woodworth, University of Chicago Press, 2013. Our Once and Future Planet explores the area of environmental experimentation and innovation known as ecological restoration. This is the practice of attempting to fix disruptions to the natural world caused by centuries of human activity. Woodworth provides examples from around the globe where [...]

Quotes for Rest of February 2019—Lorraine Shannon

Ecopsychology: Restoring the earth, healing the mind, edited by Theodore Roszak, Mary E. Gomes and Allen D. Kanner, Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, 1995. Mary Catherine Bateson: “The self does not stop at the skin nor even with the circle of human relationships but is interwoven with the lives of trees and animals and soil; [...]

The Order of Interbeing—Thich Nhat Hanh

Be open to receive others’ viewpoints, to learn throughout your entire life. Live simply and share time, energy and material resources with those in need. Find whatever means possible to protect life and prevent war. The concept of ‘interbeing’ comes from the Vietnamese Tiep Hien: Tiep means ‘being in touch with’ and ‘continuing’. Hien means [...]

The Phenomenology of Perception

We know not through our intellect but through our experience. Maurice Merleau-Ponty (Eng. 1962) Sarah Redshaw gives us the following review of February's Monthly Meet gathering to discuss Maurice Merleau-Ponty's book, The Phenomenology of Perception, a ground breaking work in the history of Western philosophy: In contrast to the approach of the objective sciences, the [...]

Celebrating Trees Seminar—Saturday 6 April

The Wild Mountain Collective's Exploring Seminar Series will host its first 2019 seminar, Celebrating Trees.  Featuring renowned eco-artists, Janet Laurence and Louise Fowler-Smith, it will be held at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Seminar Room on Saturday 6 April: 2—4pm.  Entry is $20 waged and $10 unwaged—pay cash at the door. Janet Laurence will discuss her [...]

Leanne Tobin—Patron of the Wild Mountain Collective

Our featured image above shows Leanne Tobin's 2009 work Nurragingy and Colebee. The significant event which led to the name of Blacktown is one of momentous importance in the history of Australia: the first land grant ever given to Aboriginal people. At the heart of the Black(s) Town story stand Nurragingy and Colebee, highly regarded [...]

Quote of the Week 19 February 2019—Lorraine Shannon

“What we are looking at is nothing less than an environmental revolution, an economic and social transformation that ranks with the agricultural and industrial revolutions. … The environmental revolution will be driven primarily by the restructuring of the global economy so that this economy does not destroy its natural support systems.” —Lester R. Brown, ‘Ecopsychology [...]

The Philosophical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis—Lynn White

Michael Paul Nelson of Oregon State University, together with Thomas J. Sauer of the US Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service, reminds us of the prescient words of Lynn White, a historian of medieval science and technology, when he delivered a lecture on the 'Historic Roots of Our Ecological Crisis' in March 1966 at the [...]

Why can’t you take the gift we offer?

Yesterday, quite by chance, I happened on Ellen Fanning interviewing Wesley Enoch, Director of the Sydney Festival.  She began by questioning him about the ALWAYS vigil installation at Barangaroo for the Sydney Festival, and whether it was making people uncomfortable in relation to the 'Change the Date' campaign about Australia Day on 26 January, the [...]

Listen to New Zealand’s Whale Whisperers

Hori Parata, New Zealand’s Maori Whale Whisperer: “As more whales beach and die – from exhaustion, heat stroke or seagulls feasting on their flesh – an acute sense of grief is growing among New Zealand’s indigenous people, who regard whales as their ancestors and taonga (treasures). These days it is like a zoo. People just […]

Jeremy Lent: A Plea to Yuval Harari

Here, with his permission, I share an article by Jeremy Lent of the Liology Institute.  Like me Jeremy seeks to understand how humanity got to its current existential crisis in terms of its relationship to the 'more than human world' as climate change and species extinctions as the cumulative effect of modern techno-capitalism threatens the [...]

Encountering the Wild at Gallery H Basement Dargan

[dropcap]On[/dropcap] Saturday 1 December, the Wild Mountain Collective held its  Encountering the Wild Multi Arts Festival launch event at Mark O'Carrigan's complex at Dargan, which includes a cafe, Gallery H and its basement function space.  Willem Hendriksen of Retro Rehash sourced the musicians, Simon Hearn sourced the artists, Simon Hearn and Henryk Topolnicki curated the [...]

Lorraine Shannon – The Myth Gap Review

Perhaps the most famous 'myth' of Aboriginal culture is that associated with the Rainbow Serpent.  However Aboriginal culture is also rich in the mythology of other Creation Ancestors whose actions created the features of the Australian landscape.  Their journeys are recorded in songlines that criss cross Australia, and are remembered through dance, ceremony, art and [...]

Encountering the Wild Multi-Arts Festival

[dropcap]Join[/dropcap] the Wild Mountain Collective community as they celebrate their launch with a multi-arts festival “Encountering the Wild” on Saturday Dec 1. Date: Saturday, December 1, 2018 at 2 PM – 5 PM Venue: Gallery H 227 Chifley Road, Dargan 2786 Hosted by Wild Mountain Collective Lovers of music, nature and the arts are expected [...]

Eco-Civilization – Jeremy Lent

The crucial idea behind an ecological civilization is that our society needs to change at a level far deeper than most people realize. It’s not just a matter of investing in renewables, eating less meat, and driving an electric car. The intrinsic framework of our global social and economic organization needs to be transformed. And [...]

Wild Mountain Collective Launch Party

The Wild Mountain Collective is holding its Launch Party, Encountering the Wild, at the Basement, Gallery H, Dargan.  Gallery H and its basement, together with the adjacent cafe, are feature buildings of Mark O'Carrigan's Hatter's Huts—architectural sculptures in their own right.  They stand on a narrow ridge on the southern side of Chifley Road, between Bell and [...]

The Inner Wild of Poetic Resistance

The idea of the ‘wild’ is not just the world of undomesticated nature. It is also the inner poetic strength of the human spirit in the face of oppression. For this reason this blog is honouring Behrouz Boochani, the Kurdish-Iranian journalist, writer, cultural advocate, filmmaker and scholar, whom Australia has kept imprisoned on Manus Island [...]

Our Patrons of the Wild Mountain Collective

John Wolesley John is a leading figurative landscape painter who is exhibited widely in Australia. He uses unique techniques of watercolour, collage, frottage, nature printing and other methods of direct physical or kinetic contact to find ways of collaborating with the actual plants, birds, trees, rocks and earth of a particular place. Back in the [...]

Deep Time Dreaming—The Meaning of Aboriginal Art

We are learning to see Australia through Aboriginal eyes, beginning to recognise the wisdom contained in their epic story… We cannot imagine that the descendants of people whose genius and resilience maintained a culture here through 50,000 years or more, through cataclysmic changes to the climate and environment, and who then survived two centuries of [...]


    The Wild Mountain Collective shares similar aims to the Liology Institute, which flows from the work of Jeremy Lent, author of The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity's Search for Meaning.  Below is their explanation of the meaning of Liology and now it can inform our world view.  My favourite quote from [...]

Wild Mountains Collective Book Club kicks off

A small group of us met at Barbara's house to think about how we wanted the Wild Mountains Collective Book/Writers Club and its associated blog, to evolve as a forum where we could discuss ideas with one another and explore the rich literature that touches on the themes that are informing the Wild Mountain Collective.  [...]

Welcoming Henryk Topolnicki to the Wild Mountain Collective

All religions will pass But this will remain Simply sitting in a chair And looking into the distance —Vasily Vasilievich Rozanov Henryk:  As an artist, I do this myself quite a lot. That space between your mind and what is out there—to me this is the most creative space. You need to allow yourself that [...]

Welcoming Inge Riebe to the Wild Mountain Collective

Much of my life I have felt my role is as a translator, sometimes of languages, sometimes between people at odds, and most often between cultures. My primary discipline is anthropology with a strong interest in oral history. Some of my work has been in Aboriginal Heritage in Australia, which has enabled me to connect [...]

Welcoming Eliot Reynolds to the Wild Mountain Collective

When life gets out of balance, Eliot reconnects to the earth by taking long barefoot walks in the bushland, visiting local waterfalls and letting the cold winter wind wrap her arms around him in loving embrace. Eliot Boyd Reynolds is a music composer, player and producer with 35 years of music and TV industry experience [...]

The Aesthetic Beauty of the Universe—Jasper Lepani

  Photography is a field which has developed immensely over the years; from a highly specialized knowledge of equipment and composure, to instant post-processing and 4K high definition cameras that barely take up more than couple of millimetres on the back of your phone. The world of photography has become an ever more crucial cog [...]

Touching the Earth—Welcoming Martin Roberts

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers but as fountains of life (John Muir, in Louv, 2011, p.46). Martin Roberts is [...]

Welcoming Lorraine Shannon to the Wild Mountain Collective

I was delighted to hear of, and then be invited to join the Wild Mountains Collective as I have been involved in environmental issues for many years, first as an active member of ASLE – the Association for Literature and the Environment which was founded in the USA but has since become an international association [...]

Honouring the Kangaloon Ecologies Group

The Wild Mountain Collective kicked off on the inspiration of Charles Massey’s Call of the Reed Warbler, the “manifesto for uncivilisation” by the UK Dark Mountain Project, founded by Paul Kingsnorth as a self-confessed recovering environmental activist, and the work of Dave Abram with his US based Alliance for Wild Ethics. However our deepest roots [...]

The Hidden Language of Trees

[dropcap]Remember[/dropcap] James Cameron’s Avatar—the highest grossing movie of all time! This fascinating secret world of the language of trees is what German forester Peter Wohlleben explores in The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate. Trees dominate the world’s the oldest living organisms. Since the dawn of our species, they have been our silent companions, permeating our most enduring [...]

Memories of Wild Places

Back in 2005 I was living in Nelson, a small lifestyle town on the northern coast of the South Island of New Zealand—said to have the best weather in all of New Zealand. Clear sunny skies and in winter to the west you could see the towering snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps. I [...]

Tantric Buddhism and Inter-being

[dropcap]My[/dropcap] dharma friend, Catherine Paul, recently visited Kakadu in the Northern Territory.  Visiting this protected wilderness area, she felt the full benefit of her years as a member of the full-time practising sangha at the Lerab Ling retreat centre in the south of France.  She posted this on Facebook : According to Tantric Buddhism, everywhere [...]

There is a new appetite for serious reflection

Writing in the Observer this weekend, Alex Preston draws our attention to the publishing phenomena of a growing interest in serious books.  As he says, the story of Sapiens is about a book becoming part of a national conversation. “Readers like to read the same book, particularly if it’s a good and interesting one,” Daunt says, “because [...]

Welcoming Ian Brown to the Wild Mountain Collective

[dropcap]Can[/dropcap] art change the world? I’ve never liked this question, its too simplistic. History and common sense say that almost anything can provoke change in society, from the smallest event or trend to the cataclysmic. But mostly it happens from a combination of many accumulating ‘nudges’. I often think about the famous quote from Margaret [...]

Welcoming Damian Castaldi to the Wild Mountain Collective

I have been introduced to the Wild Mountain Collective and Barbara Lepani by Katrina Noorbergen, the program officer at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre because of my sonic arts background and interest in recording and composing soundscapes. I am interested in some of it’s core principles, a deep concern for the environment, sustainability and the [...]

Freya Mathews on Relating to the Natural World

Freya Mathews is one of Australia's leading environmental philosophers and a practising Daoist.  She has explored the way in which Daoism gives us a different way of relating to the natural world.  Freya has agreed to support the Wild Mountain Collective, and we have created a window into her website here so that you can [...]

In Search of the Wild Archetype

Back in 1992 Clarissa Pinkola Estés published 'Women Who Run With the Wolves', a book that would transfix American culture, spending two years on the New York Times bestseller list. Her book is a call to recover the wild within us in the face of the deadening impact on our inner psyches of the economism [...]

Encountering the Wild in the Trobriand Islands

It never occurred to me to go to Papua New Guinea. I wanted to go to Paris. I was in love with the world of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Paul Sartre. However during a demonstration in Sydney in support of the Gurindji people who had claimed the right to live on their own land, [...]

The Wild Mountain Collective

We citizens of the City of Blue Mountains live in 26 urban villages surrounded by wilderness—the one million hectares of the ancient, rugged Blue Mountains World Heritage Area of temperate eucalypt forests, vivid red sandstone cliff faces, deep ravines and gorges and plunging waterfalls.  Over 4 million people visit us each year to replenish their [...]

Call of the Dakini | A Memoir of a Life Lived [Extract]



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