Living Smart Book Club

Speaker Series

Leading sustainability and wellbeing experts from around the world bring their stories to your home.

On the first Wednesday of each month ABC’s Jenny Marchant hosts a new author to talk about a book that has the potential to inform and inspire everyday living. Sit back in the comfort of your own home and tune in to hear the latest on climate change, gardening, food, culture, wellbeing and a raft of other sustainability topics. Audience members can pose questions to the guest speaker via a Q&A function.

3 March 2021 - Ronni Kahn

Ronni Kahn  

A Repurposed Life

As the owner of a successful events company, throwing away huge volumes of leftover food at the end of the day came with the territory. But when Ronni Kahn hit midlife, she found herself no longer able to turn a blind eye to her food waste problem. Hand delivering the untouched food to homeless shelters around Sydney became her renegade solution. Little did she know that fixing her small problem at work would lead her to unlock a hidden purpose at the very core of her inner life.

Now founder and CEO of the food rescue organisation OzHarvest, Ronni leads hundreds of staff and thousands of volunteers with the goal to nourish Australia. She serves in an advisory capacity to government and is an instrumental leader in changing federal laws to improve social justice and environmental policies.

A Repurposed Life is the story of how Ronni found her voice, her heart and her deepest calling. From her early years growing up under the brutal system of apartheid South Africa, to a socialist commune in Israel, Ronni finally settled in Australia to discover a profound new way of living. Shared with the humour, warmth and energy that have made her an internationally renowned keynote speaker, this heartfelt exploration of the choices that define us will speak to anyone seeking a more passionate expression of being alive.

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Bruce Pascoe

For those who missed this session with Bruce Pascoe, you can watch a recording of the virtual book club.

 

Bruce Pascoe has won numerous awards, including the New South Wales Premier’s Book of the Year Award in 2016 for this title Dark Emu. In 2018 Bruce was awarded the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. He has worked as a teacher, farmer, fisherman, barman, fencing contractor, lecturer, Aboriginal language researcher, archaeological site worker and editor. Bruce is a Yuin, Bunurong and Tasmanian man, and currently lives on his farm in Gippsland, Victoria.

In Dark Emu Bruce provides compelling evidence from the diaries of early explorers that suggests that systems of food production and land management have been blatantly understated in modern retellings of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia's past is required.

Opinions expressed or advice given by the Presenter represent the opinions and views of the Presenter and are not necessarily endorsed, recommended or shared by Lake Macquarie City Council.

Tim Flannery

For those who missed this session with Tim Flannery, we encourage you to take a look at the recording of the virtual book club.

 

Emergencies test governments, organisations and individuals. Although Australia’s prompt, science-led response to COVID-19 has not been perfect, it has saved tens of thousands of lives. But for decades, governments have ignored, ridiculed or understated the advice of scientists on the climate emergency.

Now, in the wake of the megafires of 2020, a time of reckoning has arrived. In The Climate Cure renowned climate scientist Tim Flannery takes aim at those responsible for the campaign of obfuscation and denial that has already cost so many Australian lives and held back action on climate change.

Flannery demands a new approach, based on the nation’s response to COVID-19, that will lead to effective government policies. The Climate Cure is an action plan for our future. We face a fork in the road, and must decide now between catastrophe and survival.

Opinions expressed or advice given by the Presenter represent the opinions and views of the Presenter and are not necessarily endorsed, recommended or shared by Lake Macquarie City Council.

Sarah Wilson

For those who missed this session with Sarah Wilson, we encourage you to take a look at the recording of the virtual book club.

 

Will you sleep through the revolution? Or do you want to wake up and reclaim your one wild and precious life?

We live in truly overwhelming times. The climate crisis, political polarisation, racial injustice and coronavirus have left many of us in a state of spiritual PTSD. We have retreated, morally and psychologically; we are experiencing a crisis of disconnection - from one another, from our true values, from joy, and from life as we feel we are meant to be living it.

Sarah Wilson argues that this sense of despair and disconnection is ironically what unites us - that deep down, we are all feeling that same itch for a new way of living. This one wild and precious life opens our eyes to how we got here and offers a radically hopeful path forward. Drawing on science, literature, philosophy, the wisdom of some of the world's leading experts, and her personal journey, Wilson weaves a one-of-a-kind narrative that lights the way back to the life we love. En route, she leads us through a series of 'wildly awake' and joyful practices for reconnecting again that include:

  • Go to your edge. Do what scares you and embrace discomfort daily. Use it to grow into your Big Life.
  • #buylesslivemore. Break the cycle of mindless consumption and get light with your life.
  • Become a soul nerd. Embrace poetry, deep reading, art, and classical music to light up your intellect.
  • Get 'full-fat spiritual'. How to have an active practice - beyond the 'lite' 'rainbows and unicorns' - and use it to change the world.
  • Hike. Just hike. Walking in nature reconnects us with ourselves, and with our true purpose.
  • Practise wild activism. If you can get 3.5 per cent of a population to participate in sustained, non-violent protest, change happens. We create our better world.

The time has come to boldly, wildly, imagine better. We are being called upon, individually and as a society, to forge a new path and to find a new way of living. Will you join the journey?

Opinions expressed or advice given by the Presenter represent the opinions and views of the Presenter and are not necessarily endorsed, recommended or shared by Lake Macquarie City Council.

Natalie Isaacs

For those who missed this session with Natalie Isaacs, we encourage you to take a look at the recording of the virtual book club.

When it came to climate change, Natalie Isaacs used to think it was someone else's issue. After all, what can one person do to make a difference? Then she cut her electricity bill by 20 per cent and saw how much money and pollution she'd saved. Feeling empowered, she embraced action instead of apathy and changed her life. She has never looked back.

In Every Woman's Guide to Saving the Planet, Natalie shares her journey from climate bystander to international campaigner. Now the founder and CEO of the globally recognised climate action organisation 1 Million Women, Natalie explains:

  • why climate change is the biggest issue of our time
  • why women, who make around 85 per cent of household spending decisions, are incredibly powerful when it comes to taking climate action
  • how to start taking action in your own life
  • how to cut waste of everyday consumables such as energy, food, fashion or single-use plastic
  • why stuff can't make us happy and why less truly is more
  • how to inspire your family, friends and community to take climate action.

With handy toolkits packed full of practical how-to's, Every Woman's Guide to Saving the Planet will get you started on your own climate action journey. Natalie's message is simple: never underestimate the power you have to fight climate crisis. You just need to act.

Opinions expressed or advice given by the Presenter represent the opinions and views of the Presenter and are not necessarily endorsed, recommended or shared by Lake Macquarie City Council.