Sarah Wilson, Tim Flannery among stars to feature in new Living Smart

Published on 16 September 2020

Steph De Sousa will host the Meat Free Challenge (Custom).jpg

Bestselling author Sarah Wilson, Masterchef contestant Steph De Sousa and renowned conservationist Tim Flannery are among the stars to feature in a new program of sustainability-themed online events hosted by Lake Macquarie City Council.

With the annual Living Smart Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, Council has launched Living Smart Beyond 2020, featuring online workshops, talks and webinars to be held from October to December.

Manager Community Partnerships Andrew Bryant said individual events within Living Smart Beyond 2020 would help engage and enrich our community.

“We want to share our vision for a sustainable future, and help Lake Mac recover from the effects of COVID-19,” Mr Bryant said.

“It was a difficult decision to cancel the Living Smart Festival at Speers Point Park this year, but the online program is a fantastic alternative in keeping with its sustainability theme.”

Wilson will present a one-hour evening session on Wednesday 7 October, covering her new book, this one wild and precious life. The session will include Q&A time with online audience members.

The New York Times bestselling author has sold more than one million books in Australia alone.

“I hope my book and next month’s talk help inspire others to act, to talk up, to step outside and immerse themselves in nature,” Wilson said.

“Our forced moment of pause through this pandemic can be a turning point to break the cycle of consumption, and an opportunity to redirect our energyand time into things that enrich and connect us.

De Sousa will feature in a November ‘Meat-Free Challenge’, where participants who sign up receive recipe cards and online tips from De Sousa herself to help trial eating less meat in their lives.

And Flannery, a former Australian of the Year who heads Australia’s leading climate change communications organisation, will speak on Wednesday 2 December about his ‘climate cure’ action plan for the future. That session, too, will include an audience Q&A.

“We’re excited and honoured that some of Australia’s leading lights in sustainability and conservation have signed up to take part in Living Smart Beyond 2020,” Mr Bryant said.

“It is testament to the reputation Living Smart has developed over more than a decade, and Council’s commitment to these important issues.”

Other highlights include online workshops in October aiming to help people understand and reduce their energy bills and learn more about creative, community-financed solar power options for homes and businesses.

Former Australian Geographic Society Conservationist of the Year Natalie Isaacs will talk about fighting climate change by changing the way we live at a talk in November, while Wardrobe stylist and slow fashion advocate Joanne Gambale will host workshops on how to op-shop like a pro, and how to buy and sell second hand and vintage clothing online.

Bookings are essential. To find out more, go to

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