The fifth World Environment Day Festival was certainly a huge success.
From the moving traditional acknowledgment to the closing strains of the live entertainment, there was fun, laughter, learning and so much joy in the day, which focused on thinking about climate change and its impact on the small island developing states.
The Kirabati connection was strong and the moving address by Wanita from the Kiribati Australia Association brought tears to many eyes. She spoke of the plight of the low lying Kiribati island mass, being one of the most isolated countries in the world and one of the most vulnerable to climate change in rising sea levels. Wanita explained how rising sea levels had already affected their land with coconut trees upon which they rely for food, clothing and shelter, no longer able to survive on land which is either underwater or suffering from salinity problems. She told the crowd that in perhaps less than 50 years, their country will not be habitable.
Sally Mackinnon officially opened the festival and presented organisers with the community painting that was created at the 2011 festival as part of The Rim Art and Ecology Project with Sally and artists John Jackson and Dave Groom. Sally also recited the poem that she put together with input from the community.
There were so many highlights of the day, but certainly one for many was the Junkyard Dogs Upcycled Marching Band. Armed with upcycled blue water containers and wearing helmets decorated with all manner of things such as flowers, old CD racks, and metal kitchenalia, the band marched through the venue grounds beating their drums to the chant of ‘raise your voice, not the sea level’.
The live entertainment was very impressive with songs especially written for the day. ‘The Soundies’, the team who got together to manage the music on the day, wrote ‘Sea Levels Rising’ and ‘Keep it in the Ground’ which were extremely popular. The Babbling Trillbilly’s also performed six incredibly entertaining new songs including a sometimes hilarious focus on recycling and the environment. The Kiribati Dancers were also a huge hit.
Visitors were impressed with the array of displays and stalls and marvelled at the variety, originality and creativity of the artisans.
Feedback continues to roll in, but my favourite would have to be “thank you for the best day of the year in Boonah”
Organisers are now working on collecting feedback to build on for next year’s event.
Please see the many event photos online on facebook.
a huge thank you goes out to our generous supporters who provided such a generous array of fabulous prizes. congratulations to all lucky winners.