On the 20-21 May 2017, the first Australian Greens National Conference for the year will be held in Alice Springs.
This is a very real opportunity to participate in the democratic process and see the heart of Australia: its stunning landscape, its well sung country, representatives of the world's oldest living culture and some of the effects of colonisation. Many of the people you will meet speak English as their fourth or fifth language, after Arrente, Walpiri, Pitjitjanjara and Luritja.
The conference is being held at the Alice Springs Youth Centre, 200 metres from the Todd River at the southern base of Anzac Hill (originally the Arrente women's Dreaming Hill).
Rewrite the future
Following on from the excellent What the Future Holds conference in WA, the theme for this conference is Rewrite the Future.
For the policy-minded, there will be lots to sink your teeth into. In particular, folks interested in addressing Australia's growing wealth inequality will enjoy sessions exploring a Robin Hood Tax to curb international speculation and questions of land tax and inheritance tax are on the agenda too. As if that's not enough, there will also be a workshop on the New Economy Movement.
If you're interested in countering racism in Australia, increasing the diversity of the Greens across the board and especially pre-selecting more diverse candidates, then perhaps you'd like to put your hand up to be a member of the new Multicultural Committee of the Australian Greens, who will be elected at the Conference. Plus, there will be a stream of workshops and panels addressing First Nations concerns such as soverignty, reconciliation, indigenous health, the cashless welfare card and more.
Stay for the social
Friday evening, 19 May, behind the local RSL Club on the North side of Anzac Hill there will be a "community fire" and "get together" before the conference.
A fundraiser is being planned at a local icon called Monte's for the Saturday night.
Extra-curricular activities for those that wish to see more and stay longer can be arranged. An historical town walking tour, a day trip to the McDonnell Ranges, a longer journey to Uluru are all possible and available and there will be more information on this in the next issue of Greens Magazine.
If you want, come early and attend the music weekend, Wide Open Spaces at Ross River. If you are feeling literary, duck out of the conference and attend sessions at the Alice Springs Writers Festival, to be held on the same weekend.
Pay it forward
Attending conference costs money. As with the last two Conferences, to help break down financial barriers, we have established an ongoing Grants program to provide seed funding for participants from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.
Since the conference in Alice Springs will also be a little more expensive per day, we've added a Pay it Forward option to every registration so that you can help subsidise someone else's meals for the day — we've arranged vegan catering by the Tea Shrine and other catering from Kungas Can Cook and the Wake Café.
We can't wait to see you in Alice. It's your party. It's your future. Get involved!