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Sustainability the focus for new online event


A new online event is set to bring the knowledge of bestselling author Sarah Wilson, Masterchef contestant Steph De Sousa and conservationist Tim Flannery to the people of Lake Macquarie.

With the annual Living Smart Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, Lake Macquarie City Council has launched a Living Smart Beyond 2020 program to help fill the gap.

It will feature online workshops, talks and webinars to be held from October to December.

The council’s Manager Community Partnerships, Andrew Bryant, said individual events within Living Smart Beyond 2020 would help engage and enrich the community.

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

“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.”

Bookings are essential. To find out more, go to the Living Smart Festival website.

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