Connecting through Nature Stories

I hope you enjoy the two stories available here Mr. Worm and Spider Flying. The sketches are by my brother Nick Safstrom. You can see his work here.

I like telling the stories and engaging with others to tell their stories. It can be fun pretending to be an animal or plant.

A set of animal stories will be available for sale as booklets and on CD from this website soon. Other titles are:

  • Aussie the Wattlebird enjoying the curly haired one

  • Rainbow Bee eater flys to New Guinea

  • Bullant 202 in defensive of her nest

  • Enjoying Being a Butterfly

  • Clem, Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo sad about food trees being cut down

  • Dugi the Dugite – do you like surprises

  • Frederick the Wedgetailed Eagle has an accident

  • Gnow the Malleefowl has some surprises

  • Taddy the tadpole likes jelly and learns to croak

  • Termi the termite want to eat your house

  • Woody the Wood Duck has a high jump.

I also like telling stories about how ecosystems work, telling them from the perspective of the ecosystem.

The following stories will be available for sale soon in print and CD:

  • Can you see me? Can you read me? A little story asking us to sit quietly and read the history of a forest from looking at the signs of change over time

  • Hesterbush. The bush explaining why she likes the way Will learns from watching to the bush

  • Jarrah. This is a set of ecololgy teaching stories with the trees sharing their life cycles and why their way is best compared with their mates in the bush. The stories are from Jarrah, Mallee, Mallet, Banksia and Wattle

  • One by One is the story of an old lonely Candlebark tree in Victoria and his cry to let him regenerate

  • Snowy, the Snow gum tells of his life in Victorian Alps above the snow line and how the he and the trees below the snow line have each adapted differently to fire

  • I am Paperbark is a poem depicting the coming of white people to the wetlands south of Perth Western Australia and his cry for the land.

Connecting through Men’s Groups

Rod has been involved with men’s groups and the Western Australia Annual Men’s Gathering since 1996. Rod helped start the Darlington Men’s Group in 2004. The Darlington Men’s Group is different to many men’s groups in having an open membership and by commencing with a meditation to deepen the sharing process. Please find here details of the Darlington Men’s Group, the WA Annual Men’s Gathering and guidelines and protocols for men’s groups from the Annual Men’s Gathering. Co-founder of the Darlington Men’s Group Steve Altham provides great insights into how the group works with his No Chicks story available here.

Contact Rod if you would like support to start a men’s group or to share his experiences with men’s groups.

Connecting through Scenario Futures

I have found that scenarios as stories are a great way to communicate possible futures. After a conference people often remember the story but may not remember the technical content. The scenarios communicate the spirit of the presentation and help people get in touch with their feelings for the topic which are rarely expressed in technical type workshops and meetings!

I have included here some scenarios from the wheatbelt in Western Australia, about Perth and about the Gascoyne River catchment in the Western Australian rangelands. I trust you enjoy them.

Connecting through Noongar culture at Nowanup

Nowanup – Noongar Reconnection with Boodja

I have been privileged to be on a ‘Journey into Spirit’ with Noongar elder Dr. Noel Nannup and with Sean Nannup into the wheatbelt of Western Australia where we spent five days immersed in country and learning about the land and Noongar Aboriginal culture with new eyes. This journey was a doorway for me to be invited down to Nowanup between the Stirling Ranges and the Fitzgerald National Park where Noongar leader Eugene Eades runs cultural reconnection programs. I was familiar with the land having been part of the negotiation to purchase the land for conservation in 2004 and having camped on the land a number of times while negotiating conservation purchases in the area for the Gondwana Link project. At the end of the visit I was inspired to ask Eugene if there was anything we could do to assist. He said we could rebuild the Meeting Place structure as the white ants were eating the timbers.

This led to a rich partnership with the Darlington Men’s Group and now three trips later the meeting place is rebuilt and we have achieved a ‘makeover’ (renovation) of the Cottage and improvement to the community kitchen facilities. In total more than $20,000 in commercial value. Our model is to each provide $100 for materials and to cover all our travel and food costs. We gain so much richness by being on the land with Noongar people.

Nowanup

The Darlington Men’s group has more projects in the pipeline and would appreciate financial and physical support.

"Supporting conditions for healthy Earth-Humanity systems. Creating opportunities for people to connect with the Earth, each other and themselves."