Project co-facilitators attended the 2022 iDEA Conference “Time to Act” in Naarm/Melbourne in early September 2022. Doctors for the Environment, Australia (DEA) is an advocacy organisation seeking to educate community and advocate for policy change in the climate and health space. They are incredibly well organised and ever-growing. The core membership is medical doctors (GPs and various kinds of specialists) who are seeking to address climate change as a human health emergency. We were chosen as one of the three research presentations to speak about our process designing the “Armidale Climate and Health Project” and how these grassroots activities can help build real community resilience and centre Indigenous knowledge. Dr Sujata Allan used to be on the board of DEA and was instrumental in the earlier days of the organisation which has recently undergone a growth spurt!
We took the opportunity of the DEA conference to share the story of this project, and its successes, failures and future plans. We also offered up some concepts, strategies and methods for doing this kind of grassroots climate and health justice work in other regional and urban communities.
We got some really exciting feedback about some of the tactics especially the idea that all roads lead to land and water, and that transforming the food system has so many different and diverse benefits for climate and health. One of our next activities is Food School, which builds on the finding of this project.