Tom Wegener Noosa Councillor

08 Jul

In March 2020, I was elected as one of seven Noosa Councillors. At the time I thought I would be able to make a few surfboards while acting as a councillor, but I have found that I do not have the time or energy. I am loving the new position and I am putting my all into doing a good job.

I have one project which will begin through the blog below. I want to learn about how to make change in this world. For example, Noosa wants to be carbon neutral by 2026. How do we get there? I am hoping to create an agriculture hub. How do I do that, and how do we look at a piece of land and think sustainable farming? What can I/we do to facilitate these goals?

When I look at how to make change, I begin to question our individual relationship with the world. How do we fit into nature and society? When thinking about the agriculture hub, do we look through the lens of a modern farmer - thinking of buying land, tilling the soil, depositing fertilizers and growing food with a goal of paying the bills and making a profit? Or do we look at it from a more indiginous peoples perspective and watch the land very carefully and see how our crops can fit into the local ecology? Do we conquer the world or do work in harmony with nature? Can humans actually communicate with nature and receive what they request?

Through my blog, youtube videos and articles, I hope to begin to answer these questions and facilitate our ability to make change in the world. All of this is an extension to my PhD research into surfing culture and how culture is essential in maintaining artisanal manufacturing in Australia. The end goal is to use this body of work to move forward to creating the Noosa Biosphere Institute.  It is a lofty goal. Every journey starts with a first step.

The blog is a work in progress. The first course (I need a better word) is about the elders of Papua New Guinea and how they see their relationship with nature and humanity. The second is a movie I made about my PhD research and my book, Surfbaord Artisans For The Love. Then I will start looking at the success of Noosa in creating a place that is very different from the rest of Australia. Noosa is a Biosphere Reserve which is very advanced in how it works in harmony with its natural environment. The end is how do we approach making change in the world, based on a secure foundation of understanding our relationship with nature and society.