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Taking Heart in Challenging Times: An Introduction to The Work that Reconnects

  • Brittania Park Yarra Valley Victoria Australia (map)

Taking Heart in Challenging Times

An Introduction to The Work that Reconnects

Joanna Macy calls this time of rapid change, uncertainty and disconnection ‘The Great Turning’ – the death throes of the industrial growth society and the birthing pains of a life sustaining civilization.  It is a time of great challenges and extraordinary opportunity.

To face and participate in this, we need to gather all the resources, wisdom and support we can to sustain ourselves and our visions for new ways of doing and being in the world.

Joanna’s pioneering ‘Work That Reconnects’ is based in systems science, spiritual teachings, and deep ecology. It grounds us in our interconnectedness in the web of life and our authority to take action on its behalf. It has helped many thousands around the globe find insight, solidarity, and courage to act, despite rapidly worsening conditions.

In order to do this, we pursue these goals:

  • to provide people the opportunity to experience and share with others their innermost responses to the present condition of our world

  • to reframe their pain for the world as evidence of their interconnectedness in the web of life, and hence of their power to take part in its healing

  • to provide people with concepts--from systems science, deep ecology, or spiritual traditions--which illuminate this power, along with exercises which reveal its play in their own lives

  • to provide methods by which people can experience their interdependence with, their responsibility to, and the inspiration they can draw from past and future generations, and other life-forms

  • to enable people to embrace the Great Turning as a challenge which they are fully capable of meeting in a variety of ways, and as a privilege in which they can take joy

  • to bring people into mutual support and collaboration in working for change in the world.

As we deepen into our care and our passion for life itself, we discover hidden sources of vitality and empowerment.

We welcome a diversity of peoples to come together for this two day training, taking heart and finding strength in the connections we make with ourselves, each other and the beautiful Yarra Valley country.


Bobbi Allan and Claire Dunn met during a 30 day residential retreat with Joanna Macy in 2005 and have since facilitated Stillness in Action retreats together. They are looking forward to being back in cahoots to offer this Victorian training.

Bobbi Allan

Bobbi is a Buddhist teacher in the Insight tradition. She has practiced meditation for over 40 years and began teaching in 1999 when she developed Stillness in Action Retreats. She has a long involvement with social and environmental change and was a founding member and facilitator of the Heart Politics Conferences and the Social Change Training & Resource Centre. She has a professional background in training and development. Bobbi’s current work is Mindfulness in Education – – teaching mindfulness to school teachers and training them to introduce mindfulness practices into their classrooms.

Claire Dunn

Claire Dunn is a writer, educator, journalist and barefoot explorer. Claire worked for many years as an environmental campaigner with organisations such as The Wilderness Society, before turning her attention to the human-nature connection, studying The Work That Reconnects, ecopsychology, and wilderness survival skills. Between 2005 - 2010 Claire offered regular Earthworks retreat weekends in the Joanna Macy tradition.  In 2010, Claire embarked on a year of bush retreat practicing traditional earth skills. Her best-selling book My Year Without Matches: Escaping the the City in Search of the Wild is a memoir of that journey. Claire is a passionate advocate for ‘rewilding’ our inner and outer landscapes, and facilitates nature-based reconnection retreats and contemporary wilderness rites-of-passage.

Nique Murch

Nique has a background in physical theatre, education and meditation. She lived in Alice Springs for 20 years, working cross culturally with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in university, jail and hospital settings.She is fierce about country and social/climate justice issues. These brought her to the visionary, expressive and integrative work of John Seed and Joanna Macy.



Brittania Park, Yarra Valley, Victoria

The retreat starts with dinner on Saturday evening and finishes at 4.30pm Monday afternoon. Brittania Park Camp is situated in beautiful forested land in the Yarra Valley. Accommodation is in heated bunk rooms or camping (same price). Lunch and dinners are provided and we ask that you bring your own breakfast. Workshop activities will be a mix of indoors/outdoors and group/solo. All levels of physical fitness and experience are welcome.


This course is booked out. Email to hear of upcoming workshops.

For more Information please contact Emily Lawrence:

Read more about The Work that Reconnects and Joanna Macy

Earlier Event: September 23
Finding Stillness in Action
Later Event: October 1
Castlemaine Earth Skills Workshop