Australian Bushfires: A Public Statement from the Pagan Collective of Victoria

This has taken us a while to write; how do you wrap words around what is happening around Australia at the moment? The land we love, that we are connected to, is burning. Thousands of people have lost their homes, some in our community. At last estimate over one and a quarter billion animals have died, many thousands more are injured, and the survivors face homelessness and starvation in a blackened land.

For so many of us as Pagans, our connection to nature is a huge part of our life and our practice. So many of us have lost sacred spaces as well as homes and livelihoods. The grief for the land is ever present now, and it will be with us for a long time.

Our hearts go out to those affected; both within the Pagan community and without, for we are a country united by the horror of this now. Our hearts go out to the First Nations people who have lost so much, and whose connection to Country runs many thousands of years deep, for whom this land is home to culture, history, spirits and family and language. Especially now, we acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands that have burned and are burning. They managed this land using fire guided by ancestral knowledge for millennia, and now watch it in agony.

Our hearts go out to the animals and birds, reptiles, insects, plants, fish, fungi, and all of the non-human creatures who share the varied and beautiful environments of this country, who have died or been injured, or who survive to face new challenges in a land without food, shelter, or water.

Our hearts go out to the spirits of the land.

It is easy to feel helpless in the face of a catastrophe so enormous. Perhaps we all do, to some extent. The numbers we hear are almost hard to comprehend; millions of hectares destroyed, hundreds of homes burned, over a billion animals dead. It’s a tidal wave of information, and it is overwhelming, especially when you feel the loss so deeply.

So what can we do? Below is a list of reputable charities to which we can donate. Even a dollar here and there, the price of a cup of coffee, a little small change, adds up. It all helps. There are some well-known charities we have left off this list because of their attitudes to the LGBTQ+ community, with whom the PCV always stands in support. Try to give to the organisations that view us all as equally human and equally worthy of help.

While the PCV does not usually get involved in secular politics, believing as we do in the separation of church and state, we now urge you to step up for the sake of the land. Lobby for better environmental policies, lobby to cease native animal culls in the aftermath of the fires, be the voice of the land, for all of those who cannot speak, but whose presence we have been enriched by, and whose country we share. Be a strong voice, a loving and compassionate voice, an angry voice if you must. Speak up for the land. Give help as you are able.

And at this time, when it is easy to feel shattered, overwhelmed, grieving and helpless, remember your community is here. You’re not alone, and the company of fellow Pagans is a good place to share your feelings about what’s going on, to work out how to help, to find support and care; practical and emotional and spiritual. Get in touch, come to a meet, come to a ritual, and connect. There is beauty and comfort to be found among like minds.

We hope, and pray for an end to the fires, for rain where it is needed, and for regrowth and rebirth from all these ashes. We stand with those who have lost what is precious, and those who are grieving, and those who are fighting to save what is left. There is not enough gratitude and admiration in the world for our incredible firefighters (professional and volunteer, and those who have come from overseas to help), and the first responders, animal rescuers, and all involved in saving lives and keeping survivors safe.

From all of us at the Pagan Collective of Victoria, may you and your loved ones stay safe, may we all work to heal the land and those who live on it. Blessed be.

FIRE RELIEF FOR FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/fire-relief-fund-for-first-nations-communities?utm_source=customer&fbclid=IwAR0E7XbANwEvPFHLLIXz4fsfKiNKZ9vHpoPFA5jLnQH6Bm3Mq_MCnCsk-Zs

https://www.facebook.com/SthCoastFIR/?hc_location=ufi

WILDLIFE RESCUE:

Animals Australia is helping distribute funding to rescue organisations around Australia as needed and funding vets to travel to fire affected areas.
https://secure.animalsaustralia.org/donate/bushfire.php?vmd=1&fbclid=IwAR20rH3IkHdLzqVwpDJyIUeSJXvPVhQlwHwM_dvDgmdCgSKpyY7S9KX38Vg

The Rescue Collective is a group of rescue organisations, banding together to work wonders with bushfire survivors in Qld and NSW. They’ve done incredible work so far!
https://mkc.org.au/donations/trcqld

Wildlife Victoria is helping animal victims of the Victorian bushfires.
https://www.wildlifevictoria.org.au/donate/donate-to-wildlife-victoria

WIRES is helping animal victims of the NSW bushfires.
https://www.wires.org.au/donate/emergency-fund

SAVEM is a group of SA vets working to save the animal populations of devastated Kangaroo Island. They do not have external funding and are relying on donations to help save these threatened populations.
https://www.savem.org.au/about-savem/donate/

BUSHFIRE RELIEF:

To help people affected by the fires across Australia:
https://www.redcross.org.au/campaigns/disaster-relief-and-recovery-donate?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=socialorganic&utm_campaign=201913_drr_disaster-relief-and-recovery_don_transient_bushfires_none&fbclid=IwAR1PaLO9z8UKT_GrZlKdTDkvetHepZiquRuW6lyBKALvTKPq49StmGKawJw

GIVIT facilitates the donations of items to people who need them, for those who wish to donate goods instead of cash:
http://www.givit.org.au/disasters

VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS:
CFA Victoria:
https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about/supporting-cfa#donate-cfa

RFS NSW:
https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/volun…/support-your-local-brigade

2019 Annual General Meeting

The AGM for the Pagan Collective of Victoria will be taking place on the 20th of July 2019, 12pm at Vapiano, Flinders Lane in Melbourne. This will be followed by a general committee meeting and the CBD Pagan Pub Moot.

Nominations are now open for President, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President and Community Liaison Officer. We are also seeking nominations for general committee members. To nominate yourself or someone else for any of these roles, please email your nomination to: pagancollectivevic@gmail.com

Before you send it, make sure your nominee is aware that they are being nominated, and that they agree to it! 🙂 Nominees should also make themselves familiar with the Model Rules of Association, and the PCV Committee Roles, both available on our website.

NOMINATIONS CLOSE AT MIDNIGHT ON SUNDAY, JULY 14th 2019.

All PCV members are eligible to nominate and be nominated. Nominees must attend the AGM in person.

Click here to view the 2018-2019 Committee Roles and Responsibilities.

Click here to see the Facebook event for this meeting.



AGM Minutes 19/8/2018

Pagan Collective of Victoria

Annual General Meeting Minutes 19/8/2018

 Present: Josie, Ryan, Sarah, Keegan, Seamus, Dorian, Fran, Mark

Apologies: Shaz, Ang, Elkie, Dean, Alex

Meeting Location: The Standard, Fitzroy

Meeting Open: 12.40PM

  1.  Presentation of Annual Report (Chair) –

It has been an interesting year, although we have had committee members come and go we have gone from strength to strength. It has been a really productive twelve months as we continue to work on our mission of creating an inclusive and safe community.

 

  1. Secretary’s Report –

Memberships continue to climb slowly, our FB like numbers go up every week and our reach seems to be quite good. We are working on a better membership database and form to streamline the process.

 

  1. Presentation of Accounts (Treasurer) –

Financial statement to come.

 

  1. Election of Management Committee/Office Bearers –

The committee positions this year ran un-contested, only receiving nominations for the current incumbents.

President – Josie H
Vice President – Shaz C
Treasurer – Ryan M
Secretary – Mark H

General Committee Members:
Sarah, Seamus, Fran, Keegan, Elkie, Dorian, Ange, and Dean

 Closing Remarks

Thank-you all and welcome to the new committee!

We’d also like to thank the committee members who are not continuing on this year and have left along the way over the last twelve months for their participation, contribution, and effort.

 

Meeting End: 12.47 PM

First Patreon Goal Reached

We just met our first funding goal on Patreon!

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us in this way. Your support means we can keep our memberships free and still cover essential running costs.

www.patreon.com/pagancollective

You can support us on Patreon for as little as $1 a month to help us bring future projects to life, such as:

– Website hosting/maintenance fees.
– Guest speakers for our meetups.
– PCV Merchandise.
– A podcast showcasing viewpoints and issues in contemporary Australian Paganism
– Concerts with Pagan acts (*cough* Spiral Dance Melbourne Concert *cough*)
– An annual Pagan art exhibition.
– Venue hire for events such as rituals, community dinners/potlucks, film nights, workshop days, markets, etc.

Meeting Minutes: June 2018

Thanks again to our secretary Mark for putting these minutes together!

20180602 minutes

 

Meeting Minutes: Special General Meeting – March 2018

Thankyou to Mark for putting together the minutes of Sunday’s Special General Meeting, which was held to elect a new Vice President following the resignation of Nickole, who has taken on increased teaching and leadership duties within Reclaiming. The committee would like to once again thank Nickole for her many contributions to Pagan community building in this state, and wish her all the best with her new duties. 🙂

 

Pagan Collective of Victoria

Special General Meeting

Meeting Minutes 18/02/2018

Present: Josie, Dorian, Alex, Sarah, Mark, Ryan, Shaz, Seamus, Ang, Dean

Apologies: Elkie and Fran

Meeting Location: Bimbo’s, Fitzroy

Meeting Open: 3.39

President:
We are legally required to hold a special general meeting and elect an interim Vice-President who will hold this position until the next AGM. This meeting is specifically to elect a new Vice, any other business will have to wait until the next meeting. Thank you and best wishes to outgoing Vice President Nickole, who has taken on increased teaching and leadership duties within the Reclaiming community.

Nominations:

We had two nominations for the position – Shaz and Alex, both of whom were seconded readily.

Results:
A show of hands was used to vote with the two nominees having left the room temporarily. Shaz was the winning candidate and is to be announced as the new Vice-President.

Side-bar:
It has been mentioned several times before that it would be a great idea to train up other people in how to do the various jobs done by the committee and at the next meeting we will discuss how to implement this and if Alex is willing he can be amongst the first to benefit from this.

President:
Thank-you everyone for being willing candidates and committee members to work through this quickly and efficiently.

 

Meeting Close: 3.44

Meeting Minutes: February 18, 2018

Many thanks to our secretary Mark for putting these minutes together. 🙂

Pagan Collective of Victoria

Meeting Minutes 18/02/2018

Present: Josie, Nickole, Dorian, Elkie, Alex, Sarah, Mark, Ryan

Apologies: Seamus, Ang, Shaz, Dean

Meeting Location: The Last Jar, Melbourne

Meeting Open: 12.38 

  1. President’s Report –

We are now back into things again after the Christmas break. The committee dinner was a great opportunity to get to know each other better and we will try and do these a few times a year to help strengthen our bond as a team. Patreon is up and posting more to come later in the meeting.

  1. Secretary’s Report –

There isn’t a lot of new news on this front at present, we are overhauling the membership sign-up process and database to make things more efficient.

  1. Treasurer’s Report –

We currently have about $17 in the account, the first of the Patreon payments won’t come through until the start of the next month.

  1. Meet-up Reports
    Hills

The Hills ritual went really well and they are hoping to be able to do something like this again in the future. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

CBD
The numbers continue to go well for the city meetup, with a good regular attendance, there is going to be a slight change to the discussion format as it moves forward this year. They are contemplating doing a Facebook live at a future event.
Ballarat
Ballarat meet-ups are still in discussion with the possibility of running four a year on the table at present.
Frankston
These meet-ups are still continuing on and are going well with some regular faces as well as new faces turning up each meeting.

 

Swinburn

The first Swinburn pagan event will be coming up soon, it is very exciting.

5. Morris Report
The side is still continuing on in 2018, working on getting the skills up ready to be performance ready. They are attending English Ale in May. They have begun learning a second dance (Dilwyn) and are practicing processionals.

  1. Patreon

Patreon is now live and posting. Thank-you to everyone that has supported, contributed to and worked on getting it live. Also a big thank-you to everyone that has become a backer, or been helping share it around.

7. Website
The overhaul is well underway and now blog posts immediately post to the Facebook as well. The site is getting anywhere from 50 – 200 hits a day. That is frankly amazing.

 

  1. Facebook
    The stats are up really well, so please continue to share and interact with it to help keep this up.
  2. Membership
    We are updating the form so that when a member signs up it sends it straight to our database (which is being overhauled) We will be contacting members to confirm their details and to ensure they know their membership number.
  3. Community Safety Month

Have a lot of articles lined up ready to go throughout March so that our social media will be posting something every day designed to provide the community with access to information that will educate and inform in a variety of aspects of safe community.

 

  1. Spiral Dance
    Yes they are still coming to Melbourne, no we don’t have the date yet but will be posting more about it when we do. This will be branded as a PCV presents event.

    12. Pagan Pride Day
    The date has been selected as April 7th.
    Sarah will be drawing up a list of speakers and presenters for the various traditions and paths in Victoria as well as the various groups currently running events open to the public.

It has been proposed that we have a Druids v Witches Kubb game on the day, it will be a light-hearted thing, designed to be entertaining.

13. Seasonal Celebrations
Yule – this was to be organised by Dean? We will need to clarify

Autumn Equinox – we currently don’t have someone running the equinox now that Pagan Pride Day is in April.

  1. Instagram
    We now have an Instagram that is being run by Dorian at present. It can be found by looking for pagancollectivevic.
  2. Workshops
    It would be great if we can start announcing some of the dates for workshops, so could the committee members who have volunteered to run workshops please start trying to work out the dates for their workshop. These will probably be 1 – 2 hours in length and $10 – $15 for non-Patreon backers.

    16. Chat Bots
    Ryan is investigating chat bots with involves direct engagement content with users. He is currently learning about how to use them and will run it when this gets off the ground.

 

  1. Inclusive Language

It was raised that we should consider changing some of the language on our website and social media to make it more inclusive. It can sometimes come across as slightly Wicca or eclectic witchcraft centric and it would be a shame if that made people from other paths feel left out.

Meeting End: 1.50 PM