Thursday, 12 March 2015


The Lismore Nannas, those intrepid and undaunted founders of the Nanna-lution, hosted a wonderful conference for Knitting Nannas Against Gas in the Lismore area from March 6-8.  Sessions were held in the village of Eltham and in Lismore.

Eleven Grafton Nannas attended all or part of this inspiring conference.

Some of the Grafton Nannas
 In addition to the Nannas from around NSW, we were delighted to be joined by two amazing Nannas from Cairns who inspired and entertained us. They were Nanna Dotty Dropstitch and Nanna Purl Stockingstitch (AKA Nanna Brunhilde).

The mild-mannered Nanna Purl recording events
Warrior Nanna Brunhilde
Another impressive group of Nannas were from Gloucester - those staunch Nannas are engaged in a strong campaign against gas company AGL's  invasion of their area.
 The Conference was opened on Saturday by Lismore Mayor, Jenny Dowell, who has been a stalwart in representing and supporting her community in the campaign against the invasive gas industry.

The Saturday program provided the Nannas with a wealth of information on the coal and gas mining industries, their hazards and the complicity of governments in assisting them despite these industries' very negative impacts on communities and the environment.  Speakers included author and activist Sharyn Munro, whistleblower Simone Marsh, Environmental Defenders Office solicitor Sue Higginson and Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith from the National Toxics Network.  All that these women told us has strengthened our resolve to campaign against the invasive and toxic gas industry.

A lighter note was introduced by the Lismore Nannas in a series of short segments late in the afternoon just before Nanna nap time.  These included a description by two Nannas of how they assisted simmos at the Bentley Blockade and a hilarious Wonder Woman segment by Nanna Frances. 

And Grafton's Nanna Dianne was lucky to be awarded the "under the seat" prize (an interesting variation on a lucky door prize in which a prize notice was taped under a chair.)  The prize was one of Nanna Louise's wonderful Chooks Against Gas.
Louise and Chooks Against Gas
 During the weekend the Nannas had plenty of opportunity for plotting and nattering and for enjoying each others company.  And there were two magnificent dinners - on Friday night at the Eltham Pub (a great venue) and on Saturday night at the Eltham Hall (which was catered for by the tireless Lismore Loop.)
Some of the Nannas dining on Friday evening
 During the Saturday dinner the various Loops gave presentations on their activities - which proved both varied and interesting.  The Grafton Loop's presentation consisted of a collage of photos taken over the last two plus years - from Glenugie onwards- and a video of Nanna Poet Dorothy declaiming her Nanna poem.

As well as planning the event and organising dinners and transport the Lismore Nannas also provided accommodation for most of the out-of-town visitors.  This gave visitors a wonderful opportunity to get to know their hosts and to develop links which undoubtedly will be very beneficial in furthering the nanna-lution.

The weekend concluded with the viewing of Dayne Partzky's movie Frackman at the Lismore cinema. The Nannas were there, yellow-bereted and sitting in a block, in a cinema which was completely full. 
Some of the Nannas at Frackman
 Everyone should see this movie because it clearly shows just how ruthless the industry is and how devastating it is to local communities and the natural environment.

It was a great conference and those Grafton Nannas who were there for the whole program returned home absolutely nanna-knackered.