I had the immense pleasure of being invited to speak at last year’s Festival of Open Minds. Despite having spoken widely about my experience of the Tathra, Vimy Ridge and Reedy Swamp bushfires it felt different to finally speak to a ‘home’ crowd. This is my community. And so many of us suffered loss and trauma from fires last year. We are still working hard to rebuild while dealing with bureaucracy, fatigue, insurance and so many difficult decisions.

But coming together as a community to talk about what happened, and why, was a healing experience for many of us. Huge congratulations go to Ian Campbell and About Regional for making this big event happen in Bega. It was a great opportunity to mix local ideas with those of speakers and thinkers from diverse backgrounds.

As a speaker and as a listener, i came away feeling enriched and energised!

- Jo Dodds
The 2018 Festival of Open Minds was a triumph! It was a celebration of creativity and change, innovation and inspiration. The Festival established an opportunity and a space where discussion could ignite and ideas could take flight. Local guests joined visiting speakers showcasing the breadth of wisdom and vision we nurture in this valley and the wide brown land beyond it. Audiences were entertained, educated, enlightened and enthralled. The Festival of Open Minds challenges us to ask questions and be questioned, to contemplate and to consider, to perceive and to ponder. It’s a Festival that opens minds, opens hearts and opens conversations.
- Gabbie Stroud
What a day we had in September 2018 at the inaugural Festival of Open Minds! I was honoured to be included amongst the very eminent group of speakers. The focus on ‘change’ brought a wide-range of interesting and challenging topics to the table and the audience were engaging and engaged. The ‘change bites’, short, sharp reflections of Bega Valley locals, maintained the pace and excitement of the day. I shall definitely be in the audience for 2019.
- Leeanda Wilton
Keeping our eyes, ears and MINDS open to possibilities with shared knowledge and thought.
- Peter Whiter
Fabulous guest list, all with a new perspective to share. I would encourage you to attend.
- Laurie Slater