Dumbo Feather Issue 64

Dumbo Feather is an iconic Australian magazine. Published quarterly for seven years, and hailed around the world as a design leader, it is a magazine like no other. Our readers are people who want to be told a different story than the one they hear every day. Each quarterly issue features five extended (20 page) profiles of people worth knowing, across enterprise, education, science, sport, politics, fashion and the arts. Whether they’ve touched millions, or just those around them, we take the time to get to know these people, and ask them to tell us their stories.

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Dear friend, When we set out to make this issue on all that has risen to the surface in 2020, it wasn’t clear exactly what to say. As I write this, immersed in the incredible reflections and learnings from this year that fill these pages, I am even less sure that there is a narrative to weave and put forward right now. What I can share from my experience is that there have been several moments over the past couple of months when my thoughts turn to where we are, and suddenly I’ll be hit with an overwhelming feeling of despair, longing and love. That feeling, I have come to understand, is grief – grief for all that has been lost over this time: lives, jobs, freedoms, ecosystems, dignity, road trips,…

3 minutos
our commitment to indigenous australia

At Small Giants Academy, the organisation Dumbo Feather belongs to, our work is to lead our communities towards empathy and the Next Economy – one that supports human flourishing while living in harmony with the natural world. We understand that as we design and live into the potential of this economy, we must reconcile with the shadows of our current system. The word “reconcile” is defined as “the action of making one view or belief compatible with another.” The antonym is “estrangement and alienation.” Interestingly, our current economic paradigm is built on alienation – it is based on the belief that we are individuals, separate from all other life and motivated by our own self-interest. This belief ignores the truth that we are also part of an indivisible whole. Working towards reconciliation…

3 minutos
the work we have to do

“ We have to remake our world, and we have to start by reorienting ourselves towards each other and the planet that sustains us.” On 17 July 2020, the United States lost two legendary freedom fighters, the Rev. CT Vivian and US Congressman John Lewis. The two men were brilliant, disciplined and courageous leaders in the struggle to expand democracy in the United States. To describe them as Civil Rights activists is accurate but somehow incomplete. Having had the honour of learning from them, I know they both understood themselves to be engaged in a spiritual struggle to “redeem the soul of America” as Vivian’s organisation, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, once described its focus. They were not simply working to ensure that laws were made and enforced, they were working to change the…

8 minutos
political hope

“ A sense of urgency drives people to a better consensus. Now what we need to do is take all of those concepts we’ve come to understand – such as flattening the curve of infection – and apply them to emissions.” I have distinct memories of New Year’s Eve 2019 in Manly. I was very conflicted that we had the fireworks, because we’d had such a long bushfire season and already terrible air pollution. I’d just been to all of the end-of-year ceremonies at local schools, where the air was horrendous and the kids couldn’t play outside. The bushfires brought the reality of climate change to our doorsteps and into our living rooms; we were confronted by the horror of it every day on the news and in the newspapers. It…

7 minutos
truth in a confused world

“ If we are to aspire to truly be ‘conscious,’ if we hope to shine a light in dark times, then we must begin with the recognition that the truth is often not what we want it to be.” I remember the day that Kevin Rudd apologised to the Stolen Generations. It was a sunny afternoon and everyone at work had gathered around the radio. I recall looking out through the plate glass windows to the cloudless sky with tears in my eyes. It was as if the very air had changed, as if some unseen pollution had suddenly dissipated that had been so much part of the fabric of living in Australia that I had not truly noticed it until that moment. Something thick and oppressive had lifted. The sunlight…

9 minutos
on healing

“ Over time, my central nervous system would start to chill, a kind of spaciousness would gradually unfold, and I would recognise that recovery had begun.” In 2016 my partner and I bought a wooden cottage on 10 acres of land, on an ecotone where the woodlands meet the foothills of the mountains. The area had been logged relentlessly in the 1950s. One by one, the tall trees of the old growth cedar forest fell, and with each removal, another layer of camouflage was added to a way of life that the ancestors of this country had nurtured for thousands of years. In place of the old cedars stands a 35-year-old mixed forest of early adult grey gums, bunyas, bloodwoods, stringybark, lemon scented eucalypts, wattle, native grasses, lilypillies and tallowwoods, alongside weeds…