Past Events

Building A Participatory Democracy Across the Hunter & Central Coast

The Hunter & Central Coast have some important decisions to make about the future of our region. We also have a wonderful community of people with diverse knowledge, histories, cultures, experiences, and skills, that want to be part of shaping this future.

People’s & Citizens’ Assemblies offer a more democratic, just, and empowering way of making these decisions and building this future. We want to bring people, communities, organisations, business, sector, and government together to develop collective responses using peoples and citizen’s assemblies.

The Coalition of Everyone, AFRC and the NENA Central Coast and Hunter Hub invite you to participate in:

A presentation, discussion and workshop to:

  • learn about participatory democracy, people’s & citizens’ assemblies.
  • participate in a workshop exploring local issues that are important to you, that you would like to see addressed through a peoples or citizens assembly.
  • hear about the recent people’s assembly held in our region exploring the question: With the knowledge that stimulus money could be invested in the Hunter soon, what is the highest future that we could imagine for our families, our communities and the land? What projects could create jobs that would help create and nurture this future?

For more information about COE visit:

Food systems initiative (Hunter, Newcastle, Central Coast)

Would you like our food system to regenerate and mutually benefit the environment, the local economy, and the local people who produce, distribute, and consume it? The NENA 'Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast Hub' and partners (AFRC) are launching an initiative to create a food system for our region that does just that.

Thursday, June 11, 1 PM – 2 PM. On Zoom.

Join the kick-off meeting and discussion.

A Feminist/ized reading of the (new) economy

A presentation and discussion with A/Prof. Sara Motta (a member of AFRN and NENA Newcastle Hub)

Thursday, May 28, 2020, at 12 PM – 1:30 PM (on Zoom)

There can be no return to normal post-COVID19. Women and feminized and racialized communities in Australia and beyond are at the forefront of co-weaving new economies of Care, Community, and Country (Madre Tierra). What can we learn from them at this important turning point in our history and future as a community?

Community centred banking & finance initiative (Hunter region)

Would you like banking and finance institutions that support and benefit the local economy? Would you like to increase the flow of investment within our local economy? Are you seeking funds for a local project but can't secure them?

NENA Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast Hub and partners including AFRN are launching an initiative to develop community-centred banking and finance options in our region.

Join the kick-off meeting and discussion. We welcome local people, businesses, civil society organisations, other NGO's, local governments, and anyone interested in this topic.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 10 AM – 11 AM

Co-hosted by our partner NENA Newcastle Hub.

Community wealth building webinar

Join us to:

  • Learn how community wealth building can help local businesses and communities address the economic challenges they are facing, increase local asset ownership, anchor jobs locally, and leverage local wealth for community benefit purposes.
  • Understand the instruments and institutions available for community wealth building.

Presenter Mr. Andrew Ward

Monday, May 25, 2020, at 7 PM – 8:30 PM

This event is co-hosted by NENA Newcastle, Hunter, Central Coast Hub and Ethical Fields

Community, cooperation, connection & COVID-19?

We've brought together a roundtable of local people who started grassroots community support initiatives in response to COVID19. Join us to hear their insights and observations about community, connection, and cooperation during COVID19 and explore what's possible for the future.

Friday, May 1, 2020, at 12 PM – 1:30 PM

Co-hosted by our partner NENA Newcastle hub.

Smart Cities of More-Than-Human Futures

UON-FEDUA Alternative Futures Research Collaborative organizes the following seminar and masterclass

Professor Marcus Foth  (Queensland University of Technology)
Tuesday 10 Sep 2019, 10am – 2pm incl. lunch-break,
HC02, Hunter Building, Callaghan Campus, The University of Newcastle

Register via Eventbrite
Read more about this event here: Smart Cities of More-Than-Human Futures (Seminar and Masterclass at UON)

Future societies and new economies joint workshop: establishing a community-partnered participatory research hub

Date: 23 July one day workshop

Venue: Lambert Lounge – Shortland Building, Callaghan Campus

FEDUA’s Alternative Futures Research Network (AFRN), together with its community partner NENA (New Economy Network Australia cooperative), will organize a one-day workshop, bringing the academic members of the network and NENA’s director (Dr Michelle Maloney) together, to take the very first step in executing the MOU signed between the two parties.

Attendance by invitation. For more information please contact: Dr S A Hamed Hosseini

Strengthening our local economy, supporting community and country

Strengthening our local economy, supporting community and country

Newcastle Workshop 2019

A New Economy Workshop and “Mapjam” - Saturday 13 July, 9.30am to 4.30pm
Charlestown Library (Corner Smith and Ridley St, Charlestown NSW 2290)

This workshop will bring together community groups, local businesses, social enterprises, cooperatives and researchers in sectors as diverse as tourism, food production, the arts, Indigenous business, renewable energy, health care, housing, and land restoration/management. It will feature visitors and guest speakers who will share updates about exciting new initiatives around Australia and the world.

Alternative futures and regional prospects symposium working across differences, beyond carbon, capital, and commodity

Alternative futures and regional prospects symposium working across differences, beyond carbon, capital, and commodity

22 - 23 November 2018

Venue: UTS City Campus, Building 8 , Level 5 – Room 2 (CB08.05.002):14-28 Ultimo Rd, Ultimo NSW 2007

Organizers: The University of Newcastle Alternative Futures Network, University of Technology Sydney, Common Alternatives Network

No Registration Fee but due to limited space please RSVP indicating day/s attending to by 15 November 2018

Full Symposium Program and Abstracts

Video: Alternative Futures Symposium: Opening Address - Dr S A Hamed Hosseini

A two-day symposium including roundtable discussions, to cross-fertilize between several game-changing communal responses, pioneering workable policy platforms, and ‘real/concrete utopian’ visions in the current era of economic uncertainties.

The post-mining boom era has already started, and it has posed serious challenges to the Australian economy in general and to the Hunter region communities in particular. Among the most important challenges commonly acknowledged by the entrepreneurs, small business owners, and workers in the region are: prospects of rising under/un- employment especially among the youth, environmental degradations, unconstructive competitions, wage stagnation, a decline in property investment and water management issues. New insights and leadership are needed for the future after coal. Prospective trajectories of change in the future should be predicted. Alternatives and solutions to such challenges, instead of short-term remedies, need to be envisioned by drawing on careful analysis of the roots of today’s challenges and changes. Many lessons can be learned from projects and experiences that have already gained momentum in other places across the world.

This symposium brings together a number of leading inter/national activists, scholars, policy advocates, and research institutes from a broad range of disciplines and ideological backgrounds into a close conversation around multiple alternative modes of livelihood, governance, and sociability that function beyond the mainstream free-market structure. We hope this will promote cross-fertilization and thereby collaboration among these agents of progressive change.

For more information please contact:

Symposium Chief Organizer

Dr. S. A. Hamed Hosseini
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
The University of Newcastle
Callaghan NSW 2308
Phone: +61 2 4921 5878
fax: +61  2 4921 6933

For more recent events and activities:

Please visit Common Alternatives Events

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.