Collective Hope and Action in a Time of Transition: Kitchen Table Conversations with Gippsland Sustainability Change Agents

  • Monica GreenEmail author
  • Sherie McClam


This chapter stems from a broader research initiative involving a collective of eight Australian and US academics investigating the conditions that affect Education for Sustainability (EfS) educators’ capacity for agency. As part of the wider collective, the two authors of this chapter (one Australian and the other American) collaborated on a small study that examined how sustainability and climate change advocates and educators in Gippsland, Victoria, gain traction in effecting change. Study participants were recruited from two regional committees—RCE Gippsland (Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development) and the GCCN (Gippsland Climate Change Network)—who each mobilise and disseminate sustainability and climate change information across the region. Using a narrative ethnographic methodology to explore participant perceptions of how they effect change in the region, the authors facilitated two conversational dialogues around two distinctive farmhouse kitchen tables in West Gippsland. Drawing on theories of new materialism and the concept of collective hope, this chapter engages with conversational vignettes generated via the agency of the kitchen tables and shared food. Emergent themes explored in the chapter include the work of EfS change agents and the importance of ‘the collective’ to deal with the challenges and tensions associated with creating change in the regions.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Federation University AustraliaChurchillAustralia
  2. 2.Manhattanville CollegeHarrisonUSA

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