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Growing food in a changing climate, Vanuatu comes to Australia


Vanuatu. An idyllic paradise in the South Pacific, where thousands of Australians go each year to bask under the sun in balmy breezes, snorkel through vibrant coral reefs and enjoy gourmet food.

But for Shirley (Oxfam) and Mala (CARE International in Vanuatu), Vanuatu is home, and behind the covers of the glossy holiday brochures lies an island nation that is paying a heavy price for the failure of rich nations to confront the reality of climate change.

While Australia continues to take backwards steps, most recently repealing its working carbon price, Mala and Shirley are working hard to build the resilience of vulnerable communities to climate related impacts whilst calling for greater national and global action on climate change.

They’re coming to Australia soon, and you’re invited to meet them for an inspiring discussion on how communities are meeting the climate challenge and the role we can all play in building a safer climate.

Melbourne Event

When: Tuesday, 5 August 2014 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Where: Kaleide Theatre, RMIT, 360 Swanston St, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Speakers: Shirley Laban (Oxfam), Mala Silas (CARE International in Vanuatu), Kirsten Larsen (Open Food Network, Victorian Eco Innovation Lab) and Bruce Francis (Oxfam Australia).

RSVP to the Melbourne Event

Hobart Event

When: Thursday, 7 August 2014 from 5:15 PM to 6:15 PM
Where: Dechaineux Theatre, UTAS School of Art, 41 Hunter St, Hobart, TAS 7000
Speakers: Shirley Laban (Oxfam), Mala Silas (CARE International in Vanuatu), Bridgette Watts (Urban Farming Tasmania) and Ula Majewski (Oxfam Australia).

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Sydney Event

When: Friday, 8 August 2014 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Where: Room 273, Carslaw Building, University of Sydney

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Brisbane Event

When: Thursday, August 14, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Where: Abel Smith Lecture Theatre, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4107

RSVP to the Brisbane Event

Mala Silas and Shirley Laban on Futuna island. Photo: Simon Bradshaw/OxfamAUS

Oxfam and CARE are both part of the Vanuatu Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Climate Change Adaptation Program – a group of local and international organisations working together across nine islands to support Vanuatu communities to build resilience to climate change and ensure a food secure future.

On the island of Futuna in the south-east of Vanuatu, communities are learning to build home gardens and trial new crops such as tomatoes, cabbage, cucumber and carrots, as well as agricultural techniques such as composting, mulching and pest management to help farmers adapt to changing weather patterns and ensure that islanders have a secure supply of food. The community is also provided with nutrition training so that people know how to prepare and cook these new vegetables.