Annual TWEC Dinner
The Therry Centre at East Maitland was again filled to capacity for the 2017 Tenison Woods Education Centre Dinner. Every year there are people who never miss this annual occasion and there are people who come because of a particular interest in the guest speaker. This year was no exception as the theme of Laudato Si` - Responsibility and Climate and the high profile of the speaker, Professor Tim Flannery ensured a most successful evening.
Tim Flannery is one of the world’s most prominent environmentalists and was named Australian of the Year in 2007. He is currently a professor at Melbourne University Sustainability Institute with over twenty years’ experience as an explorer and biologist and has written thirty-two books, his latest being Atmosphere of Hope - Searching for solutions to the climate crisis. John Partridge from McDonalds Bookshop in Maitland ensured a supply of the book which Tim graciously signed at every opportunity. Tim was pleased to be invited to speak at an event named after Father Tenison Woods for whom he has great regard as a scientist and especially as a geologist. Tim challenged all present to confront our present climate situation and outcomes—think only of the increased number of extreme weather conditions and the degradation of the Great Barrier Reef to name a few. As he said we must first accept the reality of the present predicament before we can hope for a better future.
The first TWEC Dinner was held in 1995 and since that time one of its features has been the chance it offers people to catch up with each other so there was much laughter and chatter as people arrived. The evening began with Steve Britt, the MC extending a warm welcome to all guests and then the Acknowledgement of the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we gathered. After the canapés all settled down to enjoy a first class dinner prepared by Brett Pepper and his staff. Fine wines accompanied the meal. The table decorations of native flowers added to the occasion.
Thanks go to Steve Britt who guided us through the evening; to Jane Dunn who lead the Grace; to Tracey Edstein who introduced the speaker; to Lawrie Hallinan who thanked Tim on behalf of the assembly; to Ray O’Brien and Beyond Bank who again donated the very generous first prize in the raffle; to the organising committee and to Vivien Williams and Sharon Murphy from the diocesan Adult Faith Formation Office for their efforts behind the scenes.
The responses to Tim’s invitation for questions and comments could have gone on for more than the allotted thirty minutes so great was the interest of the audience. The responses showed that Tim’s words had been heard and actions were being contemplated.
Now to the 2018 Dinner with its promise of good conversation, good fine and much food for thought.