GOING GLOBAL: Some of the Knitting Nannas protest outside Don Page’s office in Ballina .
GOING GLOBAL: Some of the Knitting Nannas protest outside Don Page’s office in Ballina . Doug Eaton

International nannas are coming

WITH Knitting Nanna groups already established in the UK and interest from others in Canada and Brazil, it's not such an outrageous claim for the Nannas to be hosting an "international" conference in Lismore next month.

"We're sort of taking the mickey," said Nanna Clare Twomey, "but there are three groups in the UK and one woman is interested in coming, though she hasn't confirmed."

Clare said there are now 33 Knitting Nanna groups in Australia, mostly in NSW and Queensland, with a few in Victoria and one starting up in Central Australia.

"We're not incorporated or anything; pretty much anyone can become a nanna. You don't have to knit and you don't even have to be a woman," she said.

Prospective Nanna groups must, however, agree to abide by the Nannafesto - a 300 word statement of intent to peacefully protest the destruction of land, air and water.

"It's very easy to do if your heart's in the right place," Clare said.

The conference, to be held from March 6-8, has 60 people confirmed with numbers expected to swell as the date gets closer.

The three keynote speakers will be Dr Marion Lloyd-Smith from the National Toxics Network; Simone Marsh, a whistleblower from the Queensland DPI, and Nina Lucas from the Environmental Defenders Office.

It's the first Nanna conference and Clare said the main reason for having it is to get people together to learn and share experiences.

"We've found when we are starting up groups, face to face is the best way to work. Lots of local nannas have been travelling north, south and west setting up groups and especially at Gloucester we found being there even for a day was worth hundreds and hundreds of phone calls."

They will also be sharing experiences from Bentley where they initiated Nanna Care, a service to promote health, hygiene and sun protection amongst the campers and deal with any minor injuries.



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