As degrowth becomes a more familiar term worldwide, a loose informal network of Australian degrowth activists, scholars and advocates has emerged into the formal Degrowth Network Australia (DNA). The network has a public launch in a participatory degrowth workshop at 2pm–4pm on 26 February 2023 — a National Sustainable Living Festival event at the Black Spark Cultural Centre in Northcote, an inner suburb of Melbourne (Victoria, Australia).
Calls for this network have mounted among activists keen to get degrowth explicitly on the agenda within environmental campaigns, trade unions, and political parties such as the Australian Greens. Nearby, in New Zealand, there are allies in the non-aligned Degrowth Aotearoa NZ (DANZ) and the Degrowth Greens Network of The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand. Many Australian and other Oceanic and Pacific First Nations communities steadfastly hold to cultures and everyday practices that nurture Earth and care for people, making them implicitly degrowth in their approaches and values.
Practical initiatives across Australia already support degrowth. There are growing numbers of repair cafes, tool libraries, programs to diminish waste, local community supported agriculture and regenerative farming. By way of an example, pig farmer and meat-smith Tammi Jonas (President of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance) intentionally and outspokenly practices degrowth farming and processing.
Numerous Australian activist scholars have written and spoken about degrowth over the last decade. They include Ariel Salleh, Samuel Alexander and Brendan Gleeson, Terry Leahy, Anitra Nelson, Ted Trainer, and Australians working overseas such as Ferne Edwards and Nick Fitzpatrick.
Degrowth Network Australia is mapping all these types of practical and research activities, identifying advocates, work, and setting up a website and social media contact pages.
To be or not to be... a movement? It is time to choose and put degrowth into practice.
In October of this year Giorgos Kallis, Julia Steinberger and Jason Hickel were awarded 9.9 million euros by the European Research Council (ERC) for a project titled Pathways towards post growth deals. This constitutes the largest ever sum of funding for a degrowth research project! We interviewed Giorgos Kallis to find out more about this important milestone!