Conversation Hub

Intimate chats with amazing people!

The Off-Grid Living Festival is all about interaction, and what better way to learn and interact than with a good ol’ chat. Come along to the conversation hub to sit and chat with some wonderful people with a vast array or experience, knowledge and wisdom.

Hosted by: Sarah McQueen


10.00 – 10.45am

Sarah Rickard

Living sustainably doesn’t have to cost the earth.

Come along and learn solutions to make a home or building more ecologically sustainable, and support lifestyles that are resilient and regenerative.
11.00 – 11.45am

Ella Boyen
Compost Community

Learn about bokashi and how this fermentation system will revolutionalise the way you compost meat, dairy and other tricky items! Get some great tips on different types of compost systems to help you decide what will work for you.
12.00 – 12.45pm

David Arnold
Murnong Farm

Join farmer and Permaculture Teacher, David Arnold, to hear about his experiences in home food production and why this is such a powerful skill.

Home food gardens can be beautiful, satisfying, and delicious. Could it be that they also address the major issues of our time?

1.00 – 1.45pm

Kelly Jones
Co-founder Carbon8 & The National Regenerative Agriculture Day

Carbon8 originated as a solution to the 2017 NSW/QLD drought by a farmer, an accountant and an artist. It was our response to the impact the drought was having in our lives and on our rural communities. In a time when the only support offered was short-term solutions, we responded by seeking out the true cause and the true long term solutions to drought.
Depleted soil with low levels of carbon cannot hold water. If you increase the carbon in the soil, you increase the water holding capacity. Healthier soil holds water and sustains all forms of life which reduces the severity of floods, droughts and desertification.

Learn the leading 8 principles of regenerative agriculture and how each one of us can apply them to our properties no matter the size of our backyards. Drought does not have to be part of Australia’s story forever.

Learn about Bee Keeping
2.00 – 2.45

Debbie Rodda
Debzzz Beekeeping Paradise

Join Deb Rodda as she quiches your curiosity about bees, with interesting stories and facts about bee colonies and her adventures in bee-keeping.

Bees are amazing intricate creatures and the food sources a on which they depend (and what effects their output) are just as amazing.
3.00 – 3.45

Darren Christie,
iHemp Victoria Inc.,
 CEO of The Australian Hemp Manufacturing Company
and Hemp Innovation Consultant
 (Seed to Process).

This is an amazing opportunity to come and learn from Australia’s most experienced man in ‘All things Hemp’.

Darren will being the conversation with information about the growth of Industrial Hemp in Australia, how this is used to build house, the benefits of a hemp home and stories of building projects.

Followed by a look at all of the different types of hemp plants, parts and uses from medicine & nutrition, to fibers & buildings and even automobiles.

This is a not to be missed talk for those interested in the growth of hemp and how it can shape our sustainable future.


10.00 – 10.45am

Ricki Hersburgh
Executive Director – Plastic Oceans Australasia

Plastic Oceans Australasia is a not-for-profit based in Melbourne that’s on a mission to change the world’s attitude towards plastic within a generation.
They offer a range of fun and engaging programs and activities that supports business’s, communities, and individuals to reduce their reliance on single-use plastic.

Join the POA team for a lively activity for the whole family to test your knowledge of the impact of plastic pollution on marine and freshwater environments and learn how you can make a difference.
11.00 – 11.45am

Kathy Ashton
Flourish Live Naturally

A healthy thyroid equals a healthy sustainable you – This little gland is often misunderstood, misdiagnosed and mistreated. This presentation will explain from beginning to end, the 8 different steps involved in having a healthy thyroid. It will explain the foods that hinder and the foods that heal. Understand how the liver and gut microbes play a vital role in optimal thyroid health.

Kathy will also touch on another topic she is passionate about – Gut Health. With a focus on how important it is to have a healthy, diverse gut microbiome and how this impacts health.
12.00 – 12.45pm

Chelsea McNab
Executive Officer – Yarra Valley ECOSS

Curious about community living, eco-villages, sustainability and some great examples for a long-term working project? Join Chelsea McNab as she takes you through some of the most exciting parts of Yarra Valley Ecoss, with a focus on the thriving example of what happens when you build respectful relationships with first nations, and other multicultural community members, combined with shared ethics NFP and small business.
1.00 – 1.45pm

Gamila MacRury
Gamila at Beechworth

Do you have an olive tree at your place? Have you tried eating them off the tree only to find they are the most bitter horrible things around? Have you sat on a couch putting slits in olives, changing the water every day, only for 3 months later to be left with uninspiring or uneatable olives? Then this is the talk for you.

We produce award winning wild fermented table olives and in this short talk we will share a little of our story plus the techniques and tricks for making your own delicious olives at home with minimum fuss.
2.00 – 2.45pm

Chris Wingard
Alpine Tint

If you’re retrofitting an existing home, there’s an amazingly simple solution to heat loss and gain that anyone can achieve affordably – professional tinting.
Learn how window film has grown from purply bubbly car windows to the energy efficiency must have for your windows, saving home and business owners on their heating, cooling and energy bills.

3.00 – 3.45

Alison Hawthorn
Volunteer at Our Native Garden Nursery in Wodonga

There are lots of reasons to grow local native plants. Come along and learn the why and how of growing indigenous plants.