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ASEN Canberra Training camp

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Event description

ASEN Canberra is organising an activist Training Camp this year at Silver Wattle - a property 35 minutes out of Canberra (1063 Lake Road, Bungendore NSW) from 4 to 7 August 2023. It will be an activist skillshare and political education camp with a series of workshops where we will share knowledge, skills and build important connections plus more relaxed social time around the campfire sharing and meeting as well. It is open to all who want to learn, if you treat others and the space with respect. For directions to Silver Wattle and more information about the venue, please see below. 

Join us in learning more about the history of environmental and Aboriginal rights movements, lessons, updates and skills from current local and interstate anti-capitalist, anti-colonial and environmentalist campaigns, foundational organising skills and campaign strategy, and the chance to meet lotsa good like minded people! It will involve camping in some pretty chilly weather for most; more information about accessibility and arrival dates for camping below.

****** IMPORTANT *******

We acknowledge that Silver Wattle lies on the stolen land of Ngambri, Ngunnawal and Ngarigo people. We understand it was also a meeting place for neighbouring mobs including the Wiradjuri, Walgalu, Yuin, Jaitmatang and Gundungurra people. Sovereignty was never ceded.

This event will not tolerate racism, sexism, transphobia, ableism or other forms of discrimination or abuse. Silver Wattle is a dry space. Please be respectful and do not bring alcohol or other substances.

Tickets for First Nations attendees are free of cost. The event is ticketed for non-indigenous attendees but we don’t want cost to stop you attending; please get in touch for a free or subsidised ticket if it does. Email

EOI form to submit a workshop:

* What is ASEN? What is ‘Training Camp’?

The Australian Student Environment Network is a national non-hierarchical network of grassroots activists and environment collectives who have organised for several decades against colonialism, capitalism and for environmental justice. We arose as a network out of the anti -uranium struggles of the mid 1990s. With political consciousness comes the obligation to continue these struggles, and join/start new forms of struggle for a better world.

In facilitating the building of radical networks and supporting campaigns, ASEN has traditionally held a Student of Sustainability Conference (“SoS”) and other training camps annually, alternating between states. These events have been opportunities for people from all over the country to meet together, share knowledge and skills, build capacity and enliven the various struggles of which we are a part. These are open to all who want to learn, if you treat others and the space with respect.

The impact of covid and other factors has, sadly, interrupted these events and impacted the network as a whole. Many withdrew from organising or morphed into other groups over the past three years. However, those at the frontline of struggle within this colonial capitalist state have not had the luxury of choice to withdraw. We are starting to heal the three year gap in training, relationship building, and prioritisation of grassroots anti-colonial solidarity with First Nations struggles. At Training Camp we aim to rebuild skills and knowledge and educate people new to the movement. We will give priority and deliberate space to First Nations resistance organisers.

Talks and workshops so far include hearing from Black People’s Union and others about decolonising solidarity and the progressive No campaign on the Voice to Parliament; from the Close Don Dale campaign about prison abolition; from the local #Justice4Dougie campaign and “A Voice for the Dead and faile campaign” about the failings of racist colonial medical systems; from Beyond Uranium and ICAN about First Nations led campaigns to abolish nuclear weapons and uranium mining; about the history of corporate interests driving disunity in Aboriginal communities; the shameful cashless welfare card program for Aboriginal people just expanded; West Papuan resistance solidarity; queer liberation in an age of rising transphobia; disability justice in practice; theories of change; how to build grassroots collectives; workplace organising and strikes; facilitation skills and more.

At night we’ll have relaxed and fun events like movie screenings, camp fire hangs, and maybe a drag show.

There will also be opportunities to learn more about First Nations resistance to the Voice to Parliament throughout camp - the latest campaign for Constitutional Recognition first proposed by John Howard in 2007 after he launched the NT Intervention - which the Aboriginal Embassy and other First Nations activists are organising against. 

****** Frequently asked questions *******

* When and where? *

Training camp will be held at 1063 Lake Road, Bungendore NSW, at the northern most reach of Lake Road and overlooking Lake George. Although some GPS will try to take you there from another direction, the only entrance to Lake Road is off Bungendore Road. For more information about directions, please visit the Silver Wattle website:

Attendees can arrive to set up camp from the morning of Friday 4 August to attend the entire camp, and leave on Tuesday 8th morning. Or you can turn up later and come and go as you like over the weekend. Workshops and training will be held over four days, from 4th to 7th inclusive.

* What kind of accommodation is there? *

Camping is available at Silver Wattle with views of Lake George. There is water & power to the camp kitchen in the converted Stables, and there are composting toilets in the nearby Wool Shed. Tents and small camper vans welcome.

There will also be a few beds in self-contained rooms with a bathroom, to provide more comfortable accommodation for elders and people with accessibility needs. 

* Catering *

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be prepared by volunteers and included in the cost of tickets. Please bring any additional snacks you may want. All meals will have vegan, gluten free and meat options (prioritised for mob).

Silver Wattle is a dry space. Please be respectful and do not bring drugs or alcohol. 

* What will I need to do over the weekend? *

Training camp is run as a collective community event, so everything is done by volunteers. We ask everyone to volunteer for three shifts over the course of the weekend i.e helping cook breakfast, lunch or dinner, cleaning up, or making sure the day runs to time. These kind of camps are also about building our visions of what the world could be. Learning to implement principles of anti-oppressive education and communal responsibility is essential for radicals and revolutionaries.

Volunteering is done casually (likely via a blackboard sign up), if you need more information on the tasks or have any accessibility requirements please let us know.

* Can you help me with transport to camp?

We can help put you in touch with people carpooling from your area and make sure you get a lift. When you register, you can say whether you’ve got a car and can offer lifts, or need help finding one.

Silver Wattle is about a 50 minute drive from Canberra. There are trains (TransportNSW) from Sydney to Canberra, and coaches from both Sydney and Melbourne to Canberra (Greyhound or Murrays). There is also an airport in Canberra.

For First Nations attendees, we can fundraise to cover your costs to and from camp. Please reach out for support, by emailing

* I’m not that involved with activism or campaigning. Is this for me? *

Yeah it is! If you care about building a decolonial, environmental and socially just world, this is for you. You don’t need to be involved in anything particular to come along, it’s a good chance to meet people, learn more and find out how to get involved. Many of us first went along to a training camp alone, as the very first “activist event”, and have ended up with a lifelong involvement in activism.

* I’ve been to ASEN training camps before. Will I learn different things this time? *

Yeppo! We’re streaming sessions this year to make sure we are catering to people who’ve done a facilitation workshop a million times and are looking for different / more advanced skills and discussions. Also, you should run a workshop! Let us know when you register if you’re keen to be part of the facilitation team.

* Accessibility? *

The temperature at Silver Wattle at the start of August can still get get down to zero or minus degrees at night, so bring lots of warm clothes and blankets. There will be fires and heaters and enclosed areas for workshops or to have chill out time, but prepare to be outside for much of the camp. If you need a proper bed to sleep in we can connect you with a local attendee who can provide one through billeting.

The terrain is a grassy field-like area for the outside campground, though it can get muddy if it rains. Talks and workshops will be held in various indoor spaces of the Silver Wattle facilities, and some around the campfire. 

There will be the option to join remotely for some talks and workshops but not all. There will also be a chill out space if you need to decompress. We will have a first aid and grievance collective to assist. Please understand we are all volunteers however and cannot guarantee a space completely free of discomfort.

There is a volunteer roster for attendees to sign up to upon arrival at camp though there is no obligation if your needs don’t allow it.

Please get in touch if you want more information about accessibility, or if there is something we can do to make this event more accessible to you - Email

* Childcare *

Silver Wattle has strict child protection policies. There must be two adults with a child under 18 at all times. Let us know when registering about your childcare support needs

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