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Changing Towards a Biosensitive ACT – Zenia Xie

Changing Towards a Biosensitive ACT

Thoughts from the 2017 Future State of the Territory event

By Zenia Xie 

7 December 2017
Indoor skiing demonstration at Vertikal Snowsports.

At the 2017 Future State of the Territory, the overarching theme was Change. Held at the Capital Brewing Co., the event started off with a demonstration at the new indoor skiing centre (Vertikal Snowsports), setting the tone of change, growth and development for the evening.


Provided with a drink and burgers cut into quarters, there was a great deal of mingling before the Chief Minister began his speech on the changes which has occurred in Canberra during the past year.

One of the biggest change we saw in 2017 was the overwhelming result of the ‘yes’ vote for marriage equality. It is a significant moment in Australia’s history and will act as a driving force for the future of social inclusion. In addition to this, Canberra also had the nation’s lowest unemployment rate of 2017, with the city’s higher education and professional services being widely recognised.

Andrew Barr giving closing remarks.

Canberra is doing so well right now, but how fast should change and progress continue to go? The event brought up many interesting answers to this question, whether it be we should continue as we are now, fast track change or take it down to slow and steady.

However, we want to raise the point that rather than the pace of change, we also need to consider the kind/type of change that Canberra should go through. And then further ask you to consider the idea of changing Canberra into a more biosensitive city.

One very interesting point raised during the event was that, despite the low unemployment rate, the government did not contribute the most to this employment growth. This means that think tanks, NGOs and private companies are growing in Canberra. This is a great opportunity for biosensitive practices to spread through smaller, open minded and flexible organisations, and in doing so, create a biosensitive, growing and changing city.

Volunteer event coordinators, Dee Madigan and Andrew Barr.

Different to 2016, this year the event involved a workshop session where guests could contribute to the discussions. There were three main questions which were asked: ‘is being the capital good for Canberra?’, ‘will technology provide for a happier future tomorrow?’ and ‘could Canberra make it to the number 1 best place to visit?’.

As previously, many interesting answers were provided, from claiming that technology allows us to be connected, to not wanting Canberra to become the number 1 best place to visit. The engagement of all the guests at this event is definitely commendable.

What we want to ask is, with the continuing change, growth and development of Canberra, how can we create a biosensitive city?