A conversation for anyone wanting to share thoughts, feelings, grief, anger or ideas for action and change.
Commencing with a smoking ceremony, the Long Table will be hosted by Marianne Wobcke. Born on Turrbal land, she shares maternal connections with Girrimay mob, North QLD. Marianne is a nurse and midwife working on cultural birthing practices and trauma recovery in Meanjin, Brisbane.
A ‘Long Table’ is set up like a dinner table. People participating may choose to sit on the sidelines and listen to the conversation or join the table at any time. There is no pressure to speak or not speak — but guests must come to the table to talk.
The Long Table is convened with local community partners.
As part of the project The Big Anxiety will work with community members to create a short film about this process and the topics discussed. The content and goals of the film will be determined by community participants. For this purpose, the Long Table conversation will be filmed and community members will have additional opportunities to speak on camera at the end of the session. However, your footage will only be used with your permission and you may choose not to be filmed.
Community perspectives on local mental health can be captured before and after the Long Table discussion, with our film crew available beforehand from 2.30pm until the event starts at 5.30pm, and afterwards until 8.30pm. For more information please contact Cynthia Hoffman (0432 168940) or Steph Vajda (0413 057138/) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Long Table is based on a format developed by Lois Weaver, adapted here as a space to hold and respect feelings and emotions.
It is not about control or achieving a specific outcome but holding a space of deep listening and respect for others and their opinions and experiences – whether they align with your own or not.
Participants speak one at a time, coming to the table to share thoughts with the table — and may join or leave the table at any time.
Participants respect the privacy of what is said in the room.
Experiencing strong emotions is natural and healthy. We ask only that you do not hurt yourself, others or the environment – and ensure respectful communication.
Being triggered and feeling various degrees of reaction is to be expected as people become conscious of trauma held and emerging from within. Participants are welcome to leave the room if necessary to process their reactions privately, before returning. Skilled, trauma-informed Counsellors will be present and available on request. In accordance with The Big Anxiety’s ‘Don’t rush home’ policy – we encourage anyone with feelings of distress to make contact, share feelings or talk to us before leaving.
Participants are encouraged to talk to the host(s) and/or counsellors about support needs. Marianne Wobcke will initiate a discussion at the outset regarding how we collectively ensure the safety of the space.
This event is produced by The Big Anxiety Research Centre with community partners.