Burning Seed needs you!
Do you have bright ideas, burning desires and a bit of time and effort spare?
Burning Seed is changing and we need your help to get our Town Council - the body that provides strategic governance for the event - to full capacity. We have THREE roles vacant and we need members of the Burning Seed community (you!) to apply & join.
What does it all mean?
The future of Burning Seed is in your hands. The Town Council is drawn from the community that participates each year in the event and discusses, deliberates and makes key decisions on the direction for Burning Seed to burn brighter than ever. If you have experience in events or project management you’d make a great candidate. For those without such experience , good communication skills, working well with others with a dash of leadership experience would put you in good stead.
→ MONTHLY meetings, with infrequent emergency meetings where needed
→ a FEW HOURS each month dedicated to doing some Burning Seed homework
If your interest is piqued please find out more here about the issues you need to consider before standing for Burning Seed Town Council (see page 3 of the 2016 application form). Then, if you’re happy with that, fill in an application:
Applications close on Sunday June 4, 2017.
The application process
There is a 3 week application window, after which the current Town Council will need a week to review applications before contacting you with further information. Those who pass the first round will have interviews with current Town Councillors before final selections are made. The following week, applicants will be informed of the Council’s choices before our wonderful new Town Councillors will be announced to the broader burn community!
Where does the Town Council come from?
Burning Seed Town Council (BSTC) reports to the Directors of Red Earth City Pty Ltd, the company that stages Burning Seed each year. Red Earth City Pty Ltd has been the legal entity behind Burning Seed since 2010. Until 2015 the Red Earth City Town Council oversaw the Burning Seed event and supported other Burner initiatives under the banner of Burning Man Australia, all on behalf of the Red Earth City Board of Directors.
December 2015: Directors of Red Earth City Pty decided on governance changes before important issues related to the event's sustainability and growth could be addressed. The Red Earth City Town Council was split into two separate bodies:
1) a group to drive forward the staging of the Burning Seed event, its future growth and development; and
2) a separate group focused on developing Burner culture around Australia - (remember, although Seed was the earliest Aussie Burn a few more have spawned since then including Modifyre in Queensland and Blazing Swan in Western Australia).
The managing structure looks something like this.
2016 till now...
Last year was a rare year...there was no Burning Seed; but that didn’t mean the BTSC was without a job. Thanks to their decision making, the cancellation of Burning Seed was covered by insurance; safety measures to reduce the risk of another cancellation are being implemented and refunds are being processed (unfortunately though despite being covered, sometimes insurers take time to pay out).
Currently BSTC is looking towards Burning Seed 2017, creating procedures for a burnier brighter seed... if you think you’ve got the skills and availability now is your time to apply (hyperlink apply to application page) , burn bright and shine!
CURRENT TOWN COUNCILLORS
Phil ‘Sherpa’ Smart
Phil’s first burn was due to San Franciscan friends in 2001 taking him to Burning Man (after many years of them hassling). Finally felt at home, like he'd found what I was looking for.
He burns due to shared values of community, art and self expression; dependable people, who are smart, funny, crazy and creative and who make the world a better place to live in.
On the BSTC to play a part in fostering the community and helping to steward it as it grows. Also to help hold part of the original vision, not only for the Seed, but for the wider Australian burner community as it evolves and further develops its own unique identity.
For the future Phil would like to see Burning Seed continue to grow at a pace that allows sustainable acculturation of new participants. More spin off projects that take burner culture out into the default world, initiatives like Burners Without Borders and Black Rock Solar in the states, as well as an art foundation to get burner art into off-paddock locations. These days it’s about so much more than Seed as well, with other burns springing up like Blazing Swan and Modyfire, and strong regional communities around the country.
Phil believes Burning Seed can push the boundaries of radical self governance, pioneering concepts such as direct democracy and liquid democracy in the way the community organizes itself and makes decisions. The dream of Burning Seed (or even the Australian burner community collectively) owning its own piece of land some day, somewhere, so that we can continue the experiment in a new way, year round is close to his heart, as are memories...
On the last day of the first Seed, there was a small closing ceremony down by the river where ash was released into the stream. He couldn’t help but shed some tears of joy and relief at the fact that there was finally a community of incredible burners in his homeland who embodied fully the spirit of the playa and the we could share this beautiful experience together.
Rennie ‘Ultraman’ Sinclair-Kydd
Rennie loves to burn as burns are generally an event of doers, or people who are about to become doers. Created by people from all walks of life who have strong interests, great passions and an enthusiasm to share what they enjoy with those around them. Burns are an experience of different energies and exposure to new ideas.
Burning Seed 2012 at Matong was his first such experience. He and a small group of friends decided to give life to AWC and share our love of music and art (and apparently climatic devastation).
Rennie joined the BSTC in 2016 as he’s passionate about collaborative effort. BSTC is doing it’s job best when it is active listener to the burner community. This is the best way to build a sustainable seed. The future of seed is no doubt bright, as a conduit for experiments to improve everybody’s real life. Lessons will be learnt on and off that paddock enriching lives and minds.
Every single burn has a plethora of special moments, and are difficult to separate into one being better than another. They are simply different.
Shaye ‘The President’ Harty
Born in the most American of all families in Modesto California in 1979. She had heard of Burning Man in her college but she didn't have any friends that she could go with so she had to wait till her time comes! It wasn't until she moved to Humboldt County and became the ‘Rutabaga Queen’ that she was gifted a ticket to BM by a mysterious woman that she didn't even know! 2005 Her very first Burning Man as part of KazBus camp and she hasn’t missed a bloody one since!
This crazy woman has been to 12 Burning Man, 3 Burning Seed, 2 Afrika Burn and 2 Blazing Swan…. so far, with no plan to slow down anytime soon! Speaking of experience and skills Shaye has been the Outside Services Manager at Burning Man, Event Manager at Blazing Swan, Site Manager at Afrikaburn Burn, and Former Admin Team Lead, Former Event Coordinator, current Site Safety Facilitator, site manager at Burning Seed.
Shaye's dream is to be able to live in Melbourne for 9 months working on Art and Events, and then living for the winter in America since it is Summer there, traveling around working on events and visiting her family back home.
Next time you think about fighting her and pushing her out of your way to get a drink at one of the bars on the paddock remember she has a brown belt in Judo and she is pretty good with a lasso!
Ali Shams ‘The Persian Prince’ Ahmadi
Dropping into the burner scene with a bang, landing at his first Matong burn in 2012, arriving there with the infamous and fabulous Middle Eastern Mafia theme camp.
Ali landed on the paddock with a couple of friends, Payam and Malakeh, who had arrived in Australia from their home town of Tehran in Iran within a few years of each other, more than 10 years ago. With no burner connections and no previous experience of the burner arts, apart from soaking up the plethora of DJ mixes coming from the playa, they’d been dreaming of going to this thing called Burning Man, before discovering that there was an Australian version happening in just a few months and only 6 hours drive away.
Hastily putting together a camp infrastructure, they arrived with a basic white marquee, a trestle table, a bunch of milk crates, a few shishas and a small sound system, serving fruit and tea to fellow burners. They quickly made a name for themselves, filling a niche as the go-to day party, partly because they had no lights which made it difficult to continue after dark. This was the ‘year of the storm’ and even losing their marquee in the mini cyclone didn’t dampen their radical self expression.
As a natural people person, building connections and networks, Ali endeared himself in the burner community, soon finding himself playing at Decoms. From there he’s since become involved in running the Melbourne Decom and helping to establish the Melburner association, of which he is currently Vice President.
An active member of the Melbourne theme camp community, the natural progression led him to get involved with town council, joining just in time to be part of the hardest decision we ever had to make; the cancellation of our 2016 event due to flooding.
Ali still has plenty of energy for the burner community and will continue to play a big part in the years to come, with a particular focus on helping to grow the Melbourne and Victorian burner communities, and a view to being part of establishing its own regional burn one day. He plans to make it to the big smoke of Black Rock City some day soon to see the man burn on the playa itself.
Victoria ‘Tech Support’ Vickery
With her first taste for transformative events in 2001 at the age of 17 in San Francisco, she spent three years as Event Coordinator for a transformative dance community. It’s been quite the journey for her ever since.
A native Californian, she first heard of Burning Man at the age of 12, and finally made the pilgrimage for the first time in 2010. To date, she has been to 6 burns across 3 continents. After migrating to Australia in late 2013, she jumped into the local burner scene with both feet, attending her first Burning Seed as the 2nd In Command for the Department of Planning and Infrastructure.
Over the past three years she has grown with the organisation as Co-Lead of DPI, and Event Coordinator. She currently chairs the management committee for the event, as well as running the Back of House Department, the Admin Team, and the Restructure Committee. And of course, she also serves on the Burning Seed Town Council.
Her favourite thing about attending burns has been how much she has been able to learn: about herself, about others, about working together and social dynamics, and about how to kick major ass. She is now a dynamo with a power tool or a spreadsheet and has gained a lot of experience managing teams. Her dream is to apply these skills in a professional career in events.