13836

Protecting the Community

There have been a number of conversations recently in the Burner community about how Burning Seed handles sexual assault allegations. We wanted to clarify the policies and procedures we have in place as well as our initiatives in this very sensitive area.

All forms of sexual assault, harassment and/or violence are unacceptable and are not tolerated at Burning Seed. Burning Seed is committed to challenging and preventing sexual assault and violence by creating Australia's​ first sexual assault response team at any burn or festival. Burning Seed is committed to creating a safe environment for everyone during the annual event. Sexual Assault is unlawful and we will ensure that every report will be treated sensitively, promptly, seriously and confidentially. The victim’s well-being and safety is paramount.

The Role of P.E.E.R Rangers

At Burning Seed, our P.E.E.R Rangers are available 24 hours per day to support victims of emotional and/or psychological distress. All P.E.E.R Rangers are highly qualified​, trained and experienced in managing and responding to these incidents. ​Burning ​Seed has every confidence in the team to act in a professional and ethical manner at all times.

As their work is focused on victim support, P.E.E.R Rangers are not responsible for ejecting or banning anyone from the event​. In the event of an incident​(s) where an ejection might be required for the safety of participants, the decision is made by the on-duty Rangers Lead and Site Manager on the day of the report​.

As well as dealing with any issues that occur at Burning Seed, our P.E.E.R Rangers are also committed to onsite community education and awareness of respectful relationships and achieve this via Porta-a-Loo posters, badges displaying positive messages and creatively engaging the community at the Gate and Greeters stations through information dissemination to participants.

The scope of their work does not extend beyond the event - ​this includes​ private fundraising parties. However, outside of the event the P.E.E.R Rangers have chosen to have an​ educational​ role and provide up to date info and awareness​ to the ​Burning Seed community regarding positive relationships, respectful interactions, ​bystander intervention strategies and addressing harmful attitudes. This is achieved through regular blog posts to the official Burning Seed website and the official Burning Seed Facebook page as well as detailed info in our Survival Guide and What, Where, When (WWW) Guide.

The reporting line and chain of accountability is such that P.E.E.R team members report directly to the Team Lead of P.E.E.R, who reports to the Site Safety Facilitator, who reports to the Event Coordinator.

​All​ retroactive incident​ reports or incident reports from off-site events should be directed to the local police for further follow up. Upon request the P.E.E.R. team will continue to provide support and/or counselling details to victims​.​ They will also continue to use retroactive reports to gather data on the trends of the behaviour of our community onsite, to help with ongoing training of P.E.E.R Rangers and to assist with education and awareness campaigns for the wider community.

Disclosures and Reporting of Sexual Assault:

All reports of sexual assault made to Burning Seed will be responded to in a non-judgmental, supportive, positive and empathic manner regardless of gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, cultural identity, religion, disability, age or any other protected characteristic.

In the event that a participant reports sexual assault, harassment or violence during the event, a Ranger and/or P.E.E.R Ranger must be contacted. The Burning Seed Emergency Response Protocol will then be enacted and followed by relevant Lead ​Rangers, Event Coordinators and Site Managers. P.E.E.R Rangers and/or Senior Rangers​ will then follow the Red Earth Ranger Standard Operating Procedure document.​ All incidents are recorded on an official Incident Report form.

What happens next:

  • If the victim decides to make a report​ to NSW Police, they will be supported to do so without judgment or influence of Burning Seed.
  • The victim has the right to withdraw the report at any time throughout the process without consequence. The victim has the right to choose not to be a part of any police investigation that may occur.
  • If Burning Seed believes that the ​immediate ​safety of others is at risk, Burning Seed has the right to eject participants. At least one participant was ejected at the 2015 event after a report of harassment was made to P.E.E.R Rangers.
  • Burning Seed may still inform law enforcement if we believe that participant safety is at risk, ​even if the victim has exercised their right to withdraw a complaint. ​The confidentiality and anonymity of the person(s) affected will be prioritised in these circumstances.

All reports to Rangers must be made by the person​ affected​. No third party reports will be accepted, however a third party can support the victim to make a report.

​I​f a report is withdrawn by the original reporter, the matter is deemed resolved and closed and no further action is taken (except in cases whereby Burning Seed believes that the immediate safety of other participants is at risk).  If the reporter and Burning Seed ​arrive at a mutually​ acceptable outcome, then the matter is deemed resolved​ and the matter is closed.

Burning Seed Commitment

Burning Seed aims to help keep participants safe at all times and alongside our dedicated team of P.E.E.R rangers is the support of paid contracted onsite services. This includes First Aid (Medics) and Event Security who are onsite for the duration of the event. NSW Police are available upon request for urgent matters and make regular visits to the site during the event.

Burning Seed is committed to:

  • Assisting those who have been affected by sexual assault and sexual violence by providing choices, information and support such as assisting victims to access medical care, legal options and information about counselling options.
  • Ensuring those who have been sexually assaulted are treated with dignity, respect and compassion and are supported throughout the event if they wish to make a disclosure to law enforcement.
  • Engaging the community in education and prevention campaigns including breaking myths surrounding sexual assault and addressing harmful attitudes towards sexual assault and harassment.
  • Ensuring that members of the P.E.E.R Ranger team are kept up to date with relevant policy and legislative changes that relate to sexual assault in NSW and that training guidelines are in accordance with the principles of the Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA).
  • Ensuring sensitive and identifying information regarding sexual assault is kept confidential at all times.

Burning Seed aims to exercise care to protect and respect the rights of the victim and alleged perpetrator(s) at all times. Burning Seed update and review their policies and procedures annually.

We thank you for taking the time to read this latest post and can’t wait to see you at Burning Seed 2018.

If you have been affected by sexual assault, harassment or violence and need someone to talk to, you can contact the National Sexual Assault, Family Domestic Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732 or visit their website by clicking here.

13118

The 2018 Burning Seed Theme is…

After a whole ton of suggestions and loads of votes, the Burning Seed Theme for 2018 is..... Ancient Future

Here's some of the deets about how Ancient Future became the Burning Seed Theme for 2018.

  • We opened our submission process which received a whopping 87 theme suggestions (including Alpaca related themes a number of times!)
  • These then went out to the community via our poll and after 375 votes we had our top 5 list (unfortunately Alpaca's did not make the top 5)
  • The top 5 themes were voted on at our annual Burning Seed Summit and the rest is history - or is that future?

What does Ancient Future mean to you? It could be ancient wisdoms and knowledge that have been passed down through aeons, bloom and regrowth, the turning of the wheel with an understanding that the past becomes the future, or maybe it conjures up ideas of time travel and magic. The beauty of Burning Seed is being able to interpret the theme however you want!

Next: Over the coming months we will open the Theme Design process for Ancient Future. This is where we get you to get all creative and submit your designs for the theme which will then be used on our website, Facebook pages, Survival Guide, WWW Guide and a whole bunch of other stuff. More info on this will be coming later.

Thanks Burners! We will see you in the future - or is that the past?
N.B. we are going to use this joke ^^ A LOT!

13110

Future of Seed – Upcoming Sydney Consultation

As we continue to engage with the community about the future of Burning Seed, we wanted to remind you of the upcoming Community Consultation meeting happening in Sydney on Thursday November 30th 2017. The meeting will run from 7pm for a 7:30 start at The Leela Centre, 2nd Floor, 113-115 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst NSW. https://www.facebook.com/events/312731982469211/

This session will be highly interactive and led by the facilitator Baron de Merxhausen, who will have you working in small groups and diving deep into conversations. Some of the topics up for discussion may include how you want to be consulted in the future; how directors should be appointed; and who should be a member. Please join us!

If you can’t make it, there will be more opportunities in the future to provide your feedback. This includes an online questionnaire and a written submission. We may also run another Sydney community consultation if we have strong demand (we are mindful many folks can't make this one due to Subsonic festival and other commitments).

Want to stay informed about future events and surveys? You can sign up to our email list: http://eepurl.com/c_mP3H


For more information on the Burning Seed Entity Restructure community consultation process visit - http://burningseed.com/about/future-of-seed/

12838

7 Steps to MOOP Magic on the Paddock

As Seed approaches and anticipation builds, the last thing you might be thinking about is the maggot infested food scraps that have to be taken home because someone in your camp brought an oversupply of perishable food which all turned into an icky mess of decomposing grossness in the stifling paddock heat.

Thinking ahead and pre-planning is critical to making sure you avoid this and other potential MOOP (Matter Out Of Place) related disasters.

Hopefully, you already know that there are no rubbish bins at Seed – except the ones you bring, which you then take away with you. So be prepared to manage and transport all your compost, recyclables, and general waste.

If this is your first Burning Seed you will soon learn that the less MOOP you bring, the less MOOP you have to deal with during the burn, and the less MOOP you have to take back off site with you. MOOP Magic* is all in the preparation – it’s about not bringing MOOP to Seed in the first place.

Hot MOOP Magic tips from experienced burners

  1. Food not MOOP - Be realistic about how much food you will get around to cooking and eating. Any perishable food you don’t eat/drink is not going to be pretty after a week in the heat. We shouldn’t have to spell it out, but don’t bring a whole chicken and then realise too late that you have to take the rotting carcass home with you.

     

  2. Composting – you can’t throw your food scraps in Matong State Forest. Yes, that includes those pistachio shells and orange peels. The forest is a semi-arid grassland habitat: nutrient-rich food scraps from 4000 burners in one week will promote invasive weeds that out-compete native species. Plan for your food scraps (ideally don’t create any). Work out how you are going to get them home to a compost heap. Bokashi composting is a great solution, as you will avoid nasty odors associated with bagging your compost. Since the bucket you use should be tightly sealed, you avoid maggot infestation. See below for some Bokashi composting info.

     

  3. Packaging – Strip off excess packaging from anything new before you leave home, including food items. Remove any boxes or wrappers or anything that will instantly become recycling or waste when you get to Seed. Basically, don’t bring MOOP to Seed in the first place!

     

  4. Bins – Even with the best MOOP Magic skills you will likely end up with some recycling, compost and waste to deal with. Whether you choose reusable hard plastic tubs or garbage bags, make sure you have a plan before you leave home. If using garbage bags get strong ones to ensure they go the distance – which is all the way home with you. It’s not ok to dump your waste at the nearest town, and, be advised that the local tip will not be open on the Monday public holiday in NSW.

     

  5. Glitter and other itsy bitsy things – Glitter can be fun for some, however when it ends up in the intestinal track of a worm (or the bird that eats the worm) it has lost its sparkle. So shine from within and avoid wearing anything that can fall off your beautiful self. Avoid MOOP mayhem by not having loose, sequins, bindis, bean bag beans or other little things. If you can’t guarantee it won’t come loose, leave it at home – especially feather boas. If bringing carpet – gaff the edges to stop loose fibers fraying and flying free.

     

  6. Smokers – Ciggy butts are our number one Leave No Trace problem at Seed. Smokers are encouraged to bring a personal pocket butt bin. Old mint tins, containers, or film canisters work a treat. Bling them up, make them yours, and bring some spares for your fellow burners. Represent for your less-conscious smoker buddies and pick up any piggy butts you see around the paddock. Have a friendly chat to anyone you see ditching their ciggies on the ground – ask them if they have a pocket butt bin, and if not, why not? All smokers at Burning Seed should have one!

     

  7. Community participation – We are all in this together. If you see MOOP while out and about on the paddock, somebody should pick it up, and you are somebody! Carrying a dedicated MOOP bag with you can really help. If you see a fellow burner MOOPing, have a chat. When you see others picking up MOOP, cheer them on!

Speak up on behalf of the forest and help ensure that together we Leave No Trace.

Continue reading below for some information on Bokashi composting.

Set up a rubbish and recycling system at your camp

Carry a bag around the Paddock and pick up any MOOP you find

Carry a small tin around to dispose of your cigarette butts in

Bokashi composting

This is an anaerobic composting system that uses bran inoculated with beneficial microbes to ferment the compost. The microbes are yeasts (Saccharomyces spp.), bacteria that produce lactic acids (Lactobacillus spp.), and phototrophic purple non-sulfur bacteria (Rhodopseudomonas spp.).

Steps

  1. Food scraps of all kinds — including meat and dairy products banned from aerobic systems — are placed in the bokashi bucket with some inoculated bran (available for around $10 - $15), and sealed. Use approximately 1 tablespoon of mix for every cup of scraps. Use more when adding high protein foods, eg meat, fish, cheese and eggs.
  2. Every second day, the leachate that is an inevitable byproduct of anaerobic composting needs to be drained. This leachate (juice) can then be diluted at a ratio of 1:100 when you get home, and used as a liquid fertilizer for your garden. Make sure you have a bottle to collect the leachate in and do not pour out at Matong State Forest as it will promote invasive weeds.
  3. When the bucket is full, it needs to stay sealed for ten to twelve days. Then, you can either dig a hole in your garden, and put the compost into it, where it will become friable soil in two weeks time. Or incorporate your fermented Bokashi waste in to your normal compost heap, where it will act as a compost activator.

A single Bokashi bucket should provide enough space for all of the compostable waste that you create at Seed over a week.

More info on Bokashi composting: http://www.bokashi.com.au/Bokashi+One/How+it+Works.html

How to make your own Bokashi bucket: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2Ld_O45xGs

*No magic skills actually required – MOOP Magic is an illusion achieved through basic pre-planning and common sense*

Nat Giffney, LNT 2iC

12267

Kitchen Crew Looking for a 2iC

Do you know your way around the kitchen? Do you want to be a part of the pre-event action? Do you feel like spending extended time in heaven (AKA the paddock)? This is an exciting opportunity for a 2iC to join the Yum Yums Crew in the Stockade Kitchen. The Yum Yums prepare meals add fuel to the fire of the souls who work tirelessly to build the Effigy, Temple, and prepare the site. Don’t worry though, they all do their own dishes!

What is involved?

This is a bigger time commitment than most roles as you will need to be on site some weeks before the event, but wouldn't that be amazing? For your hard work and dedication, you will rewarded with 3 meals a day, snacks and a tea/coffee station, one prepared meal per day during the event and access to kitchen food stores 24/7. Not to mention HOT SHOWERS and camping with an awesome crew.

If you can commit to 4.5 weeks to living the burn, we’d love to hear from you. Register your interest for Kitchen at http://burningseed.com/participate/communitycrew/

12208

The loo crew needs you!

Does a bear shit in the woods? Not at Burning Seed!

The Sanitation Services team is seeking new recruits for 2017 - burners who aren’t afraid to get down and dirty (not literally, we’ll be keeping you clean under the guidance of our Squeaky Queen!) and help deal with our toilets and other on site waste in a hygienic and environmentally friendly way.

To help us Leave No Trace we have portaloo toilets on site which are emptied twice a day by an external service provider. Our dangerous human burner waste gets turned into awesome renewable energy as biogas, and a safely sterilised fertiliser called biosolids which is used by farmers all over the world. Sometimes science and technology are amazing and poo is kind of cool.

The Sanitation Crew replenishes toilet paper and hand sanitiser in the portaloos, helps oversee the toilet pump outs safely in a sanitary manner keeping burners away from that shenanigan, generally makes sure the loo situation is not a hazard to human health (important!), and also deals with the waste from the different burns on site and other crew rubbish sources to help keep the Leave No Trace side of Burning Seed left nice and traceless.

Does this sound like you? Each loo crew member will need to do a 4 hour shift - you can do more if you’re gung ho. You’ll need to be onsite by Tuesday 26th September so that you can be part of our crew induction at 9am on Wednesday 27th September. You’ll need to wear covered shoes but you’ll be given all the personal protective gear you need otherwise (disposable aprons, gloves, garbage bags, hand sanitiser). And for being part of our crew you'll get early entry, showers & meals at the Stockade and also loads of kudos!

For more info on what it takes to be part of the number 1 and number 2 team on the paddock, check out the Sanitation Crew FAQ. For further details on the role and what it involves, contact the lovely Lara Warren at sanitation@burningseed.com.

To step up on the throne and sign yourself up to join the team, fill in the Burning Seed crew registration survey and select the option “Sanitation Services”.

12011

Peer Rangers looking for a 2IC

We all get by with a little help from our friends, but sometimes there’s a little extra help needed! The Peer Rangers provide emotional support on the Paddock & they (might) want you!

Do you want to get creative in supporting and encouraging respectful relationships of all kinds on the Paddock? Do you think you could help update policies and procedures, train an awesome team of Rangers and PEER's, drive a targeted awareness campaign, create posters and, most importantly, lend an ear when an ear is needed most? (Less commitment than Van Gogh required). This is a program, policy and engagement role where you will get your hands dirty! 

LadySparkles - Team Lead of Peer Rangers shared some of her most memorable moments in the role: "Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make a difference. You might just have the privilege of giving the exact thing someone needs at the exact time they need it".

LadySparkles is searching for the perfect 2IC - someone to plan for the future with, someone with experience in a helping profession (i.e. counselling / crisis intervention / sexual assault counselling / festival experience such as Nest at Rainbow or Mental Health Branch at Burning Man) who is passionate about building a safe and supportive community into our future. Time commitments will fluctuate, but weekly contact generally at a minimum a few months leading up to the event.

If this sounds like you, please read the following, and click through to the position description and get in touch: http://burningseed.com/blog/wanted-2ic-for-when-the-going-gets-tough/

*** there are a lot of you heading to the USA this year, if you’re interested - get in touch, we can be flexible with time commitments***

LadySparkles - PEER Team Lead

11199

Suggest a theme for Burning Seed 2017!

It's time to get the theme selection for Burning Seed 2017 rolling! 

Do you want Seed 2017 to be space themed? Ocean themed? Unicorn themed? NOODLE THEMED? The Burning Seed theme is decided in collaboration with the community, so we're asking for your suggestions on what the theme could be to have it decided by early 2017. 

To submit a suggestion for next year's theme, let us know right here. 

We'll update you soon with what themes are suggested and the next steps. 

Note: We know you're eager for updates on the status of your 2016 ticket refund, and so are we. We've decided to move forward with planning for the 2017 event so that we can remain as organised as possible, while waiting on the final word from our insurance company. You can check out our most recent update on refunds from December 5, right here.

 

Burn Bright )'(