Science Reporter

Dr Jonica Newby is a science reporter, author, TV presenter and director best known for her two decades on ABC TV’s popular weekly science program, Catalyst. She has twice won the Eureka Award, Australia’s most prestigious science journalism prize, and is a recipient of a World TV Award.  Known for presenting stories with a rare honesty and intimacy, Jonica’s current book, Beyond climate grief: a journey of love, snow, fire and an enchanted beer can, charts her struggles navigating the emotional turmoil of climate change.  

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Do you have a special place? A landscape that fills you with awe, love, peace, wonder, and a powerful desire to be there?  A heart-place?  How would you feel if you discovered your heart-place could die?  As more of us wake up to the realisation that the places that matter to us are in direct peril, the challenge is not just how we deal practically, but how we face it emotionally.  How can we help transform grief into courage; despair into active hope?
For me, these questions are not just academic but part of a profound personal crisis when I realised what the future of my beloved snow country.  In this moving keynote talk, I will share what I learned on my subsequent journey through snow, fire and climate grief – ultimately charting a path through the emotional roller coaster and uncertainties of climate change, collapse and collective grief.  In this talk I will combine personal yarns with insights from psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary biology and philosophy explore; why we fall in love with landscapes; the role of creativity in a time of collapse; landscape disasters; and how understanding, courage, hope and gratitude help us deal with climate grief.
Perhaps we are in a time of collapse. But we are also in a time of extraordinary renewal and possibility.   This is a decade of deep change to our landscapes, but also one for society, to our way of living and working and of interacting with the natural world.  Facing it with love, courage and creativity will help us all create the future we choose.

The 2020 Festival of Landscape Architecture is taking place on Whadjuk Noongar Country. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Whadjuk Noongar Country and Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.