A breath of slow air

PROSPECTS: Glenda Janas, Victoria University tourism lecturer Martin Fluker, Alpine Shire mayor Ron Janas, Yea’s John Anderson, Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi), Cittaslow Yea co-ordinator Adele Anderson and Murrindindi councillors Sandice McAulay and Bec Bowles at the Cittaslow lunch discussion in Yea on Saturday.

NORTH East councillors on Saturday discussed opportunities for participation in an international network of communities which celebrate and promote ‘good living’.

Indigo mayor Jenny O’Connor joined Alpine mayor Ron Janas, Mansfield councillor Harry Westendorp, Murrindindi councillors Rebecca Bowles and Sandice McAulay and Yea’s Adele and John Anderson to canvass the benefits of Cittaslow, an Italian-based organisation which advocates the advantages of small communities, and its goals and activities.

Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi) and Victoria University’s Martin Fluker, Yea Anglican priest Thomas Leslie and Murrindindi corporate and community services general manager Michael Chesworth also participated in the lunch discussion at the Andersons’ property.

Ms Anderson said that Cittaslow evolved from Slow Food – the political movement which emerged in Italy in the mid-1980s to champion the protection of the country’s rich, regional food heritage in the face of globalisation and fast food.

Cittaslow communities – “slow towns” – were those in which food and location were central to identity but could be extended to encompass arts, heritage, sustainability and other distinctive assets and qualities.

Ms Anderson said that Yea, since 2011, had become one of 238 cities and towns in the Cittaslow network across 30 countries – and one of three in Australia, including Katoomba in the NSW Blue Mountains.

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