Finding common ground at FEAST’s 20Twenty

Crowd at the Godfrey Tanner Bar for FEAST's 20Twenty event. Photography by Matt Hudson
Photography by Matt Hudson

During O Week, Rebecca Males found good company at the story sharing event 20Twenty, hosted by the club all about creativity, great food and deep discussions, FEAST.

Disclaimer: ‘Speakers’ generally conjure up the notion of an assumed prior knowledge, some sort of expertise, and an innate ability to ask those mind boggling, thought provoking questions. But it shouldn’t!

Okay, confession time. When I was invited to this event, I didn’t really know about FEAST or what it stood for (food, art, expression, song and thought, by the way). However, after strolling over to their stand at the O Week Expo and being utterly seduced by their white chocolate and macadamia nut cookies (Homer drool), I was pretty keen for whatever came next.

‘Next’ happened to be 20Twenty. I felt like this event hit the nail on the head with what they’re all about. Whilst I nestled onto the benches with the other Feasties and tucked into antipasto and sliders, there were three speakers who provided insights and anecdotes about their everyday life – and what you can take from it.

1. The first speaker, Dr Kerry Dally from the School of Education, began with this quote:

Follow your dreams.

Focus on the journey.

And never, ever give up.

Usually, we would receive this quote as a transparent tweet amongst the midst of all the other internet drivel on our phone feeds. Instead, she backed it up and bought it to life with stories from her own upbringing, ambitions, and the time she trekked through Camino de Santiago.

2. The great bloke who followed her was Professor Rick Middleton from the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He talked to the audience about running – just running.

The way in which he used to hate it, up until now – where he runs 5kms as part of Parkrun, because he enjoys it, the journey, and the sense of community Parkrun infuses into the sport.

3. Caroline Kuhne, perhaps the most similar person to you and I.

She had just returned from a seven month trip around Europe, and found that in both the best and worst times, she had been able to trust and be supported by the people around her, regardless of language, origin or age.

You know what was nice about these stories? They were all real, and told face-to-face. You could hear the apprehension in Caroline’s voice when she began to speak, and see the way she felt about things in the way she would open her hands.

There’s something very warming about hearing these stories face-to-face, rather than having to read them through a screen (I realise the irony of that epiphany being written on a website – just go with it). We all have one thing in common. We’re people. Strip it back and a sense of belonging is one of our basic needs, and whilst you ain’t gonna find that on your phone, you can find it with FEAST.

FEAST seem to have got it down – they’re a good bunch of people, and they all share the mutual interest of just enjoying what life has to offer. Art. Food. Good conversation. And, even better cookies – kudos to Dan, their President and marvellous cookie creator.

They have a few events throughout the year, and I implore you to go and have a mosey on the Facebook page. They’ve previously hosted midnight bike rides and paint wars, so keep your eyes peeled for more events in 2014. I’ll see you there.

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