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Blackheath Launches Australia's First Solutions Media Service

Blackheath has become a prototype for how communities can work collaboratively to tackle challenges. It is also balancing the negative influence of much mainstream media on our society, by creating Australia's first solutions-focused media service.

In an era in which mainstream media operates on the principle “if it bleeds, it leads”, research is finding that the news is increasingly making people anxious, afraid and depressed. The news, however, doesn’t reflect the reality of what’s really going on in our communities, where hundreds of thousands of people are working hard, and with great success, to tackle the many challenges of the modern world. For the ‘wicked problems’ of the world, those problems that seem too big to fix, like climate change and poverty, research is showing that the only way to approach them is collectively - working collaboratively across sectors in a whole community response.

The Big Fix is working with artists and writers to tell compelling and inspiring stories - the stories of the many people, who are working individually and collaboratively, to solve our problems. One emerging local problem is the reduction in funding for Neighbourhood Centres. By collaborating with the Blackheath Area Neighbourhood Centre to produce our first quarterly magazine, we’re hoping to increase our community’s voice rather than lose it. You can read the magazine here or  you can download our magazine in ePub format here to read on your iPad, Kindle or eReader. To read it on your computer you need to have an eReader (like iBooks) installed. If you don't, do a search for a 'free ePub reader'.

We also provide a free weekly e-news of global solutions media, and daily digests on Facebook and Twitter.

Our stories are selected to cover each of the following sectors:

  • Individuals
  • Community Groups
  • Organizations
  • Businesses
  • Education and Research bodies
  • Government
  • Collaborations

In our first magazine, Blackheath artists and writers tell the stories of how locals in each of these sectors are finding solutions to problems and becoming part of ‘the big fix’. 

We’ve looked at how a local business is changing bike culture nationally; how one man is keeping repair culture and bees alive in the area; how volunteers have turned Pope’s Glen from a wasteland to a wetland; how extended families co-habiting reduces environmental and personal costs and isolation; how filmmaking can connect young and old; how the Bushtrackers program is empowering parents to take young children into the bush; how the passion of one local man is growing digital inclusion in our community; and how Men’s Sheds are improving the length and quality of life of elderly males

We’ve also provided a calendar of events for Blackheath with the inspirational art and writing of Emma Magenta to inspire people to engage with our wonderful community.

An area we are developing is our “Meet the Fixers” section, where we're keen to highlight everyone focused on repairing, restoring, regenerating, healing and fixing … whether it’s musical instruments, clothes, machines, ecosystems or health.

The Big Fix is a not-for-profit organisation which has been operating in Blackheath since 2007 (formerly Blackheath CAN!). We’ve worked in the community, developing strategies to build social, environmental and economic resilience with projects like the establishment of the Blackheath Community Market, a community bulk buy of solar panels and a range of arts projects.

Most recently we’ve established a Youth Cafe for 14-18 year olds, and launched the Blackheath Gets Real campaign to phase out plastic straws. Coming up, we’re running a forum to help those with solar panels understand the changes to the Solar Panel Scheme, and we’re partnering with the Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute to run an Introduction to Permaculture and to support the development of a Community Farm for Blackheath.

Many thanks to Blue Mountains City Council’s City of the Arts Trust Cultural Grants Program for helping us to 'Change the Story' by making this edition possible; and to Mary Moody, Berndt Sellheim, Emma Magenta, Bianca Nogrady, Carla Billinghurst, Alan & Virginia Lane, Graham McCarter, Ona Janzen, Trish Davies, Sean O’Keeffe, Ian Dalkin and Giselle Malherbe for their wonderful writing and artwork.

City of the arts banner


Please also consider making a donation via our website to help us continue to grow this not-for-profit grassroots-up solutions media service.


Jane Richter
Blackheath rocks!
A terrific initiative.. It's so refreshing to see a whole-of-community project that puts this beautiful village on the radar.

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