Today I’ll be taking you along for the ride as my 14 year old Nephew Oliver and I head into Melbourne and take part in the student strike for climate that happened on the 25th of March. It was a global day of action so there were similar events not just around Australia, but around the world. We joined a huge crowd in the city and marched several city blocks, we disrupted traffic and made a lot of noise. I chatted to some of the young people there to hear what made them want to join the march.

Then later in the episode you will hear from another student strike, this one happened just this week in Castlemaine. The student strike movement in Australia was rallying again as they wanted to make sure that climate is an election issue, with just days to go before our federal election. So again strikes were organised right across the country.

Today we are going to be chatting with Castlemaine local Bryn Davies and a group he has been a part of called Democracy for Dinner. I thought it was a very pleasant sounding enterprise and an example of how we can, where ever we are, get together in a grassroots kind of way and start to take it upon ourselves to understand all of the above mentioned complexities and opportunities. Because, just like with climate change, it is easy to feel like it is way bigger than us and way beyond our control.

 

Links coming soon

 

 

April 26, 2022

S4 E14 A Library of Seeds

The Castlemaine Seed Library has been running for over five years with people 'borrowing' seeds to plant and grow food, and then 'returning' seeds once the plants have run their course.
 
In this episode Seed Library founder Grace McCaughy and coordinator Eliza-Jane Gilchrist talk about the value of seeds and all that we can learn from them.

 

We discuss how the seed library began and how it works as well as big ideas like the value of local seed banks in a changing climate, multinational seed trade, the resonances between seed collecting and art, and how we can foster a love of gardening and appreciation of all the cycles of nature in the next generation.

Resources and Links

The Castlemaine Seed Library                                          

Eliza-Jane Gilchrist – artist             

Castlemaine Library              

The Hub Foundation                                               

Castlemaine Community House Community garden                  

Growing Abundance                          

International peasants movement         

Useful seeds Bendigo                            

CSIRO soil science book for children       

Entangled Life – book       

Lost Seeds NSW seed company                      

Scale Free Network                        

I was lucky enough to have a wonderful conversation about possible climate futures, not through a lens of disaster and doom but gritty possibility, radical hope and extraordinary courage.

Alex Kelly and John Wiseman joined me recently to talk about their futuring practices. John has just published a book called Hope and Courage in the Climate Crisis and Alex is a co-creator of The Things We Did Next.

 

Links:

Hello podcast crew, I haven't forgotten you  even though there has been a bit of radio or podcast silence over the last month. This very short message is just to explain what has been going on and what is coming up soon. Hope all is well in your world! Allie

Steve Healy is Executive General Manager of Climate and Population Adaptation at Coliban Water

Climate change predictions for our region point to hotter and drier weather patterns and when it rains it is going to be more extreme, big dump kind of events. So water is on a lot of people’s minds when they think about how we might be able to keep living here through climate change.

We discuss how water works in our region, in the past, in the present and into the future

Kathryn Coff is a committed community leader and she joins us to discuss race, privilege and power, which are themes that she lives with and grapples with every day of her life. She shares a beautiful way of getting to know people that opens us up so much more than 'and what do you do?'

 

Links:

Kathryn's speech at the Black Live's Matter rally in 2020

 

Kathryn is the CEO of Nalderun

 

Introduction method was borrowed from the work of Mishel McMahon and Leroy Little Bear 

Today’s episode is a series of interviews collected in Mildura at the local eco village.  We had heard they were having a working bee and thought we might get a sense of the site and what goes on there. Interestingly the site is managed by council, so I wasn’t sure how community driven it was. However, as you will hear, every person there that day was volunteering their time to help out, and also involved in other local action groups.

 

Links:

Organisations and groups mentioned with no links available:

  • Sunraysia Sustainability Network

 

November 23, 2021

REPEAT: Adani Coal Mine

This episode was recorded and first released in May 2020.

This is an updated version with a new intro. The interview remains exactly the same.

In this episode we speak with a family of activists and we take a closer look at what is going on with the Adani Coal mine.  A hotly contested mine that is still in construction in Queensland. 

Long term residents of Castlemaine Ben and Jacinta have spent a lifetime living with the earth in mind, from building a sustainable house to participating in protests and activism. 

Ben travelled on the Adani convoy a couple of years ago, as lead by renowned greens leader and activist, Bob Brown.  Ben is a visual artist and is known locally as something of an agitator, often providing cheeky and provocative takes on the current political issues.

Jacinta has studied a masters in social ecology, trained in facilitation and participated in the transition towns movement.

At the time of recording Rilka, their daughter, was heavily involved in the activist groups trying to disrupt the Adani coal mine from going ahead.  

The reason I have chosen this one to replay right now is that Jacinta has, in the last week, moved from being the proud parent of an activist to taking action herself.

 

LINKS:

The Traditional Owners in the Galillee Basin where the Adani mine is happening and what they have been doing to stop the mine.

Protest groups mentioned in the show:

November 16, 2021

S4E09 COP26 with Cam Walker

The climate related news media has been saturated over the last few weeks in reactions, reflections and commentary about COP26.

For a show about grassroots climate action it has been hard to know what to say about it all.

Enter Cam Walker, who you might remember from a past episode about Friends of the Earth, he has just released an article with reflections about COP26 and what it means for Australia. 

So I popped over to his place to have a chat about what the hell it's all about. 

 

Links: 

    

Following on from our last episode with Rob Law we head up to Mildura, over 400km to the north of Castlemaine.

My interest in Mildura has been growing lately. It is a regional city sitting right on the mighty Murray River, and at the heart of a region called the Mallee.

I have been up to Mildura twice this year and have collected interviews each time.

Why Mildura?

According to climate projections my town may have a climate more like Mildura’s within decades.

I’d also heard about the huge solar farms going in up there and was curious about these developments.

This interview was conducted in March 2021, with Mildura’s mayor, Jason Modica and councillor for environment and sustainability Jodi Reynolds. We talk about the environmental and social issues specific to the region, with water and solar power obviously up the top of the list.

 

Find links and more at saltgrasspodcast.com

 

Rob Law, Executive Officer of the CVGA – or the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance – joins us to talk about alliances and collaborations between local councils, its not as boring as it sounds, I promise.

After years of careful and persistent efforts the CVGA has been instrumental in helping numerous councils in Victoria come together and commit to 10 years worth of renewable energy AND install electric vehicle charging stations to connect small towns to the ever increasing cohort of EV drivers.

 

Find out more at saltgrasspodcast.com

 

'Don't treat your soil like dirt' is a motto today's guest Dr Jess Drake lives by. Soil scientist and science educator Jess tells us how soil plays a vital part in healthy ecosystems, carbon sequestration and life itself.

September 21, 2021

S4 E05 Cycling Together

Recorded at a live, online book launch of Trace Balla’s latest creation Cycling Together.

Trace is a multi award winning author, illustrator and creates the most beautiful graphic novellas, including Rivertime, Rockhopping and the Thank you Dish.

This is a beautiful book with a very important message. Trace has created this book to support the work her brother Mark Balla is doing in India to help girls stay in school with his charity Operation Toilets.  We are joined today by both Trace and Mark. We are also joined by Jane Bennett, menstrual educator and agent of cultural change around how women and girls think and feel about their monthly cycle.

The event happened on Sat 18th September 2021.

 

LINKS:

 

How to get the book:     https://traceballa.com/cyclingtogether

 

Trace Balla website: https://traceballa.com

 

Mark Balla:

TED talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3xr13xFfto

Toilet Warrior: https://www.toiletwarrior.net/

Operation Toilets: https://www.operationtoilets.org.au/

 

Jane Bennett:

Chalice Foundation: https://chalicefoundation.org/

Celebration Day For Girls: https://celebrationdayforgirls.com/

 

Topics we’ve discussed:

Drawdown – educating girls: https://drawdown.org/solutions/health-and-education

United Nations goals: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/

 

Recorded at a recent town meeting this episode shares the Q&A session that followed the presentation by Deane Belfield of MASG  This is our second episode looking at the contentious bioenergy plant proposed for Castlemaine. (hear the presentation in our last episode)

For many who are worried about climate change this kind of renewable energy project seems like a great idea, but those living at its doorstep have some serious reservations. 

Find out more about the proposed project at bioenergy.net.au

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