February 15, 2021

S3 E16 Degrowth

In this episode we explore the alternative economic concept of Degrowth with Anitra Nelson and Terry Leahy.  It is a growing movement across the world and has at it's heart sustainability and ways we can live in balance with the planet.

Find out more and see the links and resources at saltgrasspodcast.com

In today’s episode we are talking with Anton Vikstrom co-founder of the Good Car Company.  These guys are helping the electric car (or EV) transition happen in Australia by facilitating bulk buy purchases of second hand vehicles from Japan. Find out why getting a second hand EV makes good sense for the environment and for you!


Read full episode description at saltgrasspodcast.com

January 18, 2021

S3 E14 Endgame

In today’s episode we hear from a couple of fellow sound producers who are making a podcast called Endgame. They too are exploring the journey this local community is undertaking towards a more sustainable future – with a focus on the transition to zero net emissions – or the local z-net movementKyla Brettle, Rob Law and I are all involved in that process, in various ways – which has been going on for over a year. It is wonderful to hear another approach to this topic, and Kyla and Rob artfully weave together lovely moments and insightful conversations to tell the story of this process.

A quick little message from Allie for the New Year. 

Some reflections on the year that has been and some thoughts and ideas for Saltgrass in 2021.

We've been going since this time last year and look forward to another year of sharing our community's climate journey with you. Stay tuned.... 

In this episode we hear from Warwick Smith, a Castlemaine Local, about his dual careers as an ecologist and an economist. (You might remember him from the Student Strike Episode earlier this season) He is fascinating to talk to, I think, because so often we are presented with the idea that these two things are in competition with each other. According to Warwick this does not have to be the case. Today we are exploring how Warwick came to be both an ecologist and an economist, we also delve into how the economy came to be the way it is now and how that relates to our way of living and our way of treating our environment, our planet.

Saltgrass is produced in Castlemaine, on Djaara country, home of the Dja Dja Wurrung people.  We pay respects to elders past, present and emerging.

The piece by Warwick has contributed to our local Zero Net Emissions Transition Movement about how our community could utilise alternative economics. 
The Price of Capitalism paper Warwaick did with GetUp!
There are more publications and videos by Warwick linked through his LinkedIn profile.
He is on Twitter as @RecoEco
He is a founding member of The Castlemaine Institute

If you find talking about climate change difficult, you are not alone! A complex and contentious topic that often makes people anxious and overwhelmed… of course it is hard to talk about. Yet that is exactly what we must do if we are going to make sure everyone is paying attention to this critical issue. In this episode we talk with Rebecca Huntley about her new book ‘How to Talk About Climate Change in a way that makes a difference’. We explore why talking about climate change can be so difficult and what we can do to navigate it. 

Saltgrass is produced in Castlemaine, on Djaara country, home of the Dja Dja Wurrung people.  We pay respects to elders past, present and emerging.

In this episode I have two interviews for you.  One with Gabe Lillington, the young man who was up the tree when the last show was recorded.  He spent two nights and three days up in what is called the grandfather tree to successfully halt works until legal processes mandated a stop work reprise – until the 19th of November – which is this week. The other interview is with a woman who goes by the name of Spring Blossom. Both are Castlemaine residents and both have been visiting and living at the Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy camp on and off over the last few years. We discuss what the action a couple of weeks ago was like for them and what it means to them to be an indigenous ally in times like this.

Though we are discussing action happening on Djab Wurrung land, both of these interviews were recoded back on Jarra country. I would like to pay respects to elders past, present and emerging as the struggles of being a traditional custodian of these occupied lands has not gone away.


Photo used in this image is by Warepul.

This week we chat to the people who have been protesting the controversial Western Highway upgrade near Ararat. The Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy has been existing amongst the contested trees for three years and this week one of the significant trees was cut down and others were at great risk. Protesters scrambled into action – some scaled trees and tied themselves in and others supported from the ground and started legal processes. In this episode we speak with the leader of the protest movement Zellanach Djab Mara and others who have been involved in the protest.

This episode of Saltgrass was recorded on Djab Wurrung country and produced in Castlemaine, on Djaara country, home of the Dja Dja Wurrung people.  We pay respects to elders past, present and emerging.



The Djab Wurrung Facebook group

Go to this facebook group to join in on the benefit gig on the 7th of November.


News related to this weeks action:

ABC coverage

SMH coverage


Alternate perspective from Ruben Berg


Illustration for this episode by Trace Balla

October 6, 2020

S3E9 Solar Bulk Buys

In this episode we chat with Jo Kaptein, manager of MASH (More Australian Solar Homes) They are a not for profit project that is organising bulks buys of solar panels right through central and northern Victoria.  We discuss why rooftop solar is so important, the history of the project and what gets in the way of people getting solar on their roof. 




CVGA - MASH's parent organisation

The HUB Foundation - MASH's initiators


Victorian Solar Rebates

Australian Solar Rebates

Today we chat with Madeline Hudson about waste free cooking.  She is about to run a zero waste cooking course through the Castlemaine Community House and has been running the community lunch for four years. Those locals to Castlemaine may have seen her performing as Lilly Pilly Green in the Zucchini Clan… But people may not know that she comes from a background of frontline direct action and forest blockades.  Madz talks about it all today, with a few songs thrown in for fun!

Saltgrass is produced in Castlemaine, on Djaara country, home of the Dja Dja Wurrung people.  We pay respects to elders past, present and emerging.





Madz spent her 20s protesting deforestation in Gippsland with a group called Geco

She then moved on to work with Friends of the Earth Melbourne with ACE and did a radio show called Radio Active at 3CR

The music in this episode is all by the Zucchini Clan

We played the songs 'seasons' and 'water'.



September 22, 2020

S3 E7 Student Strikers and Gas

Today's episode is all about the proposed gas lead recovery for Australia and what our young people are doing to try and stop it.

Firstly we will hear from Warwick Smith, an ecologist and economist, who lays out exactly why the gas lead recovery is a nonsense. 

Then we have two young people who have been involved in the school strike for climate movement.  They have created an event for Castlemaine that is in coordination with actions across Australia to protest the gas lead recovery.  I talk to them about activism, and how the school strike movement has changed their lives.

Then we throw back to an interview I did last season with Cam Walker.  He works at environmental organisation Friends of the Earth and I thought what he said in that interview back in May is pertinent right now, on this issue.

Saltgrass is produced in Castlemaine, on Djaara country, home of the Dja Dja Wurrung people.  We pay respects to elders past, present and emerging.


Links and resources:


Student strike for Climate                             

The Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC)                                    


References made in Student Striker interview:

The One Straw Revolution                

Effective altruism                             

Cohen spoke about being involved in the local Z-net effort which Saltgrass covered in Season 2 Episode 21.  



If you want to get active and contact your Australian government representatives here are some starting points:

Current Australian Ministry List

If you want to focus on the Labour party

This is the Labour members of parliament


Cam Walker works at Friends of the Earth (FoE)

This link is if you wand to listen to the whole episode with Cam.

In this episode we speak with Natalie Moxham, a Castlemaine resident of over 10 years. She was a driving force in the Castlemaine Commons you tube series, which was created recently to look at how our community was managing the various factors playing out in this time of pandemic.

She has traveled the world and worked in many vulnerable communities, helping people create change… which is what we all know is needed, but can be so hard to make happen. She calls herself a change maker and movement builder, listen to find out what she has to say about how communities can change.

Saltgrass is produced in Castlemaine, on Jaara country, home of the Dja Dja Wurrung people.  We pay respects to elders past, present and emerging.




Natalie's website: Leanganook Yarn

Check out the You Tube series Castlemaine Commons


Mentions in the show:

Find out more about the Mabo case here

Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth

I couldn't find the exact you tube clip we discussed but George Monbiot is a great thinker and worth checking out.


September 7, 2020

S3 E5 Caring for Country

In this episode I speak with two Dja Dja Wurrung men about what they are doing to connect people to country and in doing that help protect it.

Harley Douglas is project manager on a project called Walking Together.  It is a four year project looking at two sites.  They are doing surveys of the flora and fauna in the parks, introducing cultural learning points and also asking for community input about these two parks.

Uncle Rick Nelson has been taking high school boys out bush to connect to them and strengthen community and also strengthen their understanding of this place and the culture that connects them to it.

Saltgrass is produced in Castlemaine, on Jaara country, home of the Dja Dja Wurrung people.  We pay respects to elders past, present and emerging.



Some information about the Walking Together project:

From Connecting Country 

From Parks Victoria 



Dja Dja Wurrung clans aboriginal corporation


About the Eltham Copper Butterfly



Friends of Kalimna Park


About the Pink Tailed Worm Lizard




Bendigo District Aboriginal Co-operative


Uncle Rick and the first coronavirus rap 

Uncle Rick and the most recent corona virus rap


The episode mentioned with Aunty Julie McHale from earlier this season


The first episode of the Dja Dja Wurrung Radio series I did with Uncle Rick in 2016... the rest of the episodes follow on from this one. There are seven episodes.

In this episode I am speaking with Ilka White, an artist and textiles worker who has been investigating ways to make wearing clothing more sustainable.  We talk about fast fashion and its antidote - the fibreshed movement - and everything in between.  Basically, what considerations come into play when you want to choose clothing ethically.

Saltgrass is produced in Castlemaine, on Djaara country, home of the Dja Dja Wurrung people.  We pay respects to elders past, present and emerging.


Resources and links:


Ilka White's homepage for her art, classes and textiles projects


Fibreshed movement's home in California

Fibreshed Melbourne 

Look for a Fibreshed group near you, they are all over the world!


Have a listen to a previous episode about conscious clothing with Wonderpants maker Kathryn McAllister and textiles up-cycler Linnet Good.


Hear Ilka talk about her art practice in this episode about art and sustainability.


In this episode we are talking about masks, refugees and permaculture…. How are those things related?  Well, in several ways it turns out. 

We have three guests: Ginny Thomas has been working with refugee and immigrant women through an organisation called Sisterworks and they have been making washable, re-usable, cloth masks.  Virginia Solomon has also been making masks, but this time as a fundraiser for Permaculture Australia, she talks to us about masks, waste and permaculture.  Then finally Ian Lillington has been a leader in and educator of permaculture here in Central Victoria for over a decade and he talks to us about how the permaculture movement has had an impact in our region and also finds ways that masks and mask wearing in times of pandemic are related to the principles of permaculture.


Saltgrass is produced in Castlemaine, on Jaara country, home of the Dja Dja Wurrung people.  We pay respects to elders past, present and emerging.



Resources and Links:


Masks as pollution:

More masks than Jellyfish?

PPE pollution in the UK


Some notes on masks and coronavirus:

Some videos about mask wearing from the World Health Organisation

"A dual-layered cloth mask is sufficient to protect people in public settings. It’s unlikely you’ll be infected in public by airborne viral particles. The real threat is touching an infected surface and then putting your hand to your face: Frequent hand-washing is a sure way to avoid COVID-19." Source 


Research into the best fabrics to make masks out of


The three C’s Ian spoke of in terms of situations that put you most at risk. 


The Department of Health and Human Services’s (DHHS) advice on wearing masks

The DHHS’s mask design



From Ginny's interview:



Two refugee assistance orgs Ginny volunteered with before working at Sisterworks:




From Virginia's interview:

Permaculture Australia

Permaculture's Guiding Principles

Virginia’s website with masks for sale


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