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 Jacynta 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.

Jacynta 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 Jacynta has, in the last week, moved from being the proud parent of an activist to taking action herself.



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. 




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


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


'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.




How to get the book:


Trace Balla website:


Mark Balla:

TED talk

Toilet Warrior:

Operation Toilets:


Jane Bennett:

Chalice Foundation:

Celebration Day For Girls:


Topics we’ve discussed:

Drawdown – educating girls:

United Nations goals:


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

This episode is the first of two that looks at a contentious issue in Castlemaine at the moment, the proposed bioenergy plant. 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. 

Allie starts the episode by providing a bit of context and then we hear a presentation given by Deane Belfield at a town meeting. Deane is explains as much as he can about the proposed bioenergy facility.

Next week we will hear the Q&A session that happened after Deane's presentation and also hear from people as they left the hall to see what they thought about it all.  

Find out more about the proposed project at 

This episode looks at the implications for human health as the climate changes.

Vanora Mulvenna joins us from the DHHS (the Victorian State government's Department of Health and Human Services) to discuss how our state government is already planning for the possible health impacts of climate change. 

Before the interview Allie takes some time to reflect on the latest IPCC report and celebrates Saltgrass being a finalist in the Jackson Wild Awards.  Fellow finalists are The Hopecast, by Jane Goodall and a National geographic project called The Guardians of the River.



What is saltgrass?  This show was named after a real plant and we wanted to know more about it... but it actually isn't very well known.  In this episode we chat with Karl Just, local ecologist, who is one of the few people we were able to find who knows about the plant.  We discuss its properties, both biological and metaphorical. 

We also discuss a rare species he has been involved in monitoring and protecting for some time now, the Eltham Copper Butterfly, as mention in our episode Caring for Country

The final episode for Season 3 has a plethora of voices all asking for the same thing: fund our future, not gas.

The Australian School Strike for Climate crew have struck again.  Just before our state was locked down due to another covid outbreak thousands of students walked out of school and gathered in major cities and country towns.  Allie went to the train station early in the morning to chat with some of those travelling into Melbourne for the strike and also recorded the support rally that happened in Castlemaine later that day.

For links and more information click here 

Alex Kelly interviews Scott Ludlam about his new book 'Full Circle - a search for the world that comes next'


For full episode details and links click here

May 6, 2021

S3 E21 Hear Here

Hear Here is a sound art project that featured in the recent Castlemaine State Festival. In this episode we speak with the two artists who created Hear Here - Dan Koop and Daniele Constance.


Read full episode notes and find links to things discussed here.


April 20, 2021

S3 E20 GrAiNZ

This episode continues on the theme of bread! We hear from bakers from across Australia who have joined the GrAiNZ movement, a loose collection of sourdough bakers who want to create a new, more sustainable grains economy.


See full episode description at

This episode takes a look at a local bakery and how it can be an example of everything we want to achieve in terms of community building, supporting local food systems and taking care of the planet.

Find out more at

Load more

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App