The Castlemaine Commons hosts weekly conversations rapidly responding to the pandemic situation in our rural community. Fostering new ways of communication, community connection, sense-making, catalysing action and creating the future. We have noticed the fundamental disruption to forms of life that the pandemic is causing; the need to step up and lead the discourse and pose fundamental questions about the way that we live in the long run. The uncertainty and discombobulation of a COVID 19 world, provides a perfect chance to embrace what we have in common.
This weekly show features local people from the Castlemaine (Victoria) area. The collective is Natalie Moxham, Emma King, Tim Adam, Matt Abud, Declan Furber Gillick, Alex Kelly, Kath Coff and Jessie Boylan.
Castlemaine Commons Inaugural Show
Hosted by Castlemaine Collective member Natalie Moxham, the show includes an introduction to Castlemaine Commons followed by a conversation posing the question ‘what has just happened in our world?’ We will be exploring the enormity of this life-changing event and what it means for us in Castlemaine.
- Aunty Julie McHale, of Trawlwoolway from Tasmania, born on DjaDjaWurrung Country and lived here all her life. She is an adopted Elder and although not a Traditional Owner feels that this Country is where she belongs.
- Christine Henderson, Mount Alexander Shire Council Mayor, Coliban Ward Councillor
- Niamh O’Conner Smith, Year 12 student at Castlemaine Secondary College. She is a passionate activist and organiser for School Strike 4 Climate.
- Dr Susie Burke, is a psychologist, writer, and parent, with a background in disaster psychology and environmental psychology.
Show 2: The Rise of Neighbourhood Resilience Groups
Our second Castlemaine Commons Show focused on neighborhood connections, mutual aid and resilience. We discussed what neighborhood resilience groups are, where they are in Central Victoria, and what they are doing and why they are important – now and into the future.
- Kath Coff from Nalderun
- Alex Kelly from West End Neighbourhood Resilience Group
- Camilo Demarco from Campbells Creek
- Carmela Leone moderator of the Castlemaine Community Disaster Resilience Facebook group
- Amy Atkinson from Maldon Neighbourhood Centre
- Emma King from Fryers Forest will be co-hosting with Natalie Moxham
Show 3: Lockdown from a First Nations Perspective
A MUST SEE show for all people engaged in social change and environmental protection work on Jarra country. This conversation is an opportunity to learn from First Nations people about their experience of and response to the current pandemic. The Indigenous world view has enabled a swift, strong and resilient response, and reflects the unique webs of connection First Nations people have – strengths we should all learn from as we deal with the present and imagine the future in this place.
- Uncle Rick Nelson, Elder and descendant of the Jarra People, Dja Dja Wurrung Nation, cultural advisor for Nalderun and the Shire.
- Kathryn Coff, a Yorta Yorta woman and respected member of the Aboriginal community in Castlemaine. She currently manages Nalderun Aboriginal Services, sits on the Shire’s Indigenous Round Table and is a Indigenous Practitioner and student at La Trobe University.
- Declan Furber Gillick, an independent, multi-award winning artist and educator of Arrernte and Irish-Australian heritage, currently based in Castlemaine. His creative practice spans playwrighting, hip-hop, rap and music production, performance, composition, poetry, prose and visual arts.
- Chase Norfolk, from the Gunai Kurnai mob in Gippsland. He describes himself as funny, loyal and always looking for new things to do and learn, especially about his culture.
Show 4: A Pandemic Pivot for Climate Justice?
This week looked at the pandemic and its consequences through the lens of climate action. What have been the positive effects of the lockdown on the environment? What social and cultural shifts have been happening? How do we build forward locally to emerge from this crisis on a stronger footing to tackle climate change?
- Emilia Vellacott and Jack Neilson Bridgfoot, young local representatives of School Strike for Climate
- Jodi Newcombe, Mt Alexander Shire Climate Change Coordinator
- Alli Hanly, Mount Alexander Sustainability Group Communications and Media Manager and host and producer of Saltgrass the Podcast
- Laura Noonan Florist and Greenpeace Central Vic member
- Cam Walker, local resident and Campaign Coordinator at Friends of the Earth
Show 5: Alternative Economics
This show is for people who want to explore news ways of understanding the world outside of the neo-liberal economic paradigm, especially in world riven with COVID 19. Although the last 30 years has seen the dominance of neo-liberal economics driving policy, there has been a resurgence of people and organisations on the ground, in communities, who actively develop other ways that we can live in this world that promotes the environment, our community and a kinder way of living. Tune in to hear fascinating conversations from people who are both leading thinkers in alternative economics and are also making a on the ground difference in how we are doing business.
- Anitra Nelson – Associate Professor, Melbourne Sustainability Society Institute, Melbourne University
- Tammi Jonas – Jonai Farms and Meatsmiths- member of Community Supported Agriculture
- Warwick Smith – Castlemaine Institute economist, ecologist, philosopher and freelance journalist
- Vicki Anderson – Cultural Development Officer, Mount Alexander Shire Council
- Hosted by Tim Adam.
Links to work by speakers on the show include:
- Anitra Nelson: https://anitranelson.info/ –
- Warwick Smith: https://castlemaineinstitute.org.au/
- Tammi Jonas: http://jonaifarms.com.au/, http://www.tammijonas.com/
- Vicki Anderson & Mount Alexander Shire Council (select): https://www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au…, https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WB3ZQRH
Show 6: How do we Ensure a Just Transition
While we are all in the same storm, we are not all in the same boat. The pandemic shut down has thrown a spotlight on inequalities in our social and economic structures – inequalities which may be exacerbated as we transition out of shutdown, and into the adaptations required by the climate crisis. Some of these have been touched on in our previous shows – in this one we want to look more closely at the groups most effected by the shutdown, and talk about the solutions required to ensure that our most vulnerable and marginalised are not left behind.
- Maree Baird – Bendigo Community Services Manager for the Salvation Army
- Margaret Rasa – Rural Australians for Refugees
- Paul Gianni – Mt Alexander Shire Disability Action Group
Show 7: The Artist’s Role in Times of Crisis
Hosted by Declan Furber Gillick, Arrernte playwright, artist and musician.
- Alex Kelly – A filmmaker, artist and activist committed to social & climate justice with a current focus on speculative futures
- Alvin Briggs – Yorta Yorta/Taungurung Nario/Walbunja man, who is a Pyrography Artist, using a machine that utilises a heated wire to make free marks also know as poker work.
- Jessie Boylan – Photography, video and sound artist exploring social and psychological upheaval with an interest in collaborative praxes and finding ways to engage with our catastrophic times.
- Ada Levis – Musician, founding member and manager of all-girl ska-punk band Stop That Mammoth
- Jan Wozitsky – Storyteller, writer, folk musician and producer who works variously on stage, publishing, education, radio and documentary, telling Australian stories. Currently hunkered down at home building a studio and writing.
- Jeremy Furze – Jeremy Furze is an artist manager (music) and co-owner of live music venue The Bridge Hotel in Castlemaine. As a manager he works with The Teskey Brothers (VIC), Liz Stringer (VIC) and Little Quirks (NSW).
Show 8: How Can Change Happen?
Hosted by Alex Kelly, filmmaker, artist and activist.
- Kathryn Coff – a Yorta Yorta woman and respected member of the Aboriginal community in Castlemaine. She currently manages Nalderun Aboriginal Services, sits on the Shire’s Indigenous Round Table and is a Indigenous Practitioner and student at La Trobe University.
- Natalie Moxham – a transformative change maker, member of the Castlemaine Commons Collective and Director of Leanganook Yarn, a social enterprise that undertakes design, evaluation, facilitation and participation. She lives in Castlemaine with her partner and two teenage children.
- Holly Hammond – the director of the Commons Social Change Library, an online collection of resources to help social movements be stronger and smarter. As an activist educator she has many years experience working with activists using diverse approaches to change on a wide range of issues.
- Julie Miller Markoff – supports Progressive Leaders to Embrace The New Realities Of Disruption. Founder, The Leadership Studio working on building resilience, and implementing powerful ideas that reset and regenerate our future, Chair North Central Catchment Management Authority and CoFounder bHive Cooperative.