Where to from here for Regional Australia?


Regional Australia took on a whole new identity during 2020-2021. What are our plans for keeping it vibrant, prosperous, productive, and proud?  How will we support the traditional owners and primary carers of our land, provincial cities, and towns?

A frank and important discussion on ‘where to from here?’ for Regional Australia with Gabrielle Chan, Dr Anika Molesworth*, Uncle Rick Nelson and host Alex Kelly.

*Appearing via video link

Gabrielle Chan


Gabrielle Chan has been a journalist for more than 30 years. She has been a political journalist and politics live blogger at Guardian Australia since 2013. Prior to that she worked at The Australian, ABC radio, The Daily Telegraph, in local newspapers and politics. Gabrielle has written and edited history books, biographies and even a recipe book. The daughter of a Singaporean migrant, Gabrielle moved from the Canberra press gallery to marry a sheep and wheat farmer in 1996 - the year Pauline Hanson was first elected to federal parliament. She noticed the economic and cultural divide between the city and the country, the differences in political culture and yawning gap between the parliament and small town life. So in September 2017, she swapped interviews with politicians with interviews with ordinary people on her main street to discover why they think politics has moved so far from their lives. The result is Rusted Off: Why country Australia is fed up. Int he process, Gabrielle draws conclusions about the current state of our rural political representation, the gap between city and country and how to bridge it. Her most recent book, Why you should give a f*ck about farming, examines the past, present and future of farming with her characteristically forensic eye. She lays out how our nation, its leaders, farmers and eaters can usher in new ways for us to work and live on our unique and precious land. We must forge a new social contract if we are to grow healthy food on a thriving landscape, while mitigating climate and biodiversity loss.

Dr Anika Molesworth

Digital Panelist

Dr Anika Molesworth is a passionate advocate for sustainable farming, environmental conservation and climate change action. Hailing from her family's sheep station near Broken Hill, Anika is an agroecologist with a Masters of Sustainable Agriculture, and a PhD in Agricultural
Science. She has been working in international agricultural development for the past six years, giving her a holistic perspective of agricultural issues at global scale. Anika is a founding director of Farmers for Climate Action, she writes frequently on her own website Climate Wise Agriculture and is a prominent youth voice in rural Australia with the Youth Voices Leadership Team. Anika’s goal when she is speaking publicly is to bring heartfelt warmth, authenticity and optimism to complex global challenges. Her book, Our Sunburnt Country, examines the fact that the climate crisis is not imminent but that it is here. Farmers are being challenged today and this concerns everyone who eats food. It shares the story of the humanity entangled in the climate crisis throughout the food system and explores how we might simultaneously achieve good health for people and our planet.

Alex Kelly


Alex Kelly is an artist, filmmaker, activist and orchardist based on Dja Dja Wurrung Country who grew up on a sheep farm on Wiradjuri Country. With decades of experience across film, theatre, communications strategy and troublemaking, Alex has developed a deeply collaborative practice that purposefully connects the disciplines of art and social change. As director and producer, Alex has worked on award-winning documentaries Queen of the Desert, Island of the Hungry Ghosts, and In My Blood it Runs. Based for many years in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), Alex worked as creative producer on Ngapartji Ngapartji, a multilayered theatre, film, and language revitalisation project, and co-founded the Something Somewhere film festival. With direct action experience including blockade camps at Jabiluka and autonomous zone organising at la zad in France, Alex brings the tools of grassroots organising and independent media to creative practice. Alex has engaged in global action for climate justice at all levels, including as the Global Impact & Distribution Producer on Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything project. In 2013, Alex was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to research documentaries and their social impact in the UK, Canada and the USA; Alex has been further supported by a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship in 2016 and a Bertha Challenge Fellowship in 2020.Alex’s current focus is The Things We Did Next, a long-term, multi-platform futuring practice, a hybrid of theatre, imagination and democracy co-created with David Pledger from not yet it’s difficult. Since mid 2021 Alex has been a member of the Harcourt Organic Farming Cooperative where the collective she is part of -The Orchard Keepers - are a member business and run a 5000 tree organic stone and pome fruit business.

Uncle Rick Nelson


Uncle Rick Nelson is a highly respected Dja Dja Wurrung Elder and cultural advisor for the Dja Dja Wurrung community. He coordinates Men’s Business where he takes men and boys out on Country and is deeply committed to helping people stay connected. The core of his work is about bringing people together, especially Aboriginal school students and young people, to deepen their understanding about Aboriginal life and culture.

Date & Time
Saturday, April 9, 11 am

Goods Shed Arts
Castlemaine Goods Shed
21 Kennedy Street
Castlemaine, 3450

60 mins

This is a covid safe event. All ticketholders must show proof of vaccination and wear a mask to attend.