Brown in the ‘Maine

Former Greens leader Bob Brown has praised Castlemaine as a great generator of ideas for the future during a visit to the town on Friday.
Brown and his long-time partner Paul Thomas attended the Castlemaine Documentary Film Festival at which the high-profile environmental campaigner was a guest speaker.
As part of Friday’s festival opening night, Brown addressed the audience in the Theatre Royal following the screening of Youth Unstoppable, a documentary dealing with what’s at stake for the world’s youth on the frontline of climate change activism – among them Castlemaine’s own School Strike 4 Climate Youth.
During their visit Brown and Thomas also took a tour of The Paddock eco village, now being built by the locally based FNG group on a site off Reckleben Street, where they were hosted by Heather and Neil Barrett, prime movers behind the innovative eco-living concept.
“Castlemaine’s a great generator of ideas for the future,” Brown told the Midland Express.
“You ask people in Hobart or Brisbane about climate strike and they’ll say ‘oh yeah that started in Castlemaine’. It’s got a very wide reputation. And what a good thing.
“You get inspired by young people who want to do something about the future of the planet given this existential crisis that we’re in.”
The longtime campaigner said he remained optimistic for the future and, following on from his most recent book Optimism, had another book afoot.
“The next one’s coming. It’s called Defiance,” he said.
“The world’s been in many great pickles but there’s movements that come along and get it out of that and change it for the better.
“We don’t know what the future holds and the worst thing we can do is look at it all and think ‘that’s too hard, I’m going to get depressed’ – that way all the intelligent people get knocked out. The thinking people.
“I’m in the business of quite the reverse – defying the thoughtless people who currently have power and motivating the thinking people who think ‘oh we are in trouble’.
“If you’re in trouble you’ve got two choices – you can get depressed or you can take action. And I’m in favour of the second.”

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