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A call to all citizens: Now is the time to REGENERATE

Perry St Cinema owners Jeff and Carolyn Visser were excited to host filmmaker and activist Damon Gameau last Monday night for the release of his new documentary Regenerating Australia. Having made their own sustainable changes to the cinema they were keen to spread the word with the community through this unique forum.

“Since purchasing Perry Street Cinema, we’ve installed roof top solar, low wattage lights and upgraded to laser projectors which use a quarter less energy than the old ones. We now save between 30-50% on our power bills.” Said Jeff and Carolyn Visser.

More than 80 community members who attended the sold-out screening were greeted with a smoking ceremony and dance performance by local indigenous group Muladha Gamara.

Through a futuristic nightly news report on New Year’s Eve 2029, the 17-minute Regenerating Australia documentary depicts a vision of harmonious, liveable Australia that has undertaken a democratic, environmental, spiritual and social transformation. It features Kerry O’Brien, Sandra Sully, Gorgi Coghlan, Tim Flannery, David Pocock and other well-known Australians. Damon Gameau told the crowd the film based on a four-month interview process with a diverse group of Australians who shared their hopes and dreams for the country’s future.

Welcoming everyone to Country, Jordan Nye and his group have been sharing the message of spiritual connection with the community at every opportunity. “I want to tell everyone not to be afraid or ashamed of their spirituality,” Jordan said. “It is a beautiful thing and your spirit will help you connect to the land in ways you have never connected before and will help you listen to a language you have never heard before.”

Following the screening, Gameau was joined on a discussion panel by local family doctor Dr Michelle Hamrosi (member of SHASA and Doctors for the Environment Australia) and North Rosedale resident and president of Eurobodalla350 and member Jack Egan. Audience members – including Batemans Bay oyster farmer Ewan McCash and Narooma-based seaweed farmer Jo Lane – shared updates on the innovative regenerative work they’re championing, both locally and further afield.

Dr Hamrosi said “There are so many examples of local climate heroes here in the Eurobodalla – community members stepping up to develop more resilient, more sustainable, better ways to produce food and energy; to run our transport and build our housing.”

“There’s regenerative farming work, both on land and in our waterways. And many people and organisations – including South Coast Health and Sustainability Alliance (SHASA) – are working to make our communities more aware and resilient as conditions become more challenging. We have an opportunity to champion and share these wonderful stories and empower more community members to do the same. Now is the time to regenerate.”

Jack Egan reminded the audience of the upcoming election, and how critical it is we have a government that represents the voices of the community. Jack said: “This energising film shows us that everything we need is already invented. It just needs to be rolled out at scale. That roll-out will happen in the regions not the capital cities. The regions are where so many of the new clean economy jobs will be. Let's elect a government who can facilitate this vision, not hamper it.” Jack invited participants to display a climate action poster on their business or fence.

SHASA Vice President Steve Colman told the crowd about the plans for a Eurobodalla Regenerate Regional Leadership program, which will to give current and emerging local leaders the skills to make meaningful change at a community level.

“Funded by Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants Program, the program will access some of the best leadership thinking and practices available,” Steve said. “It will teach practical tools and skills to help current and aspiring leaders design, lead and sustain productive change within their communities.” SHASA will announce more details in the coming weeks.

Regenerating Australia is supported by the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) ‘Innovate to Regenerate’ challenge – offering $2 million in seed funding to support regenerative, community-led solutions that encourage impact investment in priority areas such as food, biodiversity and climate. Gameau told the gathering that a Eurobodalla ‘bootcamp’ program will be run to support local applications.

Dr Hamrosi said “Let take the regeneration conversation and turn it into greater action - come and connect with your neighbours and community, make new friends and help be part of the greatest positive change sweeping our nation we have seen in decades.”

For more on the documentary and campaign, visit

Above: Michelle Hamrosi, Damon Gameau, Jack Egan

About SHASA: SHASA is a community group delivering projects in renewable energy, electric transport, resilience and social support across the Eurobodalla. We support community organisations, businesses and individuals to take practical actions to reduce their environmental impact, meet social challenges and adapt to increased heatwaves, droughts, fires and floods.