The Castlemaine community turned out in force yesterday to launch the Climate Flags project. The event was everything we hoped for: vibrant, celebratory and a great community event, while allowing for sober reflection about climate change and our need to come out of paralysis and into action.
Coming together en masse to sit and draw, talk and to write messages, felt a such positive and supportive way to build community and gather our collective energy towards action on climate change.
The welcome table was a constant buzz throughout the launch, with a flow of people collecting flags, adding their names and postcodes to the record of flag makers and sewers adding newly made flags to strings.
People were moved to tears during speeches and many commented afterwards that they felt inspired to come out of their own personal inertia around climate change. Speakers included the Castlemaine Mayor (Browen Machin), three founders of the Student Strike 4 Climate (Milou, Harriet and Tully) and Climate Flags founder (Cassia Read). Kerry Calcraft, part of the core Climate Flags organising team, was MC.
Local musicians contributed to the creative and festive atmosphere and balanced the emotion in the room. Musicians included: Dezebells (playing Zimbabwean Mbira), year 8 Students Amy, Tilly, Ava and Lucy playing their own compositions, and singer songwriter Hilary Blackshaw. After the speeches, the Ukeladies led the crowd in singing ‘This Whole World.”
Flag making continued throughout the event with kids and adults embracing the opportunity to express themselves. Flags made were moving and stunning in their direct statements and creativity.
Climate Flag organisers will get busy this week sewing the new flags onto strings to fly over the coming weeks around Castlemaine and at the coming Climate Strike on the 15th March.
All photos on this page were taken by Ecologica.