Eighth-generation Tasmanian and environmentalist Oliver Cassidy embarks on a life-changing solo rafting trip down the beautiful yet remote Franklin River. His goal is to retrace his late father’s 14-day expedition to attend the blockade that saved the World-Heritage listed national park from being destroyed by a huge hydroelectric dam project in the early 1980s.
Featuring never-before-seen archival footage and interviews with key players such as Bob Brown and Uncle Jim Everett, the eight-year-long ‘Franklin campaign’ is revealed as the most significant environmental protest in Australia’s history; an inspiring example of the power of non-violent direct action to bring about lasting change.
Physically challenged beyond his limits, Oliver’s journey is one of healing and deeper understanding as he searches for the right way to say ‘goodbye’ to his father.
About the panel The climate crisis is the biggest global threat to human rights we’ve seen in our lifetime. However, across the globe governments are increasing moves to restrict freedom of assembly and expression of peaceful climate protesters. In Australia, climate protesters are being disproportionately subjected to vindictive legal action by Australian authorities that is restricting the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression.
Following the film, you will have the opportunity to ask questions to our expert panel, including Sophie McNeill, Simon Holmes a Court, Brynn O’Brien, and a climate activist from Blockade Australia. The panel will examine the amazing power of direct, community led action and how we can achieve change – from the political scene to boardrooms and on the streets.
Sophie McNeill is the Australia researcher for Human Rights Watch, based in Western Australia. She was formerly an investigative reporter with ABC TV’s Four Corners program where she produced programs on the Hong Kong protest movement and the mass arbitrary detention of Xinjiang’s Muslims by the Chinese government. Sophie was also a foreign correspondent for the ABC and SBS in the Middle East, working across the region in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Egypt and Turkey, as well as Israel/Palestine. Sophie has twice been awarded Australian Young TV Journalist of the Year and in 2010 won a Walkley Award for her investigation into the killing of five children in Afghanistan by Australian Special Forces soldiers. She was also nominated for a Walkley in 2015 for her coverage of the Syrian refugee crisis. In 2016 she won two more Walkleys for her coverage of Yemen and besieged towns in Syria. Previously, she worked as a reporter for ABC’s Foreign Correspondent and SBS’sDateline programs and she is a former host of triple j’s news and current affairs program Hack. She is the author of “We Can’t Say We Didn’t Know: Dispatches from an Age of Impunity.”
Simon Holmes a Court is the founder of Climate 200, the community crowdfunding initiative with 11,200 donors from all 151 electorates across Australia. At the 2022 Federal election, Climate 200’s donors levelled the playing field for climate, integrity and gender equity ambitious community independents, helping to elect seven new independents to the Australian Parliament. Simon is an energy analyst, clean tech investor, climate philanthropist, director of the Smart Energy Council and the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network and writes regularly about the transformation of Australia’s energy sector.
Brynn O’Brien is the Executive Director at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR). Brynn has 15 years’ experience as a lawyer and strategist. Prior to joining ACCR in January 2017, she worked as a consultant and advisor on business and human rights projects and practiced as a corporations and international lawyer. Brynn is an expert in corporate governance, active ownership, environmental, social and governance (ESG) materiality and international law. Brynn has degrees in Medical Science and Law from the University of Technology Sydney and a Master of Laws from Columbia University. She is a director of Diplomacy Training Program Ltd, an independent, Australian NGO committed to advancing human rights and empowering civil society in the Asia Pacific region.
Blockade Australia is an organising network established in response to Australia’s ongoing efforts to block action on the climate and ecological crisis. The network aims to help build a political movement that can physically resist Australia’s planet destroying operations with disruptive and targeted action that shuts down the everyday functions of this destructive machine.
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH defends the rights of people worldwide. We scrupulously investigate abuses, expose the facts widely, and pressure those with power to respect rights and secure justice. Human Rights Watch is an independent, international organisation that works as part of a vibrant movement to uphold human dignity and advance the cause of human rights for all. Our researchers report first-hand on over 90 countries around the globe. They travel wherever they must go to gather credible information, whether in war zones, areas under heavy surveillance, or other hostile environments. Our Australian office shines a spotlight on human rights issues in the Asia-Pacific region and encourages the Australian government to promote human rights.
FanForce acknowledges that we are on traditional lands, and recognises the global indigenous peoples. We honour all traditional custodians, and pay our respects to spiritual Elders both past and present.