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RIVERTREE: Raising the voice of the Clarence River

 

On January 20th, 2024, my family and I set off to spend an unforgettable afternoon in Yamba for the world premiere of RIVERTREE. This documentary, a testament to local environmental activism and community resilience, resonates deeply with the core ethos of Remote Projects — explore, protect and respect the land we are lucky enough to call home.

Our connection to the mighty Clarence River area is similar to anyone who has been fortunate enough to explore this untamed wilderness and ruggedness upriver. It's a land before time, simultaneously close to home and yet worlds away, that blows me away each time we visit. From annual camping trips to the Clarence Gorge to solo nights spent under the stars testing new gear, exploring the river in the Kayak - we've come to know the proposed mining areas well — places of unparalleled raw beauty that need to be protected for future generations.

The film follows the story of two lifelong friends, adventurer and mother (& local hero) Hayley Talbot, and well-known local surfer and educator, Dan Ross. Together, Hayley and Dan embark on a long-distance paddle down the Clarence River (Biirrinba, Boorimbah) and along the way they speak to locals, uncovering the mining industry’s plans to dig up the nearby hills for proposed copper and cobalt mining.

A Gathering of Community

The film premiere unfolded against the backdrop of Yamba's iconic water tower, drawing over 1,500 people from diverse walks of life. The resilient community's spirit was in full force, anchored by a profound sense of unity and purpose. The Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony, ed by Yaegl Elder Aunty Lenore Parker, set the mood, reminding us of the deep connections we share with this land and its original custodians.

 

The performance by RY X, a local musician was also a massive highlight and his performance added to the magic of the afternoon. It was a heartfelt homage to the land and home, a declaration of RY X's ties to this place, and a celebration of homecoming after living abroad and not having returned home for a few years. His music, which scores the film, added an ethereal layer to the evening.


The Film's Message

As the film concluded to a standing ovation, the silence that enveloped us was filled with a collective resolve. The words of my 7-year-old daughter in that quiet moment struck a chord, "Dad, i’ve got an idea... What if everyone just voted? And if enough people said no, then the mining wouldn’t go ahead." Her innocence highlighted the simplicity of the solution we all yearn for - a world where the voice of the community directly shapes the future of our environment.


Join the Movement

RIVERTREE is not just a film; it's a call to action for all who want to protect our rivers and demonstrate the power of community. We urge you to support this documentary by attending the upcoming screenings in Burleigh Heads, Byron Bay, Melbourne, and Torquay. Your presence is a step towards protecting the mighty Clarence River, a jewel in the crown of the Northern Rivers, and a stand against the forces that threaten its existence.

In the spirit of exploration, respect, and preservation, show up for the voice of the river and ensure its ripples become a tsunami for change.

@patagoniaaus in store screenings

28th Feb Burleigh Heads
3rd March Byron Bay - Byron Bay Community Centre
6th March Melbourne
8th March Torquay

Reserve your seat here

For more information and to reserve your seat at the screenings, please follow Rivertree Instagram @rivertreefilm.

Shout out to Patagonia and Intrepid for sponsoring the film!