Movie Review: Regenerating Australia

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Movie Review: Regenerating Australia

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If you’ve seen any of the recent work by award-winning filmmaker Damon Gameau you’ll know it’s worth taking a moment of time out of your busy life to check out his latest offering, Regenerating Australia.

Movie Review: Regenerating Australia

The mainstay of Gameau’s work is packing up sound research into palatable pieces that can be easily consumed by the man on the street. You may have seen That Sugar Film where he transformed himself into a ‘human lab rat’ to trial the effects of a high sugar diet on the human body. Or the follow up movie 2040, which explored what the future could look like if we embraced the best available solutions to improve our planet.

This time he’s excelled himself with a bite size 17 minute movie called Regenerating Australia, which asks us to ponder life in 2029.

Featuring Kerry O’Brien, Sandra Sully, Gorgi Coghlan, Tim Flannery, David Pocock and other well-known voices, the movie is set on New Year’s Eve 2029 and takes the form of a news bulletin looking back at the decade ‘that could be’. It asks the question, ‘What would Australia look like by 2030 if we simply listened to the needs of its people?’

Ideas include a fairer, cleaner, more community-focused economy, greener, more vibrant cities and communities; what a high-speed rail network connecting regional areas and cities would look like; the environmental and social effects of large-scale wind, solar, battery and hydrogen projects; and the impacts of landscapes coming to life when regenerative agriculture and reforestation programs combine with First Nations knowledge and fire ecology to bring more people back onto the land.

Watching on I pondered:

  1. I was reminded of several Scenario Planning and Think Tank sessions I’ve been part of over the years. If only the output had been presented so creatively rather than the standard report and power point. Perhaps then more of the results might have come to pass.
  2. The movie also talks about Citizen Juries where the everyman considers how he or she can get involved. It’s heartening to consider the growing number of Consumer Advisory Committees already in place. So too the number of Government and Council websites with Engagement sections which also enable people to get involved. Some structures are already in place. If more people actually got involved in these and answered other calls for community input perhaps we’d be closer to the ideals presented than we think.
  3. For me the central take out was “If not me, who.”
  4. We can watch as many of these movies as we like, but unless we get involved nothing will change. Hopefully short movies like this will help move our mindsets from negative couch potatoes who leave everything up to others and complain when things aren’t happening. Or hedonists who spend time and money jetting off on expensive holidays that are quickly forgotten when the next one comes along. Hopefully more citizens will be see the benefit of using their downtime to help the great good and future generations.

Innovate to Regenerate.

In conjunction with the film’s release, WWF-Australia is launching an ‘Innovate to Regenerate’ challenge, providing $2 million in seed funding to help local communities, innovators and experts to ‘bring the film to life and establish or scale up innovative solutions that reverse environmental damage and help humans live in harmony with nature.

WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman says, “Regenerating Australia is a bold vision for a greener and more equitable Australia. It is possible – but can only be achieved if we work together. That’s why we partnered with Regen Studios to listen to a diverse range of Australians and then collaborated on the production of this film to help make this vision a reality. The film’s message is that today’s big problems need big, bold, innovative solutions. That is why WWF is running an ‘Innovate to Regenerate’ challenge – supercharged with $2 million in seed funding – to mobilise and support our greatest minds to create a thriving Australia from the ground up.  We’ve listened to local communities and innovators and now we will partner with them to bring their creative solutions to life.”


Regenerating Australia will premiere in Sydney on Friday, March 4 at the Sunset Cinema in North Sydney and on Sunday, March 6 at the Meet Market in North Melbourne.


Monday 16 May, 6.30pm @ Orana Cinemas Busselton. Tuesday 17 May, 6.30pm @ Margaret River HEART. Wednesday 18 May, 6.30pm @ Luna on SX Fremantle. Thursday 19 May, 6.30pm @ Luna Leederville

Nation-wide Q & A events

Gameau will then embark on a nation-wide series of special Q&A events in capital cities and regional towns to discuss the film and opportunities for communities to access support via the campaign. All screenings will feature an audience Q&A with expert panelists and live entertainment from local artists. Tickets will be free for under 18s and all revenue from adult ticket sales will go direct to participating First Nations speakers and local artists.

Damon Gameau of Regen Studios says, “After a traumatic two years for many Australians, this film and these special event screenings provide some much-needed inspiration and optimism for what could be achieved in the years ahead. It will be an uplifting night of music, film and robust conversation about the future of this country.”


Screening information and tickets are available at

For more information on the impact campaign and WWF-Australia’s ‘Innovate to Regenerate’ funding challenge, visit

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