Raising voices for Baringhup

AUTHOR and philosopher Raimond Gaita is hosting a series of conversations in Castlemaine to raise money for the Keep Baringhup Clean fighting fund.

Money raised will be used to fight the development of a Baringhup chicken factory.

"We need that money to fight VCAT and we're certain that's where we will have to go but it depends on council support," Mr Gaita said.

"The matter that worried a lot of people was the odour from the factories. The applicant says it won't happen but the best practice is not necessarily a successful practice.

"I will speak on the topic for about two minutes at the start of each conversation before we move onto a completely different topic."

Mr Gaita, who wrote the popular book turned film Romulus My Father, will speak alongside writer and human rights activist Arnold Zable, journalist and author Helen Garner and political commentator Robert Manne.

"I arranged one last year where I screened Romulus My Father and got people like Richard Roxburgh and Alex Miller involved," Mr Gaita said.

The conversations will take place on March 5 (Zable), April 15 (Garner) and May 1 (Manne).

"Though all three speakers are appalled by the prospect of a chicken factory on the plains, in part they know how much it means to me," Mr Gaita said.

"They all stayed at my house that overlooks the plains."

Mr Zable will speak on asylum seekers, activism and writing, Mr Manne on the state of the nation and Ms Garner on writing people's lives.

"Helen and I will be discussing the kind of ethical issues involved when writing about lives of people," Mr Gaita said.

"Sometimes you can write a direct memoir (like me) and others it's a mix of fact and fiction as happens in her books.

"It raises different questions on where to draw the line and not draw the line.

"In the film Romulus, it can depict things that didn’t happen as shown but there was always a kernel of truth. The scene can capture exactly how I felt, even though facts aren't as they occurred. It raises interesting questions."

No Poultry Matter: Raimond Gaita's Conversations in Castlemaine is on March 5 at the Phee Broadway Theatre in Mechanics Lane, Castlemaine, from 7.30pm. Tickets are $15 and available from Maine Shoes and Accessories in Barker Street, Castlemaine. 

You can also log on to www.trybooking.com/EGZR

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