Craig Reucassel is a familiar face as one of the satirists on The Chaser and the host of The War on Waste. He also loves reading and writing, which made him the perfect host for the first Joeys Books and Blokes event of 2021. His new book Fight For Planet A puts everyday people on the frontline in the battle against climate change, outlining practical day-to-day changes we can make to reduce our carbon footprint.

Books and Blokes is a unique Joeys initiative that encourages boys and men to read. In play since 2013, it spreads the important message that it’s OK for guys throughout the College community to enjoy books. Past speakers at the breakfast event have included Peter FitzSimmons, Mike Carlton, Kerry O’Keefe and David Pocock.

In front of a packed audience of students and parents at the Br Liguori Resource Centre, Mr Reucassel said that taking action is a lot easier than we think. He gave several examples of ways we can alter our habits to cut down on waste, and urged governments to act now. “We can all make a change,” Mr Reucassel said. “But the book is also there to talk through the areas where we’re not being helped enough in making a change, where our leaders aren’t leading.”

In an entertaining talk, he pointed out the folly of practices such as hotels using fridges to preserve long-life milk and showed footage of himself in an electric car beating a petrol vehicle in a drag race. 

He said it was up to the younger generations to push hard for action on global warming, urging Joe Boys to take up the challenge. Heating of the planet was only going to get worse. “People are often ahead of goverrments in adapting to new ways of doing things, then governments get on board later. So we have to get them to act sooner.”

Afterwards, he met with Joeys Year 11 Sustainability sub-committee, complimenting them on the recent addition of recycling bins in the refectories, and giving them sage advice on how to make the greatest impact on people’s habits. “Don’t try and solve everything at once. Pick one thing and focus on that, because it takes a while to change behaviour.”

A lot of our technology is affecting our attention span and I think reading books is an antidote to that.

He also spoke about the writing process and encouraged Joeys students to read widely and explore their imagination.

“It’s very rewarding writing a book,” he said. “It’s a very precise thing and takes a lot of time and effort, but for me the thing is to get my ideas down on paper first and do a first draft then go back and edit.

“Reading is a crucial part of life. A lot of our technology is affecting our attention span and I think reading books is an antidote to that. If you can sit down and read a whole book you attention span is at A-plus and that’s great.”

The College would like to thank Mr Reucassel for giving up his time to speak at Joeys. The next Books and Blokes event will feature award-winning author Ashley Gray and his cricket book The Unforgiven: Mercenaries or Missionaries?.

Right: Author Craig Reucassel signed copies of his book Fight For Planet A for Joeys students.