Media Release 14 May 2008
Honorable Elders camp,
a new Dreaming under the Nimbin Rocks
"The upcoming Honorable elders camp under the Nimbin Rocks next weekend (16-19 May) is a profound cultural initiative, " says Aquarian elder, Graeme Dunstan.
As an employee of the Australian Union of Students, Graeme was director of the 1973 Nimbin Aquarius Festival and was responsible for selecting Nimbin as its site.
Ever since, he has been a cultural worker of significance in the Rainbow Region, being the pioneering driving force behind the creation of both of the Dolphin Awards and Lismore Lantern parade.
This year the organisers of the Nimbin Mardi Grass honored Graeme by appointing him marshal of the 2008 Nimbin Mardi Grass parade.
Graeme is also a flag maker and flag bearer. As such he is responsible for the design and deployment of the Koori-green flags which were prominent at the Tent Embassy on Sorry Day.
"The flags made a big visual impact," he says. "Local Wybul clan folk of the Bunjalung were very proud to see their Nimbin Rocks flags on national TV."
"As a 65 year old Aquarian elder, it is good for my heart to survey the depth of respect, kindness and care that is shared between Wybul and whites in Nimbin," Dunstan said. "Nimbin is a post Mabo town like no other."
"That gurri connection begins with a Welcome to Country ceremony conducted by the late Dick Donnelly at the 1973 Aquarius Festival," he said.
"The Honorable Elders camp this weekend is the fruit of a tree grown large and fruitful," he said.
"My work convening it as a beautiful and fruitful event is a gift given in praise and gratitude to that ever growing tree."
"The camp will take place in a pecan forest under Cathedral rock in a magic time of year: a rising moon, morning mists, autumn leaves, camp fires, koori green flags by day, lanterns by night, circles of friends and open hearts," promises Dunstan.
Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688
Telstra reception poor in Nimbin. Call via HEMP Embassy 6689 0326 / 6689 1842
Media Release 8 May 2008
Honorable Elders camp
As part of the 35th anniversary of the Nimbin Aquarius Festival, a cross cultural Koori-Aquarian camp, will gather to explore the meaning and practice of honorable eldership in these times
from evening Friday 16 through Monday 19 May 2008
under the Nimbin Rocks, access via Morton Road, Nimbin Rocks
The camp will be convened by Peacebus.com captain, Graeme Dunstan, who as a 30 year old employee of the Australian Union of Students, was one of the principle organisers of the 1973 Aquarius Festival.
"The 1973 Nimbin Aquarius festival was culturally innovative in many ways but possibly the most significant was its cultural engagement with local kooris," Mr Dunstan said.
"The Festival began with a welcome to country ceremony by the late Dick Donnelly. Welcome to country ceremonies are now de rigour for public events everywhere but back then we were pioneers."
"After the Festival it was the hippies who had come and stayed who welcomed the Wyabul clan of the Bundjalung back to the valley and Nimbin today is a post Mabo town like no other on the north coast of NSW," Dunstan said.
"As young idealists were Aquarians were culture shapers of major influence," he said. "As aged idealists we will be no less influential in our explorations of honorable eldership."
Honorable eldership is a teaching which story teller and writer, Auntie Maureen Watson, shared at the eldership fire of the 30th anniversary celebrations of Aquarius in 1993.
Dunstan says that the camp will welcome kooris and hippies, young and old, old Aquarians and new.
Bring food to share and dress warmly. Set up camp before sunset Friday. Dry camp.
"We will sit on the Earth together, meet around camp fires, share food, make ceremony and draw out dialogue about the meaning and practice of honorable eldership appropriate to the times," he said.
Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688
From left Uncle Cecil Roberts, Uncle Graeme Dunstan and Auntie Viv Laurie under Cathedral Rock, Nimbin, 15 May 2008