Curriculum Vitae of Graeme Dunstan
Born Essendon Victoria 4 August 1942
1955-60 Essendon High School, Victoria (dux )
1961-63 Royal Military College, Duntroon
1964 University of Melbourne (completed 2nd year Industrial Engineering with high
1965-67 University of NSW graduating with a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering (2 Hons Div
1) with a major in Psychology
1968-69 Trainee computer programmer and systems analyst with ICIANZ, Melbourne
1970-71 University of NSW - uncompleted Arts degree with majors in Sociology and History
1972 Teacher Training with the NSW Department of Education in North Sydney - a condensed
course for graduates
The Formative years;
1962 Class Senior of Third Class - the most highly ranked cadet in the second year of
the course at Royal Military college Duntroon. And the most punished.
1966 President of the UNSW Labor Club - actively organising the beginnings of the anti
Vietnam war, anti-conscription movement on that campus. Organised the LBJ Welcome
Committee which stopped the US President's motorcade in Liverpool Street, Sydney. Was
under the car when Premier Askin was muttering about "run over the bastards".
1966-67 Honorary Secretary of the UNSW Student's Union responsible for introducing
1967 President of the UNSW Student's Union and co-editor of Tharunka, the Journal of the
UNSW Students Union, with Mark Lyons as the other co-editor
1970 Director of Student Publications for the UNSW Students Union when Wendy Bacon et al
were editors of Tharunka and using it as a vehicle to successfully challenge NSW
1971 Editor of Tharunka, the Journal of the UNSW Students Union with Rob Andrews and
Michael Lucetti - exploring counter cultural themes with many guest editors
1972-73 Director of the Aquarius Festival for the Australian Union of Students with Johnny
Allen as Director of the Aquarius Foundation. The Festival was an exposition of the
counter cultural lifestyle issues of the times. It was held in Nimbin, NSW and promised to
re-cycle that dying town.
Work as a Counter Cultural Entrepreneur
1974 Director of the Reality Construction Company, a community development enterprise on
the north coast of NSW which was funded by the Schools Commission through Gordon Lang's
Educational Smorgasbord in Ballina. The Company produced the Mt Duval Retreat near
Armidale on alternative communities, the Dorrigo Dance Workshop on community dance, a
children's festival in Murwillumbah and toured with Nigel Triffitt's Yellow Brick
1976 Founding Secretary of the Rainbow Region Homebuilders Association, which was an
Aquarian settler pressure group which successfully negotiated the multiple occupancy land
zoning which allowed the new settlers to build hamlet style communities on rural land.
1974 -77 Contributor to the Nimbin News, a weekly roneoed newsletter which reported on the
life and times of Nimbin.
1977 Director of Lismore Festival of Arts for the Lismore Arts Council. The Festival was
presented with the theme "integration through celebration" brought forth the
artistic talents of local kooris and the new Aquarian settlers.
1977 Guest Speaker at the first National Festivals Forum which was organised in Brisbane
by the Community Arts Board of the Australia Council.
1977 Host to John Fox and Sue Gill, director of Welfare State International. Toured
by the Australia Council to introduce their ideas and skills in regard to outdoor
celebratory theatre, they stayed 3 weeks in Nimbin and directed and produced a New Years
celebration which involved a bonfire event at Blue Knob Hall, a Naming Ceremony and some
community theatre at the old Butter Factory
1978 Assistant Director of Canberra Week and producer of a spectacle event called The City
1978 Producer of the Country and Eastern Bush Music Convention for the Nimbin Folk Club.
This was a 2 day outdoor concert in the Nimbin Show Ground at a time when Nimbin new
settler music was flowering.
1978 Producer of the Festival of Treelife. This was the opening gambit of the successful
anti-logging action which became known as the Battle of Terania Creek. It took place at
The Channon market with big puppets telling a story about forest defence. The images were
part of the media of the opening blockade and led to shaman role for the author during the
four week blockade.
Work in Community Development Elsewhere
1979-80 Celebrations Consultant to the Community Arts Board of the Australia Council and
the National Australia Day Committee
1980-81 Administrator for the Drama Action Centre during which time secured funding for,
and set up, a theatre group called Common Ground which worked with severely handicapped in
the International Year of the Handicapped
1981 Director and designer of a stilt, mask and drum street theatre piece called
The Parliamentary Men which was performed at the Sydney festival, the Adelaide Festival
Fringe and the Sydney Biennale. This was the first stilt performance show to work the
Australian festival circuit.
1982-85 Community Arts Officer for the City of Campbelltown, the south western suburban
frontier of Sydney. The brief was to work at community development of this rapidly
developed city using arts as a medium. Graeme's strategy was to set up a number of
innovative artist in community programs.
1982-85 Member of the South Western (Metropolitan) Regional Arts Development Committee
which addressed itself to arts development issues in the South West of Sydney
1983 Founding Secretary of the Friends of the Campbelltown Art Gallery which was the lobby
group which prepared the way for the establishment of the first public art museum in the
south west of Sydney as a bicentennial project.
1983 Initiator of Project Campbellsong, an artist in community program which employed
musician and composer, John Shortis, to stimulate music making and music teaching in the
new suburbs of Campbelltown
1983 Initiator of the Ambarvale Community Gardener Project, an artist in community project
which aimed to create common ground for the new residents of this new suburb by having a
landscape gardener work with them to establish a landscape aesthetic and generally to help
the City of Campbelltown to be innovative in the design of public spaces.
1983 Designer and director of the Battle of the Ghosts, an outdoor theatre spectacle
within the Fisher's Ghost Festival. The project used Commonwealth Employment Project
funds to train a team of eight long term unemployed youths to create imaginative festivals
1984 Director of the Minto New Year's Eve Celebrations. This was an outdoor community
participation, spectacle event which transformed a dysfunctional community celebration
which had become a annual brawl between police and residents, into a peaceful and artful
community event which attracted positive media and was the source of community pride.
Work in Tourism Development
1985 Festivals Consultant (ADM 7) to the Victorian Tourism Commission. Appointed by Don
Dunstan when he was Chairman of the VTC and implementing a tourism strategy as part of the
Victorian Economic Strategy. The work involved assisting and advising existing festivals
and creating new ones.
1985 Member of the Interdepartmental Working Party for the Cultural Policy as an appointee
of the Minister for Industry, Technology and Resources. The Cain Labor Government in
Victoria planned to have an Economic Strategy, a Social Justice Strategy and a Cultural
Policy in place by the end of its first term. The Cultural Policy was supposed to
establish some clear cultural goals and strategies for co-ordinating and aligning the
resources of the public sector of Victoria. It comprised representatives from arts,
heritage, sport, recreation and tourism.
1985 Member of the City of Melbourne Cultural Development Consultative Committee as an
appointee of the Minister for Industry, Technology and Resources. This Committee advised
the Melbourne City Council on the allocation of its cultural funding and its cultural
1986 Convenor of the Interdepartmental Consultative Committee on Cultural Tourism This
Committee grew out of the Cultural Policy Working Party and gathered managers of
Victoria's various publicly owned cultural assets - National Parks, zoos, gardens,
heritage buildings, museums, libraries, art collections, sporting facilities and so on -
to formulate a cultural tourism strategy.
1987 Initiator and Founding Secretary of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. This
festival was the most spectacular success of the VTC festival strategy. By
developing a festival based on an existing cultural competitive strength and by involving
the local comedy entrepreneurs, the Government was able to create a cost effective
festival which promoted Melbourne as the "comedy Capital" of Australia
nationally and internationally.
1987 Initiator and founding secretary of the Victorian Rock Foundation, a Government
supported advocacy body for the contemporary music industry of Victorian. As a
Bicentennial project, the VRF produced the first Melbourne Music Festival at the
1987 Convenor of "Cultural Tourism - New Markets for an Information Age",
a conference at which the Minister of Tourism launched the Government's Cultural Tourism
Strategy as part of the Economic Strategy for Victoria, "Victoria - the Next Ten
Years". This was the first cultural tourism conference in Australia.
1988 Cultural Consultant to the Victorian Tourism Commission after its festival
responsibilities were transferred to the Ministry for the Arts. Special brief includes
development of tourism based an Victorian Aboriginal cultural heritage.
1988 Convenor of "Aboriginal Culture and Tourism", a conference which took place
at Halls Gap in June 1988 and gathered representatives from Aboriginal communities
interested in tourism from all around Victoria and South Australia.
1989 Manager, Cultural Tourism (ADM 8) on a new contract reporting to the new Minister for
Tourism, Steve Crabbe, to develop Aboriginal cultural tourism in Western Victoria. This
task involved negotiating with relevant Aboriginal communities and government agencies
about developing aboriginal cultural tourism based on Lake Condah and The Grampians. The
project also included renaming the landscape with original Aboriginal names and
identifying massacres sites with shrines of atonement.
1989 Project Manager for National Trust Tours Development. This project was funded by the
VTC to assist National Trust professionalise its tour operations and establish new tours
and new markets.
1989 Consultant to the Commission for the Future on Sustainable Tourism. This Project
involved developing the language and theory for sustainability in tourism nationally. It
was working towards the establishment of a National Task Force on Sustainable Tourism.
1990 Celebrations Consultant to Wendy Sarkissian and Associates. This was a social
planning consultancy which did contract work for the Victorian Urban Land Authority,
VicRoads and the Home Builders Association. I produced events (eg."The Timbarra
Welcome Home") and reports (eg. "The Goonawarra Story") which won awards
from the Royal Australian Planning Institute.
Work in Northern rivers Community Development
1991-93 Founding Director of the Theatre for Social Action an action training program
which, based in Lismore, used drama training techniques to prepare people for effective
social action, including the production of beautiful outdoor celebratory events. How to
change the world, have fun and not burn out. Co-directors: Trina Shields, Jill Trevillian
and Jyllie Jackson.
1991 (Jan - May) Desktop Publisher for the Centre for Professional Development and Human
Resource management at UNE.NR (now Southern Cross University). The work involved lay out
of external teaching modules and required skill with Apple Hardware and Pagemaker
1991-93 Founding Executive Officer for the North Coast Entertainment Industry
Association a music industry advocacy body. The task was to create a sense of common
purpose and industry amongst the diverse and dispirit small businesses concerned with the
production of live and recorded music in the region. This was done through the
conduct of numerous forums on music industry issues, including a campaign to head off
closure of entertainment venues through noise complaints, the presentation of a Musician's
Family Picnic, the production of five newsletters and through media and PR work. In
this role produced the first of the now annual North Coast Music Industry Awards (now
called the Dolphins) at Byron Bay.
1991-3 Deputy Chairman of the Lismore Arts Trust. In this role organised a search
conference involving the Trustees, the Friends of the Gallery and interested service users
to set goals for the Gallery. Out of this agreement came the renovations of the Gallery
and the opening of the Gallery Cafe. Also served as Chairman and publicist for the
fund raising Spring Arts Ball Committee.
1992 Director of The Shades, a stilt/mask street theatre piece produced through the
Theatre of Social Action for World Environment Day
1992 (May) Producer of the North Coast Entertainers Festival in Mullumbimby, a three day
show case of north coast entertainment talent.
1992-3 Assistant at the Maleny Folk Festival Fire Event producing giant puppets, training
the actors to carry them and organising an ecstatic crowd dance after the burn.
1993 Instructor (unpaid) Festivals Workshop in Bathurst which was funded by the Australia
Council and directed by the John Fox and Sue Gill in Australia on sabbatical from Welfare
State International, UK. Kaptain Kangaroo made kangaroo costumes and trained actors for
the Bathurst Australia Day celebration, The Day the Emu Flew.
1993 Designer and producer of "Fire in the Belly - the Return of the Green Man"
which was a piece of outdoor theatre to celebrate the winter solstice and create public
awareness of the men's movement. It involved building, parading and burning an eight metre
long effigy of Industrial Man.
1993 Convenor of the Music Industry Summit, a forum of entertainment industry peak
associations (employers, unions, associations and government advisory bodies) together to
address livelihood issues within the industry. Annual Music Industry summits on livelihood
issues are now a feature of the Australian music industry.
1993 Director of Aquarius Revisited, a reunion event intended to celebrate the 20th
anniversary of the Nimbin Aquarius Festival. The event comprised a story telling events, a
photographic exhibition opening Some Children of the Dream, an Aquarian Pioneers Ball and
a bonfire event. Done without funding and very little Nimbin community support, the aim
was to recover Nimbin's Aquarian heritage from a shameful neglect. A lot of favourable
national media came out of the event and repositioned Nimbin as a cultural tourism
1994-5 Producer of Lantern Spectacles for the Maleny Folk Festival. This involves
conducting participatory lantern workshops on site, organising and leading nightly lantern
processions which culminate in a huge and beautiful lantern procession as part of the now
famous Fire Event.
1994 Feb Leader and publicist for Boys at the Crossing, a two day bush camp for boys
crossing into manhood. This was a men's movement exercise to bring public attention to the
movement and the need to pay attention to the boys. Fellow leaders: John Allen, Arne
Rubinstein and Rein van de Ruit
1994 Founder of the Lismore Folk Trust as part of a music industry and tourism strategy to
create a major music festival, based on the success model of the Maleny Folk Festival.
1993 -4 Director of The Shades, a street theatre piece involving masks, stilts, lanterns
and fires at the Maleny Folk Festival
1994 - 5 Director of the Lismore Lantern Festival (1995-6) as a celebration of the winter
solstice in Lismore. The festival comprised lead up lantern workshops, an exhibition of
lantern art, a lantern parade around the CBD and a fire spectacle on the Wilson River in
which a huge sun lantern is brought down the river by the lantern bedecked cruise ship,
M.V. Bennelong, and burned - the return of the light.
1994 Maker of Spectacle at the first Lismore Folk Festival. Created a giant bonfire
lantern sculpture in the shape of two hands 12 m high to celebrate the International Year
of the Family. Also an avenue of lantern stars leading to the big top for the Spring Arts
1994 Master of Ceremonies and Publicist for A Circle of Men, a three day bush retreat for
men attended by 70 men, of whom most had professional responsibilities caring for men and
boys. Fellow leaders: David Mowaljarlai, artist and story teller from the Kimberleys, John
Allen, Warwick Pudney and Rein van de Ruit.
1994-5 Maker of Festival Street Lighting for the newly developed site of the Maleny Folk
Festival at Woodford
1995 Lantern Maker for the Beatification of Mary McKillop. The Sisters of St Joseph
had their own celebration of the beatification of their founder after the Pope had
departed. For this I conducted a 10 day lantern making workshop at the Australian Catholic
University in North Sydney, working with the Josephite sisters to produce over 1000
lanterns including 40 stars. Fellow lantern maker: Neil Cameron
1995 March Minister for Culture for Nimbin HEMP (Help End Marijuana Prohibition) during
the NSW state election campaign to get Prohibition End (aka Bob Hopkins) elected.
Responsible for street theatre and TV media. HEMP was able to blitz the local media and
get 7.4% of the vote, topping the poll in Nimbin.
1995 Nov Lantern Maker in Residence for the Woodford Street Carnival. A project supported
by the Woodford Apex Club and the Queensland Folk Federation to gather local community
support for the Woodford-Maleny Folk Festival development. The project transformed an
otherwise very dreary street carnival (carnival machines, BBQ stalls and pin wheels) into
something beautiful and community involving.
1995-6 Director of the "Old Man Time" Spectacle event of the Byron Bay New
Year's Eve Carnival. Contracted by the Byron Bay Community Safety Committee (a
committee of Byron Shire Council) to produce an event to celebrate NYE in a way that was
artful, joyful and safe. Involved building, parading and burning a 12 metre long effigy
representing the grumpy, old year. Out with the Old in with the New. Huge success. Two
years previously NYE in Byron had been celebrated with a drunken riot which brought forth
bad media and concerns for community safety. This event was attracted 10,000
revellers who celebrated joyfully and peacefully. There was no aggression, no arrests and
heaps of community pride.
1996 May Contributor to the Nimbin "Let It Grow" Mardi Grass and Drug Law Reform
Rally. Produced a Moon Lantern Parade and made the main street of Nimbin magical with
lantern light. Also contributed a Police Helicopter on Stilts , a Peace Dove with a
2.5 m wing span) bearing a ganga leaf and flags to the Mardi Grass parade. The Police
Helicopter, which was sculptured from corrugated cardboard, bore the slogan "The War
Against Drugs is a War Against the Peaople". This image was carried in all print and
TV media reports of the event.
Sep '96 - Jan '97 Director, Bondi Beach Good Tide Carnival, Christmas to New Year. Under
contract to Waverley Council, MEC drew up the Bondi Beach Community Safety Action
Plan which recommended a combination of appropriate entertainment and appropriate controls
to transform the serious riots of the previous Christmas Day and New Year's eve into
joyful, artful and safe celebrations. The Plan won the unanimous support of the Waverely
Council and a grant of $150,000 from the NSW Council on Crime Prevention. It has hailed by
the NSW Police Commissioner as community based policing at its best. MEC was
responsible for successful production of the events and the implementation of the Plan.
June '97 Convenor, Crowd Friendly Seminar - models, methods and technology for crowd
friendly crowd management. This seminar was produced by MEC for the NSW Festivals &
Events Association. It attracted 60 professional event producers, crowd controllers,
Police and government officers of various kinds from three States.
July '97 - Project Officer, Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Services, Queensland Health.
MEC is contracted to reframe Orientation Week celebrations at Qld universities with a view
to reducing alcohol abuse and the harms associated with it. The work comprises talking to
many university people, administrators, students, heath officers and college managers to
assess issues and to inspire a vision for a new form for the celebrations. An events
management training specifically targeting O-week organisers will also be conducted.
Aug '97 - Director, Sunshine Coast Schoolies Festival. MEC is contracted by the Sunshine
Coast Community Drug Awareness Network to give form to the annual end of school
celebrations so that they are celebrated as an artful and spectacular rite of passage and
so marginalise alcohol and drug abuse as the central rite
Dec '97 Street Lighting Coordinator, Woodford Festival
May '97 Crowd Manager Nimbin "Let It Grow" Mardi Grass. Negotiated and
implemented a successful crowd management plan with Nimbin Police to minimise harms and
reduce the impact of the Mardi Grass on non participating residents of the Nimbin village.
Dec' 97 Lantern Master for the Ballarat Eureka Dawn Walk. Contracted by the Ballarat Fine
Art Gallery to revive public participation the existing dawn walk and bring art and
ceremony to the commemoration of Australia's inspirational and nation shaping
insurrection, the Eureka Stockade of 1854.
Dec' 97 Director, Big Hill Lantern Concert. Volunteer work for the Big Hill Action Group
and their opposition to an open pit golf mine proposed by a multi national miner for the
centre of Stawell, Victoria, (my mother's home town). The lantern parade mobilised over
500 Stawell people to come out and show their opposition.
Dec '97 Coordinator, Street Lighting, Woodford Festival. Contracted to produce and
assemble 100 street lanterns and bamboo poles and oversee the installation and maintenance
of "crowd calmer" street lighting at the Festival.
May '99 Commander, Jungle Patrol, Nimbin "Let It Grow" Mardi Grass. Volunteer
with overall responsibility for the promotion and production (ambience and crowd
management) of the Mardi Grass. The Area Police Commander told the Lismore City Council
that "there are not enough police in NSW to stop the Mardi Grass."
May '99 Mission Commander, Cannabus and its Journey to the NSW Drug Summit, Parliament
House 17-21 May. The Cannabus carried the Big Joint to Sydney to put cannabis law reform
on the agenda of the NSW Drug Summit. The HEMP Embassy set up in The Domain outside of the
NSW Premier's office and maintained witness for compassion that led to recommendations
being made that have been a turning point in drug abuse policy in NSW.
Publications and Reports
* Editor of Tharunka, the Journal of the UNSW Students Union, 1967 and 1971
* Contributor to National U, the journal of the Australian Union of Students, 1971 and
* "Nimbin: The Vision and the Reality" The Way Out - Radical Alternatives in
Australia, edited by Margaret Smith and David Crossley, 1973 Lansdowne Press, Melbourne.
* Contributor to Living Daylights, a weekly edited by Richard Neville, 1974-75. See
in particular the review of the Tamworth Country Music Festival, March 1974
* "In Search of the Sacred" CAPER 3 - an occasional publication of the Community
Arts Board of the Australia Council and also published in Simply Living, #17 November 1979
* Contributor Nimbin News, a weekly 'no censorship' newsletter which reported on the
Nimbin daze. Weekly contributions 1976-8 See in particular the reports of the Battle of
Terania Creek, August 1978
* The Australia Day Festival Manual, published and distributed by the National Australia
Day Committee 1979
* "The Theatre of Celebration", Maggie's Farm, a quarterly magazine on
Australian alternatives edited by Pip Wilson, Bellingen, Winter 1983
* "The Parliamentary Men" Manipulations, June 1982 and also Arts Alive, the
Journal of the South Western (Metropolitan) Arts Development Committee, September 1983
* "C.E.P.: Creative Employment Program", Lowdown, the youth performing arts
journal, Vol 6 No. 2 March 1984
* "Project Ghostfisher II - The Minto New Year's Eve Festival 1984" Community
Theatre in Australia edited by Richard Fotheringham 1987 Metheun Australia
* "Job Creation for Post Industrial Futures" Artforce the Journal of the
Australia Council for the Arts No. 45 Summer 1984
* Victoria and the State of Festivals, a paper presented to the 1985 Victorian Community
Arts Network Conference
* Futures for the Rich River Festival, a report of and recommendations from the Festival
Futures seminar organised by the author for the Echuca Regional Development Society, June
* The Economic Impact of Producing Moomba for Television, a report commissioned by the
Victorian Tourism Commission and written in collaboration with Jim Phillips of Television
Entertainment Limited, November 1986
* Tourism in the Information Age - a proposal for making tourism a major strategic
initiative of the Victorian Tourism Commission, a Victorian Government report compiled by
the Interdepartmental Consultative Committee on Cultural Tourism
* "Mapping the Market for Aboriginal Cultural Tourism", a paper given at the
Aboriginal Culture and Tourism Conference at Halls Gap August 1988 and included in the
conference papers which were edited by the author and distributed by the Victorian Tourism
* Heritage Tourism, a tourism development strategy prepared for the National Trust of
Australia (Victoria June 1989
* The Goonawarra Story - A Post Occupancy Evaluation of an Urban Land Authority
Development, a 1990 report for Sarkissian Associates Planners commissioned by the Urban
Land Authority (Victoria). This report was subsequently to win an award from the Royal
Australian Planning Institute in 1992
* The Smart Blocks of Timbarra, a 15 minute video scripted, voiced and produced by the
author for the Urban Land Authority. The video is based on the Timbarra Welcome Home
event and illustrates the principles of Smart Block house siting to maximise sunlight,
privacy and open space on small blocks. The video plus associated documents won the 1991
Charles Latrobe Design for Living Award in the promotion of ideas category for the Urban
Land Authority in 1991
* Outcomes - the Newsletter of the Richmond BioRegional Forum. Editor of numbers 1 & 2
* Update - the Newsletter of the North Coast Entertainment Industry Association (circ 210
at Dec 91). Editor numbers 1 through 4, 1992-3
* Trust News - the Newsletter of the Lismore Folk Trust. Editor of numbers 1 through 3,
* Cultural Tourism Development in the Northern River Region - On becoming a Leader rather
than a Follower, a discussion paper distributed by the author in response to the Cultural
Tourism Seminar presented by the Northern Rivers Regional Development Board 3 Feb 94
* "The Festival Path to Becoming Coastwise", a paper commissioned by the
Coastwise Project and included in the report, Coastwise Project - Landscape and Lifestyle
Choices for the Northern Rivers Region of NSW. The Coastwise Project was funded by the
Australian Conservation Foundation and the Schools of Tourism and Coastal Resource
Management at Southern Cross University, November 1994
* Managing Dysfunctional Events a paper prepared for the Bond University based, Australian
Institute of Dramatic Arts and presented to the Surfers Paradise Chamber of Commerce in
regard to annual disturnbances created by the unmanaged Schoolies Week celebrations and to
a public meeting called by Waverly Council in regard to the disturbances associated with
the unmanaged celebrations on Bondi Beach on Christmas Day and New Year Eve.
* From Riot to Rio - the Transformation of the Bondi Beach Riots 1995-6 a report and
10 minute video on the success of The Magnificent Events Company's situational crime
prevention/ cultural intervention. March 1997
* Care Maximisation and Celebrating Public Spaces as Safe Places - a paper prepared by or
the Australian Institute of Criminolgy Conference, Safer Communities: Strategic Directions
in Urban Planning, Melbourne, 10-11 September 1998