Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Honourable Elders camp, a new Dreaming under the Nimbin Rocks

"The upcoming Honourable elders camp under the Nimbin Rocks next weekend (16-19 May) is a profound cultural initiative, " says Aquarian elder, Graeme Dunstan (pictured).

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 clans 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 Honourable 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.

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