Louise Graves

Louise Graves

Aquarius 50 years after. What does it mean? And why celebrate?

1970’s Australia was a decade where the foundations of status quo and normalcy were slipping. Teenagers, looking for rational role models were not finding them behind the picket fences and Sunday buzz of lawn mowers after church. Inside closed doors of nuclear family life, mother’s were drinking to stave the boredom of expectations of the perfect wife and mother. Fathers were leaning on pub bars downing beers after 9 to 5 work, then driving home to their tipsy aproned wife and pubescent broody sons and daughters.

A Russian roulette of loved young men had been were marching off to the Vietnam war since 1962 where they breathed agent orange, killed and die in the blood and the trauma of their fathers who had fought in the second world war, ready to take the bullet for the free world. By 1970 the first moratorium of 200,000 people across Australia marched in the streets against the war, their battle cry “give peace a chance!”

A counter culture was born. The Nimbin Aquarius festival, co-directed by Jonny Allen and Graeme Dunstan, was the fourth in a biannual series of festivals organised by the National Union of Australian Students. In May 1973, the previously quiet little town of Nimbin NSW, found itself hosting between 5,000 to 10,000 people drawn to gather under the umbrella a peace, art, music and building a sustainable life style where children could grow on organic garden diets, free from pressures and expectations.

And now, 50 years later, we look back on what happened, where people went, how they grew. We take a dive into now, recognising that society in 50 years has undergone so many changes. Who ever thought in 1973 we’d be carry phones in our pockets. Most of our writing would be typed. The world would connect by satellite and internet. It would become increasingly difficult to pay cash, being replaced by a small plastic card. We would face an environmental doomsday and witness catastrophic weather events. We discuss positive and healthy pathways into a future where generations not yet born, may also celebrate this wonderful planet all life on earth inhabits.

Those who, 50 years ago, decided to challenge the paradigm of the day and buy land together, share organic gardens, start from scratch even though they really didn’t have the first clue what they were doing, were more than brave. They were desperate to feel a belonging, in a tribal sense. Over 50 years, these people grew and educated their children towards a peaceful and harmonious world. They held their dreams in determination and unity. They persevered through poverty and hardship. They weathered the insults of conservative society who labelled them “dirty hippies.” Today, many of those original Nimbin Aquarius settlers have passed on, or are alive and senior. But they have taught their children. Children who have grown into adults and entered the larger society as environmentalists, teacher’s, scientist, film directors, actors, lawyers, in fact the children of the Aquarians populate every tenant of our society.

What do we celebrate? We celebrate courage. We celebrate vision. We celebrate the continuity of daring to challenge. We celebrate an acknowledgement of strength and belief that even in today’s cataclysmic world stage we are still present with the belief that we can bring the world forward with health and harmony despite the chaos that threatens our world.

Society today is diseased with anxiety, depression and hopelessness. At the 50 years after Aquarius festival, you will be exposed to cutting edge therapies such as medicinal cannabis, psychedelic integrated healing. You will experience and be part of deep and insightful conversations. You can abandon inhibitions and dance with street performers. You can tour communities and witness lifestyles of self-sufficiency that anyone, anywhere, can attain anywhere. You can join morning meditation and yoga and share your own physical, emotional and spiritual approaches to life.

It is hoped you will take away inspiration of your own to make empowering changes in your own lives and influence those around you towards a greater life on this amazing planet we are humble guests of.

Invitation is extended to all. Come, with your questions, with your conversation, be part of a new age of Aquarius where, once again astrologically, “the moon is in the 7th house. And Jupiter aligns with Mars. Then peace will guide the planets. And love will steer the stars…..”