Welcome to the most interesting...ever changing ebbing & flowing spot in Australia, ConFesttm    conference festival

Dear Henry
Just been to my first ConFest. It was all happening. There was so much fervour and commitment to change and relaxation.. Workshops on everything under the sun. There were speakers and discussions everywhere. Each day there were sharings where hundreds would gather to hear the ConFest news. At any moment day and night we had dozens of things to choose from. Massage tables, all sorts of healing and relaxing massage. People were talking about going bush and setting up communes. There are just so many people filled with so many ideas about better futures. Why don't you join me at the next ConFest. You would love it - and tell all of your friends - anyone who has something to share with others to come along and do it. Create an event. Put on a play. Bring your musical instruments and drums. It is extraordinary. 
    See Ya  Friday. 

Dear Michelle
Fantastic that you've decided to come to ConFest. One thing you might like to think about. Why don't we create our own village. In the past folks have had fun and created small camping areas called "Nothing in Particular, Decadence, Yoga, Crazy Hat Village. Healing, Pirates, Pagan, and Spirituality" etc.  I haven't seen a "Womyns" village for a few years. That could be fun. Perhaps we can hook up one of the sinks and make a beautiful bush shower as well. Paradise Beach Village has acoustic music and cool jazz trumpet. There are lots of camping areas, some are really quiet in the bush some by the beaches or family areas and some full on action and music close to the market. I'll be taking my earplugs if we are near there. Some villages will be in a car free area. That's where Arts and Massage are. Some are in Gipsy where people camp with their cars and campervans. When we arrive they'll have a map  to show where the initial villages are.
Love to talk and make plans. email me.

What others have said!

Thanx heaps
for a beautiful, healing and learning
experience. I'm sure I'm not the only one wishing to express my feelings of thanx for one life changing
festival.          Jeanie

At last we've come together to enjoy time with one another and most of all the Earth. It's so rare to feel comfortable amongst people who seemed to be strangers, but in reality were all friends who had yet to be met .      GG

Many volunteers spend their ConFest time working. We pay you for this festival. You should provide the fascilities. You make a $ million dollars profit from this - I think you could afford to pay the people.
(eg Chefs)  I had a great ConFest. Love it always, thanks for all who made it great. .  ..unsigned.

Dear unsigned thankyou for the suggestion. Wow a $million profit. Sounds great but I don't know where you got that fabulous rumour from. Down To Earth Co-op and ConFest have all the usual business over-heads and the only reason your ticket is $45 or $65 instead of over $100 is BECAUSE we run on volunteer energy. We have this year spent $200,000 buying land. We think it's a good investment. If we did earn millions we would certainly have done some serious ecological/environmental  investments and support schemes.  Ed

Dear unsigned, I paid $36 for one night in a caravan park. No massage, No music No workshops, No hugs.  Zip.
(the sunrise on the beach was great though!) Sub Ed

I'm happy to see that Down to Earth is still hanging in through all these years. It's still the most relaxing, happy place in the world that I know, the people, the land, the spirit. You folks that attend all the meetings throughout the year have done a great job to purchase land and cope with the insurance fiasco in this last few years.      Luke P.

*  Large trees drop branches,  look up and check before you put up your tent or park your

Sharing at ConFest
ConFest began 25 years ago with these basic ideals for us to experience atthe festival
Material simplicity,  Self determination
Public awareness  Ecological awareness
Personal growth,  Environmental harmony,
Co-operation & sharing.

With this in mind we come together to share a
week of workshops, playshops, fun and relaxation.

Some things to do at ConFest

Swimming or floating down the river, hot tubbing, workshopping, steam tenting, life drawing, twirlingdrumming, snacking in the market, drinking Chai, relaxing, meditating, mudbathing, body painting,  spontaneous choiring, volunteering, performing, talking, discovering new possibilities, playing music, massaging, relaxing, rejuvenating, being as social as all heck or just chilling out!

A Welcome space for  orientation and a cuppa stop will be set up again at this ConFest to give you a space to rest and check things out first.!  TIM*****

The workshop boards are there for you to use if you wish to run a workshop or to find out what, when, and where they are being held. Check them out.


This is the energy that runs ConFest. We all buy a ticket and we all put in a few or more hours to run our own space If you have a skill you'd like to share then call in at the information tent. We need 1st aiders, plumbers and cooks and shifters and movers, ticket stampers and fire patrollers, etc. It is usually a great way to meet people if you are new to ConFest and good fun. Information also helps explain how things work and where available materials may be found. Extra toilet paper is usually at info, the massage tent and some in the market at Mattis Felafels.
If you have have a problem or are unhappy about something; (that the folks around you can't help solve,)  then pop into info and have a chat.

Respect other peoples right to a peaceful festival.
Abuse of drugs, alcohol and noise is not accepted at ConFest.

DTE New                November 2002                  Page

Learning at ConFest

Getting there the adventure begins. ConFest can Be a

7 day personal growth workshop.
If your shy = step up and say hi.
Give a workshop or attend lots
try a day of silence - no talking
try not using a watch
try a day of no smoking/drinking
try a day of solitude
try a day of giving/helping everywhere you can
learn new skills - radio, massage, cooking, 1st aid,etc
Do something you've never done before, start  aSkills register board at info
Stand on a box and let everyone know what  "bugs"you. (do it with passion)

Random acts of kindness
What really matters in life?

Concert. We  don't pay for musos, ConFest is not an event or gig-- it's about us being spontaneous and coming together to make our own amazing, one-off, unplugged entertainment. Fabulous stuff and amazing talent comes out of the "woods" We are the musos and actors and poets and dancers etc

ConFest ball would you like to help organise one  then be in touch with DTE. Bring the glad rags, the op shop specials for New Years.!
Interested in being part of an entertainment gang - Just bring your ideas and energy and find someone at information to chat to about it. This is the spontaneous, fun, creative side of  ConFest that you make happen.

Food at ConFest

Dear ConFesters and first timers....
Time to plan ahead, make the list and pack as lightly as possible for ConFest. Most of us bring too much and there's lots available on site or in Deniliquin (a big country town ). Leave the food packaging at home, bring lots of healthy snack foods, nuts dry biscuits etc. and plan your own simple food needs.
If the area is under a total fire ban don't fret... you'll have your nibbles and fruit, there will be community kitchens for safe gas cooking approved (were working on this at the moment) by the local fire authorities. Bring a thermos to keep hot water in if you need a cuppa or the ubiquitous "noodles"  and then there is the yummy vegetarian food market to fill you with delights. Pizza, felafels, curry, cakes, pies, much of it organic. To drink there will be juice and coffee/teas and chai.and more.
The Market also has a craft and clothing etc. area and some people bring a box of goods to sell at the blanket stalls. If you wish to sell at ConFest, call us..
Ice, Bread, Milk will also be for sale on site.

Rubbish and Recycling are important considerations for all of us. Bring little so we are not filling up a local rubbish dump with city crap. Moama Lions may be helping us again with the recycling of cans.
Please limit the glass containers brought on site as broken glass is unkind to bare feet!!!

Cigarette butts are not part of mother natures scene. Put them into a recycled film cannister and
be really carefull with matches.....

ConFest is a microcosm of the macrocosm.
Leave the expensive things at home- someone may feel the need to "borrow" them.  Practice living simply. leave the watch and mobile for once.

Dear Folks,    As you know I am really keen to start the land management and environmental awareness process for this land.  I am asking if we can find these books for a start to be rescource material for flora and fauna information
1.. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia  by  Harold g Cogger  6th Edition
2. Australian Maseum c.... book of Australian Mammals  1991 publication
3.  A Field Guide to Australian Birds  Michael Morecombe                           
Best regards.Don Royal
Ann ( see article in letters) is  our "Master of Ecological Sciences" and working more with plants, trees and weeds. She may be running some workshops or chats about the property and local flora

Letters & suggestions

To contact us  Down to Earth Co-operative
          P.O.Box 295
          Brunswick East      Vic.      3057

or  email        folks@dte.org.au
or  phone us          03  9506 8753
or web          www.dte.org.au
www. confest.com.au

To rake or not to rake.

Some campers seem to adopt the scorched earth policy raking their campsite back to bare earth and then sometimes looking for foreign material such as straw to cover the fragile ground. Grasses will flatten naturally where you walk and sit, and once you're relaxing you'll see that the natural cover is lovely to look at. Clearing sticks away by hand from where you pitch your tent and clearing around your regulation fire drum is sufficient. Small creatures will naturally move away as you move in and return quickly once you've left if you've done a minimum of damage.
    Cheers.        Anna.

Thanks Anna, great down to earth suggestion. We may not be able to have camp-fires if there are FIRE BANS so check when you get to ConFest and each day at information .  Ed.

No Pets

Dear ConFesters,    A few ConFests ago I was nominated to do the difficult job of asking some people to remove their dog  from the property. I visited their camp and patted their beautiful dog. When I asked them to remove their dog they gave me plenty of positive words. I asked when they intended to remove the dog they told me it would be in three days. We discussed the no pets policy and they said that they thought DTE was just "being pedantic". I then further explained the health and safety reasons for this policy and they then asked me to write a letter to explain and make this information available to everybody.
DTE has always had a No Pets policy.
Dog shit, like all other shit can be dangerous. Dog shit can carry parasites like Hydadits and a large variety of worms.
These parasites can remain undetected in the human body for long periods of time and cause considerable medical problems.
Stepping into dog shit is not pleasant. Dogs also have a habit of piddling on tents and boxes as well as trees, raid food stores and tents for nibbles and for some people are frightening. The discovery of dog and cat food cans in the rubbish clean up happened one festival due to the stench from the maggotised meat left overs. Yuk.        Pets are great, yet unfortunately you need to appreciate the big picture and arrange a holiday for your pet if you are coming to ConFest.              Cheers    R. J.

Dear DTE/ConFest organisers,

I work as a landscape gardner and am noticing a great shortage of straw and mulch materials. I've enjoyed the use of straw at ConFest as a dust reducing medium but believe that with the drought effects you will need to make other arrangements this year. If you do source any it will probably be very expensive. Ecologically we as ConFesters can do without the straw as people working in animal husbandry will need it more than us.            Tim J.

Tim this is a really timely reminder for us as we will need some for our toilets, sullage and compost pits. Perhaps people can create (recycled) watering cans for dust control    Ed


I have a 9 litre canvas bag (Paragon Wholesale- made in Australia) which I take to conFest. Dry it is just a small piece of fabric which weighs nothing- no large, bulky plastic container to bring, or to leave behind on a mounting pile of rubbish when ConFest is over. (someone else has to get rid of this)
I fill it at one of the many taps at ConFest which supply excellent quility artesian bore water. Water passes through the weave evaporating to cool the water inside.The water is cool even when it's hot and the evaporation action also neutralises any mineral taste to give you cool, beautiful water. A person I mentioned this to said they also had a canvas waterbag and the water had a bad taste. Someone else said their bag had leaked excessively. After the first filling when the bag is thoroughly wet I have not found excessive leakage a problem nor had ay problem with taste.You need to avoid all contact with chemicals and dry the bag prior to storing. I have found a canvas waterbag the perfect, rubbish free way to have fres, cold water at my campsite.              Happy ConFesting,  Anna.

DTE News 109                      November 2002                      page 6

Melbourne and Country Victoria

City                      The Original Culture Shock    256 Flinders Street, Melbourne Mon-Fri 10 am-7pm Sun 2 ish-7pm ish

City                      So Hum Aroma Therapy        139 Victoria Street Tue 9am-3.30pm  Th-Su 9am-3:30pm
Collingwood        Friends of the Earth Bookshop 312 Smith Street.    Mon-Fri 10am-6pm    Sat 10am-4pm Sun 11am-5pm
Carlton North    Rathdowne Books. 719 Rathdowne Street Mon-Thu 11-8pm,    Fri-Sat  11-9pm Sun 11am-6pm
St Kilda                Chakra Arts          1 79 Acland Street  7 Days 10am-6pm
Hampton            Sirah.      520 Hampton Street  Mon-Fri 10am-6pm  Sat 9.30am-5pm  Sun 11am-4pm
Footscray            Grasslands Organic Grocer & Café  205 Nicholson Street    Mon-Fri 10am-6pm  Sat 10am-1pm
Frankston            Frankston Health Foods.  5 Wells Street Mon-Fri 7.30am-5.30pm  Sat 7.30am-2pm
ConFab  at          Collingwood Leisure Centre  Opp Clifton Hills Rly Stn. See Peter Mills  Sun  Dec 1st  & 15th 7.30-10pm
Glen Waverley  The Organic Shop  102 Kings Way  Mon 9am-5.30pm Tue-Wed  9am-6pm  Thu 9am-9.30pm
                                      Fri  9am-7pm  Sat 9am -2:30pm

Blackburn Nth    Max Pascoe          178 Surrey Road  (Opp Fir St.)  Mon-Fri am-5pm A.H. by appointment.  (03) 9878 0170)

Dandenong          Be Healthy Foods  Shop 13 Dandenong Arcade  236 Lonsdale Street Mon-Wed 9-5.30pm                                                                                                              Thur 9am-7pm      Fri 9-9pm      Sat 8-1.30pm
Belgrave              Colonial Bookshop                1677 Burwood Highway  Mon-Sat 10am-5.30pm    Sun 12-5pm
Healesville          David Brown Real Estate      222 Maroondah Hwy  M-F 8.30am-6pm  Sat 9.00am-5pm    Sun 10.00-5pm
Sunbury              Cosmic Clothing.                  99 Evans Street  Mon-Thu 9am-5.30pm  Fri 9am-7pm      Sat 9am-5pm
St Andrews        Matti's Felafels                      St Andrews Market  Sat 7am-4pm            0417 959 545
Ballarat              The 180 Shop                          102 Bridge Mall  Mon-Thu  9am-5:30pm  Fri 9am-6pm    Sat 9am-1pm
Wonthaggi          Mega Bites Café              132 Graham St  Mon Wed 9.30am-5pm  Thu-Sat 9.30am-9pm  Sun 9.30am-3pm
CastleMaine        Market  - 
Leighton Wood at the Chi Tent    Wesley Hill  Sat 9 am - 1pm    0417 366 096
Geelong                Keith Clancey                    930 Barwon Heads Road  Connewarre          03 5264 1244
Bendigo                Lazy Moon Gift Shop        322 Lyttleton Terrace  Mon-Fri  9:30am-5:50pm    Sat 10am-2pm

Echuca                Fruits of The Earth            3 McKinnon Arcade
Echuca/Moama & District Tourism Assoc  2 Heygarth Street  Echuca  M-Sun  8am-5pm  M-Fri 9am-5.30pm  Sat 9am-1pm

Sydney and Country NSW
Sydney                  Wilderness Society Shop  Shop CO3 Castlereigh Level Centre Point  Mon-W 9am-6pm Th 9-8pm 
                                                                              Fri-9am-6pm    Sat 9-5pm  Sun 10-5pm

Glebe                    Phoenix Rising Books    31A Glebe Point Road  Mon-Sat 10am-7pm    Sun Noon-7pm

Albury                  Albury Wodonga EnviroCentre  Hub Arcade 4/530 Kiewa Street  M-Fri 11am-5pm  Sat 11am-1pm
Deniliquin            Deniliquin Information Centre  Peppin Heritage Centre  Crn George & Napier Strs M-F 9am-4pm 
                                                                                        Sat-Sun 10am-3pm

Byron Bay            Byron Bay Community Centre 18 Fletcher Street    (Next to Library)  Mon-Fri 10.am-4pm
Tocumwal              Tocumwal  Info Centre Foreshore Park -Near the Big Fish
Tue-Fri 10am-4pm  Sat-Sun 10am-2pm

South Australia
Conservation Council of S.A.  120 Wakefield Street.      Adelaide  Mon-Fri 9am(ish)-5pm

No Pets   Organise a pet sitter now.  

Rubbish Plan to generate as little rubbish as possible. Burn your paper as fire starters or put it with other organic material in the compost pits., and take the rest home with you..
Put the empty dunny roll centre down the toilet. We clean up ourselves here.

Insect Repellent
Remember you are camping in a Ross River Virus area so bring plenty of strong insect repellent as a precaution.. Mossies here bite at dawn and dusk.Bring long sleeves and leggings for the evenings.
See the Information Tent for more.

Different Abilities?

If you have any special needs ,
please contact us at DTE before the start of the festival to see how
we can help or about access
and tickets for disability carers.
DTE  Message service  03 9506

DTE  News  109            November 2002                    Page 7

Moving? - Remember to send your new address details or email changes.

Name_____________________________Old address details __________________________________________

New address details _____________________________________________________________

Shareholder No.__________ (if applicable)    email -----------------------------------------  Nov 2002

  Printed on paper made from sugar cane

Print Post approved PP 33258/0016

If undelivered, please return to:
DTE  PO Box 295,
Brunswick East,  Victoria    3057


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