Twice a year Global Healing presents The Starlight Wellbeing Expo, a best-in-show of alternative healing modalities available in our region. Event director Raym Richards spoke with Seven about his upcoming Expo.
Raym – tell me about some of the highlights on the program this year. I think it is really special that everyone who attends this Easter has the option to be attuned to Reiki Level One – free of charge – as part of their admission. I love our speakers’ program; we have cutting-edge discussions on: The True value of Pi with mathemagician and sacred geometry expert Jain (which is nowhere near as nerdy as it might sound). A Rebel’s Guide to Recovery – life after drugs, with Jost Sauer, an ex-drug smuggler and gun runner himself. Steve Strong will discuss concrete evidence of pre-Aboriginal inhabitation of Australia and Mary-Louise Myers is offering an in-depth workshop on women’s health. This Easter we are also offering three two-hour workshops per day as well as the usual talks and cafe chats program.
How do you source presenters? I keep my ear to the ground. I read and I listen to suggestions from fans of the Starlight. Because the event has such a great reputation more people approach me than I can fit in. This gives me the luxury of selecting the best speakers around.
What do you credit the ongoing strength of an event like Starlight Wellbeing Expo? Loyalty. People love the vibe and their experiences at the festival. They bring their family and friends, time after time. This is the 38th show, so we must be doing something right! I do my best to have a hall full of interesting therapists and a great speakers’ program. Also I do love the fresh, healthy, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, organic food from our in-house cafe. I am sure I put on weight during every show.
How has it evolved since it began? My vision 18 years ago was for a celebration of health and wellbeing, creating a place where people could meet some of the best therapists in Australia, who happen to live here in this beautiful shire. The show has grown and we have value added to a very reasonable admission of $15/$10 with an expanded workshops program, shamanic journeys, free healings and, this year, free Reiki attunements – all included in the admission.
Do you think the interest in alternative modalities is growing or decreasing? Without doubt it is growing. Over time I have seen visitors change from curious locals to family groups that travel from as far as Melbourne, Sydney, Coffs, Casino and the Gold Coast to have a day out at the Starlight. The whole point of my event is that people can actually have a sample experience and talk to therapists who may have a product or technique that could transform their life for the better.
If I were a cynical New Age sceptic, what would I get out of attending your event? Mmm… tricky question. I can’t offer anything to anyone whose mind is closed. If, however, any visitor is genuinely interested in expanding their consciousness and trying something new, they might just have an awesome time. It is not unusual for people to thank us for an incredible life-changing experience as they leave the show.
Tell me a little about Wellness for Women? Why have you chosen to include an event specifically aimed at women? They are very special. They form 50 per cent of what seems to be a male-dominated paradigm. It’s great to celebrate and nurture the goddess within. Women have different needs, different bodies and different cycles from men so I think it is a good idea we focus solely on them, for a few hours at least.
Why are you offering Reiki attunements, worth $150, free every day? I think it’s time. I want to create a space where everyone gets in touch with their own innate healing ability. I feel that everyone can benefit from an attunement to Reiki level one. I know I did. It teaches self-healing and self-love through a personal connection to the divine. Did you know that many intensive-care nurses are attuned to Reiki? It was developed by a Japanese theologian while on retreat early in the last century and has grown exponentially since then. I thank Reiki masters Savitri and Kathleen for their generosity in sharing my vision.
Starlight Wellbeing Expo 2014 – Bangalow A&I Hall, Easter Friday April 18 to Easter Monday April 21.