Friends of prominent activist Graeme Dunstan have started a crowd-funding campaign to raise the funds to put a new hip in the old hippie.
Mr Dunstan has been an activist since the 60s, putting his body under the car of US president Lyndon Baines Johnson to protest the US alliance in 1966.
In 1973 he was director of the transformative Nimbin Aquarius Festival, he was a force at the 1979 Battle of Terania Creek and a founder of the Lismore Lantern Festival.
More recently, filmmaker David Bradbury saluted Mr Dunstan in his piece about Talisman Sabre, “A call for peace in US/Aus war games”, in the Echo 26 July, and his recent documentary, “War on Trial”.
Fifty years on he is still at it, a passionate old man in a battered old van, bearing witness for peace, journeying for justice and speaking out for a sustaining Earth.
An honourable elder but, alas, with a limp. His left hip has worn out.
‘The upside fruit of a life of activism is a host of uplifting friends,’Mr Dunstan said. ‘The downside is material poverty and the absence of health insurance. The simple lifestyle is, and has been, a sustaining joy. But the worn out hip is ongoing pain.’
Last month he consulted an orthopaedic surgeon in Rockhampton and was told that hip replacement surgery in the public system came with a three year wait. For $25,000 upfront a hip op could be had within three weeks.
Graeme is booked for the hip op on 8 August. Friends are gathering around to raise the cash for him.
The Chuffed crowd fundraiser “ Keep Graeme Dunstan on the Hop “ is taking off with $3400 already raised. https://chuffed.org/project/keep-graeme-dunstan-on-the-hop