24.6 C
Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

New film tells the tale of Mullum’s first rainbow radicals

Latest News

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Other News

Water strategy

Alan Dickens, Brunswick Heads The people of Mullumbimby would be aware that Byron Shire Council (BSC) intends to hand over...

House? What house? Stolen car crashes into Terranora house

Police say a house in Terranora is significantly damaged thanks to a mystery thief in a stolen car crashing into it over the weekend.

The legal smoke

Paul Rea, Coorabell While Labor stopped taking donations from the tobacco industry in 2004 and the Liberals followed suit a...

Rous County Dam

Jo Faith, Newtown Strong objections to the proposed development of this dam have been articulated by the Indigenous Heritage First...

Humans suck

Hannah Grace, Ocean Shores I heard on the local news, like, this afternoon (April 20), that 370+ kilos of tuna...

Come and try basketball in Byron

The next generation of female basketball players, with coordinator Karen Irwin, turned up to a ‘come and try day’...

Paul Bibby

Walking down the main street of Mullumbimby it’s hard to believe the place was once a conservative dairy town facing an uncertain future.

Most of us have become so used to the bustling mix of hippies, housewives and everything in between that it’s difficult to imagine a time when there was barely a dreadlock or alternative worldview in sight.

How this transformation happened is at the heart of a new documentary film, Mullumbimby’s Magic: the culture of the 70s-80s, being premiered on December 6 at the town’s Civic Hall.

The second in a series on the culture of the town, Mullumbimby’s Magic explores the emergence of the social, political and environmental movements that shaped the Shire and permeated out into the rest of the country.

The film’s maker, Sharon Shostak, has interviewed some of the region’s early rainbow arrivals and obtained old photographs and footage to recreate some of the seminal battles of the 1970s and 80s, from the Terania blockade to the ‘alternative take-over’ of Byron Council.

Adrian Rawlins (1939-2001), poet and performer. Photo taken by Rob Rubens

‘The film’s about how the people who settled here in the 70s – the city escapees, the dropouts, the misfits – became politically and socially conscious,’ Ms Shostak says.

‘They wanted to make things happen. They said ‘ok’ we broke away, now let’s make something of it.’

‘It’s also about the Brunswick Valley Historical Society [which commissioned the film] saying “these people are passing away, let’s get their stories down now”.’

Ms Shostak describes Mullumbimby in the early 1970s as ‘a dying dairy town’.

‘We had farmers working their arses off to scrape together a living and then in came the alternatives and they revitalised the area,’ she says.

‘A big part of it was the money they brought with them. The fascinating thing was that a lot of that money came from marijuana.’

‘There’s an anecdote in the film about the hippies coming into James Hardware and all of them paying cash.’

Just as influential as dollars were the new settler’s ideas and the campaigns these ideas inspired.

‘In many ways this is a film about the “firsts” – the first environmental protest, the first blockade at Terania, the first political party, the first councillor elected on an alternative political platform,’ Ms Shostak says.

‘These were the firsts that led to some of the environmental protections we now take for granted.’

This included the political and policy developments that occurred during the 1980s.

‘It was the work of people in the 80s who got on council who are responsible for things like wildlife protections, environmental zones and limiting development,’ Ms Shostak says.

‘We owe them a lot.

‘I also think the Brunswick Valley historical society deserves a huge amount of credit for their vision in coming up with the idea for these films so that people can learn about what happened.’

Mullumbimby’s Magic will premiere on December 6 at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall at 7.30pm.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for concessions and can be purchased at The Book Shop, Mullumbimby, or at the door.

Two additional screenings of the film will take place at Mullumbimby Drill Hall on December 7 at 5pm and 7.30pm.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Upside down river

Tim Harrington, Lennox Head Letter contributor Richard White (letters 21/4/21) quite correctly identifies the Richmond River as an ‘upside down river’ and nowhere is this more...

Ballina Dragons’ great results at Urunga

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is a group of paddling people from all walks of life who enjoy being out on the water having fun and keeping fit.