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June 7, 2023

Art of 70s and 80s culture captured on film

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Two community forums are being held to look at the issue of youth vaping. The first is taking place today in Coffs Harbour and a second forum will be held in Ballina on 20 June.

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Vaping and young people – what can be done to reduce the impact?

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Hans Lovejoy

In the 1970s and 80s, the area around Mullumbimby and the Byron Shire hosted the birth of a multitude of alternative practices and ideals. 

Many of these practices are mainstream today, but arrived with a phenomenal convergence of alternative-seeking new settlers who had descended on the Rainbow Region. 

Sharon Shostak.

Award–winning filmmaker Sharon Shostak’s mother was one of them. The Brunswick Valley Historical Society had the vision to commission Sharon to interview these early settlers, now turned eccentric elders, and the result was the wildly successful Mullumbimby’s Madness – the Legacy of the Hippies.

Ground-breaking creatives 

Enthused by the community’s interest, the Mullumbimby’s Magic – the Culture of the 70s–80s series was embarked upon, and the final film focusses on those ground-breaking creatives. 

It will be launched in early Novemeber.

Part three –The Arts, looks at the evolution of the first music venues: the Arts Factory, the Music Farm, Fowlers Lane and the famous Moondances; the first outdoor concert in Byron; the popularity and pitfalls of the small country halls; and the first World Music promoter. 

The film also includes The Bush Telegraph newspaper that predates The Echo, and the incredible story of how the community hand-built their ‘hippy hall’. Mullum’s Chincogan Fiesta is also featured, along with how the first arts gallery evolved; with the first artists, the first filmmakers and photographers, and the first music club/craft centre. 

It was a time when theatre groups proliferated, such as the Non-Specific Players and the Federal Theatre Co. 

Amazing stories are told by those who were the talented technicians, actors and gender blenders, all with a backdrop of rare archival images and footage.

There are five ways to see this final film:

1. Friday October 30 at an outdoor screening at the back of the Mullum Museum. Bring a rug/chairs and picnic tea. Film starts at 7.45pm. (or Saturday November 7, if rained out). Tickets only via www.ticketebo.com.au/mullummagic3-outdoor.

2. Thursday November 5 at the Byron Community Centre from 7pm. Tickets via www.byroncentre.com.au

3. Friday November 6 at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall from 7pm. Tickets via www.ticketebo.com.au/mullummagic3_civichall

4. From Saturday November 7 – streaming online at www.byroncentre.com.au.

5. Wednesday November 18 at the Brunswick Picture House: tickets www.brunswickpicturehouse.com.

Tickets are limited owing to COVID-19 restrictions, are only available online, and are for ages 13 and over. 

Masks for indoor events are recommended.

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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.


  1. In 1970 I came to live with my family in Main Arm, of the ten plus people there I was the first artist painter in Main Arm.
    Vera Teves and I organised the first Art Contest exhibition in The Civic hall in town, we painted the then
    Sunflower cafe in Mullum and Vera and I started a barter market in Coopers lane.
    Sharon might not have known this as she came later in Main Arm , just to get the facts straight!


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