ENTHEOGENESIS AUSTRALIS (EGA)
Entheogenesis Australis (EGA) is an information-based, volunteer endeavour. It exists to provide a forum for critical thinking and balanced discussion about ethnobotanical research, pharmacology, neurosciences, philosophy, anthropology, history and related areas of study. EGA offers a welcoming space to examine past and present relationships between people, plants and the environment. It encourages gardening and the care/collection of plants that have a traditional relationship with humankind and promotes knowledge preservation around medicinal plants and related compounds.
Plant-based medicines have long been a fundamental part of human culture. Working with plant collectors, gardeners and seed savers, EGA is interested in the medical, spiritual and wellbeing benefits of plants and related compounds, as well as the benefits of working with plants in the garden. We wish to recognise the traditional knowledge of first peoples and religious groups with a heritage of plant use, and respect their human rights, religious freedoms and history when it comes to the ritual use of entheogens.
EGA hopes to facilitate academic discourse and highlight relevant research, and aims to promote open discussion about plants with ethnobotanical significance. It explores ways to assess societal impacts and examine possible applications of medicinal plants and compounds for the betterment of humankind through conferences, journal publications, social networks, email newsletters, video channel, as well as other ethnobotanical and related research initiatives.
THE ENTHEOGENESIS AUSTRALIS SYMPOSIUM AND EVENTS
For well over a decade the Entheogenesis Australis (EGA) conferences, symposia and events have provided a major meeting place for ethnobotanical enthusiasts in Australia to share information, review science and to celebrate community. The EGA symposium consists of lectures, workshops, discussion panels, cinema, performance, music and art. The event hosts an array of speakers from across Australia and abroad, and aims to address the issues relating to plants and plant-related compounds and their use from social, cultural and traditional perspectives. The symposium programs bring together perspectives from biology, pharmacology, psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, botany, visionary art, culture, politics, law and more, to provide a realistic context that medicinal plants play in contemporary society and cultural traditions around the world.
ABOUT THE ENTHEOGENESIS AUSTRALIS TEAM
The Entheogenesis Australis (EGA) team is a collective of people from many different backgrounds, areas of expertise, and experiences, who volunteer their time to produce the symposia, associated events and online presence. The EGA symposium is an international forum where we share knowledge and discuss ethnobotanical research and policy reform in Australia around medicinal plants and compounds.
Entheogenesis Australis is completely funded by the community, and currently receives no funding from government or the public sector.
All funds go directly to the symposium’s production costs, and future botanical, educational and artistic projects. The board members and directors of Entheogenesis Australis Inc. are not currently paid a salary for their efforts in organising EGA events and related media.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
HISTORY OF ENTHEOGENESIS AUSTRALIS
Entheogenesis Australis (EGA) has grown organically over the years, starting out as a Victorian based ethnobotany interest group whose members were inspired by attending the Ethnobotanica conference - ethnobotanica.org - in northern New South Wales in 2002.
After this event, a small Victorian network developed and started holding ethnobotany meetings in Ringwood library. The meetings grew over the years and eventually underwent a formal transformation to become Entheogenesis Australis in 2004. The first official EGA conference held at the formerly Ruby's Lounge in Belgrave, introduced us to a wider audience, developed our interest in the lecture/panel/workshop format, and introduced some art and wellbeing programming.
In 2004-2005 the core group at the time started to chart a more conscious and intentional direction, leading to incorporation as a not for profit association in 2008.
EGA holds conferences alternating between an indoor event in an academic environment in the Melbourne CBD, and a larger scale outdoor event in rural Victoria. By 2009, a dedicated group of thirty part-time volunteers were working on the conference, and in the same year EGA introduced a journal publication to supplement the conference presentations.
EGA launched an online drug policy discussion group in 2010. This is the first of such groups EGA wished to establish to promote informed dialogue and information sharing. Join the policy discussion group: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/ega-policy
EGA actively utilises social media networks to share news, articles, and EGA generated educational content, including via its public Facebook page - www.facebook.com/EGA.plant.org
EGA has a community discussion group on Facebook that focuses on general awareness of a wide range of relevant issues. Join the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/entheo/
EGA also has a Twitter account that highlights a wide range of perspectives, including botanical research, art, philosophy and policy among other things - twitter.com/EGAPolicy
In 2013 EGA launched its YouTube video channel - Entheo TV - enabling the public to access educational material from past conferences for free. Subscribe to Entheo TV: http://www.youtube.com/entheotv
In 2016 EGA ran a successful community fundraising campaign, 'Support the Conversation Around Psychedelics', to kick start development of the 2017 EGA Symposium in Australia.
In December 2017 EGA realised its most ambitious project to date, hosting a symposium at ‘Holmesglen at Eildon’ where many of Australia's leading thinkers and prominent international experts in the field came together to discuss various aspects of ethnobotanical science. The symposium was attended by 650 people and was a massive success, presenting the latest findings, research and developments to a diverse audience.
The next EGA Symposium is tentatively set for early December 2020 but we anticipate some smaller events popping up before then.
CONFERENCES and Events [SO FAR]:
Mini EB/EGA 2001 -2003: Meetings in Ringwood Library, Melbourne
2004: Formerly Ruby's Lounge, Melbourne
25-26 June 2005: Gumnut Camp, Grampians, Victoria
2-5 June 2006: Opoeia, Otways, Victoria
30 Nov - 3 Dec 2007: Strathbogie Outdoor Education Centre, Swanpool, Victoria
6 December 2008: Copland Theatre, University of Melbourne
6-9 November 2009: Strathbogie Outdoor Education Centre, Swanpool, Victoria
4-5 December 2010: Basement Theatre, Spot Building, University of Melbourne
2-5 December 2011: Strathbogie Outdoor Education Centre, Swanpool, Victoria
13-21 October 2012: Origins of consciousness tour in partnership with Lost Tribes
29 & 30 April / 8 May 2014: The official Melbourne and Sydney Neurons to Nirvana screening
6 December 2014: EGA’s 10th Birthday Celebration, Melbourne, Victoria
5 December 2015: The official Melbourne and Sydney Druglawed screening
8-11 December 2017: Psychedelic Symposium, Holmesglen at Eildon, Eildon, Victoria