The Ethnobotany community will come together to honour the 'Mother Plants' this Mother's Day @ Garden States 2019
-- SOLD OUT --
Join us for a full day of ethnobotanical knowledge sharing and discussion on psychedelic plants and culture. The symposium will be an indoor community gathering comprised of keynote lectures, panel discussions, workshops, and a market space all celebrating the sacred garden and value of the botanic world. This event will be held at Springvale City Hall, in Springvale Victoria. Doors open at 9:15 am on Mothers day with the main program starting just after 10:15 am. The symposium will conclude at approximately 7:30 pm. The symposium will be taking place across more than two spaces, including other activities and attractions such as market stalls and some food & coffee vendors.
- Download the Garden States Program - HERE
- Download the Garden States timetable - HERE
- Download Springvale City Hall Precinct Map - HERE
- Download Springvale City Hall Site Map - HERE
Monica Gagliano - Imagining the New World: Science and the Mind of Plants
Synopsis: From ancient myths and legends to enchanting tales and modern blockbuster movies, humanity has recounted thousands of stories where an apparently aloof and motionless vegetal world promptly comes to life to voice opinions, foretell the future, whisper words of comfort, sing and at times, even scream. What if these stories were more than the fruit of our vivid imagination? By attuning its ears to vegetal ‘voices’, contemporary science has finally started lifting the veil of human plant-blindness to provide us with significant means of reimagining and rethinking plants as people. By reconceiving the connections between plants and humanity, and revitalising our relationship with the soul of Nature, this new imaginative science restores a more intimate way of perceiving the world, an expanded perspective where the solutions to our current eco-cultural predicament become available.
Monica is the author of Thus Spoke the Plants
Frances Bodkin - The Importance of Associations Between Australian Native Plant Species
Synopsis: In her talk, Fran Bodkin will introduce the four aspects that she views as essential to the botanic sciences, balancing both traditional Western science (experimentation and measurement) with Aboriginal science (observation and experience). Considering these four aspects - integrating stories from Aboriginal science as well as her extensive background in traditional Western science - Fran will discuss her recent research into Australian native plant and fungi associations, an area that she says has been largely overlooked in the environmental sciences.
Fran has observed that when plants grow together, their medicinal values are stronger, and the food they produce is more abundant. In other words, plants are happier working in association with each other. Born to an Aboriginal mother who was a gatherer and storyteller, and a European Australian scientist father, Fran’s life work brings together these two perspectives to present a holistic view of the environment that humans rely upon for both sustenance and healing.
Fran is the author of Encyclopaedia Botanica: The Essential Reference Guide to Native and Exotic Plants in Australia.
Charly Bedrossian - Cannabis Cultivation: Reach for Higher Quality Standards
Synopsis: In his presentation, Charly will offer advice on the safe use of recreational and medicinal cannabis while also educating the public about the many industrial applications of the hemp plant. Charly will share a brief history of the non-profit organisation 'The Cannabis College' and explore the importance of education in the current and future cannabis industries to strive for higher quality standards. Charly will also give us an insight into Dutch drug laws and cover cannabis growing and cultivation techniques, harvesting, controlling pests and diseases, as well as other botanical tips.
David Nickles - Notes from the Underground: New and Ongoing Explorations in Ethnopharmacology
Synopsis: Following psychedelic prohibition, psychedelics never went away, they just went underground. From growing guides to extraction teks to phytochemical analysis and much more, underground communities have collaborated on some of the most practical, actionable, and immediately-relevant psychedelic research in recent decades. Looking through the brief history of such communities reveals the rich history of these research efforts and underscores how much we've learned in a very short time, and just how far we have to go. This talk will focus on the ethnopharmacological research endeavours of the DMT-Nexus, highlighting significant findings, common misunderstandings, current research, and important questions that remain unanswered.
Stephanie Hazel - The Witching Hour: Herbalism, Ritual and the Imaginal Realms
Synopsis: Ritual, ceremony and intention are key tools to connect with the sacred nature of plants, whether psychoactive or medicinal. Relationship to plants in the imaginal realms has a long history that is strongly connected with the practice of herbal medicine and earth-based spirituality. This talk explores the anthropology and practice of ritual in herbalism and entheogens, and discusses the need for multiple ways of knowing the world and the plants that inhabit it.
The Witching Hour: Herbalism, Ritual and the Imaginal Realms.
Martin Williams - The "Entourage Effect"
Synopsis: The “Entourage Effect” was proposed in 1998 to describe possible synergies among the many chemical components present in the cannabis plant to amplify its pharmacological effects. It seems reasonable to extend the concept to explain the diverse experiential and physiological effects of cannabis, which (presumably) are intimately related to its pharmacology. But can we then apply it to the effects of other psychoactive plants and fungi such as psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline-containing cacti, plants containing N-methylated tryptamines, and iboga? And then, given our limited understanding of the brain-mind-body relationship and the effects of these various agents on their delicate balance, could we then argue against the use of purified (or even synthesised) single compounds to alter consciousness and treat mental health conditions? This talk will walk us through the main concepts and then examine some further-reaching implications of the fascinating Entourage Effect.
Michael Bock - The Fascinating Field of Australian Fungi: Fabulous Friends for Food, Splendour and Insight
Synopsis: Many fungi can be found in a forest whilst foraging. Several introduced species are prized as food sources, while there are dangerous varieties that can be mistaken for edibles. There are also those sought after for sacred and medicinal uses. However, identification and collection issues can present a variety of risks. In this talk, Michael will share his extensive knowledge and experience in this field.
Nen - Acacia: Cultural and Therapeutic Significance
Synopsis: The Acacia tree has a long history of use in many cultures, often protected by codes of secrecy and initiation, from Ancient Egypt to early Taoism in China, the Vedas and the Middle East, to East Africa. This large genus is rich in a wide variety of different compounds, with a range of actions, which have both traditional and more recently discovered medicinal significance for a spectrum of conditions and health issues. While Acacias have gained a more recent reputation as potential sources of DMT, Nen has spoken previously on the Acacia tryptamine NMT as expanding the entheogenic vocabulary from the visual to the spatial, and its significance in future neurological research. There are also very little understood compounds in some species. Nen will be summarising knowledge gained in over 25 years of study into the Acacia tree and its entheogenic, medicinal and cultural history, previewing some aspects of his forthcoming book. In this talk, Nen will pose a fundamental question - what values in our modern world define the sacred? By understanding the relationship ancient cultures had with plants and the environment, we can learn how to envisage a long term modern culture of depth, caring and collective wellbeing. In understanding the sacred we can also appreciate why the tradition of the Acacia has been in most places throughout history a closely guarded one.
Jamie Simpson - Embracing Aboriginal Traditional Plant Use with Respect
Synopsis: Prior to European un-settlement of this country, the natural environment provided everything required to sustain life. So much was lost about the ways of life which allowed the indigenous communities to thrive in harmony. Our future will require a lot of adaptation, and we will still need to have mastered these skills long into the future. How do we do this as modern Australians, and how do we know we can sustain human life 1000 years from now?
Lenny Garcia - Biotechnology and Psychedelic Plants: Franken-plants or the Way Forward?
Synopsis: Humanity’s understanding of plant’s reproductive potential has undergone leaps and bounds in the past few decades and with it the methods available in which to produce them. Once confined to research laboratory settings, techniques such as micropropagation, artificial seeds or genetic modification are becoming ingrained in horticultural and agricultural industries. This presentation focuses on what these techniques mean for sacred plant medicines as they make the rapid transition from brews concocted from wild harvested plants to pharmaceutically manufactured prescription medications.
Workshops and discussion groups (number limits apply to some workshops)
David Nickles - Share the Seeds: A Discussion on Mutual Psychedelic Sustainability
Synopsis: Share the Seeds is a small community of gardeners who are located all around the world. The community was born out of the realisation that there was a serious desire to make ethnobotanical plants available to those who were interested in growing them; not in the context of commercial endeavours, but to secure individual access to the plants.
This community has operated on principles of mutual aid or sharing. By sharing, trading, or giving away plants and tips and insights into growing them, we hope to keep the focus on the plants and the experiences they can facilitate. By encouraging people to develop deeper relationships with their psychedelic experiences and the agents that facilitate them, we hope to encourage deeper engagement with the world around us. This workshop is intended to be an open discussion, inviting plant-heads of all stripes to bring their personal experiences and approaches to the table for an attempt at addressing questions of individual and communal self-sufficiency with regards to ethnobotanicals.
Meredith Drinkell & Melissa Warner - Psychedelic Sisters: The importance of preparation, safe spaces and integration for women using entheogenic plants
Synopsis: Many of us have had intense psychedelic experiences that can be difficult to navigate. For women who enter the psychedelic landscape, the space can often be dominated by male voices, which can lead to the silencing of women’s experiences. This can then present issues with safety and challenges for effective integration. This workshop will discuss the best ways to prepare for a psychedelic journey, what safety and accessibility looks like for women in psychedelic communities, as well as the importance of integrating the experience.
Participants will then have the opportunity to share their own experiences and challenges, and listen to the stories of others. Women each have a unique story, and feeling heard and understood by others is essential in being able to integrate our experience. This workshop is a safe, supportive and non-judgmental space to share your psychedelic story and gain further insight into your experience. This workshop is limited to 20 participants.
Jamie Simpson - Bush Foods, Medicine and Hardware Plants Found in South-East Australia
Synopsis: The natural environment has provided for the full spectrum of the needs of the human population to sustain life. The traditional Aboriginal diet reflects our modern healthy food pyramid. All kinds of products are available in a healthy habitat - the equivalent of a supermarket, hardware and chemist. It is vital that humanity evolve their farming methods to create sustainable farming practices such as Permaculture and food forests using Indigenous species.
Beau Meister - The Basics of Sacred Cactus Grafting
Synopsis: A beginner's guide to cactus grafting. Terminology, tools, methods and aftercare will be explained and demonstrated. Become a better cactus grower and have your questions answered by an expert.
Darklight and Obtuse - Mushroom Culture without a Lab (agar cloning tek using hydrogen peroxide)
Synopsis: Learn and share skills around isolating and cloning functionally sterile mushroom tissue. Build your own mycoculture library! This is a practice- based workshop and requires no prior knowledge. Don't sweat it, this is not rocket science :) Bring your best hand/ eye coordination skills and learn the first stages of practical mushroom culture. Take away awesome samples to start your very own culture library.
The fruits of this workshop can be used to upscale and grow your own edible and medicinal mushrooms and many more species can be cloned and stored at home for further research ( and some tasty feeds ) using the techniques we will teach on the day. Over the last decade, advances in mushroom cultivation made cloning and storage easier- and available to any citizen scientist who has access to a standard kitchen. We'll be focusing on the Rush Wayne Hydrogen Peroxide cloning tek, but there will be other teks taught on the day as well. If you have mycological Mad Skillz already, you're also welcome to attend and share. So many mushrooms in Australia are unidentified or unknown to Western Science. So much potential. So many opportunities for everyone to play a part.
Communacacian - Acacia: Growing Australia’s Sacred Trees
Synopsis: An introduction to Acacia, propagation workshop and discussion. From seed collecting to demystifying cultivation methods. Communacacian shares his knowledge, story and vision for a sustainable and harmonious future, giving you the tools to begin your own journey with these very special plants.
Beau Meister (and the Mushroom pranksters) - Meander through the Mycelium
You are welcome to join us for this special is a pre-event workshop that will take place on Saturday, May 11 from 2:00pm at Pirianda Garden (9 Hacketts Rd, Olinda VIC 3788). Meet in the main carpark where there is a structure with some info about the history of the park. The park is a stunning botanical location so aside from mushrooms there is much to see. Pack for all weather and it’s a park on a steep but stunning hillside.
Synopsis: Join us for a stroll through the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges to find and learn about the fungi that reside there. Discover information about fungi identification, habitats, edibility, their role in the environment, and get practical, 'hands-on' tips. Please dress accordingly for the weather and wear appropriate footwear as we may head off tracks and into the woods.
Post mushroom walk dinner will be at Micawber Tavern (65/71 Monbulk Rd, Belgrave VIC 3160) drinks from 5pm and meals need to be ordered around 5:45pm (as we were a late booking they are trying to accommodate us), all welcome.
Pirianda Garden – http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/pirianda-gardens-gardens-of-the-dandenongs
Micawber Tavern - www.micawbertavern.com.au
Melbourne SAB Community - Plant Swap
The Plant swap will be held in the garden space just to the side of the Springvale city hall and will take place during the lunch break of the symposium (It's also located near the main car park for easy access and storage). People are welcome to bring legal trades to share with the community, plants, seeds, cultures etc. to trade/swap with each other, and exchange plant knowledge and cultivation tips in a hands-on fashion. It's a non-commercial trade space, so please keep that in mind and bring goods to swap or give away, not sell for profit.
As a general rule, if you haven’t been to a plant swap before, it’s not a free for all, you need to communicate with the plant holder/owner before you take ownership of any goods as it may be earmarked for someone else, or may have been traded already that day. Common courtesy is the key. If you can, maybe bring some free plants to give to newbies – that's always a good idea. It might be some people's first plant swap/rodeo, so let's lead by example and initiate some new blood into the art of plant swapping. If you don’t have anything to swap, you're still welcome to join in; there’s always something to learn and meet some cool and knowledgeable people to meet.
Botanical Medicine - Plants that Help Heal
Facilitator: Jess Saunders
Panellist: Frances Bodkin, Monica Gagliano, Rachel Gagen, Stephanie Hazel, Alson (Darklight)
Synopsis: For more than three thousand years, across all cultures and in all parts of the world, medicines were primarily derived directly from plants. Reliance on plants as medicine continued until the Industrial Revolution when the rapid evolution of Western medicine led to major advances in synthetic drug development and eventually the growth of the pharmaceutical industry. As this took place, plant medicines were primarily pushed aside in the West and forced to retreat to areas and cultures that remained close to nature and the environment.
Since the 1960s, however, there has been a resurgence of interest in plant medicines and psychoactive plants, and today their therapeutic benefits are again being recognised and explored. Given the renewed acceptance by institutions and governments of the medicinal value of cannabis, it seems likely that Western society’s interest in plant medicines will continue to increase. Join us as we discuss the importance of medicinal plants and consider their relevance in the modern world.
The Thin Green Line - Plants and Drug Laws
Facilitator: Nick Wallis
Panellist: Torsten Wiedemann, Fiona Patten, Dr. James Rowe, Ray Thorpe (pre-recorded), Snu Voogelbreinder
Synopsis: Prohibition began with plants. Poppies were joined by coca and then later cannabis. The drug laws focused more so on the alkaloids and similar synthesised chemicals, but the plants were never far away from the iron scythe of prohibition. As prohibition morphed during the 1970s and 1980s into the behemoth we see today, its scope widened until anything with a psychoactive effect was automatically presumed to require prohibition.
In Australia, a range of plants and fungi have had heavy restrictions placed on them or have been prohibited, with no apparent pathway toward becoming legal, other than through a very stringent and solely medical or therapeutic context with the Therapeutic Goods Administration. The Thin Green Line panel explores how we got to these modern drug laws and how so many plants, especially in the 21st century, became spectacularly entangled in this Kafkaesque mess. Join us as we tease out some of the complexities of the war on plants.
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Tickets: tickets [at] entheogenesis.org
Market stalls: marketstalls [at] entheogenesis.org
Aunty Fran Bodkin
Aunty Fran Bodkin is an Elder descendant of the D'harawal people of the Bidiagal clan of NSW, keeper and educator of Aboriginal knowledge, and respected scientist and botanist well known for her dedication to the environment and Aboriginal culture. She has worked tirelessly to teach traditional 'Science' and enable a deeper understanding of how to care for our natural environment. Fran holds degrees in Environmental Science, Geomorphology and Climatology, and is author and illustrator of ‘Encyclopaedia Botanica: The Essential Reference Guide To Native And Exotic Plants In Australia’ (which covers more than 11,000 plants and at the time of publication was the biggest book ever written and illustrated by one person). Fran has also published three books on D'harawal culture, stories and natural resources.
Aunty Fran works tirelessly with groups as young as pre-school age right through to adult learners, sharing ethno-scientific knowledge passed down by traditional clans and which is being increasingly referred to by modern research, in order to promote a deeper understanding of how to care for our natural environment. The knowledge through her degrees and that which has been passed down through her Aboriginal mother has provided Aunty Fran with a holistic approach to the environment.
Aunty Fran worked for the NSW Parliament for many years. She is an active member of Wollondilly Aboriginal Advisory Committee. During the 1970s, Aunty Fran played a key role in the development of Campbelltown Hospital, Campbelltown TAFE, Mount Annan Botanic Garden (part of the Royal Botanic Gardens) and what is now Campbelltown campus, all of which span a significant part of the Macarthur region in South Western Sydney.
'In 1976 I meet and married Gavin who was a Dharawal man one of the few members of the Nattai clan left and we had our son. I had a difficult pregnancy and had to spend most of my time in hospital laying flat on my back. When I wrote my first book the 'Encyclopedia Botanica' which was inspired by my love of plants passed on to me by my mother, she taught me all about the different usable properties to their native plants. At the time it was the largest book ever written and illustrated by a single person.
While I was working in parliament, I had this dream of having a botanic garden, a university and a hospital all working together to understand, develop and use the properties of our native plants, so that eventually, people could have their medicine cabinet growing in their gardens. The botanic gardens would have only native plants – we would learn about their medicinal and environmental properties at the university and implement the results of that learning in the hospital. Now we have Campbelltown Hospital, the Universities of Campbelltown campus of UWS and the native botanic garden is the Australian Botanic Gardens at Mount Annan'.
Monica is a research associate professor in evolutionary ecology and former fellow of the Australian Research Council. She is now based at the University of Sydney as a Research Affiliate at the Sydney Environment Institute and a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Life and Environmental Sciences. In the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, she has established the brand new BI Lab–Biological Intelligence Lab as part of the Diverse Intelligences Initiative of the Templeton World Charity Foundation. Though she began her career by studying animal behaviour, she quickly turned her attention to plant behaviour and cognition.
Over the last decade, she has blazed the trail for a brand new field called plant bioacoustics, showing that plants do make sounds; and by demonstrating experimentally that learning is not the exclusive province of animals, she has re-ignited the discourse on plant subjectivity and ethical and legal standing. Her studies have led her to author numerous groundbreaking scientific articles and to co-edit The Green Thread: Dialogues with the Vegetal World (Lexington Books, 2015), The Language of Plants: Science, Philosophy and Literature (Minnesota University Press, 2017) and Memory and Learning in Plants (Springer, 2018). Her research transcends the view of plants as the objects of scientific materialism and encourages us to rethink plants as people–beings with subjectivity, consciousness, and volition, and hence having the capacity for their own perspectives and voices.
In her latest book, Thus Spoke the Plant: A Remarkable Journey of Groundbreaking Scientific Discoveries and Personal Encounters with Plants (North Atlantic Books, 2018), which she calls a “phytobiography”, she describes her experiments that opened the space to begin to understand how to make contact with this other-than-human intelligence. More info: www.monicagagliano.com
Charly Bedrossian is a representative of the Cannabis College in Amsterdam. This non-profit organisation offers free advice on the safe use of recreational and medicinal cannabis while also educating the public about the many industrial uses of the hemp plant.
Born in France, Charly grew up between Madagascar, Ecuador and Colombia, before eventually moving to the Netherlands to pursue his passion for cannabis. Shortly after arriving in Amsterdam, he started to work for the Sensi Seeds Bank, where he still works today as Community Manager. He is also a volunteer at the Cannabis College and its head gardener. Eternally curious, Charly’s motto is to learn something new every day and share this knowledge with others.
David Nickles (DMT-Nexus)
David Nickles is an underground ethnobotanical researcher and glassblower based in North Carolina. Operating under the name Oneiros Glass, he has been pursuing the craft of borosilicate glass to escape from the alienating and oppressive atmosphere of 'work', as conceived within an industrial context. Specialising in lathe-work, David primarily fabricates concentrate rigs, water pipes, and custom scientific apparatus used in botanical extractions. Over the past decade, he’s offered sociopolitical commentary and considerations dealing with psychoactive substances and the communities engaged with these plants and compounds. Utilising a framework of radical politics combined with experiential understandings of the insights that entheogens can catalyse, David highlights the ways in which intentional and deliberate use of these plants can transform our world.
Stephanie Hazel is a practicing clinical herbalist, passionate about reinvigorating the ancient tradition of Western herbal medicine. She has been working closely with herbs and medicinal plants for 13 years, including 5 years as General Manager to the Happy Herb Company where she was an active warrior for plant freedom, founding the Plant Freedom Alliance, speaking on drug law reform at Nimbin Mardi Grass and Entheogenesis Australis, and spearheading successful national campaigns to prevent the criminalisation of a number of psychoactive plants. As well as practicing clinical herbal medicine in Melbourne, Stephanie is also a senior partner with One Health Organisation, Australia’s largest NGO promoting holistic approaches to public health in disadvantaged communities around Australia and Asia.
Her dedication to preserving the traditional wisdom of plant healers has seen her travel and study widely: as well as being fully qualified in Western herbal medicine, she has also studied in the Peruvian Andes and apprenticed to an acupuncturist to learn TCM diagnostic techniques. For Stephanie, the true path of herbal medicine aims to understand each individual deeply, finding their unique state of balance whilst connecting us to the Earth, the Plants and our own Wild Souls.
Fiona Patten is the founder and leader of Reason, an evidence-based party committed to delivering equality, sustainability and freedom through new methods of political engagement and pragmatic consultation. She was elected in 2014 as a Member of the Victorian Legislative Council for the Northern Metropolitan Region. She is one of a number of cross-benchers who hold the balance of power in Victoria’s Upper House.
Fiona Patten’s working life began as a fashion designer in Canberra. Her political career began as an AIDS educator with ACT sex worker advocacy group, WISE. She also held positions on the Board of the AIDS Action Council, as an AFAO (Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations) Committee Member and a member of the ACT Attorney General’s Sex Industry Committee.
Her decision to run for political office came after 20 years of lobbying for the rights of small business owners, sexual health organisations, sexual freedoms and censorship reforms. She was best known as the CEO of Australia’s national adult goods and services lobby group, the Eros Association.
Frustrated and deeply disappointed with the lack of social change on censorship, drug law reform, euthanasia and marriage equality, Fiona and her partner Robbie Swan set up and registered the Australian Sex Party in 2009, focusing on civil libertarian issues and personal freedoms. In August 2017, the Australian Sex Party was dissolved to make way for REASON, a movement of radical common sense. Since being elected Fiona has garnered respect from all sides of the political divide and has worked tirelessly to deliver legislative reforms that many thought impossible. As ABC 774’s Jon Faine put it “She is, without doubt, Australia’s most effective Legislator.”
Dr Martin Williams is a research fellow in Medicinal Chemistry at Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He is founding (2004) & current Vice-President of EGA, founding (2011) & current President of Psychedelic Research in Science & Medicine (PRISM), and Scientific Officer with the newly established charity, Mind Medicine Australia.
Through PRISM, Martin and colleagues have been advocating since 2011 for mental health research using psychedelic compounds in Australia, and in doing so, have established connections with research teams, individuals and organisations in the USA, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. In the course of planning and seeking approvals for two clinical trials, one of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of PTSD and the other of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of anxiety and depression associated with terminal illness, Martin has become familiar with the Australian regulatory and research governance landscape. Martin and the clinical team at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, have recently achieved ethics and all required government approvals for their proposed psilocybin clinical trial, and are set to start recruiting participants in May.
Nen is a leading world Acacia researcher and has previously spoken at EGA, as well as Breaking Convention in the UK. In his early 20s in 1992 as a young psychology graduate accidentally ‘discovered’ tryptamines in Acacia obtusifolia, then went on to defend this plant from exploitation, and has spoken much about the need to protect wild plants, and the ethics of entheogen culture. He has introduced a number of species to modern knowledge. In the mid 90s he began training directly in indigenous plant knowledge with custodians of these traditions, a path he continued for over 14 years to preserve this wisdom. He presently works with a number of traditional healers from different clans towards archiving plant and spiritual lore, and song for youth and future generations.
Jamie Simpson is qualified in Horticulture, Arboriculture and Training. Growing up on the Mornington Peninsula, he spent his childhood playing between the bay and the ocean, finding a connection to country through years of research and barefoot walking around the ancient home of the Bunurong.
At Walkabout Education, Jamie presents a lifetime of research into the sustainable ways of the Indigenous people. He has a comprehensive understanding of Aboriginal lore and lifestyles, focusing on bush foods and traditional plant uses, and educates students and the public at school camps and public events.
In 2017, Jamie published his book 'Bush Foods and Survival Plants of South-East Australia'. Jim Poulter, author of 'Sharing Heritage in Kulin Country' has said that Jamie “knows more about bush tucker in Victoria than any person I know”.
Jamie hopes to help all Australians find their own connection to country, survival skills and values in nature that have been overlooked for far too long.
Melissa Warner as an advocate for innovative solution for mental health. Melisa co-founded Mind Medicine Australia (2018) and The Australian Psychedelic Society (2016) and is acting Secretary of Psychedelic Research is Science in Medicine (PRISM) and Education Officer at Mind Medicine Australia. With her colleagues at Mind Medicine Australia and PRISM, Melissa aims to facilitate regulatory approved psychedelic psychotherapy by translating clinical research into therapeutic programs.
After graduating in Neuroscience from the University of Melbourne, Melissa took a deep dive into Buddhist meditation practice under the guidance of Mingyur Rinpoche. She has pursued further education in psychology, computer programming, extended reality (AR and VR) and biofeedback to inform her forecasting of next-generation mental health treatment and the methodology of personal transformation.
Michael Bock is a researcher in Australasian native plants and fungi. Michael has given many talks over the years at previous Entheogenesis Australis conferences on the different genera of psychoactive plants and their history. For decades, he has been a prolific contributor to the Australian ethnobotanical research community.
Jess is a natural history illustrator and tattooer. Growing up in Tasmania she studied engineering before realising drawing and marking people was her path. After being introduced to a friends' cactus collection, intuitive gardening and plant medicine also became her main focus. Now living in the Northern Rivers NSW growing anything interesting she can get her hand on she listens, learns and grows with the plants and the people they bring to her.
Lenny Garcia's fascination with plant production began whilst studying chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences. To him, modern organic synthesis appeared clumsy in comparison to the delicate precision of enzymatically catalysed biosynthetic pathways. Lenny developed his horticultural skills by working in permaculture and organic food production, before completing a master’s thesis developing micropropagation protocol for Tabernanthe iboga at the University of Melbourne. Since then, developing efficient methods for large-scale propagation of medicinal plants remains an area of interest, with his current research focusing on cannabis.
Nick Wallis is a broadcaster and drug law reform advocate who produces the weekly radio show Enpsychedelia on Melbourne’s 3CR. With a long background in both community and commercial radio, Nick moved from intrigued online psychonaut to join Melbourne’s psychedelic community, attending his first EGA in the late 2000’s. Nick has worked on drug issues with the Eros Association and with Harm Reduction Victoria’s DanceWize program. He ran for parliament twice with the Australian Sex Party and was heavily involved with the development of its early drug policy.
After beginning as a bedroom podcast in 2012, Enpsychedelia became a radio show on 3CR in 2015 where it has been broadcast weekly since. Through Enpsychedelia, Nick has interviewed people working on drug policy reform from around Australia and the world. He has also emceed at a range of events, from EGA events to special campaign events like Support Don’t Punish and festival panels at Rainbow Serpent Festival. Nick is one of the founders of the Australian Psychedelic Society. Among other responsibilities, Nick is a father of two young children and a loving partner to Kula.
Beau Meister (karode13)
Beau Meister is a horticulturist and mycologist. After studying horticulture in New Zealand, Beau took an interest in the unusual fungi that grew in the forests there. So little was known about them and this sparked an interest in fungal taxonomy that has last for over 20 years. When not out in the field he can be found in his garden tending to a range of ethnobotanical plants and flowers. Beau has been a moderator of the 'Mushroom Hunting and Identification' and the 'Ethnobotanical Garden' forums on Shroomery.org for a decade.
Meredith is a highly qualified and motivated musician, vocalist, Registered Music Therapist and psychotherapist with a breadth of experience. As well as her private work, Meredith has experience working in early childhood, community, mental health, gender equity, and the disability sector. She has facilitated Music Therapy groups in adult mental health and with drug and alcohol inpatient therapy groups.
She works with a holistic approach to address the needs of the clients and special interests include LGBTQI+ issues, healing from trauma, relationships, intersectional feminism, spirituality, and transpersonal work. Meredith also works with Australian Psychedelic Society, facilitating integration workshops for people who have had challenging psychedelic experiences.
Meredith has delivered presentations at professional conferences including the European Guided Imagery and Music Conference (2012), Parenting Engagement Conference (2017), and Entheogenesis Australis (2017). In June 2019, Meredith is presenting at the American Music and Imagery Conference in Vancouver regarding the implementation of music therapy within the integration space of psychedelic research, and the potential for transformational healing. Meredith has experience working with people of all ages and is available for individual consultation and workshops
Communacacian has been exploring the cultivation and conservation of entheogenic Acacia in Australia for the past seven years, with a strong focus on the rare and threatened species. He believes the key to ensuring these important trees are protected and accessible to future generations lies within education and a hands-on approach. Drawing upon his career in horticulture and arboriculture, Communacacian has been sharing his cultivation, field exploration and experiential insights at various festivals and EGA events in recent years.
“Our own inner nature comes into harmony when we bring life to plants and grow with them, from seed to tree to seed.”
Rachel Gagen : A Western Herbal Medicine Practitioner, Space Facilitator, Harm Reduction worker & Musician. Has a background in growing, preparing and offering traditional, herbal & shamanic medicines, facilitating health & detox retreats, utilising sound for integration, and working in harm reduction & substance education. Passionate about the therapeutic use of entheogenics & psychoactives. Co-founder & facilitator at Mulai Lagi Iboga and EntheoBotanica.
If you have any questions before you're ready to apply or can't join us on this date but would like to express interest for future events, you can send an email to our Market Manager at marketstalls [at] entheogenesis.org