Entheogenesis Australis presents Garden States Microdose Livestream
with Dennis McKenna and a selection of Australian Ethnobotanical Minds
Sunday 5th July 11 am- 6:30 pm AEST on the EGA youtube channel Entheo TV (subscribe now)
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Keynote guest Dennis McKenna
Dennis McKenna's research has focused on the interdisciplinary study of Amazonian ethnopharmacology. He has conducted extensive ethnobotanical fieldwork in the Peruvian Amazon.
His doctoral research (University of British Columbia,1984) focused on the ethnopharmacology of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he, two tryptamine-based hallucinogens used by indigenous peoples in the Northwest Amazon. He is a founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute and serves on the advisory board of non-profit organizations in the fields of ethnobotany and botanical medicines. He is the younger brother of Terence McKenna. From 2000 to 2017, he taught courses on Ethnopharmacology and Plants in Human affairs in the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. In 2019, in collaboration with colleagues, he incorporated a new non-profit, the McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy. He emigrated to Canada in the spring of 2019 together with his wife Sheila, and now resides in Abbotsford, B.C. In the spring of 2019, in collaboration with colleagues in Canada and the U.S., he incorporated a new non-profit, the McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy. He emigrated to Canada in the spring of 2019 together with his wife Sheila, and now resides in Abbotsford, B.C.
Sadly, due to COVID-19, EGA has postponed the 2020 ethnobotanical symposium Garden States. In the meantime, we're running a free livestream, 'Garden States Microdose'. We hope you can join us for this special event and be sure to let any like-minded friends know about it!
This is the running order and list of programming for the day:
Introduction – Nick Wallis
Segment One – Dennis McKenna Interview (45 Minutes + 15 Q&A )
Segment Two – Australian Psychedelic Research Panel (45 Minutes + 15 Q&A)
Contributors: Vince Polito, Margaret Ross, Martin Williams, Chris Letheby, Steve Bright and Paul Liknaitzky
Segment Three – Caine Barlow - Australian Psilocybe and their Lookalikes - 45 Minutes + 15 Q&A
Segment Four – Australian Psychedelic Ethics Panel (45 Minutes + 15 Q&A)
Contributors: Meredith Drinkel
Segment Five - Lila Lieberman - The Alchemy of Ceremony: The role of plants in initiation rites and opening the being (45 Minutes + 15 Q&A)
Segment Six - Psychotechnologies: Consciousness Hacking (From Entheogenesis Australis Symposium 2017)
Contributors: Thomas B. Roberts, Jennifer Dumpert, Adrian Baker, Erik Davis, Vince Polito
Segment Seven – Melissa Warner - Psychedelic-assisted mindfulness and creative cognition (45 Minutes + 15 Q&A)
Summary – Nick Wallis
On the day, EGA will also stream selected videos from the Seedlings – Video Project. This is still open to enter so please consider making a video submission.
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Planting seeds for the earth, body and mind
Garden States Microdose Livestream Presenters
Dr Margaret Ross
Dr Margaret Ross is a consultant clinical psychologist and the clinical lead in Australia’s first ever psychedelic clinical trial. The trial will be based at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne and will investigate the ability of psilocybin-assisted therapy to alleviate anxiety and depression in terminally ill patients.
The St Vincent’s clinical trial will see palliative care patients given one to two doses of psilocybin and psychotherapy in a treatment protocol shown in overseas trials to produce rapid and dramatic improvements in depression and anxiety, and provide an altered outlook on their situation approaching death. Alongside psychotherapy and guidance, the psychedelic medicines are hoped to give terminally ill patients a new perspective on their lives, and to reduce the fear and depression which can often take over their final months.
Margaret will talk about the study's progress, its history, aims, and practical workings, whilst addressing the rationale for how psilocybin works to alleviate anxiety and depression.
Dr Martin Williams
Martin Williams, PhD, is a research fellow in Medicinal Chemistry at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne. He is founding and current President of the DGR-registered health-promotion charity, Psychedelic Research in Science & Medicine (PRISM), founding and current Vice-President of the botanical/education charity, Entheogenesis Australis (EGA), Scientific Officer with the charity, Mind Medicine Australia, and co-lead investigator of the upcoming Melbourne psilocybin trials at St Vincent’s Hospital.
Through PRISM, Martin and his colleagues have been advocating since 2011 for mental health research using psychedelic compounds in Australia, and in doing so, have established connections with researchers 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 Palliative Care team at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, recently achieved the requisite Human Research Ethics and state and federal government approvals for their proposed Phase 2 psilocybin trial, which began in late January 2020. He is currently working with another interdisciplinary research group on plans for a clinical trial of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for treatment-resistant depression.
Dr Stephen Bright
Dr Stephen Bright has worked as a psychologist within the Mental Health & Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) field for the past 20 years. He is currently Senior Lecturer of Drug Studies at Edith Cowan University. In addition to psychedelic science, Stephen conducts research into media reporting of AOD-related issues (as seen in the Daily Telegraph), emerging drug trends and harm reduction. He is an advocate for an evidence-based approach to AOD legislation and has provided oral evidence to parliamentary and coronial inquests.
Lila has been working with medicinal plants and indigenous methodologies of healing for twenty-five years. She began her journey in the Atacama Desert of Peru and later initiated as sangoma - traditional healer and seer - in the Shona tradition of South Africa, where she was born. She has spent many years engaging cultural wisdom and plants in a medicinal capacity, both academically and culturally. Her focus is on the living library held within the plant and human kingdoms, and how their collaboration activates profound capacities for new perception and creative psychological feedback. She explores the various cultural ways, rites and ceremonies that open these channels of learning.
Her academic background is in Anthropology, Linguistics, Philosophy and Transpersonal Psychology, and she holds a diploma in Integral Coaching. She now lives in Byron Bay, Australia.
Her current work is a systemic body of knowledge she received directly through the plant kingdom and dreams after completing her initiation. It addresses the universal allocations of medicine in all natural bodies and the “Five Pillars of Medicine” that follow specific timeless principles of evolution. Her talks and workshops facilitate the practical application of this wisdom. She currently runs several workshops on plant medicine, plant communication, ancestral connection and is writing her book “The Five Pillars of Medicine”.
Caine Barlow is a fungi educator who has been cultivating and studying fungi for 13 years. In 2019 he completed a Master's degree where his research project was to predict a preliminary conservation status for many Australian fungi.
As a fungi educator, he is passionate about encouraging people to see fungi in a new light by demonstrating how easy they are to grow in kitchen and garden environments. He likes to inspire a sense of creativity in the cloning and propagation of mycelium, experimentation with different substrates, and how to hack together equipment.
Through exploring the forests of Far South Tasmania, Caine's interest in fungi evolved from foraging to learning how to culture native species for conservation, and on to cultivating a variety of culinary and medicinal species. Then to further studies into mycorrhizal fungi, mycoremediation, and mycorestoration.
When not growing fungi, Caine volunteers his time with MYCOmmunity applied mycology, and Fungimap. He is also a regular contributor, “trusted identifier” and administrator on a variety of fungi oriented website forums and facebook groups.
Caine has an Instagram account "Guerrilla Mycology” where he blogs about his cultivation techniques and the ethnomycology of fungi he finds in the field.
(Photo credit: Bob Hutchison)
Meredith Drinkell is a musician, Registered Music Therapist and psychotherapist. She has experience in early childhood, community, mental health, gender equity, and the disability sector. Meredith works with a holistic and trauma-informed approach to address the needs of her clients and special interests include LGBTQIA+ issues, relationships, intersectional feminism, spirituality and transpersonal work. She has presented her work at conferences both local and international, including the Parenting Engagement Conference (2017), EGA Outdoor Symposium (2017) and American Music and Imagery Conference (2019).
Meredith is also Vice President of the Australian Psychedelic Society, and through this work facilitates integration workshops for people who have had challenging psychedelic experiences.
Vince Polito is a Research Fellow in the Department of Cognitive Science at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia and a former Associate Investigator of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders. His research investigates cognitive and neurological changes in altered states of consciousness. He has investigated attentional capacities in meditation, psychiatric symptoms of disturbed control, states of flow in expertise, hypnotic suggestions, and body representation alterations in virtual reality. He is particularly interested in how beliefs and expectations shape psychedelic experiences and conducted one of the first systematic observational studies of the effects of microdosing in healthy participants.
Paul Liknaitzky works as a Research Fellow at Deakin University, St Vincent’s Hospital, Odyssey House Victoria, and Macquarie University. He is an investigator across a number of Australia’s first clinical psychedelic trials. Paul is focused on establishing a rigorous program of research in psychedelic medicine, exploring potential therapeutic mechanisms, drawbacks, and approaches that sustain beneficial outcomes.
Melissa Warner is on a mission to cultivate and articulate an evidence and experience based understanding of consciousness. As an advocate for innovative solutions for mental health, Melissa is Secretary of Psychedelic Research in Science and Medicine, Education and Communications Officer at Mind Medicine Australia, and is a member of the UK-Australian Young Leaders Forum. After graduating in Neuroscience from the University of Melbourne, Melissa travelled to leading international centres of psychedelic research, transformative technology and Buddhist meditation to forecast next-generation mental health treatments. Melissa traverses the divide between research and therapeutic practice through her lived experience in healing from PTSD with psychedelic-assisted therapy. Melissa is passionate about creating innovative systems to resource survivors of trauma. With a background in digital art, programming and performance art, Melissa brings a creative and future-focused outlook to her pursuits. Melissa is currently a post-graduate student at The University of Melbourne and is creating a therapeutic virtual reality program to support psychedelic-assisted therapy and enhanced wellbeing, sponsored by PRISM.
David Nickles is an underground researcher and harm reduction advocate who serves as an editor for Psymposia Media, co-host of the Plus Three podcast, and intermittent moderator of the DMT-Nexus community.
David has presented social critiques and commentary on psychedelic culture and radical politics, as well as novel phytochemical data, at venues around the world. His work focuses on the social and cultural implications of psychoactive substances, utilising critical theory and structural analysis to examine the intersections of drugs and society. He is a vocal opponent of psychedelic commodification and blows glass in an idealistic attempt to avoid monetising his psychedelic work.
Jef Baker heads the Sydney chapter of The Australian Psychedelic Society, is global moderator at The 5-Hive forum and is an active admin of several psychedelic-related Facebook pages including his own group Entheogenic Anthropology. Jef’s long-standing fascination with psychoactive plants led him to complete his Bachelor of Arts w/ Honours in Cultural Studies and Communications in 2015 with an analysis of the Deep Ecological themes of Ayahuasca Discourse.
Dr Liam Engel
Dr Liam Engel is an adjunct lecturer at Edith Cowan University’s School of Medical and Health Sciences. He holds expertise in prejudice, harm reduction, ethnobotany, ethnopharmacology and digital sociology. He is interested in emphasising the unique knowledges of drug communities and bridging the gap between these communities and scientific research.
Online, Liam has worked alongside Erowid, Bluelight, Shaman Australis Botanicals, The Shroomery, The DMT Nexus, AOD Media Watch and Trichocereus.net. On the harm reduction front line, he has been employed by Kosmicare, NSW Users and Aids Association, The Loop and DanceWize NSW. Liam is also a breeder and cultivator of rare psychoactive plants with a particular passion for Acacia, Trichocereus, Lophophora and indigenous drug traditions.
Dr Chris Letheby
Dr Chris Letheby is a philosopher working on issues related to the therapeutic and transformative potential of classic psychedelic drugs. His doctoral research, conducted at the University of Adelaide, presented the first systematic analysis of psychedelic experience within the framework of 21st century philosophy of cognitive science.
He is currently (2018-2021) Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Western Australia and (2019-2022) Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Adelaide on the ARC-funded project 'Philosophical Perspectives on Psychedelic Psychiatry'. His monograph Philosophy of Psychedelic Psychiatry is under contract with Oxford University Press, and will be coming out in the series 'International Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychiatry'.
Emily Blatchford researches psychology, psychedelics and other drugs. Emily is currently involved in a clinical trial, investigating the use of CBD enriched cannabis oil for the treatment of methamphetamine withdrawal, and is completing her master’s degree in clinical psychology. Emily also has extensive harm reduction experience and has worked in drug checking and trip sitting with Kosmicare, The Loop and DanceWize NSW. Emily has conducted research concerning wellbeing, personality, yoga and psychedelic microdosing; psychedelics, empathy and prosocial behaviour; the characteristics of harm reduction service users; polypharmacy use in older Australians with alcohol use disorder; people who inject drugs; and drug checking, drug detection dogs, young people and drug policy.
Dr Sam Douglas
Dr Sam Douglas is a philosopher of language and education with over 10 years of experience delivering and developing philosophy coursework, with a strong focus on professional and ethics across a range of subject areas. His current research interests include the challenges presented by moral dilemmas and their use in ethics education and what the ‘psychedelic renaissance’ might mean for educational theory. Sam is also a committee member with the Australian Psychedelic Society where he has (amongst many other things) facilitated the drafting of their code of ethics.
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 an active community member, 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.