Jim Cairns, prominent Labour politician and Deputy Prime Minister in the Whitlam government, issued the following invitation to the VERY FIRST Confest gathering back in 1976:
“The purpose of the festival is to show the urgent need to SHAPE ALTERNATIVES NOW. Ways must be found because of the violent, acquisitive, alienated, industrial society which now poses a threat to survival. People have for centuries searched for equality and the right and ability to determine their own development. Individuals must accept responsibility for themselves. Personal happiness and equality, as much as a good society, depend upon self realisation. The most vital factor today is a sense of true identity. This is lost because our identities are created by others – not by ourselves. The all-powerful externally created hegemony in this assumed-to-be-free society, and its internalised personal alienation, must be understood if self realisation can be achieved.
The starting point must be the “will to be the self which one truly is”.
Sydney Confest is a local offshoot of Confest, sharing the ethos and the love.