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This website aims to develop case studies of the development of farming practices and attendant transformations of local ecologies of defined blocks of land. Through these biographies of particular plots of land we are developing localised analyses of the wider historical trends in the political economy/ecology of the Northern Rivers.
Ray Flanagan, Leigh Davidson, Carol Perry & JJ Bruce’s Stories

Ray Flanagan, Leigh Davidson, Carol Perry & JJ Bruce’s Stories

By on Jul 1, 2013 in Dharmananda | 0 comments

Introducing Carol

Carol you’ve just joined the conversation, would you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your background and how you came to be here?

Carol: Alright, I was brought up in Melbourne and I came from an extremely conservative family, where I was supposed to not get educated and be a housewife.  If I got educated I wouldn’t get a suitable husband, that’s the level of conservatism I was brought up in an inner-city suburb. However, I was a square peg in a round hole and I never fitted with what I was brought up to be. And I was also quite despairing about the nuclear family. But I wouldn’t have known those words in those days [laughs], ’cause even the word ‘relationship’ in the sixties, wasn’t a word you used. It was much more a seventies word.

Anyway, I wanted to live in the country and get away from the city and get away from all the options that were laid out and I met Dudley Leggett and he had a similar idea. He had a much more articulated understanding about the environment and so on. So we started looking – we would drive up in the school holidays and look for land. I was studying to be a teacher, because we wanted to both go and work in the International School in Vientiane, in Laos, where he’d worked before. So in the school holidays – and he was a teacher – we’d drive up and look for land around this area.

And we first went to Mullumbimby and Mullumbimby actually had something happening so this would have been – we bought here in ’72 – so probably started…. I mean for exact dates I’d have to look up something. But it probably started in about 1970, something like that or ’69. We went right up to Queensland but it was very unfriendly up there. It was overtly unfriendly. And we weren’t the sort of people, they wouldn’t even let us stay in a hotel, because Dudley had hair down to his waist. So we thought oh well Queensland’s not the place. Although we did look at a few places there. And we did start to actually try to buy something there but it fell through, thank goodness. Wow.

Anyway so, we’d met some friends in Belgium – we’d travelled in Belgium together and they wanted to start something and they ended up in Mullumbimby. And we went there up to Main Arm to stay with them and we looked at the communities there and there were some communities, but for me they weren’t – it was like same old, same old. The vege garden was divided up into ‘my patch/ your patch/ their patch’ and so everybody was growing everything rather than one person grow something – to me it wasn’t logical. It wasn’t shared and it was just like suburbia as far as I was concerned. And it was very dope orientated. There was a culture of dope. It wasn’t like we didn’t smoke it but we weren’t, it wasn’t a culture that we were in. It was more like recreational smoking.

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