Over five years of research I am quite literally indebted to a cast of thousands.

I must, first, thank the Co-operative Down to Earth and its supportive membership. There are many members of DTE and other ConFesters who have supported and encouraged my research endeavours at various phases of the project. Though it would be impossible to list every contributor here, there are those whose assistance has proven invaluable. Laurie Campbell, Les Spencer, George Schmidt, Paula Falavic, David and Mary Cruise, Dik Freestun, Gordon Wells, Richard Martin, Rhonda Jankavic, Kurt Svendsen, Kay Warn, Arthur Brown, Mark Magee, Di Carter, Simon Freidin, Rick Gill, Cheryl Boston, Tom Anderson, Isha Molloy, Robin Cook, Dave Lovelight, John Flynn and Paul Gaffney. Without their generocity, and assistance from others too numerous to mention - including all interviewees and respondents (many of whom remained anonymous) - I would not have succeeded in getting this project off the ground.

The contribution and support of various colleagues and friends has also proven invaluable. I therefore thank Nick Smith, Dr Adam Possamai, Ray Madden, Dr Doug Ezzy, Frank Formosa, Dr Evy Katz, Kalissa Alexeyeff, Melinda Hinkson, Andrew Dawson, Fuyuki Kurasawa, Peter McKenzie, Dr Sonny Lameta, Karl Smith, Jane Mulcock, Fernanda Duarte and Sylvie Shaw. My appreciation also goes to Prof Alan Kellehear and Drs Jenny Hughes, Rohan Ireland, Albert Gomes and Helen Morton for sharing their expertise, advice and comments.

Throughout the project I have delighted in the company of, and engaged in countless hours of enthusiastic discussion with, Richard Donker, Dave Nichols, Callum Scott jnr, Richard Martin, Kurt Svendsen, Jenny Coburn, Amanda Lanagan, Thomas McCrossan, Stuart Wilkinson, Maddy Atkinson, JD, Pia, Zac and other friends too numerous to mention.

Special thankyous are extended to various generous individuals. John Gibbins for the loan of his ConFest VHS footage, Paula Falavic, Laurie Campbell, Paradigm4 and GreenNet Australia for Internet services and advice, Michael Joubert for html assistance, John O'Neil for his photographs, Barrie Griffiths and Fred Brademann for updates on Mt Oak, Cheryl Boston for providing me access to the DTE archives, Ted Berry for his documentation on Berry, Ewen Richards for allowing me access to his personal archives, and Harsh Prabhu for accommodating me in the Northern Rivers.

I would also like to offer my appreciation to Eva Fisch at La Trobe's Borchardt Library, Arthur Easton at the Mitchell Wing of the State Library of NSW who helped me access the Rainbow Archives, and Pip Wilson for conceiving those archives, without which this thesis would possess gaping holes. Special thanks also to Beryl, Barbara, Mary, Elaine, Merle, Bronwyn and other office staff in the La Trobe School of Sociology and Anthropology for their help and cooperation.

Dr John Morton warrants special acknowledgment for his supervisory guidance throughout the project.

I give thanks to my parents.

My most profound gratitude is reserved for the ConFest Spirit and all those who have preserved her.

Graham St John (July 1999)

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