Rocky peace activist wants $25K for new hip, can you help?
NOTORIOUS peace activist, anti-Talisman Sabre campaigner, and now "honourable elder, alas, with a limp".
Graeme Dunstan has built a name for himself in the Rockhampton region, but the latter of his titles comes as the self-confessed hippie's left hip wears out.
He has now turned to the help of his friends and crowd-sourcing to fund a $25,000 hip replacement surgery next month to skip the potential three-year wait in the public system.
Graeme explains while his life has afforded him a wealth of experience, he lives in "material poverty", having spent the past 17 years as a nomadic campaigner in his "Peacebus".
"The upside fruit of a life of activism is a host of uplifting friends," Graeme said.
"The downside is material poverty and the absence of health insurance.
"The simple lifestyle is, and has been, a sustaining joy.
"But the worn out hip is ongoing pain."
After consulting a Rockhampton orthopaedic surgeon last month, Graeme has booked in surgery in Rockhampton for August 8.
His Peacebus companion Rebecca Horridge has offered to underwrite the surgery, but appeals to friends and supporters to help share the load via the Chuffed crowd fundraiser, "Keep Graeme Dunstan on the Hop".
Thirty-five supporters have already raised $5,750 towards the $25,000 goal to cover the operation.
Graeme remains in Rockhampton to protest the US-Australia military alliance following the massive Talisman Saber military war exercise at Shoalwater Bay over the past month.
It follows countless protests in the region, each one supported by vivid signs on bamboo poles and booming speakers from the roof racks of the battered old Peacebus.
Rebecca explained long hospital waiting lists do not favour Graeme's lifestyle, which is too uncertain for far advance commitments.
Graeme has gained notoriety across half-a-century of non-stop campaigning.
In 1966 he lay his body under the car of then US president Lyndon Baines Johnson to protest the US alliance.
In 1973 he was director of the transformative Nimbin Aquarius Festival. He was a force at the 1979 Battle of Terania Creek, the first successful defence of rainforest anywhere, ever.
He is a founder of the Lismore Lantern Festival.
Fifty years on he is still at it, "a passionate old man in a battered old van, bearing witness for peace, journeying for justice and speaking out for a sustaining Earth".
A BRIEF HISTORY OF GRAEME DUNSTAN'S ROCKHAMPTON CAMPAIGNS:
June 2011 | Activists stage anti-war protest
ARMY officials guarded the entrance of the barracks as Graeme revealed a new slogan on his Peacebus which read: "War brings neither peace nor climate justice. Cut military spending!"
August 2011 | $200K attack on military helicopter
THE Australian Army demanded more than $200,000 in damages from peace activist, the late Bryan Law, after his attack on a military helicopter on July 21.
Mr Law, 57, took to the $36 million Tiger armed reconnaisance helicopter with a garden mattock at the Rockhampton Airport in protest against the joint US and Australian military operation, Talisman Sabre.
It cost $162,000 and took about 580 man hours to repair, and the chopper was out of action for four months.
Brigadier Neil Alan Turton issued an affidavit, addressed to both Mr Law and Graeme Dunstan, 68, who allegedly helped Mr Law enter the Rockhampton Airport.
After a District Court Trial found Graeme Dunstan guilty on August 22, 2013 but he was not required to serve any jail time.
He vowed, "I will continue to be a peace maker".
THE peace activist arrived in Rockhampton in his colourful Peacebus to begin organising resistance to the upcoming Talisman Sabre military exercises, or "war rehearsals" as he calls them.
During the visit, four peace activists were arrested blockading the Coorana St gate of the Western Street Barracks, Rockhampton. Among them was Graeme.
He was also fined $1000 in July during his visit after he snuck into Shoalwater Bay to disrupt Talisman Saber 2013.
July 2014 | Dedicated man of peace hits out at war
ITINERANT peace activist Graeme Dunstan launched a pre-emptive strike for peace in Rockhampton.
He staged a public speak-out at the Western St Barracks from 11am, giving locals a chance to express their concerns of what he calls the toxic consequences of the US-Australia alliance.
While Americans celebrated Independence Day, Mr Dunstan said July 4 in Australia should be recognised as Independence from the USA Day.
GRAEME returns to Rockhampton to lead protests from across Australia in the Peace Convergence; a celebration of peace and war resistance.
July 2016 | "We'll Keep the Boats Out"
GRAEME was "disgusted" by this sign, placed near a Rockhampton highway alongside federal election campaign signs for Capricornia MP Michelle Landry.
Graeme had used black spray paint to write over the sign with "this sign is sick".
The following week he took his mission for peace to the ocean, living in a boat around Great Keppel Island to experience life as a "boat person".
June 2016 | "We'll keep the goats out"
FRESH from experiencing life as a "boat person", Graeme Dunstan's latest protest turned heads once again.
For the second time in as many weeks, the long-term peace activist has spray painted Dominic Doblo's controversial "We'll Stop the Boats" sign, located on the corner of Fitzroy and Albert streets, Rockhampton.
This time his message was directed at GKI's Tower Holdings.
Changing the "B" to a "G", the sign now reads "We'll Keep the Goats Out".
July 2017 | Sick burn on President Trump
Graeme Dunstan remains in Rockhampton, having returned to protest the 2017 Talisman Saber exercise.
This time the Peacebus sported the "Dump Trump" slogan.
During the visit, Graeme led a demonstration in Yeppoon, during which he burnt a cardboard effigy of US President Donald Trump.