A brief history


The Down to Earth Cooperative was created to continue the work of former deputy prime minister, Dr Jim Cairns, who led the first ConFest in 1976. Following the success of the first ConFest, the Australian Down to Earth Network was formed – a series of cooperatives to run ConFest gatherings across Australia.


Over time, the Down to Earth Network became reduced to a single Melbourne based chapter with people congregating at properties over South Eastern Australia to re-create the event. Today, over forty years later, Down to Earth operate as a single cooperative out of Victoria. Although the registered office of the Down to Earth Cooperative is in Victoria, both conferencing festival properties are located in New South Wales. Members of the Down to Earth Cooperative live across Australia.


Throughout the year Down to Earth Cooperative volunteers meet in Melbourne, at the properties and online to coordinate the festivals. To this day the cooperative is solely operated by these volunteers dedicated to the ConFest mission of creating new educational opportunities in a transformational festive environment.