Moorabool Mushroom Festival
Ballan, Victoria, April 15-16, 2023
EARLY BIRD TICKETS AVAILABLE!
Purchase here: http://thq.fyi/se/qzv4qsE
MYCOmmunity is a not-for-profit organisation. All proceeds from the festival will go to cover costs, to next year's festival or to local citizen science projects such as monitoring fungi in Wombat Forest.
Join us for a celebration of all things fungi in Ballan in April 2023, for what we hope will be our first annual Moorabool Mushroom Festival!
The event will be held at the Ballan Mechanics Institute, which is 5 minutes walk from the Ballan train station. Further details about ticketing and local accomodation to come.
This 2 day festival will be looking at all aspects of fungi including:
As part of this we will have talks, workshops, nature walks, art, a social event and a market. There will be food for sale (including vegan options) and face-painting.
The Ballan Artists Collective will be holding a fungi themed art exhibition from April 14th to 30th. For more info or to be part of the exhibition please contact MYCOmmunity and we will pass on your details.
The festival is being organised by MYCOmmunity Applied Mycology with the support of the Moorabool Shire Council and many local and national organisations including Fungimap, Moorabool Environment Group, Geelong Field Naturalist Club, Moorabool Catchment Landcare Group, Moorabool Landcare Network, Wombat Forestcare, Wombat Regional Arts Network, Ballan Artists Collective, Australian Psychedelic Society, Fungi for Land, Fungi Solutions, Fun Fungi Ecology and Mycelium Laboratories. If your organisation would like to be part of the event please get in touch!
Expressions of interest/email list:
If you are interested in:
- Receiving general event updates including ticket release
- Holding a market stall
- Being involved in the arts program
- Speaking or hosting a workshop
- Your organisation being part of the event
Please sign up here
Ash is a Wadawurrung man raised with the knowledge of Wadawurrung land and stories passed on by his uncle and holds with passion for his community and younger generations celebrating the tradition and Lores passed on through the generations
Stephen Russell is a mycologist from Indiana working on a biodiversity survey of all of the macrofungi (mushrooms) that occur in the state. He founded The Hoosier Mushroom Society in 2009 and is currently the President of the organization. His initial interest in mushrooms began with cultivation, which led to writing a book titled The Essential Guide to Cultivating Mushrooms (Storey Publishing, 2014). He has chaired the NAMA Mycoflora Committee and was a co-founder of the North American Mycoflora Project. Stephen’s current project is a citizen science and DNA based exploration of local fungal biodiversity, which has now generated thousands of new DNA-sequenced collections of fungal fruitbodies from across the state – amassing records for over 2,500 unique species.
Jonathan Carmichael is an ethnobotanical activist who is interested in social justice and the environment. He is a co-founder, conference director and President of the charity Entheogenesis Australis (EGA), which is devoted to critical thinking and knowledge sharing around ethnobotanical plants, fungi, nature, and sustainability. Jonathan has been working as its primary driver in a volunteer capacity for almost two decades. He is also a founding member of the charity Psychedelic Research in Science & Medicine (PRISM) and is active on their committee. He is also an artistic and freelance photographer, and his photographic works have been published and shown in a number of galleries.
Talk title: Australian psychedelic ecosystem: Activism, Education & Community
Melanie is a classically trained Chef that will be demonstrating how to prepare and cook foraged Milk Saffron Caps and Slippery Jacks into two dishes for sampling. Melanie has chosen to make a Nepalese vegetarian Momo dish made from locally foraged milk saffron cap mushrooms, vegetables, coriander and spices. Served with a home made spicy Nepalese tomatoe sause. For the second dish Melanie will be making a pork, slippery Jack, pine nut and wombok angelotti pasta dish with a white wine sause.
Josephine Nakakande Executive Director Environmental Conservation and Agricultural Enhancement Uganda (Eco-Agric Uganda)
Josephine Nakakande is one of the founders and currently the Executive Director of Environmental Conservation and Agricultural Enhancement Uganda (Eco-Agric Uganda), a Ugandan community member based organization. She started community work in 1996 as a free lancer veterinarian. After one year, she started working as a civil servant with Hoima district Local Government, where she worked for sixteen years. While as a civil servant, she worked as an Assistant Animal Husbandry Officer, Extension worker and a sub county National Agricultural Advisory Services Program Coordinator. It is during this time she got the vision and established Eco-Agric Uganda that she has worked with for the twelve years.
Born in Hoima District, Josephine attended her lower level education in Hoima district, attained a certificate and diploma in Animal Husbandry from Bukalasa Agricultural college; a Bachelors degree in Agriculture from Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi; a post graduate diploma in biodiversity wild life Ecosystems Health from the University of Edinburgh plus her Masters in International Human Resource Management from Rome Business school. She also holds a doctorate in organizational management from the University of South Creek.
She is a Common Wealth Scholar alumni, a Ford Foundation Fellow (2019), a World Literacy Ambassador 2020 and a mentor Women in Food & Agriculture 2023.
Though she is among the founders of Eco-Agric Uganda, she has worked as a volunteer, Field Officer, Project coordinator, Programs Manager and currently the Executive Director.
She has been promoting mushroom growing for food security, nutrition and income among poor illiterate women since 2010 which has benefited over 33860.
Jim Fuller is the Co-founder and Chief Science Officer of Fable Food Co. He is a fine dining chef, chemical engineer and mycologist (mushroom scientist).
Combining his unique knowledge of mushrooms, chemical engineering, nutritional science with his expertise as a chef and a mushroom farmer, Jim heads up research and development at Fable, where he has forged new ground in the meat alternative market with Fable’s delicious meaty food made from mushrooms.
Fran La Fontaine is a highly experienced science laboratory technician with a career spanning 30+ years across areas of research, tertiary and secondary science education. At university (RMIT), she gained a unique biology degree featuring units in plant pathology, applied mycology and medical mycology. A growing love of fungi and subsequent work at RMIT saw her assist in developing the practical component of Melbourne’s first Applied Mycology short course. Fran is skilled in microscopy techniques and fungal culture, with particular personal interest in microfungi (such as soil fungi, and those that cause plant disease). She is excited to share with you the fascinating ‘inner-inner’ workings of mushrooms through the microscope lens at her Festival workshops.
Sequoia is a second year Environmental Science student at Deakin University who is extremely passionate about fungi. She became enthralled with mushrooms after spending time hiking through New Zealand, and returned to Australia to pursue a career in research mycology and conservation in 2021. She has volunteered with MYCOmmunity since September 2021 and frequently assists Alison Pouliot with workshops and forays across Victoria. Sequoia is also an iNaturalist addict and dabbles in mushroom photography. She has broad knowledge about Australia's native and invasive species, and is looking forward to leading and assisting with forays for the Moorabool Mushroom Festival this April.
Chris McKenzie is a Specialist in Poisons Information (SPI) at the Victorian Poisons Information Centre (VPIC)
The VPIC provides advice to the Victorian Public and to health care providers about what to do if a person has been poisoned, has overdosed, has made a mistake with medicines or has been bitten/stung by a snake, spider, bee, wasp or other creature, or has consumed a potentially toxic mushroom or plant.
We also provide statewide toxicology guidelines for health professionals.
TALK: Magic Mushroom-Tragic Mushroom
Chris will speak about how to avoid being poisoned by ingestion of mushrooms, the role of VPIC, possible antidotes and steps to take if you think you have possibly ingested a toxic mushroom.
Buttons is the sole farmer at The Mushroomery, a micro mushroom farm she started in her backyard. The little farm has now grown to a few shipping containers in Alphington. Buttons supplies restaurants, farmers’ markets, box schemes and has her own CSA. She is influenced by the ethics and principles of permaculture and is working on closing multiple loops of waste within her farm.
Buttons is a keen believer in maximising marginal land in the city with urban agriculture. Being a massive foodie she is keen on making farming more visible in the city to create better understanding around food within the urban bubble.
Buttons is a weird and wacky lady with roots in performance and costume design. She has been making a transition from fashion to farming in the last five years and hopes that in the future she will be able to delve further into the research of mycological fabrics. She believes that mycelium can help solve a multitude of problems facing Mother Earth today.
Jeremy Hegge is a fungi enthusiast and obsessionist.
From the moment Jeremy was taken out foraging for parasols and honey mushrooms with his friend and fellow sound artist Jonáš Gruska in the autumnal surroundings of Bratislava, Slovakia - he was hooked.
After a brief stint of learning to forage in central Germany. Jeremy discovered when he returned home that hunting for and learning about mushrooms in Australia is difficult due to a lack of detailed resources and that the majority of species in this country are still yet to be properly described and named.
Since he came back he has been trying his best to learn about local fungi - having lived in Brisbane and now in Melbourne - and to explore eating native fungi with a slow, informed and researched approach. He has now eaten dozens of native and introduced species of fungi and aims to continue exploring and learning.
Jeremy has done several walks with mushroom madman and weirdo Martin Martini in Melbourne's scenic surrounds last year (https://www.instagram.com/
He is an active user of iNaturalist (https://www.inaturalist.org/
Jeremy will be doing an advanced fungi foraging and identification workshop for those who already understand the basics.
Associate Professor Tien Huynh is a plant biologist and biotechnologist at RMIT with research interests in medicinal plants, environmental sustainability, and biomaterial innovations. Tien gained her PhD at the University of Melbourne and held post-doctorates in the UK, Italy and Australia in a range of diverse and multidisciplinary projects working alongside industry and government. Tien has numerous scientific outputs with 29 years research experience, over 40 peer reviewed publications and awards including recognition for scientific excellence as a superstar of STEM by Australia’s leading Science and Technology Association. Tien has established entrepreneurial and community projects and is well known for her science communication in Australia and Asia. She is passionate about gender equality and cultural diversity to inspire equal opportunities for everyone. She hopes to make our Earth a healthier, cleaner and greener home.
Fungi-tastic research at RMIT
Come listen to Associate Professor Tien Huynh talk about the research innovations with Fungi at RMIT university from waste upcycling to fire resistant biomaterials and nutritional benefits.
Gayle Osborne lives on a bush block in the Wombat State Forest and is a founding member of Wombat Forestcare Inc., a group established in 2006 for the protection of the environmental values of the Wombat Forest. She is the convenor the group, which was instrumental in lobbying the state government for a Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) investigation into a number of state forests in the Wombat and Mt Cole areas, which led to the Victorian government undertaking to create a new Wombat-Lerderderg National Park. Wombat Forestcare is actively campaigning to halt the environmentally destructive VicForests' salvage works in the Wombat Forest and for the government to legislate the National Park .
ALISON POULIOT is an ecologist with a passion for fungi. Her journeys in search of fungi span northern and southern hemispheres, ensuring two autumns and a double dose of fungi each year. As scientist and photographer, author and someone who roams the forest daily, Alison delves deep into the realm of fungi through multiple lenses. She has presented over 700 seminars, workshops and forays across a dozen countries. Alison is actively involved in fungal conservation, research and teaching, and is author of The Allure of Fungi, Underground Lovers (due March 2023) and co-author of Wild Mushrooming. For more information www.alisonpouliot.
Talk: A Kingdom of Conundrums
The Kingdom Fungi is a kingdom of conundrums. For some people, fungi are unnerving. Perplexing. Enigmatic. Being ephemeral, they rouse suspicions and associations with the supernatural. But mostly, fungi are overlooked. Forgotten. However, a growing public penchant for fungi suggests we are in something of a ‘fungal turn’. An emerging league of mycophiles is exploring into the many dimensions of the Kingdom Fungi, and unearthing not only their myriad benefits to humans, but how they hang the planet together.
In this talk Alison will delve into some of the curiosities of the Kingdom Fungi and share some of her experiences during the writing of her recent book, Underground Lovers: Encounters with Fungi.
For more information visit www.alisonpouliot.com
Dr Sapphire McMullan-Fisher is an ecologist who has special interest in the conservation of biodiversity, particularly the macrofungi and mosses. She did her doctorate at the University of Tasmania on ‘Surrogates for cryptogam conservation – associations between mosses, macrofungi, vascular plants and environmental variables.’ In 2018 with Roz Hard and many Australasian Mycologists and amateurs in ‘love’ with fungi, started the project to develop a land management book for Australian Fungi with the working title Fungi4Land. Sapphire has been involved with many Australian fungi groups including MYCOmmunity, QMS and Fungimap. She is a representative on International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) Specialist Groups: Species Monitoring and Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball. She is also active with Australian scientific groups like the Education Subcommittee of the Australasian Mycological Society, Australian Bryophyte Workshops and community groups including many Field Naturalist Clubs and Landcare groups and Australian Plants Societies. To read more about her research profile in Research Gate and LinkedIn.
Dr Margaret Ross is a consultant clinical psychologist and the clinical lead in Australia’s first ever psychedelic clinical trial. The trial will be based at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne and will investigate the ability of psilocybin-assisted therapy to alleviate anxiety and depression in terminally ill patients.
The St Vincent’s clinical trial will see palliative care patients given one to two doses of psilocybin and psychotherapy in a treatment protocol shown in overseas trials to produce rapid and dramatic improvements in depression and anxiety, and provide an altered outlook on their situation approaching death. Alongside psychotherapy and guidance, the psychedelic medicines are hoped to give terminally ill patients a new perspective on their lives, and to reduce the fear and depression which can often take over their final months.
Dr. Justin Dwyer is a Consultant Psychiatrist and a Principal Investigator in the Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy trial at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne. Both he and Dr Marg Ross have facililtated more than 60 dose sessions of psilocybin assisted therapy with terminally ill patients.
Sophie Green is the current Coordinator of Fungimap, a national non-profit citizen science fungi organisation dedicated to the mapping and conservation of Australia's macro-fungi. Based on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, Sophie developed an interest in fungi through regenerating a heavily degraded 50 acre property together with her young family, and seeing the magical re-emergence of many different mycorrhizal fungi species helping restore the landscape. This was just the start of realising how mind-blowingly amazing fungi are! Sophie is an active member of the Adelaide Fungal Studies Group and a keen citizen scientist who loves recording the diverse and beautiful fungi found in local national parks. With a background in community development and environmental activism, Sophie's work with Fungimap involves encouraging citizen scientists to record their fungi sightings on iNaturalist, and working on other projects in the areas of fungal education, research, and conservation.
Tamara Griffiths is an experienced and passionate permaculture educator and was owner of Forestedge Permaculture Nursery in Kallista for over 5 years.
King Stropharia Stropharia rugosoannulata Mushroom growing workshop with Tamara Griffiths My King Stropharia mushroom patches have just had a big summer. They are an easy to grow garden mushroom. Over 5 years I have formed a relationship with this fantastic fungi. I have experimented with growing mycelium and ways to produce delicious and large mushrooms. This workshop includes 1. How to propagate King Stropharia mycelium 2. How to get King Stropharia to produce mushrooms 3. King Stropharia mycelium to take home 4. Growing King Stropharia in a forest garden 5. Using King Stropharia mushrooms in permaculture design 6. Building soil with King Stropharia mushrooms
Natasha Vorogushin’s interest in foraging, sustainable living and permaculture has deeply influenced her career path, spawning Tash Can Cook as a culinary service provider, through her love of foraging for edible mushrooms and cooking with fresh seasonal, locally sourced produce. Her infatuation with mushrooms has lead her to become a skilled identifier of wild Victorian mushrooms and has also expanded her knowledge of home mushroom cultivation skills for culinary uses. Combined with a passion to teach, Natasha also guides seasonal edible foraging tours, instructs cooking classes with a wide range of cuisines, and is also a personal chef and caterer.
Melvin Xu Researcher at University of Melbourne on Entomopathogenic fungi, Vice President & volunteer at MYCOmmunity and Coordinator of the Fungi Group of Field Naturalist Club Victoria.
The relationship between Orchid and their fungal partners are crucial to their survival, Orchids seeds are not able to germinate due to their lack of available nutrients, this is where fungi play a crucial role providing accessible nutrients for the Orchid seeds when the environment is suitable.
Working in Council, Landcare, and volunteer groups, begun his home propagation from his own Australian Native Terrestrial Orchids. With his own stock of fungi and seeds hope to develop new protocols to include fungi into local nursery and future conservation of native Orchids.
Caine Barlow is a Fungi Educator and Mycologist based in Melbourne, Australia. He gives regular talks on mycology, fungi conservation, and teaches gourmet mushroom cultivation. He works closely with the Australian organisations Entheogenesis Australis, the Australian Psychedelic Society, and is a co-founder of US-based organisation The Entheome Foundation. Caine is also a mentor for Milkwood Permaculture for their online Mushroom Cultivation course.
Caine started foraging mushrooms in the early 1990's, started cultivating gourmet fungi in the mid 2000's, and has been teaching mushroom cultivation in person since 2017. He did his Bachelor of Science at the University of Tasmania, and a Master of Science at the University of Melbourne where his research project was based around Conservation Mycology.
He has written for Entheogenesis Australis, DoubleBlind, ThirdWave, MicroDose, and Healing Maps. Caine is currently working on a book project, expected to be released soon! He is an admin and moderator on many Facebook fungi groups. In addition to fungi, he has had a long-term interest in ethnobotany, ethnobotanical literature, and growing medicinal plants. Caine posts regularly on his Instagram, @guerrillamycology. His website is www.guerrillamycology.com
Emily McIntyre is a graduate of a Masters of Ecosystem Management and Conservation, where she examined the effect of biotic and environmental variables on soil fungi for her thesis. She is currently undertaking a PhD in fungal ecology at the University of Melbourne. She is most interested in learning about the interactions that fungi have with plants, animals, and abiotic factors, to better understand how ecosystems function. She is also currently working with MYCOmmunity to undertake research into the effect of storm damage on soil fungi within Wombat Forest.
Sarah Weatherley is an educator, wild mushroom forager and cultivator and is the founder of ‘Forage & Grow in Victoria’, a group comprised of a team of experienced mushroom foragers and growers, mycologists, permaculture and gardening experts, mushroom identification specialists and natural health practitioners. She is passionate about teaching people the connection between nature and wild food and inspiring them to explore and appreciate the amazing world of fungi.
Sarah is a wild mushroom identifier renowned for her knowledge in identification of poisonous and edible mushrooms and plants. She has worked with Unearthed Co Mushrooms using hands on growing techniques and holding educational workshops, as well as being part of the identification team for 'Australian and New Zealand Fungi Identification.' She is also part of the worldwide team of identifiers at ‘Poison Help - Emergency Identification for Mushrooms and Plants.’
Sarah loves nothing more than being in nature teaching her students about the science and sustainability and safety of foraging and observing wild mushrooms, and how to get involved in citizen science through crowdsourced platforms such as iNaturalist. She leads wild mushroom foraging workshops, and mushroom cultivation workshops, each year, and when she's not foraging or observing in the forest or field she can be found in the busy commercial kitchen with a team of cooks and chefs.
Sarah is committed to environmental stewardship and is passionate about helping people to foster meaningful relationships with the natural world around them. She believes that everyone has the power to make a positive difference to the planet and their own lives, and is passionate about helping them do so.
Dr Alana (Lani) Roy is the Founder of The Signs of Life Psychology. She is a psychologist, social worker, and therapist and has spent the last 15 years working in mental health, suicide prevention, trauma, sexual abuse, family violence, and the disability sector.
Lani has worked with borderline personality and dissociative identity disorder in various roles in the community, such as rape crisis centres with victims of ritual abuse; childhood and adult sexual assault; supporting women in the sex industry; and survivors of human trafficking. She specialises in complex trauma, disabilities and dual diagnosis, and working with the Deaf community by providing therapy in Auslan sign language. Lani also specialises in preparation and integration in the field of psychedelic and sexual abuse survivors, particularly with Ayahuasca and the vegetelista dieta process.
For more information about her personal journey towards healing and psychedelics please click here.
Lani provides a range of educational and group-based psychedelic programs. She is a board-approved psychology supervisor and provides psychology, social work, and biomedical student placements and supervision across Deakin, Monash, Victoria University, Psychedelic Research in Science and Medicine (PRISM), Entheogenesis Australia (EGA) and the Mental Health Foundation. Lani coordinates the psychedelic and plant medicine Mental Health Professional Network (MHPN). Lani has taught as an Australian teacher on Psychedelics Today Navigating Psychedelics for Clinicians and other Australian Psychedelic programs.
Lani is currently apprenticing under Saj Ravi from The Psychedelic Somatic Institute of Psychotherapy in America for cannabis and ketamine assisted psychotherapy.
Lani has begun providing Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy (PAP) for clients accessing ketamine treatment in Australia with partnering clinical organisations. She is currently working on a range of research trials focusing on psilocybin and Ayahuasca.
B.Science (Neuroscience), Grad Dip (Psych)
Melissa Warner is an advocate for innovative solutions for mental health and is on a mission to cultivate a holistic understanding of wellbeing. She is the Secretary of Psychedelic Research in Science and Medicine (PRISM), a meditation teacher at Signs of Life Psychology, co-founder of The Australian Psychedelic Society, and is a co-director of the Cyberdelic Society. Melissa seeks to elucidate the potential of psychedelic, meditative, and flow states to enhance human health and flourishing. As a scientist, therapist, futurist and artist, Melissa seeks to elucidate the potential of contemplative practices, altered states, and play to enhance human health and flourishing.
Charlie Clark: Hello! My name is Charlie. I’m a face painter and fungi lover based in Naarm/Melbourne. Available for all and any types of events! Feel free to contact me via mobile for more information or quote for your event.
Mobile: 0417 296 113.
Naz Alhafid: Hi, I’m Naz, my fascination about mushrooms, and all things fungi has led me to a complete career change. I was able to pivot from being a biochemical scientist, to kickstarting my own online business focused on selling gourmet mushroom cultivation starter kits and supplies. My niche offering is the fact that I continually support and educate my clients on the use of purchased materials to ensure they are able to successfully cultivate their very own mushrooms. It brings me much joy to be able to guide my clients through the steps and journey of watching their fungi come to life, while ensuring it can be done with simple and basic materials. I hope you join me for a hands-on and an informative workshop.
Alistair McTaggart is a researcher at the University of Queensland who studies fungal diversity and evolution. He has spent the last two years working on two species of Psilocybe widespread in Australia. His main research aim is to show whether Psilocybe cubensis and P. subaeruginosa are naturalised or native in Australia. In the course of this work, Alistair has established the richest, legal, genetic collection of magic mushrooms in the world, resolved how magic mushrooms reproduce and developed new genotypes based on provenance, studied genetic variations at the psilocybin locus among populations, and answered his main research aims using population genomics. Join Alistair at the Moorabool Mushroom Festival to hear about his latest research on magic mushrooms.
Ema Corro is the main organiser of the Moorabool Mushroom Festival. She is also president and co-founder of MYCOmmunity.
Ema is a mycologist with experience in mushroom cultivation, myco-materials, environmental science and ecology. She also has extensive experience with community engagement and science communication. She regularly teaches courses and workshops on various aspects of mycology including science, cultivation and identification. She is coordinator of the Wild Fungi Project which aims to increase knowledge of Australian fungi by engaging citizen scientists in collecting and sequencing mushrooms, as well as developing environmental DNA techniques to monitor pest and endangered fungi.
Ema also works for AT Mushrooms and is Mycologist Wrangler at Fungi for Land.
Other speakers and workshops
(details yet to come)
Fran La Fontaine - microscopy workshop
Greg Boldiston - native mushrooms foray
Mel - cooking demo
Terry Ross (AT Mushrooms) - myco-supplements extraction workshop
Many more workshops and speakers TBC