PROFILE: Danny Moynihan
Danny Moynihan moved to Daylesford in 1984. Together with his wife Roz and sometimes the assistance of the rest of his family, Danny ran Daylesford Post Office, which was also an unofficial tourism information centre. He recalls:
In those days there was no tourist information, there was a few hotels but there was hardly any B&Bs, no booking services and people would ring up the post office on a Friday afternoon and say, ‘Where can I have something to eat over the weekend?’ or ‘Where can I stay?’ ... We should have given away the post office and just been a booking agency and could have made a fortune!
His daughter Natalie got involved in ChillOut when she was 18 and was on the committee for a number of years before Danny and Roz got involved. Danny remembers being approached by ChillOut committee member Ally Paul:
Ally Paul came into work one day and she said ... ‘I’m having a bit of trouble with some of the volunteers on the front desk ... we need a couple of supervisors just to sort of check the volunteers’. So I said, ‘Oh yes that’ll be alright’.
Danny and Roz supervised the collection and counting of all the money from ticket sales and the bars in the early years of the festival. With no eftpos facilities, the festival turned over a lot of cash. It was a huge job and Danny recalls that ‘we would have counted most times over $100,000’.
Danny and Roz remained involved with the festival for the next ten years. Roz sadly passed away in 2013 and the ChillOut committee renamed the Worthy Cause fundraiser, the Roz Moynihan Worthy Cause in honour of her years of dedicated service. Danny has remained a volunteer with the festival, even after his daughter Natalie stepped down from the committee to have her first child.
I kept it on for a few reasons. One, is because they appreciate you – ChillOut was always appreciative ... [Another] one of the major reasons why I’ve stuck with it over that time is the amount of money that they’ve put back into the community. It’s one of the things that people don’t realise, how much money that ChillOut has raised for other organisations. Huge amounts. I think there was talk of $250,000-$300,000 over 20-odd years.
As a long-term resident of Daylesford, Danny has seen a lot of change over the years, particularly in relation to the LGBTI community and how ChillOut has influenced the town’s popularity. ‘There’s no doubt’, he comments, ‘that if ChillOut never got off the ground it wouldn’t be the same town as what it is now’. But this acceptance and understanding did not happen overnight:
I think it took them [the Daylesford community] a few years, I really do. It’s not like today where everything is accepted, and because most of your friends are the gay community. In those days – I could probably think of about half a dozen to a dozen people that were openly gay ... There was a lot of stigma, even from the shire. The shire took quite a long time to come on board ... Attitudes have changed a lot, all for the better of course.
All quotes taken from an interview with Danny Moynihan 18 December 2017.