Albe Falzon, filming Morning Of The Earth, 1971. (Frank Pithers)

Lost Conversations With Albe Falzon


Finding Happiness… Happiness is our natural birthright. Initially external influences contribute to one’s happiness or unhappiness. As we grow older, generally we depend less on external influences and realise that all happiness comes from within. If the focus is on external stimuli for happiness it will be short lived – true happiness comes from a realisation that all that you need is right where you are. Once that realisation takes hold your world changes enormously – not only will you be perfectly content and accepting and happy – you will find that most of those you come in contact will react the same way – you make others happy by your presence. Everyone wants to be happy.

Getting Older… I remember my father saying when he was around 70-years-old, “If I knew when I was 17 what I know now life would be very different.” Perhaps in a way he already did – it’s just at 17 your interests are elsewhere. We always think that life will be better when we get there – wherever it is we are heading. Often it does. But really there’s nowhere to get. Once you can embrace the moment and truly live in that moment, time and age disappear.

The Himalayas… Apart from the immense beauty of the Himalayan mountain range, it’s the altitude that is inspiring and energetically uplifting. You are thousands of metres above sea level and more importantly above most of the world’s population, therefore not affected by the mundane world of human activities with its problems and desires. Whether you find yourself there in your physical body or you arrive at that altitude in your mental or spiritual body – it’s the same. It’s not necessary to climb the Himalayas to reach enlightenment, it’s right where you are.

Women… Most of the spiritual laws and knowledge on this planet over the last 100 years came through women. Perhaps it’s because they are more intuitive, able to realise more subtle energies that exist. While most men plunder their way through life, women bring a gentler understanding, are far less aggressive and generally tuned to a higher frequency.

Surfing Today… Well there is only today and the fact is if you can surf then go surf – because like everything in life this day will pass and so will the surf. There’s no guarantee that there’ll be waves tomorrow or even that you will be able to ride them. If you can just paddle out and go surf it will make everything from that point perfect. As a surfer the happiest moments you will have are in the ocean riding waves. Surfing makes everything in your life better. Most people on this planet will never see the ocean and we can go play in it. I am so grateful to ride waves and be able to go surf.

The one on the right is Albe. (Skennar)

The NSW North Coast… When I lived in Sydney some time ago and the cool westerly winds would blow on those crisp autumn mornings I yearned to just get out of town and be on the north coast points. Now I live here and after travelling the world and seeing how most people live I am so grateful to be living on the mid north coast. Colonel Hackworth one of the highest ranking generals in the American military who had access to confidential files (the film Apocalypse Now was based on his life) said that in studying the global growth, politics and future environmental prospects, that the best place to live on the planet was the mid to far north coast on NSW. When he retired he bought a duck farm just north of Byron Bay and lived his life out there.

Morning Of The Earth… After discovering surfing and riding my first waves I was launched into a different space. I threw school overboard and just went surfing. There was nothing better. Around the same time I owned a small Kodak box brownie camera and started to photograph friends and waves – surfing and photography sort of went hand in hand. I always seemed to have a camera nearby it felt very natural for me to take photographs – like surfing. I was so captivated by riding waves and the beauty of being in the ocean that I just wanted to be able to share that experience and so began my life as a photographer. Another great piece of advice that my mother of the world imparted on me was “just follow your heart – do what you love” and I did – and have done so to this day. Soon I met up with Bob Evans and he guided me through the movie process – that was it. All I wanted to do, outside of surfing was make movies of surfing – make a beautiful film of something that we loved and Morning of the Earth came from that. We just filmed what unfolded – how we were living. It was a great time full of rich and memorable experiences. Now I live on the north coast and surf every day and when autumn arrives and the cool off-shores kick in I just paddle out.

Surfing World