It wasn't long ago that a gathering of hundreds of freedom fighters in one location would have caused enough alarm for Victoria Police to show up in force, but thankfully that wasn't the case at Melbourne's Freedom Summit.
And with Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations higher than ever, it begged the question as to what exactly has changed since the days where one positive case justified Premier Dan Andrews' full-blown lockdown of Australia's 'most liveable' city.
"Obviously during lockdowns we weren't able to have in-person events at all, so this is actually a celebration of freedom instead of always having to fight," said Reignite Democracy Australia's Monica Smit.
"It's really nice to be able to meet people face-to-face now that we are allowed to, but I refuse to be grateful for it because it is really our right."
Victorian senator Ralph Babet made light of the situation when I tried to understand the logic behind the open rules now compared to the harsh lockdowns with fewer cases in the past.
"Avi my friend, you sound like a conspiracy theorist, you need to trust the science," he joked.
Smit's Reignite Democracy Australia organised the event as part of a national tour, the next stop in Sydney expected to host 500-800 people.
"The tyrants have enjoyed watching us running around like crazy people trying to fight every little battle, but I really think that now is the time to look after ourselves and choose when we want to use our energy for those sorts of things," she said.
"Basically, after two years of pushing back on the frontline, I've realised that no matter what happens we need to find a way to live our best lives even if they're throwing everything at us".
The event, held at Melbourne's Crest Ballroom event centre was sold out six days prior and featured prominent speakers from the past two years including documentary filmmaker Topher Field who highlighted the importance now of networking to help create a better future.
"I've had so many conversations with people talking about 'back in the day' there used to be more community, people used to talk to each other, people used to help each other," he said.
"We lost that over the last 20/30/40 years and what's happening now, I feel like people are re-finding that and rebuilding that.
"Not necessarily with the person that lives next door to them but with like-minded people that live in their broader area and I think this rebuilding of community is honestly the most important thing happening right now."
Queensland Senator Malcolm Roberts added that the strong showing highlighted a shift in perception as more people begin to stand up for their freedoms.
"What we're seeing here is an absense of sheep, these people have proved themselves to be lions and that's what we've got and that's what we need - More Australians standing up and taking charge of their lives and also of the country," he said.
"You know in the constitution, who's in charge? The only people who can change the constitution are the people ... And these people are understanding that they're in charge and they want to start working out how to take charge."