International Women’s Day (March 8) is an important event to celebrate the significant economic, political, environmental and social achievements of women in our community. This year, I’ve been reflecting on the achievements of some of the remarkable women across Byron Shire who have been working to make our community a better place. I’d like to pay tribute to a few that have inspired me.
They include, Cate Coorey from the Byron Residents Group who has managed to fit motherhood around travelling to Sydney to lobby politicians and reading reams of planning reports to try and stop the West Byron mega-deveopmnet that threatens the heart and soul of Byron Bay. Jeannette Martin who was integral to the creation of the abundant Mullumbimby Community Gardens that now provides food and a community space for many. Deb Pearse from the Byron Youth Service who has helped so many vulnerable young people in our community rebuild their lives, despite on-going funding cuts to her programs. Olga Tresz, coordinator of Gasfield Free Byron Shire who has driven the local community campaign to protect our land and water from toxic gas mining. And Jan Barham, our tireless former Mayor and now Upper House MP who has always put the interests of our community and environment first.
Thanks for all your passion and dedication. I know that your efforts have made our community a better place.
Tamara Smith, Greens candidate for Ballina