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Byron Shire
December 4, 2022


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Follow the school buses

In Byron Shire and beyond, we have a regular, convenient and reliable public transport system moving thousands of commuters...

Other News

Cartoon of the week – 30 November 2022

The Echo loves your letters and is proud to provide a community forum on the issues that matter most to our readers and the people of the NSW north coast. So don’t be a passive reader, send us your epistles.

Fostering local writing talent

Since 2001, the Byron Writers Festival Residential Mentorship has been inspiring writers on the path to publication. This year saw four writers spend a week in Possum Creek being mentored by Walkley Award-winning journalist and author, Sarah Armstrong.

A festival for film BUFFs

Building upon last year’s electric event, the Byron Underground Film Festival (BUFF) returns to shake things up, expand the...

Strong winds and good tides set up a race day of fast sailing on the Tweed River

Matt Andrews with his trusty crew puts Powder Monkeys through its paces. Photo supplied. A big incoming tide and a...

Roller skating, skateboarding and more for Lismore

The ‘Lismore Urban Sports Precinct’ will deliver skateboarding, roller skating, BMX, scootering and sport climbing infrastructure as well as associated recreational infrastructure. 

Natural burial site found unsuitable

The long-standing plan to create a natural burial ground for locals who want to be buried sustainably has hit a major hurdle, with the site favoured for this use found to be completely unsuitable.

In popular culture, the road trip (or in this case, hiking trip) is synonymous with a journey of self-discovery. The road that Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) follows, on her own and on foot, is the thousand-mile Pacific Coast Trail.

Based on Strayed’s memoir and written for the screen by the prolific Nick Hornby (who has a knack for getting to the heart of the matter), Jean-Marc Vallée has followed up his ‘Dallas Buyers’ Club’ with a film that takes compassion as its guiding star and finds battered but unbowed spirit in the warts and all portrait of a woman coming to terms with how she got to be the person she is.

Still raw after the break-up of her marriage and devastated by the loss of her mother, Cheryl sets out on her trek not even certain within herself what her goal might be – other than to make it to the end.

Drug use and promiscuity had neither eased nor exacerbated her longing, so it is in the great outdoors that she seeks solace.

Her story is told in frequent flashbacks, the most significant of which reveal her childhood and the close relationship that she had with her doting mother (Laura Dern) – some of the movie’s most touching moments are when Cheryl, fretful and exhausted from her exertions, feels the presence of her mother, literally and in the form of a fox.

We are forever enmeshed in our own history, and it cannot be rewritten. Learning that we might be able to accept it without regret and understanding that resignation need not be defeatist is a reward of infinite bounty.

Witherspoon is fantastic in a role that is both emotionally and physically demanding, Vallée’s choice of music – Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘El Condor Pasa’ and ‘Homeward Bound’ – adds incredible poignancy to Cheryl’s solitary, inner exploration, while Yves Bélanger’s camera captures some breathtaking images of the US west coast hinterland.

A gem of a movie, in which Cheryl discovers that ‘you can never prepare for the expected’.

~ John Campbell    


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NSW Forestry challenged over failed forestry practices in precedent-setting case

What makes bushfires worse, causes native species collapse and creates forest dieback?

Urine sample test: new way to detect and screen for early stages of Alzheimer’s disease

When it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, an early diagnosis – one made well before signs of irreversible dementia are apparent – is key to providing effective intervention and treatment.

Gulihl Art exhibition – bringing First Nations artists and their connection to Country to you

Byron’s ‘pop-up’ Firefly Art Gallery is presenting the work of local First Nations artists in the upcoming Gulihl Art exhibition in Marvell Hall.

A gentle day for refugee and asylum seeker families

Promoting community awareness, assistance and support, for asylum seekers and refugees, the Pottsville Refugee Support Group recently hosted refugee and asylum seeker families from Logan at a fun day at the beach.