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Byron Shire
March 8, 2021

What does it mean to be an influencer in regional Australia?

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Children approached by stranger in Murwillumbah

Police say a Queensland man has been charged following two alleged child approaches in Murwillumbah today.

Other News

Bangalow blackspot puts school children at risk

Will action ever be taken to protect school kids getting on and off the bus on Lismore Road, Bangalow as trucks fly by at 80km/h?


Jo Faith, Newtown Thank you all at The Echo for upholding independent journalism. For readers and activists concerned about the demise...

Rape, the law, and naming the man responsible

David Heilpern tackles key questions relating to the allegation of rape by a cabinet minister.

Editorial – #ChooseToChallenge the patriarchy

It is easy to think we have almost achieved equality for men and women in a country like Australia – just as long as you don’t think too hard about it.

Forum to address housing emergency, March 8

A grassroots movement is bringing women, community and art together on International Women’s Day (March 8) in an urgent push to solve the local housing emergency. 

Ballina Shire Council meeting wrap-up

The last Ballina meeting was another bruising encounter for some councillors, though there were several unanimous decisions too.

Today, the Australian Financial Review and Westpac have announced the winners of the 100 Women of Influence awards – women who have shown vision, leadership, innovation and action in and beyond their field.

I’m honoured – and truth told, pretty excited – to be one of the winners, based on my work over the past decades in regional Australia.

I’m just back in the office from speaking to our local ABC radio and the conversation really made me think. It’s one thing to enjoy five minutes of fame, but awards such as these have a much deeper meaning.

I am deputy chair of the National Australia Day Council, which coordinates Australian of the Year Awards, so it’s top of mind to me what it means to win a significant public award. You become an ambassador for your cause – someone with the influence to bring about real change.

Take Rosie Batty, 2015 Australian of the Year. A brave survivor of domestic violence (her husband murdered her son Luke in public), she has become an extremely influential lobbyist, working to halt domestic violence. She’s credited with putting domestic violence on the national agenda (according to Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay). Rosie has dedicated herself to fighting domestic violence and calling for systemic changes.

Along with the many other men and women battling to turn things around, Rosie’s work is making a difference. Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull is behind the cause, and the government has just pledged a huge package of support to tackle domestic violence.

Rosie is an inspiration to me – as are the recipients, past and present of the 100 Women of Influence awards. I can’t wait to see what these women achieve in the coming years, individually and together.

And as for me – well, I’d be happy with a regional Australia that is flourishing, diverse and sustainable, providing careers for our young people, equal opportunities for women, and clean, green produce for Australia and the world, amidst healthy landscapes. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Robbie Sefton, Tamworth

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  1. Robbie,
    The most famous woman of influence in recent times is a women you can quote and not even mention her name. Who said these words in anger as she gestulated by an outstretched hand pointing to the man with the blue tie. I will quote:
    “And in so doing I say to the Leader of the Opposition I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not. And the Government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever.”


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