21.4 C
Byron Shire
August 2, 2021

Much ado about banking…

Latest News

Pennings and Adani to continue court battle

The Supreme Court has formalised orders agreed out of court by both Adani and Ben Pennings in relation to a decision handed down on 25 June 2021.

Other News

Editorial – Let’s all acquiesce!

On July 12, it became mandatory for all businesses and workplaces in NSW to use the Service NSW Check-in tool (QR code).

New digs for Bangalow Lions Club

After 30 years of using a makeshift shed at the Bangalow Showground for their bar and barbecue, the Bangalow Lions Club have opened their newly constructed Lions Kiosk.

There’s a Byron Shire north?

Jenny Mansfield, Ocean Shores I received a calendar via letterbox drop from Alan Hunter ‘Vote 1 for Byron Shire Council’. They...

Staged rollout change for large OS DA

Plans by a developer to change the staged rollout for a large Ocean Shores subdivision, and nine dwellings on 11 and 13 Warrambool Rd and 9 Bian Crt, Ocean Shores, are now on exhibition on Council’s website.

$10k fine for man who flew to Ballina while COVID infected, as govt takes Pfizer vaccine from regions

A young man who left COVID lockdown in Sydney and flew to Ballina while infected with the virus has been fined nearly $10,000 for numerous health order breaches in NSW and Queensland.

Knife-wielding criminal on the loose in Byron Bay

A terrifying media release is still on the loose in Byron Bay after escaping from the computers of Council candidates Rhett Holt and Cr Alan Hunter.  'It is a frightful to wake up at three in the morning to a man blood dripping with a backpack full of knives using your shower,' the [sic] release said...


So why would a lawyer who spends his days working with banks decide by night to skylark as a thespian?

‘It’s unfinished business,’ says Swivel,  ‘when my parents died I decided I would try and explore the story telling thing and comedy generally and do something with micro finance and that’s 8 years ago…’

Mark Swivel’s one man show How Deep is Your Love tells his personal ‘love’ story of  learning microfinance in Bangladesh with the Nobel Prize winning Grameen Bank.  In the process he falls for ‘Habibunessa, Shaorica and Malika’ the women who borrow to start their business.  It’s the pure romance of ideology in action.

‘I’ve been trying to get a bit of arts into banking –once you get past the barrier that the show is about banking its fascinating – because  it’s the intersection of everyway you can possibly look at humans.’

It begs the question though, why is a middle class white man telling the story of poor black women? 

‘Cos I went to Bangladesh to learn something. And learnt plenty.  If we focused as a species on how we can listen to poor, black women rather being afraid of poor non-white men, we might get somewhere.’

Thanks to the input of supportive and creative friends, the script made it from page to stage in just a few months. Although the shows’ gestation was years in the making.

‘I wrote a blog while I was in Bangaldesh. Then I wrote a long hand version of the show. We did readings a year ago of the long version. Friends like Clare McGregor and Alan Close came along. Clare thought it was a piece of radio, some thought it was a book. But all the way I knew it was more of a Spalding Gray type thing aka Swimming to Cambodia. Now, thanks to the input it’s a neater story.’

Just under a year ago Mark presented his show at the Drill Hall. Now he’s embarking on a small scale ‘national’ tour – including shows at Melbourne Comedy Festival, Newcastle, Albury, Canberra and Sydney’s Seymour Centre.

Ironically this little show about little people doing a lot with a little bit of money is making a big impression. It also saw Swivel guest alongside Philip Adams on Radio National’s Late Night Live, sharing the ideas and charting the progress of the show to date.

‘I did a fundraiser for  Good Return (NGO focused on empowering people around the world to break the poverty cycle) in Sydney – I wasn’t sure how that would go and we did it at the offices of a big insurance company. It was very upscale Sydney, so I  wasn’t sure how the jokes would go and how it would sit with the slightly ambivalent attitude towards finance. In the end they made me an ambassador  for the organization, and I think performance wise it was the best show to date.  I got talking to the CEO who is a serious player in the development sector – they do microfinance and skills development in 8 counties in the Asia Pacific region . There is a team at Good Return currently working on a project in the  Solomon islands looking at mobile banking for people who don’t have bank accounts. We got a conditional YES from the bank that wants to fund it, if  we get the green light I am off with a team of people to do this work in the Solomon Islands. That’s  within a year of doing the first show at the Drill Hall.’

In his show, Swivel attempts to ignite the passion for community development via microfinance, believing that there can be a place for altruism within capitalism.

‘Capitalism is not profit maximisation, which is our current tyranny. Capitalism provides a home for mutuality, social enterprise and non-profits. Altruism is not charity but socially engaged, connected behaviour. Take a look around, happiness is not rampant, we could use more altruism. Profit is not bad in itself, it’s what you use it for, and how you make it in the first place.’

Considering the huge scale of global commerce is Swivel is a believer in  ‘small change’.

‘Small is and always was beautiful’ he says.

‘But most men would say that wouldn’t they?’

Mid tour, Mark Swivel performs How Deep Is Your Love at the Mullumbimby Ex Services Club on Thursday 24 March at 7.30pm. Half of the ticket proceeds go to Mullum Neighborhood Centre Emergency Food Cards.

www.swiv.com.au – details and ticket bookings.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Can you help save 74 million lives?

Killer carbon – a new study has coined another metric for estimating the damage inflicted by climate change – this time, looking at the ‘mortality cost of carbon’.

It’s National Homelessness Week

In Australia there are over 116,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night. Homelessness Week aims to raise awareness of the impact of homelessness on Australia via national and local community events

Joyride tears up Chinderah golf course fairway

Police say that three youths were caught joyriding on golf club vehicles at Chinderah late last Friday evening.

SE Queensland’s lockdown and local schools

The South East Queensland three day lockdown, from 4pm Saturday 31 July to 4pm Tuesday 3 August 2021, will have implications for schools in...