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Byron Shire
February 4, 2023

Federal Hall Talks It Up

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The Echo caught up with Alan Goldman about the upcoming Fed Talks, where community engages in conversation at Federal Hall. This is the fifth event promoting discussion and community connection.

What is the concept for FED Talks?

Engaging the community in conversations around issues that affect us all and to bring big topics into open conversation to help ideas grow.

Why have you chosen Luck?

We were thinking about the idea of a panel discussion on The Lucky Country and what that means in today’s terms. We had an idea about whom we might have on that panel but those fish weren’t biting and others were. More evolving from panel discussion to an event that would be a little more fun for our annual fundraising event and slightly different from our usual construction. The community loves to come together for food and conversation and we have been listening to story-slam programs such as The Moth and The Truth and instantly the stars aligned over Story Slam and Luck.

What does it mean to you?

Our eclectic group of locals have just five minutes to tell a personal story from their life around the theme of Luck. They can take that theme in any direction they like. That’s the fun bit – everyone has a story and they are all different.

What should people expect for the stories? Who is speaking? Is it funny, sad, true, pretend?

Stories from their lives that could make you laugh or cry but will always always very personal.

  • Kate Veitch: a much-travelled novel writer, essayist and tree-hugger.
  • Sam Cutler: poet, layabout, author, film producer and former tour manager for the Rolling Stones and The Grateful Dead.
  • Danielle Purcell: Yoga teacher, former US military, Gulf War vet with extraordinary childhood to match wild adulthood.
  • Jack Long: Mostly raised in Mullumbimby, recent high school graduate, onetime BayFM presenter, a natural talent.
  • Sheldon Lieberman: the split business-and-creative brain behind digital agency Bigfish and award-winning short films.
  • Jim Hearn: Teaches creative writing at SCU, ex-chef, wild child.
  • Victor Marsh: TV producer, film reviewer, researcher and author.
  • Mandy Nolan; a true renaissance woman: comedian, author, journalist, humour therapist, comedy coach.

I don’t imagine many little communities have functions like this. What is it do you think that makes the village of Federal unique?

Actually maybe not every community has an event like this and maybe not every community has a FedTalks type of group but it is always amazing to me what does go on in small communities and towns, especially in the northern rivers. There is a rich seam of activity in many communities; you just have to let yourself get involved.

Why did you decide to get involved in the Federal Hall and the associated projects?

For me it has been about doing my bit to create a sustainable and functioning local community around me, where I live and where my kids grow up and where many of my friends live. We are so lucky to have many amazing artists, minds and activists amongst us. It is great to have opportunities to see them perform or exhibit their talent to their fellow community. Sustaining the community spaces in Federal – The Hall (Jasper Corner) and The Park – is vital to retaining the heart of the community. These are places that keep us connected, local and having fun.

What is the event in aid of?

FedTalks events are usually entry by donation but once a year we do something different like this as a small fundraiser to help cover our costs for the next twelve months.

Another social event in Federal, light on in the village, community building, great affordable dinner, good company and moving stories all for $25!

Expect the unexpected – Fed Talks Five tackles ‘Luck’ at Federal Hall on Saturday 21 May .

Info and tickets on 6684 9313 or 6684 7171.


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