It’s been jokingly described by locals as a white elephant and ‘Rudd’s folly’ – but one thing Byron Bay’s Cavanbah Centre has in spades is plenty of potential.
But five years after it first opened in 2012, the centre has yet to find a true home in the hearts of many Byron shire residents.
So, in an effort to endear the community to its ‘multipurpose facility’, Byron Shire Council has announced an open day on Saturday, October 15, to showcase the diverse range of activities offered each week at the centre.
Aware that the former grandiose title of ‘Byron Regional Sport and Cultural Complex’ wasn’t exactly inviting, the council renamed it the Cavanbah Centre last year ‘to reflect the valued community resource it has become’.
‘“Cavanbah” is an Indigenous word meaning “meeting place”, and was what Byron Bay was once called by our traditional Bundjalung custodians,’ the council said in a media release.
The all-ages, family-friendly event will be offering free demonstrations and workshops for locals of all ages and abilities to sample throughout the day, from roller derby to basketball, tai chi to netball and more.
‘From antique fairs and vintage clothes sales, to athletic carnivals and basketball competitions; sound and light technology expositions to rock and gem shows, the Cavanbah Centre can be transformed to reflect the diverse interests of our local community,’ says community facilities coordinator Jesse Tucker.
‘This is a unique opportunity for the community to connect with the Cavanbah Centre, with a special performance by Arakwal dancers.’
Shuttle bus, music and pizza
The open day coincides with a wide weekend of sport including AFL 9’s Byron Bay Invitational – which draws participants from across Australia – and promises live music and the centre’s famous wood-fired pizza.
A free shuttle bus will provide transport to the centre in the morning and afternoon from Byron Bay’s main bus stop.