A few months back I was privileged to be asked to MC the Stop Adani campaign around the country. It was a remarkable endeavour; with all venues in capital cities at capacity, hundreds unable to get in and some 40,000 logging on for the live streaming, it was clear when 350 Australia put out the call to action across the country to start Stop Adani groups in your local community that powerful activism was seeded. Byron Shire’s Stop Adani group are our local campaign group against the Adani Mine in northern Queensland.
This fight is gearing up to be the Franklin River of our times. With climate scientists warning that it’s time to make significant changes in our energy consumption and to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, this is not the time to initiate one of the biggest coal mines in the world, right in our backyard in the Galilee Basin. Concerned citizens from around Australia and across the world have spoken out against the insanity of such a development, particularly when it involves a billion-dollar concessional loan from our federal government to construct a rail line to get coal to Abbot Point, where it can be shipped through the Great Barrier Reef back to India. Coal is not performing well in the marketplace and analysts predict that renewables are more lucrative and sustainable long-term investments, with solar energy employing four times as many people on the ground to establish a network. So why are we persisting with an outdated model? At home there has been a fight to protect this fragile ecosystem and the pristine artesian waters that will be used in the mining process.
To see what this fight is all about catch a screening of Guarding the Galilee presented by Stop Adani Byron Shire at the Mullumbimby RSL on Friday from 7pm.
Revenge of the Nerds!
Celestron, Bintel and DNA Digital are bringing a ‘supergroup’ of Australia’s leading scientists and experts in science, space, astrophysics and astrophotography to Byron Bay this June. Speakers include well-known TV and radio personalities Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Dr Alan Duffy (Swinburne), who will be hosting a VIP dinner and keynote presentation at the Elements of Byron resort. ‘We humans will become a space-going race. We have to for our survival,’ said Kruszelnicki. ‘But more than that, astronomy has given us clocks, calendars, GPS navigation and poetry. Byron Bay is the most easterly part of Australia and is beautiful – just check out the first sunrise there. Do yourself a favour and come and rock with us.’ Other speakers include astrophysicist Dr Katie Mack, a highly regarded scientist and presenter known for her work on dark matter and global science outreach from her adopted city of Melbourne.
Mark Gee (NZ), 2013 astrophotographer of the year, will also be taking the stage to share his aspirational story of success travelling the world and sharing his remarkable photos of the sun, moon and Milky Way.
Dr Duane Hamacher (Monash) is also on the bill to present an overview of his work decoding the ancient secrets of Australian Aboriginal astronomy, including such work with local Indigenous groups.
Dr David Malin, whose name is literally synonymous with the highest echelon of scientific and photographic excellence (The Malin Awards), will bring his perspective on advancements in digital photography since he pioneered colour space photography in his early career.
Also on the lineup is Dr Fred Watson, also known for his work at the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO), his engaging presentation style and continuous work as a dark-sky advocate.
Byron Bay astronomer Dylan O’Donnell joins the group to share his work as is Gilmour Space Technology’s Jamie Anderson, whose work in rocket propulsion on the Gold Coast hopes to kickstart Australia’s private space-travel industry. Australia’s largest telescope and astronomer vendor Bintel will also be onsite demonstrating consumer astronomy equipment, and the Southern Astronomical Society will facilitate day and night telescope viewings, photography workshops and sky tours if weather permits. ‘Star Stuff brings together top scientists who are out of this world in one of the most beautiful locations on Earth,’ said Dr Alan Duffy. Ticket sales and event information can be found at: https://starstuff.com.au.
What really matters
In this age of global warming, cyberspace, terrorism and rampant capitalism, how do you determine what really matters? Perhaps there was a time in your life where you knew with absolute certainty and you took a stand for what mattered. How has what matters to you changed over the years? Was there a defining moment in your life that changed your view of what’s important and the way you approach living your life? What has happened to shape your sense of what really matters?
Cape Byron Playback Theatre asks you to come and share your stories about what matters in your personal life, work, relationships, politics, the world, and watch as the Playback actors bring them to life in drama, movement and music. Saturday at the Drill Hall in Mullumbimby from 7.30pm.
Learn to fly!
… or jump, or juggle! Whatever your preference, Circus Arts in Byron are there to make these winter school holidays hot and fun! Their qualified coaches teach skills in areas such as trapeze, silks, slackrope and tightwire, trampolining, pyramids, juggling, diablo, hoops and more, plus, for the more daring, everyone gets the opportunity to have a swing on the high flying trapeze. The teens’ program is up and running again with action-packed classes such as parkour, and they are adding a new class called JUMP! to the holiday program. JUMP! Includes the big trampoline, mini-trampoline and other acro. For the littlies (under-5s), they have kinder classes daily plus a play space with full-size jumping castle. There is something for everyone, so get out of your comfort zone and make these holidays an adventure you won’t forget. Starting 26 June. To make bookings go to www.circusarts.com.au.
John Rado is a practising actor, director and filmmaker who graduated from the NIDA Directors Course in 1996. He is passionate about the development and growth of meaningful theatre and art. He has designed a directors lab for experienced community and amateur theatre practitioners. The lab will provide an opportunity to work with professional actors and put into practice new skills and techniques, culminating in a showing at the end of the program. Running over six weeks at the Drill Hall.
Email [email protected] for details or phone 0468 356 164.
Sex, nude photos, Snap Chat & you
Positive Adolescent Sexual Health Consortium (PASH) will be holding a free community forum at the Byron Community Centre on Thursday called Young People & Sexual Health in the Online Age – Understanding Technology, the Law and Social Media.Technology has changed the landscape of sexuality and for many young people there is an anxiety around managing their online presence, dealing with the fallout of having a nude photo shared without consent, which just doesn’t get resolved with simplistic ‘just don’t do it’ adult messaging. These are not issues that a pre-smartphone generation had to be concerned about when they were growing up, and many adults are ill equipped to support young people in the reality of a modern teenage landscape. To open the conversation around these and other issues the evening will open with a Byron Youth Theatre performance So… What about Sex? and will be followed by an expert panel with professionals flying in from around the country.
Dr Joanne Orlando, children and technology expert, UWS, and Dr Deborah Bateson, the medical director Family Planning NSW will feature on the panel alongside locally based adolescent psychologist Peter Chown, media educator Rebecca Asquith, criminal lawyer Tracey Randall, and youth and parent facilitator Sarah Davis. The community forum panel, together with PASH peer educators and community leaders, will explore why and how young people are engaging online in the ways they do and how to best support without taking away their independence.
Topics for discussion will include online safety and the law, sexting, sexual health, mental health and relationships. The rise of image-based violence (revenge porn) and sextortion – the blackmail of young people in regard to intimate images – will also be discussed. Parents, teachers, carers, workers and young people are encouraged to attend the event, which will be held at the Byron Bay Community Centre. It will also be Facebook live-streamed for those who can’t make it in person.
Young people are encouraged to come along and share their perspectives with the broader community in regard to what they are experiencing online and what they see as the key issues and advantages to the online experience.
The forum will kick off at 6.30pm at Byron Bay Community Centre. Bookings are essential for catering purposes: register NOW at the PASH website www.pash.org.au or text on 0403 076 782.
PASH Community Forum: Thursday at Byron Community Centre from 6.30pm and the PASH Youth Conference is at Whitebrooke Theatre at SCU in Lismore, Thursday and Friday 9am–2.30pm.
Very cheeky indeed
The Brunswick Picture House has brought the best of the world’s sideshow to our region with their monthly Cheeky Cabaret selling out and leaving punters gobsmacked in sheer amazement that they should be seeing something like this in Brunswick Heads, not New York or Paris!
So immerse yourself in something incredible at the Brunswick Picture House for Cheeky Cabaret, Friday and Saturday at 7pm. No two cabarets are ever the same. Tix at brunswickpicturehouse.com.
Briggs brews up the laffs
This month’s open mic comedy at the Byron Brewery, Home Crafted Comedy, is headed up by the brilliant Ellen Briggs. On the road for much of this year, this unassuming Mullumbimby mother has a rapier wit, and no subject is off limits. Starting out as an open mic-er herself a little more than a decade ago, Briggs is testament to what hard work and talent can do. To see the best in emerging talent in our region alongside the best established talent, catch the open mic comedy night at the Byron Bay Brewery on Thursday. 8pm. Free.
Two home runs for Women Like Us
Mullumbimby mummas and standup comedians Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs have been touring their hit show Women Like Us for two years now. With almost 50 capacity and sold-out shows under their belts they are excited to have two shows on home turf.
‘We’ve been touring a lot this year,’ says Briggs. ‘We sold out our Sydney Comedy Festival show at the Enmore; we’ve just come back from full houses at Inverell and Tamworth; and we’re delighted to have a weekend where we don’t have to travel far but still get to spread the comedy love!’ Ellen Briggs and Mandy Nolan’s Women Like Us show will be at Nimbin Bush Theatre on Friday and Southport Sharks on Saturday. Both shows at 8pm.
For ticketing details go to womenlikeus.com.au.