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Byron Shire
February 25, 2021

Go get Unfucked!

Latest News

‘Hollywood’ drug squads over the top

I guess we have to thank Hollywood for the enduring myth that a black-clad squad of elite 'blokes', preferably with cool helicopters, from the capital are needed to crack down on really serious crime in hick parts of the country like Mullumbimby.

Other News

Cut it down – Tweed Councillors at odds over future of forest red gum

‘We should be active and take the tree down,’ Cr Polglase told the Tweed Shire Council meeting last Thursday, referring to a significant forest red gum and koala food tree in Tweed Heads West.

Jaimini hut

Margot Hays, Bangalow I would like to voice my opinion regarding the hut structure at Belongil where Jaimini sits and...

Don’t worry, be greedy

Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia The deputy prime minister has said that the government will consider excluding agriculture from future long-term...

Facebook fails

Adrian Gattenhof, Mullumbimby American spoilt brat Zuckerberg may have done adults around the world a great favour with his screamy...

Super swim challenge accepted

A group of mates from Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay and Lennox Head, recently formed a swim team known as the Anti Budgie Boardriders for the purpose of taking part in the Starlight Foundations Super Swim Challenge.  

Will the Lennox Park pavilion survive?

Ballina Shire Council will today debate the future of the Lennox Park pavilion/dressing shed, which is slated for removal as part of the Lennox Village Vision concept plan.


Mark Swivel is the host of the Byron Shire’s Unfuck the World event.

He spoke with The Echo about the whole fucking thing.

1. Is the World Actually FUCKED? I mean, was there a time when it wasn’t FUCKED?

The process continues; to quote Keating, the world is being done slowly. It’s not very erotic. Not my kinda thing at all. Seriously? We’re a violent, brutal, greedy species. If history – or breakfast television – is any guide. But it’s pretty intense right now. Consumer capitalism gives us great toys but we’re at odds with the planet and each other. Aren’t we? Something’s gotta give.

2. Who FUCKED it?

The details have been redacted by Peter Dutton, Henry Kissinger and the step-granddaughter of Pol Pot. So I’m not sure, and if I’ve learnt anything from five years in the northern rivers, it’s so terribly important not to be judgmental.

Alternatively, I would consider blaming the people who brought us Wall Street militarism, profit-maximising capitalism, the security state, climate-change denial, border control and a generalised contempt for learning, thinking, love, art and life in nearly all its forms.

3.  Can the world be UNFUCKED, or are we doomed to dwindle to our deaths in a dystopian future?

If alliteration doesn’t kill us first, there is hope. Nothing is inevitable, beyond the sun exploding one day and malfunctioning parking meters when you’re late for a meeting (in a part of the world where no-one is on time). Honestly, the shift to the right, to the market (not the farmers market), to bigotry, to the politics of screaming at each other is a ‘choice’. As a society we jumped the wrong way. It might be painful but we can jump again – and jump better. In my opinion, better jumping is key to unfucking.

4. How would you UNFUCK the world?

I’m flattered by this question but it’s so not about me. I struggle to get my messages across at the family dinner table.

But since you asked: We need to restore faith in government itself (driven by public service and fair taxation); invest again in community enterprise (banking, energy, telco, transport, the arts); change our basic ideas about work, property and value… and I would start with the beautifully tiny projects featured at our upcoming event.

5. What is the whole global UNFUCK The World thing anyway?

So glad you asked. Positive local action. It’s about turning talk about solutions into action, creating viable projects and enterprises in the local community. The event will be a bit like the Shark Tank but not as greedy or cheesy. For more, see http://unfucktheworld.net/about/the-movement/. It’s happening all over Europe, North and South America, even Joburg!

6. Will any actual UNFUCKING be taking place? How do organisations benefit?

There will be controlled unfucking on the day, overseen by CSIRO and Sex Party experts in special glasses.

The ‘contestants’ – or Unfuckers as I call them – benefit from getting community exposure, input into their ideas from an expert panel, and prizes. Three Unfuckers pitch their killer ideas to an expert panel featuring people such as Simon Richardson, Alison Crook and Aiden Ricketts. The audience votes. And the winner takes the money raised on the day. A pot of gold, to be sure! Projects in the final eight include schemes to tackle homelessness, protect water quality and detox from neoliberalism! You can vote for your favourite projects here to help them make the final Unfucking 3: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DSZ6S8W.

The unfucking starts at the Mullum Civic Hall on June 10 from noon until 5pm.

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  1. Nice work – We need to restore faith in government itself (driven by public service and fair taxation); invest again in community enterprise (banking, energy, telco, transport, the arts); change our basic ideas about work, property and value… and I would start with the beautifully tiny projects featured at our upcoming event.

    • The first step in restoring faith in government is by being a bit more measured in the way we criticize it, and in that by not just denigrating wholesale our politicians and public servants. There are some exceptions like the recently convicted NSW politicians and some amateurish populists mainly from the fringes like Hanson, but most of the mainstream politicians in Australia, are well educated honest individuals who work far harder at governing our country then most people realise. Much of their community and committee work and the legislation they pass is bipartisan and noncontroversial and so passes unnoticed, but it all takes work. Our public servants are among the best anywhere – they are very professional and ethical and work hard enough too at what they do to – though not usually the hours of a polly, particularly a Minister. While we should be vigorous in condemning poor policy and always hold them to account, we need also to acknowledge all those who serve in government with the same vigour mainstream Australia usually reserve for those public servants who wear uniforms – nurses, the ADF and, sometimes the police. In respect of community institutions we have been neglectful of these too, and that has enabled privatization, de-mutualisation or poker-isation of institutions that formerly served us well. Bodies like the NRMA, the State insurance agencies,and many clubs have had mandates beyond pure profit and we are a poorer society for having let them be sold off or turned into gambling dens. We need to think about the many that remain and work for our society and their members – not for profit bodies, genuine sporting and recreational bodies, and on a much larger scale mutuals like the industry super funds, and monitor their governance to make sure they continue to work to their mandate and are not turned into bodies that are only there for the profit of a few. I think this article is focusing on fostering new cooperative bodies which do seem to thrive in our sub-tropical climate – we should indeed support these and make sure they benefit from the same governance and access to their sales or social markets as more traditional bodies. But let’s also celebrate the long-standing government and community institutions of our society that may not be vestal virgins in all they do but have not completely succumbed to promiscuous fornication either.

  2. There is a fair bit of unfucking going on all the time, in fact serial unfuckers, the Green & Clean dunecare team in Byron Bay have offered unfuckers the opportunity to do positive action and maintain their personal head space for 20 years now. This is not the only option of course, volunteering in its many forms can do wonders for your social life as well as benefit the community as a whole. Medicine for your personal positive headspace, which in turn saves the world!

  3. Why oh why would this event be held on the same day as the Old n gold festival in Bruns? Selling off second hand so it is re-used instead of buying new contributes to unfuckn the world.


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Local fisherfolk caught in the parking fine net

FIsherfolk have been caught in the net of parking fines designed to stop travellers parking up for the night on the Tweed Coast Road and they are seeking help to access their beaches at night without fines.

Family Court scrapped

Despite overwhelming opposition from Australia’s family law specialists and advocates, the federal Liberal-Nationals government and cross benchers scrapped the Family Law Court and subsumed it into the circuit courts last week.

Cavanbah centre gets a taste of 3×3 basketball

The Byron Beez basketball team in collaboration with the U League hosted a 3x3 tournament at the Cavanbah centre at the end of January that attracted 30 teams.

Northern Rivers policeman accused of youth assault acquitted

Magistrate Michael Dakin has ordered a common assault charge against a former Byron-based policeman be dropped after an altercation involving a naked youth in Byron Bay three years ago.