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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Mullumbimby forum to tackle youth violence at community events

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Duncan Shipley-Smith. (supplied)
Duncan Shipley-Smith. (supplied)

An organiser who was bashed at a recent event in Byron Shire is organising a community forum to tackle the rising tide of youth violence and crime at halls and outdoor events.

Duncan Shipley-Smith received a black eye and cracked ribs after being assaulted at the recent Maya Winter Solstice at Kohinur Hall.

In response, Mr Shipley-Smith has organised the community forum, which will be held at the Mullumbimby Civic Centre from 7pm on Thursday, 6 July.

Mr Shipley-Smith said the event at Kohinur Hall was meant to be a peaceful community event but instead a lot of young people turned up who were ‘swarming over the fences’.

‘Security were run off their feet dealing with a deluge of underage kids under the influence of alcohol and drugs’, he said.

‘What’s at stake here is our music culture and events at halls.

‘We want to come up with a solution to this problem and I’ve invited the mayor (Simon Richardson), the police and community members.

‘We can’t let this minority destroy our culture. They are school aged kids mainly and they steal alcohol and cash.

‘The intention of this forum is to discuss the issues and problems at hand and to take a ‘whole of community’ approach to seeking solutions.

‘The law and order/security aspect is self evident and clearly a priority but there are multiple facets to this issue that include social capital, mental health, substance abuse and the absence of supportive social environments that fosters dysfunctional and anti-social behaviour.

‘I am interested to hear from everyone, including the youths in question, therefore this forum must be seen to be inclusive and open in its agenda and objectives.’

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  1. Same old story, when core values break down in society this is the ultimate result. I remember seeing the signs around Mullum that said expect respect which should have said earn respect. We have allowed our children to believe they can do as they please with no consequences. I would like to see parents take more concern as to what their children are doing also. But I fear they have also lost control. In twenty years of involvement with Trinty Catholic college, i was always pleased with the behaviour and discipline of all students. What happened Mullumbimby I also remember when the students were in the top 10% of the state.

    • John, it’s not surprising when you look at the kind of examples the kids get from their sporting ‘heroes’ who are fast being seen as just a gang of over-indulged thugs. If footy players can get away with drunken, drug-fuelled violence then the kids will follow suit.

  2. This is a sad story. Having been involved with the running of Kohinur hall over many, many years I have seen cycles of this type of youth violence. A few years ago we had to shut down the Funky Forrest events which were well run family, organic, non alcohol gigs because of hoards of young kids crashing them, vandalising the hall and starting fights. All youth activities were suspended. All these kids, and they are kids, are fuelled up to the eyeballs and many are looking for a fight. These are boys and girls, many underage, and if they are driving they are on ‘P’plates. Many are dropped off by their parents with a six-pac and and have to find their own way home. As a consequence intoxicated kids are driving up and down Main Arm Rd, a notoriously dangerous road, in all kinds of altered states. A disaster going to happen. The thing is, we know where these kids come from , just like we knew where their elder siblings who trashed Funky Forrest events came from. They are so stupid that they leave their ‘tags’ all over the place along with their trash. So now Duncan’s events, which started out as family friendly events, probably won’t be happening anymore and the rest of the community who enjoyed them will miss out. All because of a mob of out of it, badly behaved kids. So parents, what are you going to do about it?
    Do you know where your kids are on Friday and Saturday nights? Seriously, the behaviours of these kids are dangerous. Young girls are in danger from their peers and predator males. Boys are in danger of crashing their cars and causing injury or even death. I know the committee of Kohinur and events organisers don’t want to shut down these events but they have a responsibility, a duty of care , to the local community and a responsibility given them by council, to care for and maintain the hall. And they take that responsibility seriously. In the end they may have no other choice.


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