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Byron Shire
June 19, 2021

Culture Roundup: Nov 29-Dec 6, 2017

Latest News


Vyvyan Stott, Mullumbumby The government doctors have announced that vaccinations are compulsory for nurses . Yet our constitution states parliament may...

Other News

Young animators shine on Ballina’s big screen

A group of up and coming local indigenous animators were excited to see their first films on the big screen at Ballina Fair Cinemas on Tuesday night.

It’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and Dementia Australia is calling for all Australians to make themselves aware of the different forms elder abuse can take and to be alert to vulnerable Australians, including people who live with dementia. 

Echo ad leads to AVO arrest of Council activist

Vocal Council critic and longtime activist, John Anderson, aka Fast Buck$, was arrested last Friday night for allegedly breaching his Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) by an Echo ad.

Jailer Dutton

Paul Brecht, Evans Head Peter Dutton, top jailer of poor refugees and kids, and now one very sick one, has spent...

Pro rail groups join to rally on Thursday

Four local groups have banded together and will host a rally calling for urgent consultation on the removal of the train tracks on the Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek rail corridor.

Backsliders coming to Lennox

Australian music legends the Backsliders are coming to Lennox Head for the first time, to play at the Lennox Head Cultural Centre on Saturday 26 June 2021.

byron-collegeByron College end-of-year art

It’s a big weekend for emerging artists in Mullumbimby with the graduating art students from the Byron Community College also presenting their end-of-year exhibition on Friday night. Head tutor Virginia Reid says: ‘The exhibition will showcase a range of recent work from students of the year-long Certificates III and IV in Visual Arts’. Included are works of sculpture, drawing, painting and print. ‘During the year, students are often pushed outside of their creative comfort zone, with some impressive results. The exhibition is an opportunity to share these with the community.’

The show will be open over 5–7pm on Friday with drinks and nibbles and at 10am–2pm on Saturday. The Laneway Studio is located at the college’s Mullumbimby campus. Head down Riley Lane, next to Chincogan Motors on Burringbar St.

Nine Creatives Collaborate

BSA Project Space is showcasing another great lineup of emerging artists who have just completed their BSA Visual Arts Practice Course.

The nine participating artists – Kathy Egan, Renee Gordos, Spider McKey, Diana Miller, Steve Bush, Teresa Ebenstreit, Toni Clarke, Anna Honeychurch and Helen Farley – will exhibit a diverse body of work incorporating painting, drawing, installation and sound works. Michael Cusack and Emma Walker, two of the BSA directors and teachers, are obviously very proud of their students. ‘We’ve just come off the back of a great show from our third-years and they are handing over the baton to their fellow students. This is a great opportunity for our students to really expand their practices and broaden their ideas about what’s possible, both within their own work but also as a group. Every year we are blown away by what they produce.’

Opening this Friday 6–8pm at the BSA Space, Dalley St, Mullumbimby.

Heroin Town

I know you’ve seen the posters around town and some of you are probably thinking Louis Theroux has been in Byron Bay making a movie about our heroin problem and that’s weird, because you haven’t noticed. It’s not. It’s about the US. We’re only addicted to beer and pot. Louis Theroux’s latest documentary Heroin Town, about the US’s opiate crisis, and the special-event screening are brought to Louis fans by BBC Worldwide Australia and New Zealand and Sharmill Films.
In a return to US territory for Theroux, Heroin Town explores the nation’s soaring addiction crisis, as seen through the eyes of the community of Huntington, West Virginia, a city stretched to its limits by widespread heroin use.

America’s love affair with prescription painkillers has led to a widespread dependency on opiates. But a crackdown on over-prescription means the pills are becoming increasingly expensive and scarce on the black market and vast numbers of Americans have turned to a cheaper, stronger alternative: heroin. The drug now claims more lives in the US than car accidents or gun crime, according to US government data. For the first time in two decades, life expectancy in the US is declining – a drop in which the rise in fatal heroin overdoses is a significant factor.

In Huntington, Theroux, with his trademark warmth, empathy and candour, embeds himself among frontline emergency workers and a community ravaged by addiction. Such is the heroin crisis in the city that one in 10 babies is born addicted to opiates and it has a fatal overdose rate 13 times the national average.

Screening at Byron Theatre, Saturday 7pm. Tickets: $20 at www.byroncentre.com.au


The incredible Billie Piper (Penny Dreadful, Great Britain) returns in her award-winning role, joined by acclaimed Australian actor Brendan Cowell.

A young woman is driven to the unthinkable by her desperate desire to have a child in Australian director Simon Stone’s radical production of Lorca’s achingly powerful masterpiece Yerma.

The unmissable theatre phenomenon sold out at the Young Vic and critics call it ‘an extraordinary theatrical triumph’ (The Times) and ‘stunning, searing, unmissable’ (Mail on Sunday). Billie Piper’s lead performance is described as ‘spellbinding’ (The Evening Standard), ‘astonishing’ (iNews) and ‘devastatingly powerful’ (The Daily Telegraph).

Set in contemporary London, Piper’s portrayal of a woman in her thirties, desperate to conceive, builds with elemental force to a staggering, shocking climax.

Streaming for a screening Byron Theatre on Saturday at 1pm.

Poets at the Rails

Byron’s iconic spoken-word event Writers at the Rails will feature occasional poet/singer/comedian as a special guest performer, along with well-known local poet and songstress Vasudha Harte, at the final 2017 show this Sunday afternoon for the year.

The event will also host a series of open and invited readings, together with another popular Poetry Slam.

Show starts around 2pm. Free entry.

flickerfest-all-shorts-winners-All Shorts call for entries!

iQ Inc is proud to able to provide inspiration and a world-calibre benchmark for local filmmakers since 1999, by presenting Flickerfest International Film Festival Tour screenings and by providing a platform for local filmmakers since 2006.
Byron All Shorts celebrates the filmmaking talent of the northern rivers region and encourages audiences to experience the many amazing films and local stories that are produced here each year.

Byron All Shorts finalists will screen on 27 January at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall, alongside the best in Australia and the world on 26–28 January at Mullum Flickerfest 2018, Australia’s leading Academy®-accredited international short film festival and ‘the home of great short film’.

Filmmakers from across the region are invited to submit their short films of up to 30min in length, from all genres.
Prizes and cash to the value of around $3k will be included in awards for the Flickerfest-iQ Best Short Film Award, the SAE Qantm Emerging Talent Award, the SCCU Peoples Choice Award and more.

If you live in the northern rivers, or have produced a film in the northern rivers, or have made a film about the northern rivers you can enter Byron All Shorts. Entries close 15 December 2017. Entry forms and info at iQ.org.au | 0414 779 881.

Celebrating 10 Years of Bohemian radio

‘Where are the poets and intellectuals of our time? The risk takers? The revolutionaries?’

For ten years these words have broadcast out across the National Community Radio Network, twice a week, to radio stations across Australia and podcast to the world.

These words represent the diversity of our spirit, the freedom of being our community and our desire for positive change.
These are the words that start the intro to the Bohemian Beat, hosted by Riddhi on BayFM every Thursday at 11am.
‘Ten years is nothing! I’m there until the community kicks me out! We’ve a revolution to accomplish first and Byron is a great place for that to happen… we have the type of community here that isn’t afraid to speak freely and listen intelligently… we need that and Bohemian Beat will continue to be that voice, fed by those poets, bards, heroes, revolutionaries, friends.’
Riddhi will be celebrating 10 years of the Bohemian Beat this December.

Tune in to Bay FM to hear her weekly show.

Pop your Christmas comedy cherry!

What does it take to be a standup comedian? Sixteen local comedy students are finding out if they are made of funny stuff as they complete Mandy Nolan’s 6-week standup comedy course, run through Byron Adult Community Education. This marks the course’s 21st year with more than 1,500 people making the jump!

‘People always say that comedy is the hardest thing,’ laughs Mandy. ‘It’s so not true! In fact it’s the opposite is true. What I try to teach people is that comedy is actually pretty easy. It’s about finding your voice and what you have to say about how you see the world. People are just wanting to connect and laugh, so if you find the groove you are riding the comedy wave!’
The final term sees another diverse group of people come together to share their life experiences. This standup comedy course boasts a few horticulturalists, a skydiver, a teacher, a receptionist, a clairvoyant who just won some big dollars on Millionaire Hot Seat, a social worker, a tradie, and even an internet-famous musician… for the first time ever one of the No Frills Twins has opted to do something without her twin! She’s hysterical!

This amazing group bring their everyday lives to the stage as they pop their comedy cherry at the Virgin Sacrifice on Monday at the Byron Services Club.

Show at 8pm. Doors at 7pm. MCed by Mandy Nolan. Tix at the club or book on 6619 0529.

the-road-to-home-2West Papuan double feature

Two West Papuan feature films will be screening at the Brunswick Picture House on Wednesday. The first is The Forgotten Bird of Paradise – a 27-minute film, shot undercover in the region of West Papua, which still suffers under a brutal 54-year Indonesian occupation. Dominic and all those who were filmed or accompanied him risked their lives being involved at every step. The film includes interviews with human-rights victims and political prisoners as well as footage of separatist guerrillas at their jungle stronghold. It is a unique insight into these indigenous tribal people caught halfway between two worlds while fighting for their lives and their freedom every day.

The Road to Home is a more personal documentary about West Papua and its current political struggle. It follows the story of Benny Wenda, a West Papuan tribal leader, whose village was bombed by the Indonesian military when he was a child. Many of his family were killed. He went on to campaign against the occupation and was arrested for leading a peaceful movement for independence. He suffered imprisonment, torture and threats to his life before he daringly escaped and sought exile in the UK. He and other members of the ULMWP are tireless in giving a voice to their people until the day they can return home. Dominic followed Benny’s life for two years in order to make this film, which was released in 2015.
Running time 53 mins.

Proceeds of the film screening will go to the ULMWP – United Liberation Movement of West Papua. It will directly help their five executives to attend the UN General Assemblies in the coming year.

Brunswick Picture House at 7pm, followed by a Q&A with veteran West Papuan freedom fighter and independence leader in exile, Rex Rumakiek, and long-term local campaigner, Matthew Jamieson.

For tickets go to brunswickpicturehouse.com.

MandyEllenIt’s a Big Undie Xmas!

Women Like Us comedians Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs bring their evil charm and their smash hit show Women Like Us to the Ballina RSL and the Kyogle Bowling Club for a special Xmas show. Women Like Us is two hours of standup comedy – an hour a piece. The girls have spent the last two years touring the country and have now performed to more than 20,000 people, bringing their unique take on the everyday and seeding what they call The Women Like Us Movement. ‘You don’t have to do anything to be part of the movement,’ says Ellen. ‘That’s the point. You just have to be a bit resentful that you work so hard for so little return. That’s the mindset of most middle-aged women these days!’ If you’re chockas full of botox don’t sit in the front row. ‘One of the things we focus on is this ridiculous pressure on women to conform to a look. Botox is going to be the asbestos of the future. Except that’s not cladding. That’s a face.’ The girls have just returned from a sellout show up north, and are on the road for most of December, returning to home base for an end-of-year show at the Ballina RSL and another at the Kyogle Bowling Club. Ellen and Mandy talk about housework, chickens, love, big undies, disappointment, resentment, sex when you’re drunk, fit bits, yoga farts and being a menopausal woman dealing with teenage angst.

Women Like Us is a riot. Audiences have complained of aching stomach muscles, sore jaws, and at one show a woman actually injured herself when she laughed so much she slipped from her chair onto the floor!

Kyogle Bowling Club, Saturday 9 December. Tickets $30 at the club or online at www.womenlikeus.com.au.
Ballina RSL Club, Thursday 21 December. Tickets are $30, Box Office 6681 9500 or online at ballinarsl.com.au.

HelenGarner50 years of Helen Garner

Byron Writers Festival is delighted to present a special evening with one of Australia’s greatest writers and longtime Festival favourite, Helen Garner, appearing in conversation with Matthew Condon at Byron Theatre this Wednesday.
In her first appearance in Byron Bay since 2004, this much-loved literary star will share an intimate retrospective of her writing life, spanning 50 years of work, from her Australian classic Monkey Grip to the brilliant literary true-crime book This House of Grief.

Byron Theatre, 69 Jonson St, Byron Bay. Tickets: $25 Members / $30 General.
Bookings: byronwritersfestival.com or call 6685 5115.

mel-buttle-FUNNY WOMEN

If you love funny and you love funny women even more then you are in for a treat when Mandy Nolan presents a night of comedy with Mel Buttle and Jackie Loeb.

Aussie comedian and Mo Award-winning comedian of the year for 2016 Loeb spends her time working the comedy clubs of LA and has found herself starring in a few sitcoms.

She’s an incredible talent – able to combine music and comedy seamlessly – she looks like the nice lady next door but Jackie Loeb is a long way from that! Mel Buttle is one of the most exciting new voices in comedy. She’s got a touch of the Judith Lucy about her, she’s disarmingly honest, and as quick-witted as they come.

Catch Jackie Loeb, Mel Buttlle and MC Mandy Nolan at the Byron Services Club on Monday 11 December. Tickets are $25/20 and can be booked by phoning 6619 0529 or online at mandynolan.com.au.

Periwinkle Xmas Fair

Every year families in our region enjoy the simple pleasures of the Periwinkle Xmas Fair.

Last year was their first year as a Waste-Wise Event and it was very well received. They filled just 1.5 compost bins! Once again, they will be using a wash station, stainless-steel and banana-leaf plates, biodegradable cups and straws and fresh drinking coconuts. All food scraps will be composted and you won’t see a single plastic cup or fork anywhere! They also have fantastic entertainment onstage this year including local circus legends The Space Cowboy and his miraculous acts and Dr Hubble’s amazing bubbles… as well as plenty of live music from our talented Periwinkle Parents. The story and song sessions will be hosted by Periwinkle founder Susan Perrow and Periwinkle teacher Simon McLean and is set to be a big hit at the fair.

Saturday 10am–2pm at Periwinkle Preschool.


Regional Arts NSW has announced the full program for the inaugural Artstate Lismore, a four-day event that will welcome an anticipated 200 arts-industry delegates from Thursday till Sunday.

Artstate is a four-year program of conversations, partnerships and opportunities for regional artists and arts organisations with an aim to demonstrate the vibrancy of the arts sector in regional areas through a stimulating and inspiring two-day conference program alongside an exciting and diverse arts program that will feature a selection of regional NSW creatives. Lismore is the first host city for Artstate. Opening the event will be the two-day conference program, examining the themes of creative practice and creative partnerships through keynotes, panels and break-out sessions. Artstate keynote speakers include internationally renowned musician Soumik Datta from the UK. He is a virtuoso sarod player and his creative practice is deeply based in his Indian heritage. Soumik has collaborated with an eclectic range of artists including Beyonce, Jay-Z, Bill Bailey, Manu Delago, Akram Khan, Bernhard Schimpelsberger, Talvin Singh, Joss Stone, Shankar Mahadevan, City of London Sinfonia, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. As well as his keynote presentation, Datta will hit the stage as part of the Artlands arts program in his only Australian performance.

Featured speakers also include director of the Norway international indigenous arts and culture festival, the largest indigenous festival in northern Europe, Riddu Riđđu Festivála, Karoline Trollvik; and member of the Bundjalung nation Rhoda Roberts, who is head of Indigenous programming, Sydney Opera House, creative director, gallery and events, festival director, Boomerang Festival and curator of the second annual Parrtijima – A Festival in Light event in Alice Springs.

Alongside the speakers program will be an arts program open to the public. The impressive lineup will feature the world premiere of local theatre company Northern Rivers Performing Arts’ new production Djurra; as well as a lineup of great local talent including Tora, The Wharves, Sarah Tindley, Blakboi, Tra La La Blip and Tullara.

In a big coup for Artstate, Brunswick Picture House is moving to the big smoke of Lismore for the weekend with its Cheeky Cabaret. Bold and brash, sexy and dangerous, the show smashes together circus, vaudeville, comedy and everything in between, and is a must-see on the arts program calendar.

Artstate will also see musical theatre with a performance of The Daughters of the Rum Rebellion that reveals the hidden history of Australia’s female bushrangers, starring Gleny Rae and Ilona Harker, and a little something for the kids with performances of Roundabout Theatre’s new interactive production Colours daily.

Coinciding with the launch of the new Lismore Regional Gallery, Dreaming Trails is a partnership between Lismore Regional Gallery and Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre, and has been curated by Gumbaynggirr cultural worker Alison Williams. The legendary Djon Mundine has curated the second exhibition, Four Women (I do belong) inspired by the 1966 Nina Simone song Four Women. Four Aboriginal and four non-Aboriginal artists evoke the atmosphere of the northern rivers region that speaks of a deep and metaphysical connection to the land, the modern history and environment.
Closing out the event on Sunday morning will be a free concert by the young and extremely talented musicians from the Regional Youth Orchestra. Selected by audition from the network of 17 regional conservatoriums, the orchestra members will be travelling from all over NSW to perform at Artstate.

For full details of the Artstate program and tickets to the event, visit www.artstate.com.au.

SAE open night

SAE Creative Media Institute are opening the doors to their state-of-the-art campus this Thursday. If you’re considering studying creative media next year, now is the time to speak to SAE’s experienced team, and pursue your passion in this dynamic and expanding industry. On the night you can take a tour of their awesome campus, sit in on an information session, check out some students’ work and have a chat with staff and lecturers about how SAE students are gaining the competitive edge. With a great reputation for career-ready graduates, the SAE Byron Bay Info Night is the perfect place to start.

SAE Campus, Byron Bay, 4–7pm.

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