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Byron Shire
June 18, 2021

Lismore marks flood anniversary with Free community gathering

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Promoting One Year One, the free community gathering to mark one year since the 2017 March flood, are (front) musicians Kate Stroud from Lady Mondegreen and Luke Vassella with (rear l-r) organiser and Lismore City Councillor Elly Bird and performers from The Overtopping Mike Smith, Tom Kelly, Chris Wilkinson, Zeb Schulz and Sunita Bala. Photo supplied.

A year on communities are still coming to terms with the impacts of Cyclone Debbie, to mark this important milestone on the path of recovery Lismore City Council is hosting a community gathering – One Year On – at the Lismore Quadrangle on Saturday, 7 April. The free community event will mark one year since the March 2017 flood.

The afternoon will give people a chance to share stories and connect with one another while honouring the resilience and strength of the Lismore community. There will be live music by Luke Vassella, Lady Mondegreen, Blakboi and The Button Collective, a barbecue, community arts activities and stalls by emergency services and community organisations.

A site-specific multi-sensory theatrical experience,The Overtopping, based on stories of the 2017 flood and its aftermath will take place at 6pm.

The Overtopping is a creative investigation into disaster, recovery, trauma and resilience based around cyclone Debbie, which showcases some of the best emerging and professional artists of varying abilities working in Lismore. It includes dance, puppetry, sound art, projection, creative lighting, live storytelling and water art.

The work was developed by post-disability arts company RealArtWorks, a community group whose own studios were filled with floodwater during the March 2017 disaster. Originally commissioned by Regional Arts NSW as part of Artstate Lismore in November last year, RealArtWorks hopes to remount the work in other towns and cities in the context of art playing a role in natural disaster recovery.

‘It is an incredibly powerful piece of work and I am so excited that The Overtopping will be performed at this anniversary event. It encapsulates so many emotions and feelings in one piece of engaging physical theatre,’ One Year On organiser and Lismore Councillor Elly Bird said.

‘It is both moving and mesmerising to watch, and one of the great pieces of live theatre that has come out of Lismore in recent years, with a narrative that is unique and very close to our community’s heart. I encourage everyone to join us for an afternoon of music and community connection, and to stay for this very special performance to mark our one-year flood anniversary.

Lismore’s ‘Heart’ was made from flood detritus to commemorate the height of the flood during Cyclone Debbie. Photo supplied.

‘Lismore showed such amazing community spirit after the flood and that community spirit is what this event is all about. It’s an opportunity for us to come together and acknowledge the journey we are travelling together.’

A free courtesy bus will be provided to and from the One Year On community event, and people are encouraged to bring the family and picnic rugs to spend the afternoon relaxing in The Quad.

Community members are welcome to purchase food from the CBD and bring it along, enjoy the barbecue provided for a gold coin donation, grab something from Slate bar and café (which will be open all afternoon) and stay for dinner at one of Lismore’s many CBD restaurants.

One Year On begins at 2pm on Saturday, 7 April in The Quad. Please see below for free bus timetable.

Free courtesy bus timetable

Loop start

Goonellabah – Oliver Avenue bus stop in front of Council

Rous Road Shopping Centre – Pleasant Street

Wyrallah Road Shopping Centre

Lismore Square – Uralba Street

Trinity College – Leycester Street

Quad drop off – Magellan Street

Continue pick up

Union Street – Railway Station

South Lismore Primary School – Phyllis and Wilson Street

Terania Street – Northern Rivers Hotel

Molesworth Street – Transit Centre

Quad drop off – Magellan Street

Pick-up at 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm

Loop starts from Goonellabah

Drop-off leaving The Quad at 5.30pm. 6.30pm and 8pm

Reverse loop to Goonellabah


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