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Byron Shire
February 27, 2021

From garage to greatness: Shearwater to party like it’s 1993..

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In January 1993 local teacher Sally Davison decided to start a new school in the garage of her home.

‘We put an ad in The Echo for expressions of interest and called a meeting at our house, thinking we might get half a dozen people,’ Ms Davison recalls.

‘That night 60 people arrived. We were packed into the dining room. There were people out the windows.’

A quarter of a century later that little gathering has grown into the vibrant, bustling Shearwater Steiner School in Mullumbimby which has close to 700 students from Preschool to Year 12, a trade skills centre and biodynamic farm as part of a 52 acre campus next to Mullumbimby Creek.

This Saturday (September 1) the school will celebrate its 25th birthday at its annual Spring Fair.

The fair will feature live music and entertainment all day, food stalls, and crafts and activities such as candle making, pony and unicorn rides, sideshow alley, spring garland weaving, and the eve-popular Spring Fair Busking Competition.

The event will be a chance to raise funds and celebrate how far the school has come since the early days.

After one year the school quickly outgrew Ms Davison’s garage and moved to its current site but still had little more than a large shed to house the primary school.

‘The walls just shifted every year,’ said Gerard Braithwaite, one of the school’s early teachers.

‘You had to build the room before you could begin. But everybody pitched in,’ Mr Braithwaite says

Teacher Dhyana Gillard remembers the ‘mad courage’ of all involved in the massive task of growing a school.

‘It was always really hard work but you felt like it was worth it. There was a deep sense of satisfaction, a deep nurturing and the constant learning that the children put you through. As much as you gave, you were also receiving,’ Ms Gillard says.


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Bringing down the heat in our ‘hood

How well we survive the future depends on our vision for our towns and suburbs – and on how we bring that vision about.

Resilience through biodiversity and awareness

The Byron Shire Resilience and Regeneration Roadshow will be in Brunswick Heads this Saturday, as part of a series of events across the region tackling the question: ‘How do we create more resilient communities in 2021?’

Housing affordability on agenda at Ballina

With the housing crisis worsening in Ballina and across the Northern Rivers, councillors agreed that something had to be done about the problem at their meeting yesterday.

Final stage of Lismore Base Hospital gets underway

The redevelopment works commenced in late 2016 and the final stage is now getting underway to complete the Lismore Base Hospital refurbishment.