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Byron Shire
April 15, 2024

Tall tales in the sunshine

Latest News

Highway crash heading north from Byron

A crash on the Pacific Motorway heading north from the Byron Shire on Monday morning reduced traffic to a single lane around 11am.

Other News

Weighing in on Gaza and Israel

I’ve hesitated to weigh in on the ongoing debate about Gaza and Israel, but Michal Schiff’s pain over the...

Community land trust group home approved 

Construction work on the Shire’s first permanent group home for women and children in housing stress could begin within months, after the project was formally approved by Byron Council.

Everyone reads The Echo – 10 April, 2024

The letters deadline for The Echo is noon Friday. Letters longer than 200 words may be cut. The publication of letters is at the discretion of the letters editor.

Understory: a theatre show connecting kids to nature

Understory is a magical, interactive theatre adventure created for children by Roundabout Theatre, springing to life in the Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens this April school holidays.

Bangalow Chamber Music Festival relocates to Qld 

After two decades, Bangalow Chamber Music Festival organisers have announced they will be moving the event to Mount Tamborine, Qld, after ‘increased costs and lower than average ticket sales’.

Byron swimmer airlifted to hospital

A man swimming in Byron Bay on the weekend was airlifted to the Gold Coast University Hospital, rescuers said. 

Photo Jeff Dawson.

Extraordinary fables, memoirs, political analysis and tales of hope and tragedy all made for another successful Byron Writers Festival, held at the Elements of Byron resort under crisp blue winter skies.

Festival director Edwina Johnson said, ‘We were honoured to have so many writers grace our stages to share their stories and help us find meaning, connection and the power of hope in our fast-spinning world. The connections made at the festival – between the writers and the audience – can be profound and it is my hope these vital conversations will continue to resonate long after the festival has finished.’

Organisers say more than 12,000 patrons attended over the three days, which also included 117 sessions on the festival grounds, 12 workshops, 14 off-site feature events, primary and secondary schools programs and the Byron Writers Festival Road Trip to regional towns.

New Writers Centre Chairperson Adam van Kempen. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Incoming festival chair Adam van Kempen said, ‘A lively community atmosphere pervaded the entire festival, owing in large part to the extraordinary work of 150 volunteers who put everything into delivering the best experience possible for our patrons,’

Numerous sessions attracted capacity crowds including former president of the Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs delivering the annual Thea Astley Address, ‘Memoir: Making a Place for Myself’ with Hyeonseo Lee, Manal al-Sharif and Anne Aly, ‘Making the Beast Beautiful’ with Jessie Cole, Dervla McTiernan, Sarah Wilson and Sarah Krasnostein discussing the relationship between anxiety and their creative muse, Oliver Phommavanh’s raucous and hilarious performance at the Kids Big Day Out tent and Kitty Flanagan, Andrew Hansen and Mandy Nolan sharing laughs and insights into why ‘Comedy is the most addictive thing you’ll ever do’.

Nearly $10k raised

Thanks to the generous donations of festival patrons, organisers say more than $9,600 was raised for the festival’s partner organisation the Indigenous Literary Foundation.


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