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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Culture in the Byron Shire for the week beginning January 17, 2019

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Dr Matt Landos, East Ballina There is the real news and then there is the fake news. The radio news announced...

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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?’

Archibald has knock-on effect in Murwillumbah

The Tweed Regional Gallery is hosting the Archibald Prize and local business people say the event is giving the town of Murwillumbah a significant economic boost.

Cartoon of the week – 24 February, 2021

We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

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.

Da mountain

Gisela Stieglitz, Wooyung There is a perfectly good bitumen road going up a rainforest gully; it doesn’t even have potholes!...

Local fisherfolk caught in the parking fine net

FIsherfolk have been caught in the net of parking fines designed to stop travellers parking up for the night on the Tweed Coast Road and they are seeking help to access their beaches at night without fines.

A still from Lil Bois, indigenous drama by Grant Thompson, the first short
film in the traditional language of Ngandi screening on Saturday 26 January at Flickerfest

Aussie shorts get the Flicker

Mullumbimby Civic Hall | 25-27 Jan | $12-55

Saturday 26 January sees Flickerfest present an awesome program of Aussie shorts.

Now in its 14th year, Byron All Shorts shows the best of films from the northern rivers. Around 15 local short films will screen across this 120-minute program, which will celebrate an incredible range of themes and stories. Byron All Shorts is judged by an esteemed jury of local northern rivers industry luminaries.

The full list of local finalists can be found at www.iQ.org.au.

Later that day is Best of Australian Shorts, where Flickerfest presents a diverse range of stories from across Australia that celebrate our unique identity and culture with a Best of Australian Shorts program, selected from seven programs in Flickerfest’s  Academy®-accredited competition in Bondi.

Highlights include: Desert Dash – a wonderful creative comedy by Gracie Otto: On the outskirts of Australia, opals are now the currency for survival in the game of Desert Dash. When a feisty heroine gets the opportunity to level up there is no choice but to win.

Also featured is the delightful indigenous drama from the NT Lil Bois, by Grant Thompson, the first short film in the traditional language of Ngandi: after swimming with his friends in a billabong, a nervous little boy returns to his camp and discovers everything has changed. His family is missing. With his friends, he heads out into the wilderness to find them.

Comedian and actor Paul McDermott makes a return to Flickerfest, with his beautifully crafted and haunting animation Ghostbear, which looks at the world’s disappearing species.

Flickerfest at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall 25–27 January – tix at iQ.org.au.

Man of bubbles, Denis Lock

Cheeky Cabaret

Brunswick Picture House | Saturday 19 9pm & Sunday 20 Jan 3 & 6pm | $25-45

The Brunswick Picture House is going strong so don’t miss catching its cracking signature show, the Cheeky Cabaret. It’s bigger, bolder, and brasher than ever!

The team behind the Cheeky Cabaret and the Brunswick Picture House have been touring two circus/cabaret/variety shows internationally over the last 14 years – the award-winning La Soirée, which recently completed its eighth winter season in London, and its baby sister, Club Swizzle, which embarks on a world tour in 2018 after sellout seasons at the Sydney Opera House and Perth Fringe World Festival. Brunswick Heads is now the home base for these international blockbuster shows and the Cheeky Cabaret embraces very much the same spirit as Soirée and Swizzle.

Two years in, people continue to talk about the Cheeky Cabaret and we are thrilled that some of the most incredible international artists from around the world are beating down the door to perform at the Brunswick Picture House. Bold and brash, sexy and dangerous, with tongue placed firmly in cheek, this is one party you will not want to miss! Smashing together circus, vaudeville, comedy, and everything in between, the Cheeky Cabaret has rightfully become the talk of the town.

The Cabaret features a different cast of troubadours, miscreants, delectable divas, and cabaret queens every month, so no two shows are ever the same! You’ll leave spellbound, titillated, and amazed.

As always, bring Grandma but leave the little ones at home. Except for Sunday arvo at 3pm when you can actually bring them!

All adult tix are $40/45 with Sunday arvo kids for $25 and family of four is $120.

Tix at brunswickpicturehouse.com

Bella Fuego offers sacred tribal movement at Earth Frequency

The Performance Frequency

Ivory’s Rock | February 15-18 | $150-350

Earth Frequency hosts a wide range of performance art each year as a key aspect of creating an unforgettable festival experience. This includes regular favourites such as the main stage fire shows, the Indigenous welcome to country and opening ceremony, as well as roving performers, special stage shows, and random acts of spontaneous theatre. Myth, ritual, ceremony, and drama combine with movement, colour, and our collective physical presence for many moments of spectacle and communal connection. The event features some wild performance including Flames of the Phoenix, Embers, Fiesta Fire, Nunukul Yuggera, Wild Lotus Project, Flaming Dragon and more… 

Experience something out of the ordinary at Earth Frequency, 15–18 February at Ivory’s Rock in southeastern Qld. For program info, camping, and location go to earthfrequency.com.au.


Upgrade, upgrade, upgrade…

NORPA to upgrade Lismore City Hall

NORPA has received a $1.16 million Regional Cultural Fund grant to upgrade Lismore City Hall into the premier performing arts centre in the northern rivers. This is the final part of two years’ work and planning to complete the performing arts centre project and will secure upgrades for the venue that will make it the only contemporary performing arts centre between Coffs Harbour and the Gold Coast. So make sure you get over to Lismore this year to catch some of the incredible shows on offer at what is soon to be one of the state’s premier regional venues!

Murder on the Reef is being screened at the Byron Community Centre on Thursday 24 January

Murder on the Reef

Byron Theatre | Thurs Jan 24 | $22-25

Murder on the Reef is a documentary that issues a wake-up call in light of impending collapse of the world’s largest marine ecosystem.

This confronting new documentary by a Chernobyl researcher shows the Great Barrier Reef is in grave danger owing to poor management of the surrounding land. The film Murder on the Reef by Gold Coast-based geochemist Allen Dobrovolsky and filmmaker Alex Fitzwater compares poor management of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef with the Chernobyl disaster of 1986.

Dr Dobrovolsky says, ‘Pushing the nuclear reactor’s capabilities to its limits led to the ‘human-made’ Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Thousands of square miles of pristine environment around the Chernobyl nuclear power station became a wasteland.

‘Similarly, poor environmental management led to the environmental disaster in the Great Barrier Reef’s port of Gladstone in 2011. Since this time the reef has suffered unprecedented back-to-back bleaching events that have killed half of the corals. This is because of the warming oceans caused by climate change. The collapse of an entire ecosystem is imminent unless action is taken.’

According to Dr Dobrovolsky, the next impending reef disaster will be on a much larger scale owing to the predicted global increase in the rate of bleaching events. With 50 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef’s corals already wiped out, a further increase in ocean temperatures will have catastrophic effects.

Director Mr Fitzwater says the film is much more than a compilation of facts: ‘We are bringing the dying reef to its knees and that says something about us as humans… the time for burying our heads in the sand is long past.’

The film reveals an underlying lack of co-operation between government, marine research scientists, activists, politicians, Indigenous leaders, and the general public as being a core factor in the rapid decline of the reef’s health.

‘Despite repeated warnings by Australian scientists that the reef is in ‘grave danger’, the budget for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has been wound back by successive governments,’ says Dr Dobrovolsky.

Dr Dobrovolsky, who self-funded Murder on the Reef, says the film was driven by a sense of social and environmental responsibility: ‘I’ve seen firsthand the devastation of the corals on the reef. This, combined with my scientific research, has left no other option but to spread this message as far and wide as possible so together we can rectify the environmental damage we’ve all created.’

Since its release in February last year, Murder on the Reef  has received more than 25 accolades, including the prestigious Hollywood Boulevard Film Festival’s Best Documentary Film and The Monthly Film Festival’s Best Feature Film awards.

Murder on the Reef is being screened at the Byron Community Centre on Thursday 24 January with a live Q&A panel including mayor Simon Richardson, reef scientist Peter Harrison, producer and environmental scientist Allen Dobrovolsky, and a representative from Positive Change for Marine Life (Karl Goodsell). Other panelists still to confirm.

The film is narrated by TV host and political agitator James Mathieson. Tix at byroncentre.com.au with 10 per cent of sales going to Australian Marine Conservation Society’s Fight for Our Reef campaign.

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