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Byron Shire
December 7, 2021

Afghan war atonement film, Friday

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Comment: the peace and joy of Christmas

Christmas has always been a special time, and it holds some wonderful memories of early years, when youthful exuberance shaped my world, and it’s a time remembered for the happiness of family gatherings and the sound of kids waking early to see what Santa had delivered. 

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Cartoon of the week – 1 December, 2021

The Echo loves your letters and is proud to provide a community forum on the issues that matter most to our readers and the people of the NSW north coast. So don’t be a passive reader, send us your epistles.

Lismore’s new mayor ‘looking forward to working on a united, productive council’

The December 4 LGA election was held on a hot and humid summer’s day in Lismore, a true representation of why it’s sometimes called ‘the wok’,

Last mayoral candidates Q and A: are you a landlord?

Here at The Echo we have seen and heard the word ‘housing’ come up time and again throughout the local government election campaign period, whether it’s from candidates or other voters.

Lismore Council elections

I’m somewhat bemused by the candidates for the Lismore Council election. One ticket has 14 candidates, when there are...

Cadwallader, Lyon and Krieg most likely new Far North Coast mayors

With most of the votes cast, and counting over until tomorrow, the New South Wales Electoral Commission stats would suggest that there are three clear winners of the mayoral contests in Ballina, Byron and Lismore Shires.

Northern Rivers rental crisis worsens

Those advocating for people suffering from housing stress, homelessness, and poverty housing across the Northern Rivers region, say there is an urgent need for the federal government to invest in social housing.

A special screening of Jirga will be held Friday July 19 from 7pm at Palace Cinemas, and will be followed by Q&A with director Benjamin Gilmour.

Gilmour, who is a former paramedic, says, ‘Shortly before I flew to Pakistan and then Afghanistan to shoot the feature film Jirga, about an Australian soldier returning to atone for a war crime, I met a veteran of the conflict while I was working as a paramedic in Sydney’.

‘The man wandered up to the window of our ambulance looking lost and aimless and told us he lived in a Potts Point doorway.

‘He was hearing voices again, shouting from the shadows. He was shouting in Pashto, the language of southern Afghanistan.

‘My 24 years as a paramedic had brought me into contact with plenty of elderly veterans of WWII, occasionally also a soldier who’d served in Vietnam.

‘Then, as our troops started returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, the veterans I began to see were younger than I was, much too young to be lying on a stretcher in my ambulance.

‘Too many of these young people who’d gone off to fight had come home damaged, some irreparably’.

Synopsis

The film is described as ‘a modern morality tale about a former Australian soldier, Mike, who returns to Afghanistan to find the family of a civilian he accidentally killed during the war. Seeking forgiveness, he puts his life in the hands of the village justice system – the Jirga’.


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