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Byron Shire
May 19, 2021

Everyone’s excited about Riverfest

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Ready for Riverfest: Kate Steele Lismore City Council, Hannah Rice-Hayes, Richmond Landcare, John Ludlow Unit Controller Lismore City SES with Elly Bird and Maddy Braddon from Lismore Helping Hands. Photo supplied.

In 2017 Lismore Helping Hands coordinated community recovery efforts after the floods and this weekend the group are hosting a family-friendly event to bring the community together in celebration of the ongoing connection to the Wilson River.

Lismore Councillor Elly Bird who is also a Lismore Helping Hands volunteer says that the group has partnered with several groups to create a great program on the day. These groups include Wilson River Landcare, Northern Rivers Science Hub, The SES, Red Cross, Lismore City Council, Richmond River Historical Society, and the Far North Coast Canoe Club.

‘Riverfest has been funded by The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) through their Restore-Repair-Renew grant,’ says Ms Bird. ‘We are incredibly grateful to FRRR for their support and for the great work they do with Regional and Rural communities across Australia.’

There will be live music on the River Stage from Ben Wilson, Sara Tindley, The Romaniacs featuring Amanda Shoebridge, and Mykaela.

A full program of events

There will also be SES river displays, information stalls, kids activities, art workshops, great food and good coffee and a ‘River Talks’ speakers tent with informative and interesting presentations about our river system.

‘This event is plastic-free and we are asking people to bring their own water bottles,’ says Elly. ‘Bring a picnic rug and settle in for the day.’

Elly says Lismore Helping Hands are really excited about Riverfest because it gives them a chance to learn more about what it means to live on a flood plain. ‘There’s a rich and long history of people living, working and connecting to culture along the Wilson River and we want to celebrate that.

‘By providing opportunities for our community to build a stronger connection to place, and learn more about what it means to live on a flood plain, we can also increase community resilience and disaster preparedness.’

Lismore City SES are planning a river rescue display so that people can see our volunteers in action. They will also have a range of information about flood and safety awareness.

Embrace that we live on a flood plain

Kristin Den Exter from Wilson River Landcare says having a little festival like this is a great way for people to come and share stories and connect with the river. ‘We have to embrace that we live on a flood plain,’ she said. ‘It’s the confluence of two different catchments coming together and we can never change that. Our amazing wetlands and floodplains need those floods, but it causes us stress.

‘We know that good planning and understanding our environment can reduce that stress.’

The Far North Coast Canoe Club will be there and people can have a go in one of their kayaks. The Club is also holding the Wilson River Challenge on Sunday from 10am, which will be finishing with a Splash for Cash 500m race at midday, you can catch all the action at the Old Rowing Club Carpark.

Riverfest – Our River, Our Community will be held this Saturday 7 September from 10am till 4pm at Riverside Park, Victoria St, Lismore, near the Boat Ramp.

For more info visit: facebook.com/resilientlismore

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