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Byron Shire
February 1, 2023

Remember that one time when everyone was homeschooled?

Latest News

Calls to extend temporary accommodation for flood insured

The one-year limit on temporary accommodation provided by some insurance companies to people whose homes went under in the flood must be extended.

Other News

Witches in the Starcourt

A new year is here! It’s a time for women all over the region to pick up their brooms and set their witchy intentions for 2023. There is no finer time and place to do it than with your Country Witches, comedian Mandy Nolan and singer/songwriter Áine Tyrrell. 

Tweed Council celebrates citizens new and old

Yesterday Tweed Shire Council celebrated members of the community, old and new, with an award ceremony. The Citizen of the Year award went to refugee advocate Joan Henderson of Urliup.

Survival/Australia Day celebration – Byron Shire

There are events being held across the Byron Shire on January 26 to celebrate both Survival and Australia Day.

Trove runs out of funding in June. How will the loss of the service affect Australian and Pacific research?

Most of Trove’s 22 million annual page visits come from members of the public: family historians, students, and general browsers interested in the six billion records it houses. But over the past 14 years, the archive has also become a crucial resource for academic work.

Coastal dystopia

Proto-existentialist philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer wrote ‘Money is human happiness in the abstract, and so the man who is no...

The greater good

Byron Council has ratified the International Charter of Human Rights, complete with fine legal minds that developed a Charter...

Someone recently put a post on Instagram: ‘Homeschooling Day #3, they all graduated, we are done!’

It takes a special person to be a teacher and if one thing comes from isolation it will be our absolute appreciation of those wonderful people who manage the education of our kids.

CQUniversity’s Australia Pacific LNG STEM Research Central Project Lead Dr Linda Pfeiffer, says we shouldn’t expect parents to become teachers – but they can still use the current COVID-19 lock-down to try some cool hands-on STEM activities with their kids.

‘Brainstorm ideas, solve problems, design solutions, play board games, build things, evaluate your products … no wait that’s STEM!’ says Dr Pfeiffer.

Dr Pfeiffer says parents should leave teachers to worry about educational milestones.

‘Instead, embrace the opportunity to spend quality time with your children, while in isolation,’ she says.

Tips for parents finding themselves at home with their children:

  • Tip 1:Keep a routine so that the children maintain good study habits. This includes mealtimes and sleep times.
  • Tip 2: Construct a timetable to allow for children to play, eat and socialise.
  • Tip 3: Pack a lunch box each morning to avoid ‘grazing’ all day.
  • Tip 4: Allow break times to be outside and encourage the children to play then eat.
  • Tip 5: Wear shoes … children need to maintain good posture and be able to wear shoes when they return to school
  • Tip 6: Allow the children to assist in creating the timetable (perhaps it is different each day of the week) so they take ownership. Keep in mind children need to change focus or activity every 45 minutes or so (less for younger children) and are usually more effective learners in the mornings.

Sample Timetable:

  • 9am – 9.45am Session 1
  • 9.45am – 10.15am fruit break
  • 10.15am – 11am Session 2
  • 11am – 11.45am Session 3
  • 11.45am – 12.15pm morning tea
  • 12.15pm – 1.00pm Session 4
  • 1.00pm – 1.30pm lunch
  • 1.30pm – 2.15pm Session 5
  • 2.15pm – 3.00pm session 6
  • Each session can be different for different children to allow use of resources such as the television or computer.

Sample Sessions:

Online learning from school; facetime grandparents; building/construction project; live streaming from an online resource (see below); quiet reading; play a board game; make a video; Physical Education with Joe session; ABC television lesson; arts project; cooking; music.

Sample online resources:

NSTA (USA) Daily Do 

Larry Ferlazzo best websites

BOP Industries live classroom (Australian)

Queensland Museum learning resources (Australian)

CSIRO Outreach (Australian)

Education Queensland [email protected] (Australian)

Australian Reptile Park (note – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube)

Questagame (Australian)

Virtual Science Space (Australian)

SeaLife Virtual Aquarium (Australian)

Smithsonian lessons (USA)

ABC term 2 lessons on TV (Australian)

Age of Dinosaurs (Australian)

STEM teaching tools for parents (USA)

Recent stories, information and updates regarding COVID-19

Five graphs you need to see before the Global Carbon Budget...

The Global Carbon Budget is about to be refreshed, giving the world a critical insight into how efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are (or are not) progressing.


Public transport mask mandate to end

Masks will no longer be mandatory on public transport from tomorrow, Wednesday 21 September.


NSW Police: be COVID-vigilant at Splendour in the Grass

SW Police are urging festival-goers at this weekend’s music festival to celebrate in a safe and responsible manner, whilst also being aware of COVID-Safety measures.


COVID-19 update for the NNSWLHD – May 23

The Northern NSW Local Health District reports that to 4pm yesterday, Sunday May 22, there were 40 COVID-19 positive patients in hospital in Northern NSW, with one of these in ICU.


AEC says COVID voters can phone from home

The AEC says that voters who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 will be able to phone in their vote in the federal election.


COVID-19 update: May 16

The Northern NSW Local Health District says that to 4pm yesterday, 15 May, 384 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the District, including 82 positive PCR tests and 302 positive rapid antigen tests.


It’s National Volunteer Week

Volunteering Australia says volleys are the backbone of the country in times of crisis and emergency.


COVID-19 update: May 9

Today there are 41 COVID-19 positive patients in hospital in Northern NSW, with none of these in ICU.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


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Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Have your Perfect Say

Here in the Byron Shire our crisis is so famous it’s made international news. It’s been in the US Rolling Stone even. It’s been in documentaries. It’s been in The Guardian. It’s what we live with here – every day. We live in a community where there is nowhere to live and the whole world is watching what we do next, wondering if we will do what their super star tourist destinations did and regulate the housing market. People in places like Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Miami found out that tough regulations actually aren’t bad for business after all. That’s just property market profiteering propaganda.

The Voice

I’ve been ruminating and researching on how best to support a ‘Yes’ response on the Voice referendum. I always come back to principles… devoid...

Letters – 1 February 2023

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.

Cheeky Cabaret returns!

Following the Cheeky season is some incredible live music, including Ella Hooper: Small Town Temple tour, Libby O’Donovan – cabaret singer extraordinaire, Stella Donnelly: Flood Australian tour, Liz Stringer and William Crighton co-headlining in a powerhouse performance, and the house is thrilled to announce the fabulous Tim Rogers & The Twin Set coming in April.