19.9 C
Byron Shire
December 2, 2022

Activist org Ngara shuts shop

Latest News

NSW Forestry challenged over failed forestry practices in precedent-setting case

What makes bushfires worse, causes native species collapse and creates forest dieback?

Other News

BreastScreen van comes to Byron

The BreastScreen NSW mobile van will be in Byron Bay from 14 – 21 December at the Cavanbah Centre on Ewingsdale Road. Free mammograms are provided to eligible women aged between 50 and 74 and there’s no referral needed.

Editorial – Wokie dokey

Last Thursday’s Council meeting was an example of when a good idea gets kiboshed because the people proposing the idea are considered crazy conspiracy theorists.

The unassuming grooves of Bobby Alu

Having just clocked up 50 shows with Xavier Rudd, Bobby Alu is back in town for a solo show...

Climate change a threat to local Gondwana rainforest mountain frogs

A new Southern Cross University study predicts that two species of mountain frogs located on the NSW/Queensland border are on track to be extinct by 2055.

Interim Lismore GM John Walker withdraws application for GM

Lismore Mayor Steve Krieg has announced today that the current General Manager (GM) of Lismore City Council has withdrawn...

Barrio now open every Sunday

If you’re already dreaming about the weekend, how does spending a long lunch at Barrio Eatery & Bar sound? Owing...

Richard Hil founded Ngara.

Paul Bibby

For nearly five years, the Nagara Institute created a space for the critical discussion of progressive ideas and agendas, bringing some of Australia’s foremost thinkers to the Shire.

But after dozens of successful events attended by thousands of locals, the activist think tank is no more.

With its founder and convenor Richard Hil stepping down, Nagara’s management committee elected to pull the pin last week.

‘When we planned our first Politics in the Pub – an idea first mooted by Hans Lovejoy – I thought we might get 50 people through the doors,’ Mr Hil said.

‘In fact, nearly 200 people rocked up. Wow! Clearly, there was a thirst for critical discussion out there, even in nirvana-central Mullum!

‘I hope that we made a small difference to our local community and perhaps, too, that we made the world a slightly better place.’

Mr Hil said one major thought had guided him through the past five years at Nagara’s helm.

‘That bringing people together to discuss critical ideas and making them happen, in whichever way people choose, is a small but vital element in what is a global movement to dismantle and replace the train wreck that is racialised neoliberal capitalism,’ he said.

From a standing start, Nagara grew into a major force within the Shire and beyond, drawing hundreds to the Civic Hall and the Courthouse Hotel to see speakers such as Gillian Triggs, Julian Burnside and Hugh Mackay.

There was also a particularly powerful presentation from Indigenous author Thomas Mayer.

Special moments

‘That was a special moment indeed,’ Mr Hil said.

‘What I sensed was the deep, unresolved pain and hurt of Australia’s First Nations people, as well as the immense dignity and determination to achieve the justice to which they are fully entitled.

In 2020, Nagara elected to direct its focus to arguably the key issue of our time, climate change and the ecological crisis, asking the question ‘How shall we live?’.

‘Above all, we need to reconnect with each other, build stronger neighbourhoods and communities, and bolster civic life – away from corrosive hyper-individualism,’ Mr Hil said.

More civility needed

‘We need more civility, sharing, caring, kindness, compassion, and respectful, supportive communities.

‘It’s by investing in civility, civic life and promoting social power and ecological democracy that we can build intersectional communities capable of withstanding what is to come, and in the process, co-creating a radically different way of life’.

And in news just on deadline – a group is being set up to carry on the good work of Ngara under a different name, says Dr Liz Elliott. She says, ‘We will be looking to create understanding of alternative social and economic models to our current unsustainable trajectory. If you are interested, please contact [email protected]

‘Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers’.

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Urine sample test: new way to detect and screen for early stages of Alzheimer’s disease

When it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, an early diagnosis – one made well before signs of irreversible dementia are apparent – is key to providing effective intervention and treatment.

Gulihl Art exhibition – bringing First Nations artists and their connection to Country to you

Byron’s ‘pop-up’ Firefly Art Gallery is presenting the work of local First Nations artists in the upcoming Gulihl Art exhibition in Marvell Hall.

A gentle day for refugee and asylum seeker families

Promoting community awareness, assistance and support, for asylum seekers and refugees, the Pottsville Refugee Support Group recently hosted refugee and asylum seeker families from Logan at a fun day at the beach.

Brunswick, Belongil and Tallows wait for Emergency Response Beacons

In early November two men were saved from drowning at Dreamtime Beach, Fingal Head when a women activated the Emergency Response Beacon, alerting the Surf Life Saving NSW State Operations Centre that the men were drowning. There are three waiting to be deployed in Byron Shire.