16.3 C
Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Activist org Ngara shuts shop

Latest News

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Other News

Byron Bay’s first ever matured spirit wins gold medal at London Spirit Competition

While the Northern Rivers region is well known for its environment and lifestyle, it is also becoming known for...

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Wanted: Bangalow and Byron ‘Induzzy’ reps for town projects

Residents of Bangalow and the Byron Arts and Industry Estate are invited to apply for positions on the Byron Shire Council’s Place Planning Collective

Belongi Spit

John Lazarus, Byron Bay An update on proposed development of the Belongil Spit site, for the information particularly of those...

Co-op meeting

Annette Snow, Myocum As a Mullumbimby Rural Co-op shareholder of 42 years and a past employee of over 13 years,...

Come and try basketball in Byron

The next generation of female basketball players, with coordinator Karen Irwin, turned up to a ‘come and try day’...

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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Upside down river

Tim Harrington, Lennox Head Letter contributor Richard White (letters 21/4/21) quite correctly identifies the Richmond River as an ‘upside down river’ and nowhere is this more...

Ballina Dragons’ great results at Urunga

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is a group of paddling people from all walks of life who enjoy being out on the water having fun and keeping fit.