10.1 C
Byron Shire
August 6, 2021

Locals to fight back with a series about the REAL Byron Bay

Latest News

No border bubble for NSW–Qld border – restrictions outlined

Eleven local government areas (LGAs) in Queensland have now been identified as areas of concern in relation to COVID-19.

Other News


Sarah Smith, Byron Shire Finally, our premier is speaking a language that the business community of Sydney should comprehend – a...

Want to get your voice heard on affordable housing?

Northern Rivers locals are being encouraged to bring their experiences, views and possible solutions on housing affordability to the attention of the NSW government on August 17 and 18.

Two missing persons alerts on Northern Rivers

One of the cases is a woman who has been missing for more than a month.

Editorial – Local leadership vacuum

The delays in holding Council elections are frustrating, the more so because what we have seen during the long period since the last vote has been an experiment in governing by the zen method of no government.

NSW Parliament off for a month, with full pay

With COVID-19 cases surging across Sydney and defence forces being deployed in the city, NSW Parliament put out a brief statement last week saying MPs will not sit in the month of August ‘owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in NSW’.

Byron beach erosion

Ann Tiernan, Suffolk Park I strongly disagree with Council’s position stated in last week’s Echo that ‘The sand (at Clarkes Beach)...

Paul Bibby

News that Netflix was planning to film a vacuous docudrama in Byron Bay brought a collective snort of derision across the Shire.

But amidst the anger and disgust about Byron Baes, a gem of an idea was forming.

Saphia Smereka, owner of Kiki On Byron. Photo Jeff ‘Jazz Hands’ Dawson

What if locals made their own series about the Bay – telling the stories of real people living in the town rather than those simply seeking profit and self-promotion?

The idea was hatched by local bar owner and audio engineer, Saphia Smereka.

And though the plan is still in its infancy, locals have so far taken to it with gusto.

‘I could see how many people were upset about this Netflix show and I thought “why don’t we make our own series? One that way more people will want to watch”,’ Ms Smereka says.

‘I know so many creative people in Byron – this is the perfect place to do a project like this because we’ve already got people with the skills.

‘So I put a few posts up and so many people contacted me saying they wanted to be a part of it– retired script writers, cinematographers, sound people, copywriters, ex news journalists.’

The first major step in the process will take place today (Monday) when locals who are interested in getting involved in the project will meet at Ms Smereka’s bar, Kiki on Byron.

She is hoping for a lively discussion about the show, including the chance for people to talk about the kinds of stories they’d like to see covered.

‘The real Byron is so multi-faceted,’ she says.

‘I’d love to see the indigenous community given a voice.’

“But basically, at this stage, I’d love to just open up the question: “What is Byron and what does it mean to the people that live here?”.’

As well as inviting locals to bring their skills to the table, Ms Smereka is hoping the community will provide some financial support to help get the project off the ground.

She has set up a GoFundMe page and is also interested in enlisting the services of a local grant writer who might help the project apply for government funding.

‘The point I really want to make here is that we’re not helpless in all of this,’ she says.

‘We have the power to do something, to respond to what’s happened and make something good out of it.’

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.


  1. The prejudging of the Netflix series – so evident in the opening sentence of this story – is not an appropriate response from the Echo or any Echo contributors. If you were to take a look at the work that Que Minh Luu did when producing material for the ABC you would soon see that she takes a very serious and nuanced approach to her work.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Tweed Council ask State Government to pay for Wardrop Village business case

Tweed Shire Council will write to the State Government to ask them to pay for the Wardrop Community Village business case that is aimed at supplying affordable, local eco-housing.

What are the supplements you take really doing to your health?

Sales of complementary medicines have been driven up by COVID fears, but Immune-boosting claims for them are doing more harm than good.

Is population growth the real reason for the Dunoon Dam push?

It’s very clear that the State government’s push for population growth is the main driving force behind the proposed revisit of the Dunoon Dam

Woman rescued after falling into Emigrant Creek – Ballina

Last night (Wednesday, 4 August) at around 9pm a woman required rescuing after falling into Emigrant Creek.