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Byron Shire
June 26, 2024

Lismore Councillor candidate bios – Group E: Our Sustainable Future

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The Echo asked all the Lismore Councillor candidates to send in a bio.

Led by current Councillor Elly Bird, who is running for Mayor – the Our Sustainable Future team is Group E.

Our Sustainable Future 2021 – Elly Bird, Gwen Trimble, Carlos Vieira-Silva, Deborah Ray, Jyllie Jackson and Simon Clough.

Elly Bird

Elly Bird.

For the last five years on Council Elly Bird has shown her dedication to our community, particularly in her efforts in leading the community recovery from the 2017 floods as the manager of ‘Lismore Helping Hands’. Since then Elly has been a strong advocate for community resilience and regularly presents at conferences to speak about our recovery experience in Lismore.

Elly is deeply committed to sustainability; social justice; protecting the environment; and good governance. She has led Council’s focus on climate resilience; consistently worked towards financial sustainability; and consistently supported and advocated for small business and sustainable development.

Prior to being elected to Council, Elly was a key leader in protecting our region from industrial gasfields, working for five years on the campaign to make the Northern Rivers Gasfield Free including organising two of the biggest rallies ever seen in the Northern Rivers.

With strong communication and relationship skills, Elly has consistently taken leadership roles throughout her professional, and community life. Elly is well respected with strong networks throughout Lismore and its villages, which she first developed during the fifteen years she spent working for Lismore’s signature event, the internationally renowned Lismore Lantern Parade.

Elly is enthusiastic, determined, and focussed on delivering positive outcomes for our community as the next Mayor of Lismore. She is committed to working together with the new Council and with our whole community to build a sustainable future we can be proud of.

Gwen Trimble 

Gwen Trimble.

With a background in administration and financial markets, Gwen moved to Nimbin from Sydney in 1991. Her first job in the area was on the fledgling free local newspaper The Lismore Echo which exposed her to the concerns of the Lismore community.

After leaving The Lismore Echo she worked for local clothing manufacturer Sunbuster Sportswear for many years.

For the last 15 years or so Nimbin residents know her from her work at the local NRMA office and Nimbin Motors and as a Marriage Celebrant. She currently manages the accounts for Nimbin Emporium and is the Treasurer of the Nimbin Health and Welfare Committee.

Gwen has been actively involved in numerous community causes over the years. She is a member of Lismore Council’s Nimbin Advisory Group; has actively campaigned against coal seam gas mining; supports the Widjabul-Wiabul opposition to the Dunoon Dam; and drove the campaign for Nimbin’s rural water consumers to retain their town water supply.

Now semi-retired, she lives with her partner of 30 years in their off grid, eco-friendly rural home.

Carlos Vieira-Silva

Carlos Vieira-Silva

Carlos attained accounting and IT degrees at SCU and has worked as an accountant in various businesses around the LGA for over 27 years.

For the past four years he has managed a busy convenience store in Lismore’s CBD with his partner. Carlos is committed to promoting Lismore City as a vibrant regional centre, while being highly conscious of sustaining our beautiful environment.

Carlos was also a key campaigner in the successful Gasfield Free Northern Rivers community campaign.

Deborah Ray 

Deborah Ray.

Deborah is a long term resident, CBD business owner and a well known DJ.

She is an enthusiastic supporter of all things Lismore and is passionate about our environment, our community and our local economy.

She wholeheartedly supports progressive and innovative solutions to society’s challenges both locally and globally.

Jyllie Jackson

Jyllie Jackson.

Jyllie has lived locally for 47 years and in that time has worked in many community organisations and government departments across health, environment, education, employment, business and the arts.

She is best known as the director of the iconic Lismore Lantern Parade and is deeply committed to building a caring community.

Simon Clough

Simon Clough.

Simon was the previous OSF Councillor on Lismore City Council for 8 years, was Deputy Mayor, Chair of the Floodplain Mangement Committee and Rous County Councillor.

Simon was also the National Chair of Lock the Gate. Simon has spent nearly 50 years deeply involved in a wide range of community activities.

He is passionate about sustainability and protecting the community from the impacts of climate change.

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  1. To my wonder, with such a dedicated team, some personal friends can they support the development on the north Lismore Plateau,

    The proposed 2000 lot s 15000 car moves a day, destruction of endangered fauna flora and the massive water runoff,

    The development will demise the show ground events, tropical fruit, show, speedway etc n as refuge in fires etc

    It’s not sustainable if developers make hundreds of millions profit while ratepayers have to borrow 30 million to build the supporting infrastructure,

    Plus no Social Housing component,

    Only Vanessa can really stand tall against this blight to be foisted on us,


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