21 C
Byron Shire
March 5, 2024

Flood ravaged Mullum a paradise for some

Latest News

French Film Festival – just delicious

This year’s French Film Festival opening night choice is a unique adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’s thrilling and beloved classic novel The Three Musketeers. In a double blockbuster film production nominated for six César awards, from director Martin Bourboulon, the opening instalment, D’Artagnan, will open the festival.

Other News

How would you stop koalas going extinct in the wild?

The strategy for koala conservation is currently under review and the community is being asked for feedback on the best ways to help NSW’s endangered koalas.

Incoming holiday letting rules discriminatory, say residents

Byron Bay resident, Catherine Henniker, told The Echo she lives in one of the parts of the town that has been deemed ‘365 nights for short-term holiday lets’, under new state government rules to be introduced in September.

Western values

In a recent vote at the United Nations, the General Assembly adopted a resolution on the right of the...

Firefighters called to Bruns Bakery yesterday

Fire and Rescue NSW say they attended commercial premises in Fingal Street in Brunswick Heads after reports of an electrical fire at 4pm yesterday afternoon.

CSIRO voyage gets up close to Antarctica’s climate challenges

The rapidly changing nature of Antarctica has been witnessed first-hand by Australia’s leading research ship on a record-breaking investigation of the icy continent.  

The changing of the possums at Wallum

Yesterday a large group of Wallum development protesters walked onto the site at the end of Omega Circuit, to surround two trees – one known as ‘The Mother Tree’ and one known as ‘The Grandmother Tree’,

Igor is happy to be in Mullumbimby, and his daughter Alina is happier. Photo Tree Faerie.

Being in post-flood Mullum at the moment is no walk in the park, but for recent Ukrainian arrival Igor Zorkin, Mullumbimby has been, for the last week, a paradise.

Even a Ukrainian local would need a degree in history to work out the political and border changes in Igor’s home town of Luhansk, known in Russian as Lugansk, and formerly known as Voroshilovgrad, which is a city in eastern Ukraine, in the disputed Donbas region.

Luhansk is currently the capital and administrative centre of the Luhansk People’s Republic, a breakaway State established in 2014 by pro-Russian separatists. Yet it’s not part of Russia and it sits in a kind of no man’s land between Russia, and Ukraine – a Johnny-in-the-middle.

English-speaking world knew more of the war

Igor has left his home of Luhansk behind. Original map – Radomir Zinovyev.

Igor’s daughter Alina has been living in Australia for 15 years and says the English-speaking world knew more of what was coming than the people at ground zero, and she was really scared for dad’s safety. ‘The whole world outside Russia and the Ukraine knew war was starting any day, so I quickly applied for his visa. I was crying on the phone to him every day – trying to convince him to leave his town and be ready as soon as we got a visa and tickets.’ 

Alina says Igor had to go to Kyiv (Kiev) to get a medical check up. Not only did he have -o cross the border from the republic to Ukraine, a passage that is only allowed once a month, he also had to fly out of Russia to get to Australia – which he did the day before the war began.

Once in Melbourne he spent a week in COVID quarantine before arriving in Mullum on March 7, a week after the deluge.

Mullum is wonderful

Though locally we are sad for Mullum, Igor thinks it’s wonderful. ‘Back home the roads are terrible, there’s no running hot water – in Kyiv yes, but not in our little town. I get paid $10 for the whole day. It’s a hard life for people. This is better for me here.’

Igor says that Mullum is also more friendly. ‘I’m really surprised that everyone on the streets says hello. It doesn’t happen in my country. If people don’t know each other, they don’t say hello.’

Igor says it is terribly difficult to see what is happening in Ukraine now – he has no family left there, but it is his home and it’s hard for him to witness what is going on.

Feeling blessed

Alina says she is not sure what will happen to her dad. He is currently on a parent visa for a year, but she hopes that he can stay. ‘It would have broken my heart if he didn’t leave in time and had stayed in Ukraine when the war started. I feel blessed that he is here with us now but my heart is bleeding for people in Ukraine – for mothers who have lost their kids, for families who leave their fathers and husbands behind and run away to save the children. 

‘I hope and pray for the people in this war. In my eyes there is no such a thing as winning a war, as at the end of it all a lot of people will die, mothers whose sons will die fighting the war will never find peace in their lives and will never see their boys again.’

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

Interview with Tijuana Cartel

Tijuana Cartel is a renowned Australian musical collective celebrated for their pioneering fusion of diverse genres. Their latest masterpiece, Alectura is an innovative album that once again showcases the band’s expertise in blending organic house and melodic house with captivating rhythms, beats, and global influences.

Concerned about climate change and societal collapse?

Join a Q&A with Jem Bendell for one night only in Byron Bay – Professor of Sustainability, Jem Bendell, was one of the first to directly name and speak out about what the climate crisis means for our civilisation. His seminal paper Deep Adaptation started a global movement by that name as well as inspiring the creation of Extinction Rebellion.

Seedlings: start another Big Scrub

Victoria Cosford There’s something about trees that makes people happy, that evokes a positive response. I’m standing at the newish ReForest Now stall at the...

National inquiry highlights the importance of shopping locally

The final report of the Inquiry into Price Gouging and Unfair Pricing Practices released last month revealed big business has worsened the cost-of-living crisis...