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January 28, 2021

Latest News

It’s legal to grow and distribute – but only by the anointed

Byron based medicinal cannabis producer is sending cannabis to Germany in a breakthrough $92m deal yet the humble plant remains illegal for locals and continues to put people behind bars.

Other News

Conspiracy and pubs

Art Burroughes, Mullumbimby Regarding my article Conspiracy in the Pub becomes talking point (Echo, 20 January). How can we avoid falling foul...

‘Angwirri’ greets the dawn upon Sydney icon

‘Angwirri’, meaning 'begin to talk', is the name of a sensational piece of Indigenous art that greeted the dawn on the sails of the Sydney Opera House this morning.

Cr Darlene Cook: more to Lismore City Council than roads, rates and rubbish

In the first of a series about those who are putting their hats in the ring to be the next mayor of Lismore, Cr Darlene Cook talks about the issues close to her heart, for the city at the heart of the Northern Rivers.

Rail Trail or nothing!

Neil McKenzie, Bangalow David Lisle’s article A short history of our rail corridor debate summed up succinctly and accurately the compelling...

Learner charged after Bruns roundabout crash

A 16-year-old learner driver has been charged with a string of offences after a crash in Brunswick Heads on Tuesday night.

Koala advocate is Tweed Citizen of the Year

Murwillumbah local Jenny Hayes was named the 2020 Tweed Shire Citizen of the Year at Tuesday’s Australia Day Awards...
In the lead up to the 18th Byron Bay Writers Festival this August 1–3, Echonetdaily is collecting articles and reviews of the authors and speakers that will be attending this year.

Byron Bay Writers Festival articles

Inaugural Write North Writers’ Group Residency

Byron Writers Festival and Create NSW have announced the recipients of their inaugural Write North Writers’ Group Residency

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How technology is hurting our kids

In his new book Teen Brains, the father of six exposes the addictive impact of technology on our children and how it’s making our kids anxious and depressed.

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Welcome to Byron Writers Festival 2019! 

Now more than ever our world needs writers, environmentalists, poets, commentators, politicians, and artists who together can shape stories of hope, courage, and change. At Byron Writers Festival 2019 we proudly bring more than 140 writers together to create a program brimming with diverse voices.

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You’ll love the Byron Writers Festival if…

Check out what's to love at the Byron Writers Festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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Writers Festival Satellite Event Highlights

As well as appearing in the main Festival program, selected writers and thinkers will feature in Byron Writers Festival’s program of separately ticketed Satellite Events that will have you laughing, crying, chin-stroking, and truly inspired. 

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Writers Festival adds youth poetry cup

A new satellite event at the Byron Bay Writers Festival will be introduced this year, called the John West Youth Poetry Cup. With a $500 cash prize, the competition is for 10 – 18-year-olds, entry is free, and the...

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Kids Big Day Out at Byron Writers Festival

Byron Writers Festival’s Kids Big Day Out is just around the corner and it’s pulling out all stops with five hours of non-stop book-loving action for all the family!

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Local kids review books by festival authors

Brotherband: The Outcasts by John Flanagan. Reviewed by Monty, age 9. The Gathering by Isobelle Carmody. Reviewed by Misha, age 12

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Growing up without the filter

Should childhood be lived in a happy, idyllic bubble, protected from the realities of the big wide world? Not according to well-known and respected author John Marsden, who will be sharing his insights at Byron Writers Festival this year.

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Books in cafes? Random Acts of Reading

Byron Writers Festival and local cafes across the region are spreading kindness and connection through the act of reading.

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Delight in new discoveries at this year’s Byron Writers Festival

From jellyfish experts to space archeologists, it’s often the names we don’t recognise that leave the most lasting impressions. This week we highlight some of the hidden gems within the 2019 Festival Program.

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Blood calls to blood: Vicki Laveau-Harvie

Vicki’s writing has been compared to the work of Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro. This year she was the winner of the Stella Prize and in 2018 the Finch Memoir Prize. You can hear more of Vicki’s extraordinary story at Byron Writers Festival on Friday 2 August on the panel Memoir: Running in the Family.

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Fighting the Mafia: Gianrico Carofiglio

One of Italy’s best-selling writers, Carofiglio will be at Byron Writers Festival to share his life experiences and discuss his latest thrilling novel The Cold Summer, inspired by a true story.

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We need to talk about online trolling

Ginger Gorman is coming to Byron Writers Festival to provide a window into not just the mindset of trolls, but also the profound changes in the way we live and work in a post-internet world.

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Hot topic sessions at Byron Writers Festival

If you’re looking for new insights into some of the big issues pervading modern consciousness, look no farther than Byron Writers Festival 2019. Here’s an overview of just some of the hot-topic sessions you won’t want to miss at the three-day Festival.

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Can there be ethical carnivores?

A book around the ethics of eating meat is certain to spark intense debate amongst vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores. On Eating Meat is that book and its author Matthew Evans is appearing at Byron Writers Festival

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Tim Costello: Australia’s favourite social-justice activist at Byron Writers Festival

Tim Costello is one of Australia’s leading voices on social justice and global poverty and has been instrumental in ensuring these issues are placed on the national and international agenda.

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Solid Air: Spoken-word showcase at Byron Theatre

From page to stage, let the words take flight! Come experience live some of Australia’s most vibrant performance and slam poets featured within the groundbreaking spoken-word anthology Solid Air.

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Your guide to Byron Writers Festival Satellite Events

As well as appearing in the main Festival program, selected writers and thinkers will feature in Byron Writers Festival’s program of Satellite Events that will have you laughing, crying, chin-stroking, and truly inspired.

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Byron Writers Festival ticket guide

Wondering which ticket is right for you? Read on for our quick guide to the 2019 Byron Writers Festival. A festival for your mind! Byron Writers Festival is set up a bit like a music festival, with six stages that you...

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Stop the press! Or why we shouldn’t…

Meet the journalists, politicians, and philosophers who will come together at Byron Writers Festival 2019 to unpack the challenging terrain of modern politics, free speech, and the crisis of democracy that comes with it. Why are voters so disaffected? A...

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What happens after the worst day of your life?

  The day that turns a life upside down usually starts like any other, but what happens the day after? As a journalist, Leigh Sales often encounters people experiencing the worst moments of their lives in the full glare of the...

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Jennifer Clement: press freedom and Gun Love

Jennifer Clement is one the highlight international guests appearing at Byron Writers Festival in August. The award-winning author of Prayers for the Stolen and The Widow Basquiat is also a poet, celebrated non-fiction writer. Jennifer Clement is also the first...

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Big books to get your hands on at Byron Writers Festival

There is plenty at this year’s Byron Writers Festival for book-lovers to lust over. Get your bedside book stack sorted with this day-by-day digest of literary delight. Friday 2 August 2019 Stella Prize winner Vicki Laveau-Harvie (The Erratics), Rick Morton (100...

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Stan Grant on identity and Australia Day

As uncomfortable as it is, we need to reckon with our history. On January 26, no Australian can really look away. There are the hard questions we ask of ourselves on Australia Day.

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Writers Fest reveals full program

Byron Writers Festival 2019 (August 2–4) has revealed a program featuring more than 140 Australian and international speakers spanning fiction, memoir, crime, environment, society, politics, poetry, art, comedy, and music.

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Welcome to the 2018 Byron Writers Festival

The Festival is finally here! The small team at Byron Writers Festival works all year to create this renowned gathering, Australia’s largest regional literary festival that explores the myriad threads of our daily lives, our communities and the broader world.

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The Power of Hope

We have to keep helping and we have to keep fighting, for all our sakes Byron Writers Festival guest Kon Karapanagiotidis overcame a traumatic childhood of racism, bullying and loneliness to create one of Australia’s largest human rights organisations, the Asylum...

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A Life Lived by Peace and Principle

For which principles am I willing to take a stand? And if I do take a stand, am I ready to accept the consequences of my resistance? In the wake of the election of President Trump, I ask myself these questions every day writes Sarah Sentilles.

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Kids Big Day Out at Byron Writers Festival

Byron Writers Festival has pulled out all stops to create a day full of fun, inspiration and creativity to ignite the imaginations of children at Festival Sunday on 5 August. Eight acclaimed children’s authors (see program) will face their...

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The good, the bad, the ugly

Byron Writers Festival shines light on mental health Mental health is one of the key themes running through 2018 Byron Writers Festival, with this year’s lineup designed to draw awareness to the wide spectrum of causes, effects and conditions in...

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The Coal Truth: The fight to stop Adani

The Coal Truth has a simple message – stop the proposed Adani Carmichael Mine in Queensland from going ahead. Since 2012, the fight to stop the opening of the vast Galilee coal basin has emerged as an iconic crusade of...

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Feature Events offer the best of the Byron Writers Festival

Byron Writers Festival Feature Events offer a curated selection of guests and interviewers, these performances and intimate conversations will have you laughing, crying and truly inspired.

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The Dismissal Dossier

In The Dismissal Dossier Professor Jenny Hocking exposes the definitive story of the dismissal of Gough Whitlam’s Labor government bringing together a mixture of the unknown, the overlooked and the clandestine.

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What is it like to grow up Aboriginal in Australia?

Award-winning author Anita Heiss’s powerful anthology Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia showcases many diverse voices, experiences and stories of family, country and belonging.

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Imprisoned for 440 days in an Egyptian jail

When Peter Greste was arrested in Egypt, his family were shocked but not panicked. Peter had been a foreign correspondent for two decades in numerous dangerous countries, and been detained before. He was only in Egypt on temporary assignment...

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Danger Music: Hong Kong to Kabul

Eddie Ayres learnt the viola as a child in England, studied in Berlin and London before playing the viola for eight years with the Hong Kong Philharmonic. As Emma Ayres, she moved from Hong Kong to Australia to present...

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Hyeonseo Lee, The Girl with Seven Names

As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee was one of millions trapped by a secretive and brutal regime. Her home on the border with China gave her some exposure to the world beyond the confines of...

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Reformed farmer Charles Massy gives hope for the planet

Is it too late to regenerate the earth? Call of the Reed Warbler by best-selling author, long-time farmer plus PhD in social change Charles Massy shows the way forward for the future of our food supply, our Australian landscape...

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Best of Byron Writers Festival picked by locals

Have you been wondering what to check out at the Byron Writers Festival? Take a look at what some other locals are looking forward to...

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Ideas at forefront for written festival

After many months of careful curation, the full program for this year’s Byron Writers Festival has been released, profiling 140 writers and thinkers who will converge at the Elements of Byron resort from August 3 till 5.

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Living Wild – from Goonengerry to New Zealand

Could you live in the wilderness with nothing but the clothes on your back? Two guests at Byron Writers Festival this year have each survived for years in the wilderness, although the paths that led them there are very different.

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Byron Writers Festival full program released

Byron Writers Festival has just announced its complete 2018 lineup, so put down your pen and pick up a program to check out the diverse array of writers and events on offer.

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The exciting thing about depression

'What if there is no medical evidence to support depression as a chemical imbalance?' asks award-winning author Johann Hari in his new book Lost Connections.

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Byron Writers Festival a huge success

Organisers if the 2017 Byron Writers Festival are well chuffed to say the least with the event over the weekend and say the 21st birthday was hugely successful.

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Tex Talks

Tex is a funny prick. In an industry full of people who take themselves SO seriously, Perkins is a breath of fresh air.

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The life and times of Jimmy Barnes

Interview with Mandy Nolan “I didn’t write the story hoping for forgiveness. I wrote it hoping for life.” Prolific songwriter and performer, Jimmy Barnes has been a storyteller for more than 40 years, sharing his life and passions with Australians of...

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Book Reviews by Byron Bay Public School Students

Grace Author: Morris Gleitzman Reviewed by: Billie Aitken-McGregor Class: Age 11 Byron Bay Public School  “We were a happy family. We were bountiful. But it came to pass that I started doing sins. And that’s when all our problems began.” Imagine having your father taken...

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The Reef, trees and stars at Writers Festival

This year’s Byron Writers Festival hosts a range of conversations for those interested in delving into the environment, astronomy and science, led by some of the world’s leading scientific minds. From discoveries made below the waterline, to those made...

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Terrorism, politics and betrayals collide in debut novel from Tony Jones

Tony Jones was still at school when Lionel Murphy raided ASIO. After an ABC cadetship, he joined Four Corners as a reporter in 1985, and later Dateline at SBS in 1986. He subsequently was an ABC foreign correspondent, for...

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Rail trail debate

Geoff Meers, Suffolk Park It was good to read David Lisle’s comprehensive and reasoned discussion of the history of the Casino to Murwillumbah rail corridor....

No respect

Chibo Mertineit, Lillian Rock Once again it’s that time of the year where we are meant to celebrate Australia day on 26 January. The day...

A window of trust

Baden Offord, Ocean Shores Wholeheartedly agree with Dave Rastovich’s spot-on letter regarding the value and benefit of The Echo, that it is a ‘trusted window’ (Letters,...

Conspiracy and pubs

Art Burroughes, Mullumbimby Regarding my article Conspiracy in the Pub becomes talking point (Echo, 20 January). How can we avoid falling foul of the growing tsunami of...