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Byron Shire
March 7, 2021
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Mandy Nolan's Soapbox

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The Power of Letting Go

What would you do if someone killed your children? A year ago, when the three children and niece of Leila and Danny Abdallah were struck and killed by a drunk driver while they were walking to get ice cream, I wondered how those parents made sense of that immediate loss.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Zip it Sweetie

The other day my friend told me she was watching a horse race and one of the horses was called ‘Zipitsweetie’. She was appalled. The name is supposed to be funny! A phrase usually used by a man telling a woman to shut up. To ‘zip it’, followed by the belittling term ‘sweetie’. That’s a statement of power and control used to silence women. Used to minimise us. It’s so normalised someone was comfortable about using it to name their racehorse.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The Ears Have It

It’s 6am, the sun is only just nudging its way through the clouds. I am up early to write my Soapbox. I was going to write on something else, but this morning when I woke and stumbled to my desk I saw my open diary: 22 January, Michael’s birthday. He would have been 61 today.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The Sol of Mullumbimby

I love walking through cemeteries. I love to read the gravestones. They are like the first and last page of a novel whose contents I will never know. Here lies many from my community; they were born, lived, and then lost. They were loved. This evening I am walking with my 11-year-old daughter and my husband through Mullumbimby’s cemetery. It is a quiet and beautiful place. I feel the stories rumbling under our feet. I never understand why people see these places as creepy. They are places of reverence and remembering.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Gross Estate

Last week, in Byron, a house that doesn’t yet exist sold for $60 million. A beachfront holiday house. A tidy little weekender. The buyer bought a drawing of the house that is yet to materialise. It’s not even a home. It’s for holidays. A holiday from what? Makes me want to puke. We should all be appalled. This sort of wealth should not be celebrated. It’s destroying us.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Rocking Up

COVID-19 has killed ‘just rocking up’. It was already on the endangered list, but now the spontaneity of rocking up may be dead forever.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Boxing Day Test Match

There is something very nostalgic about backyard cricket. I remember Christmases where the garbage bins were pulled in for wickets and a few drunk mums and dads faced up to spin bowls from their eager kids.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The ten lessons of COVID – Our year of wonders

This wasn’t the year any of us expected. It’s been full of disappointment, dashed expectations and uncertainty. To live in a time of global pandemic is history in the making.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: MANHATER

As a feminist there are many times I have been called a manhater. It’s the go to put down to extinguish or disqualify legitimate rage.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: How to get The Full Mandy

Every week I sit exactly here and wonder what I am going to write. I don’t always know. It’s a constant mild anxiety where my brain filters through the trash to find a little treasure that hasn’t been touched.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Are Farmers the New Hippies?

The face of the environmental movement is changing. For years those of us who stepped forward against big business or government were discredited by being called ‘hippies’ or ‘tree huggers’ or ‘professional protesters’.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: A funny thing happened…

Last week my column on old white men triggered a man who has been trolling me for the last few months to escalate his menace. He created a meme with a picture of me with ‘confirmed racist’ on my head, declaring The Echo is an anti-white newspaper and should be boycotted. BTW, white people don’t experience racism – we are the dominant culture.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The Real Threat to the Future: Old White Men

The world has reached peak old white man. Ever since someone decided God was a really old white dude sitting on a cloud we have given these ageing patriarchs more status than they deserve. They have held supreme power. They have been captains of industry. They have initiated wars. They have controlled the financial sector. They have chosen what is news and history. They have orchestrated coups. Collusion. Collateral damage.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: They shoot comedians don’t they?

This year was the first year in a long time I didn’t perform for Melbourne Cup. I hate Cup day. Not for the reason that most others do – cruelty to horses. At least they have a lobby group of caring animal activists. Melbourne Cup is also cruelty for comedians. It’s probably the hardest gig on the calendar. Drunk women in stupid hats. Is there no greater terror?

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: How to Be Kool

It takes courage to listen to who you truly are. It takes even more courage to live it. There is a man I have seen who I wonder about. I wonder what happened in his life that led him to be who he is today. I wonder who he was before. He is The Pineapple Man

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: How I stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the C Bomb

How do you feel about the C word? Frankly I hate that I can’t say ‘can’t’ here. Like it’s too hideous to be said out loud. For some people, even saying ‘the C word’ without saying the actual C word is as risky as they get. They’ll say ‘I can tolerate anything except the C word’ because apparently it’s too offensive.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: When Gladys Met Daryl

Gladys sure can pick ‘em! It’s not her politics that are going to bring her down, it’s not her choice in policies – it’s her choice in men. Namely, her bad boyfriend, Daryl. How could she have known? I mean, what happens in Wagga stays in Wagga! Unless of course you’re using your pillow talk to get the inside goss to convince federal oil and gas lobby groups to help sell your Chinese mining technology. ‘Frack Me Daryl!’

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The Magic of the Mushroom

Science is finally telling us something that a lot of us already knew. Psychedelics are good for us! Mushrooms for mental health! Ah, the healing powers of Mother Earth’s wonder drug – psilocybin!

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Bleeding Offensive

Facebook has banned an ad for women’s period undies. It’s 2020 and on the social media platform where Facebook Live has captured severe and shocking violence, has let conspiracy theories run rampant and where I personally have had memes posted of me being shot in the head – all have gone unchecked– yet they have decided that this particular brand of leak-proof undies violate the rules.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The homeless women of the Byron Shire you won’t see on Instagram

Poverty is an uncomfortable truth. Knowing you can intervene to change the circumstances of another human being’s life is a privilege and a duty. In his book The Life You Can Save, philosopher Peter Singer argued that citizens of affluent nations are behaving immorally if they do not act to end the poverty they know to exist in developing nations.

Not quite ‘too late’

Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia Sir David Attenborough, the world’s most famous naturalist, has just addressed the United Nations Security Council to say it’s ‘too late’. Climate...

Suspicion and belief

Fast Buck$, Coorabell My suspicion is that the mayor and the senior staff have been helping Michael Lyon become electable as mayor by scripting his...


I Menahemi, Myocum In his editorial Hans Lovejoy says – ‘the optics from The Echo have been and hopefully always will be independent.’ As long as more...

Suffolk Park pump track

Jinesh Attard, Suffolk Park Many in the local community of hillside Suffolk Park have come to understand the impact the pump track will have on our...