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Byron Shire
September 22, 2023
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Mandy Nolan's Soapbox

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Big Polluters are Getting Off

Offsets don’t work. They have become a licence to pollute. What we actually need is a reduction in carbon emissions, not carbon-emitting industries to greenwash their impact by investing in a solar farm or planting saplings. While it’s nice to know that big polluters are keen to invest in green industry it would be better if they just stopped polluting. You know what’s better than offsets?

Make Bruns the new Bentley

There is never nothing we can do.  There are just people who do nothing. With a world that is not on track to meet its climate targets, in the face of government failure it is the community who must act. It is time to do something. Right now in Brunswick Heads our wild heathland is calling.

Mandy Nolans Soapbox: National Child Protection Week – Break the Silence

The Australian Child Maltreatment Study found that almost 1 in 4 Australians experienced one or more types of contact child sexual abuse while almost 1 in 5 experienced non-contact child sexual abuse. Almost 1 in 10 Australians experienced forced sex in childhood. How do we continue to fail to protect our children? What is broken that we need to fix? What is systemic that we need to smash?

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The Luis Kiss

Don’t grab women by the head and kiss them. It seems obvious. But the patriarch had to stake his claim. Luis Rubiales, the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation just broke Christmas. And I’m pissed.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Are we losing the Raffle?

The last day off I had was June 23. The next one is sometime in September. I was wondering the other day why I was feeling a bit tired so I checked my diary. Oops. Apparently they invented this thing called the ‘weekend’. Ostensibly it was to refresh the worforce. Or at least give them time to yell at their kids, mow the lawn and wash their undies. And maybe go shopping. There’s no point to a capitalist system if you don’t have time to spend your money or get into debt. Or cut down old growth forests. Or up your carbon footprint.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Action to Stop Extraction

Ryder is a forest activist. After the floods he spoke at a climate rally in Sydney in front of 5,000 people where he called for an end to fossil fuels. He is a forest protector who runs ‘tree listening’ tours in our local forests and was part of the citizen scientist group that found giant trees that had not been protected in Doubleduke State Forest. This led to the Forestry Corporation having to stop logging. Ryder is 10 years old. 

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The Team Girl

FIFA Women’s World Cup is having massive positive impact on girls all over the country. It’s telling girls they are powerful. That what they do is exciting. That the world is watching them. And when the world is watching, it’s watching them for their skill. Women in sport are exciting and commanding massive audiences.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: To Bank or Not To Bank…

I remember going to the bank as a kid. It was an austere place – because money was serious. Banks designed themselves a bit like confessionals. The teller was your private priest of poverty or prosperity. Everyone spoke in hushed tones, so when you withdrew $2.50 from your passbook your fiscal sins were private.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The Real Conspiracy

Black helicopters will arrive and bring the US under the control of the United Nations. Water condensation trails contain biological and chemical agents sprayed on the population to lower fertility, give them cancer and make them compliant. International elites control governments, industry and media. These include Jewish people, and NGOs such as The World Economic Forum.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Barbie Girls Claiming Back their Barbie World

As a little girl nothing compared to the smell of a new Barbie. It smelt like love and ambition. It smelt like a new job. Independence. I remember the pink of the box. The shine of her blonde hair stapled to cardboard. Her tiny pointy feet pushed into stilettos. Her giant nipple-less breasts screaming to the world that she was an unashamed sexual icon who clearly wouldn’t be breastfeeding. It seemed like a very sexualised toy for a kid. I think that’s why I love her so much.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Robo from the Rich

According to the recent Royal Commission, nearly half a million Australians received false Robodebt notices. Welfare recipients – people living in poverty, were criminalised by an automated debt-recovery system that left people to dispute a debt they never had. The system used to calculate the debt was wrong. It caused enormous harm to hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Yes

I cannot comprehend waking up in a country that has said ‘No’ to the Voice. A country of over 96 per cent non-Indigenous people...

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Bury me deep in love

My dad’s grave sits like a relic in time, it eerily marks the moment when his life stopped. A blackened concrete rectangle that protects the coffin that is buried deep below. A coffin made of beautiful, wasted, timber where his dead body was placed and lowered into this hole.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: What are you waiting for?

If you want to destroy someone without lifting a finger, make them wait. Keep them believing that help will come. Farm their hope. Ensure...

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Asking for what you want

As a performer for over 30 years who has sat crammed next to toilet rolls in a supply room, dealt with dirty undies in the manager’s office and sat in a cold concrete outdoor space under a tarp in cyclonic conditions, I understand that when you crack the big time you might pull a few diva requests.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: When your home is a prison

When a 95-year-old woman is tasered in her nursing home, it’s clear our aged care system is broken. It’s clear also that our policing methods aren’t far behind. Clare Nowland was on a walking frame, she has dementia, and she was clearly frail. Somehow the police ascertained she was a violent threat and tasered her.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: A crown is just a stupid hat

There is a man sitting in the street. He is homeless and he has a hat out, asking for donations. The cardboard sign is...

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The Gift

It’s Mother’s Day next week so I thought it might be timely to write a letter of gratitude to my children. The people I...

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Peace 2.0

Are we heading towards war? According to some media outlets, a war with China could be as little as three years away. Politically, banging...

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Coming Home

Homesickness is defined as a longing for one’s home after a period of absence from it. It’s a strange anxiety and sense of displacement....

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: To park or not to park

Parking anxiety. It’s a thing. It’s the fear that you will never be able to get out of your car; that you will miss your appointment or engagement, or never be able to start work because there is nowhere legal to park. You may never get out of your vehicle. You will drive until you run out of fuel, or die, or maybe both. Your skeletal remains will be found strapped into the driver’s seat with your indicator still on, waiting for someone to leave.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Dear Karen

Women named Karen aren’t doing so well. They don’t find Karen jokes funny. ‘Calm Down Karen’ doesn’t make them calm. It makes them anxious, unhappy and unfairly victimised.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Alcohol and our Endless Soma

I stopped drinking. It was nine months ago. I feel great. Less anxious. Happier. I have more energy. I sleep better. I am more present in my relationships. I ask questions and listen rather than talk over the top of other people. I have lost weight. My skin looks good. In fact people ask me all the time ‘What have you done?’ Like there’s some magic answer. It’s not what I have done, it’s what I have stopped doing.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: A fluid God

Why is the ultra-right targeting trans kids? Opportunistic neo-Nazis are using transphobia as their PR exercise. Like abortion, trans issues, and in particular issues around schools and the rights of trans kids, are emotionally charged. For those who have chosen bigotry and fear over acceptance and inclusion, polarised viewpoints create ignition points for hate and violence.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Vape Culture

Tobacco companies are in your home and in your school. They are quite possibly in your kid’s school bag. They have their sights set on your children; your precious kids are their future. They need to groom your babies into addiction so that their shareholders can continue to suck in their grubby toxic profits. The lips of the tobacco industry are on the soft fleshy cheeks of your babies and they are sucking hard. They are vaping the life out of your kids.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The kind of girl who can’t say ‘No’

I’m just a girl who can’t say ‘No’. It’s been my default setting for as long as I can remember. It’s probably why, when I’m offered a drink, I’ll have six instead of one. Or if I’m offered a piece of chocolate I’ll want the whole block. I’m not a moderate person. I don’t understand moderate people and how they think. How do they so easily set limits for themselves? I tell myself that moderate people live in beige houses and live beige lives. 

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: SOS – Save Our Seniors!

In 1997 John Howard introduced The Aged Care Act that privatised the aged care system. It was the beginning of the end of quality care. You don’t need to work in the sector to realise that juicing our elderly for cash is unethical.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Love letter to my feminism

Becoming a feminist changed my life. For me it was like finding home. It was fiercely intellectual. Fiercely compassionate. It was fiercely just. Feminism showed...

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Living in Limbo, Life after the flood.

In Christian theology, Limbo is the afterlife condition of those who die in original sin without being assigned to the Hell of the Damned. In our region that’s how many are describing the last 12 months of interactions with the NRRC and insurance companies in their attempts to find not the ‘afterlife’ per se, but life after the flood.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Speaking to children about death

Today I happened upon an episode of This American Life, which interviewed kids who attended a program called The Sharing Place, a kind of peer support for kids who have lost a close family member like a parent or a sibling. It was 5.30am and I was driving to the beach for my walk. I went to change it to something less intense, but then that voice in my head said, ‘Listen’. 

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Nicessism Disorder

I have a disorder that is incompatible with living a comfortable life in the current system. Unfortunately it’s becoming less common, but there are people living in your street who will have it. Maybe even your friends, or someone in your family. Maybe you. It’s my deep shame. It’s why I will never be rich and successful. But probably why I am so deeply happy and why I am so full of love and care for other humans.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Have your Perfect Say

We live in a community where there is nowhere to live and the whole world is watching what we do next, wondering if we will do what their superstar tourist destinations did and regulate the housing market

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Invasion, Survival and Mourning Day

Why does 26 January create so much anger, sadness and frustration? Because it’s a day that is not inclusive. It’s a day that celebrates inequality in this country. It’s a day that says 97 per cent of our population can celebrate the injustices done to thousands and thousands of innocent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the name of advancement and expansion of the British Empire.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Talking to myself in the mirror

This week I turn 55. It’s a privilege to be getting older.  I have a loving husband. I have a family I adore who, for the most part, adore me back. I live in a modestly beautiful house full of the things I’ve collected, or made, or been given, or ended up with. I live in a community that I value and who values me. That said, my life is not perfect. I have complex challenges that I try to use to enrich, rather than diminish, my life. I try not to compare others or myself. I try to embrace impermanence. I feel others’ pain at an intensity I’ve never felt before. I believe this is the beginning of the long labour of my eldership.

Lindy Lucena matters

Lindy Lucena was the first woman this year to be murdered in an act of domestic violence. She was beaten to death in a street in Ballina. Her partner, Robert Karl Huber, is charged with her murder, and breaching a DVO. I heard this on the news. It chilled me to the bone. 

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: These salad days

Meet Craig. He’s enlightened. He wasn’t born enlightened. And he certainly didn’t go out looking for enlightenment. It found him. And Craig, and Nerang, will never be the same.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The Same Old Story

It’s horrible getting old. I don’t want to end up in a nursing home. I don’t want to finish this story in a chair looking at the wall.

Tweed Council seeks businesses to join it’s rail trail ‘Connect Program’ 

Paying for the maintenance and providing an engaging visitor experience for the Tweed section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail is a key aspect of Tweed Shire Council’s (TSC) Connect Program. 

Facelift for Cape Byron walking track – but not everyone happy

The Cape Byron walking track that leads from Wategos Beach towards the Byron lighthouse has been given a ‘facelift’ by NSW National Parks. But not all users are happy...

Varroa mite here to stay as NSW pivots from eradication to management of costly invasive species

The Varroa Mite ‘(Varroa destructor and Varroa jacobsoni) is a parasite of adult honey bees and honey bee brood. It weakens and kills honey...

Cycling race in Lismore this weekend to raise money for Westpac Rescue Helicopter

Whether it is getting on the track or watching the cyclists there are plenty of ways to get on board with the Lismore 2023 – Byron Bay Cycle Club Road Race this Sunday 24, September in Lismore’s CBD.