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Byron Shire
August 11, 2022

Latest News

Mullum locals protest flood-prone pod site

Around 40–50 locals gathered outside the Byron Shire Council chambers this morning to highlight the risks of, and lack of due process around, the selection of the flood accommodation pod site in Mullumbimby.

Other News

The North Coast Mud Trail is ten!

Fifteen local pottery studios will soon open their doors and reveal their latest ceramic art creations for the 10th Anniversary North Coast Mud Trail, recently launched at Ignite Studios in Ballina.

Our growth under threat, say local distillers

Local independent distillers behind iconic labels Ink Gin and Brookie’s Byron Dry Gin say a longstanding ‘bad’ government policy that taxes spirits unfairly, compared to other alcohol such as wine, is putting thousands of jobs at risk in a ‘dangerous high inflation environment’.

Council: Goonellabah park not available for pods

Tuesday’s debate in the Lismore Council chambers was mostly about the community’s need for open, green space for sport and recreation balanced against the need for places to live.

Tweed research hub battling chlamydia for koalas

A unique koala facility on the Tweed Coast is playing a key role in the battle against the chlamydia.

Council acknowledges desire for house relocations, buybacks and land swaps

Last night Lismore Council looked at House Relocations, Land swaps and Buy Backs when Councillor Adam Guise’s moved a motion that “Council acknowledges flood impacted ratepayers' desire for house relocations, buybacks and land swaps."

More infestations of Varroa found in Newcastle area

What many people don’t know is that without bees, the large variety of plant food on their plate will...

Family Magazine

Family – Issue Three

Get the most out of family life on the North Coast
Issue #3, Winter/Spring 2022

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The family tapestry

Families are things we are born with, things we make, and things we chose. But they are inevitably an important part of our lives for both good and bad. The question is what can we learn from them; when do we need to let them go; and how can we be there for them when they need us?

I’ve discovered that families are a journey, they are the people we have in our lives – be they the ones we have been born with or the ones we choose – they are the ones who have impact. From childhood, parents, siblings, cousins, and family friends help shape our ideas, our memories and our choices. But there comes a point when we learn to question, or at least I hope we do, the ideas they give us. When, as children, we need to pull away and decide what is important to us. It is the point at which we, or our children, or other members of our chosen family need to be let go, to let them make mistakes, and then be there for them when they fall and when they succeed.

I can’t be there for my family every step of the way, but when I’m needed I am there. This is one of the greatest gifts my family have given each other, that when times are truly difficult, they are quietly there. We are not a fairweather friends, in fact there are members of my family that I may not see for years but when it has gone belly up they were there, supporting, helping, ensuring I didn’t drown. These were birth family and chosen family, these were the people who make up the tapestry of my life.

In an age that for many means we have family and friends all over the world it might just be a phone call or a letter at the right time or it might be a dash to be there in person when you are needed. The important thing to remember is that family is what you make it; so have fun, laugh, cry and remember to forgive – because at the end of the day we are all only human.

– Aslan Shand, editor

Family – Issue Two

Get the most out of family life on the North Coast
Issue Two, Autumn–Spring 2022

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Family, community, and life

Australian families have been significantly impacted over the past few years with additional pressure and stress.

For some it has meant they haven’t been able to see family members for several years. For others it has meant they have been unable to be with parents or other family members when they have passed away or attend their farewells. For others disagreement and disharmony have caused misaligned chakras and bad juju karma. But it has also reminded us all that family, be that by blood or by choice, are essential to our wellbeing.

Family stretches the gamut from deeply personal one-on-one relationships and small interpersonal groups out through to the broader community.

It is through our choices that we not only support each other but build a stronger community that supports everyone from the youngest to the oldest knowledge holders. It is about recognising the fact that we all bring value and that we exist better together than apart.

But the journey can be challenging as we grow and determine our sense of self or as we age and meet the limitations of our ultimate decline.

The stories that have been explored in these pages are about the choices that we face, the personalities and opportunities that are thrown on our paths and the importance of not only the personal journey but the journey we take with each other.

While the pandemic has seen plans to be with family for funerals and festive celebrations scattered to the wind it has also reminded us of the importance of reaching out to others. Of letting someone know, or being let know, that the people who care are there for you even if they can’t be there in person.

At a time when anxiety is increasing, people are challenged with caring for and teaching children at home, young people are feeling they aren’t getting to stretch their wings, and older people are feeling isolated and people on the front line are being stretched to the limit, it is essential to remember that we can all take a moment to let someone know that we care. It is through our actions that we create family, community, and support each other’s lives. It is through choosing to be a part of others’ lives that we can enrich those around us and create the supportive families that make this journey one of fun, laughter, and a life worth living.

– Aslan Shand, Editor

Family North Coast 2021 Magazine

Issue One – July 2021

Download PDF (9MB)

Welcome to our latest publication, Family.
We hope you enjoy it!

When you think about it, families are like a microcosm of the larger community, or the world at large – like a mixed bag of lollies you don’t always get to choose and you don’t always get your favourites – but whether they are your biological, chosen or extended family we tend to come together when we really need each other.

Certainly, that has always been the way with my crazy lot – chosen and unchosen. We don’t live in one another’s pockets, in some cases we don’t talk to each other for years, but I know deep inside that if any of us need support we will be there for each other, favourites or not.

It isn’t an unconditional love, but it is a trust in knowing you have someone who has got your back. It is knowing that when a parent is ageing we will recognise they need our help, when someone has a life crisis, mental health challenges or are differently-abled we will be there for them. Not because as a grandparent, sibling, or chosen family member we want to drop everything and take care of them, but because that is what you do. And that is what we do as a larger community, that is what we do as part of our social contract with the state, with the world.

As humans we live in groups and the signature of ‘civilisation’ is the ability to care for the more vulnerable, to create ritual to bring us together, and look after each other. That is why I support free access to education, health and equity of opportunity for everyone – because that is what I would want for my family, the people I love, and that is what everyone, by extension, deserves.

It is why I care for the environment and the wellbeing of other creatures on this planet, because without each other we can never be any greater than the individual. As a species we humans have great capacity for understanding, knowledge and invention (we can also be self-righteous, cruel and down right blinkered) but it takes coming together in families, in communities, and as a world to solve the problems we face.

As they say, it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to be there for all the vulnerable people in our lives, ourselves included, as we carry each other through. By extending our understanding of family we can support each other into a more equitable world for all creatures and the planet; because if we don’t come together to carry each other through then we will never find the solutions we need for either ourselves or our future.

Perhaps I was wrong, perhaps it is unconditional love that we need.

– Aslan Shand, Editor

Council: Goonellabah park not available for pods

Tuesday’s debate in the Lismore Council chambers was mostly about the community’s need for open, green space for sport and recreation balanced against the need for places to live.

Cabarita DA refused on character grounds

Tweed Shire Councillors refused a DA for a four-storey block of flats at 2-6 Tweed Coast Road, Cabarita Beach, despite the staff recommendation of approval.

Concerns over future of Murwillumbah Hospital

Northern NSW Local Health District have sought to reassure locals that facilities won't be downgraded or closed at Murwillumbah Hospital when the controversial new Tweed Valley Hospital in Cudgen near Kingscliff opens in 2023.

No letup in the struggle for climate justice

The 43 per cent emissions target passed last week in the House of Representatives lacks the ambition needed to radically diminish Australia’s contribution to global warming. It’s too little, too late.