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Welcome to our latest publication, Made Here!
There is an idea of belonging that often inspires people to try the waters of the Northern Rivers. An idea that, if they come here, they might discover themselves and others in a more true and connected way. It is often based on the principles that those original hippies came here in the 1970s as they sought to reassess and redefine their relationships with themselves, their community and society at large.
Those ideas were based how to change the relationships with the people around them positively, how to protect the environment and how to reconnect…
While it may have started with the Barter Field and moon dances in Main Arm, the Aquarius Festival in Nimbin, and the Terania Creek protests, it continues to grow and change. You can still head to local markets like The Channon and buy things that have been lovingly made by local hands and minds, but it has also become an area where ideas and businesses can seed and grow beyond the region.
The focus on community has allowed the development of The Farmers Markets and Lismore Produce Market that provide an outlet for local growers to connect directly with their customers. At the other end of the spectrum you can now pick up Byron Bay Cookies on the other side of the globe, and there are businesses like Brookfarm – which has expanded from muesli and macadamia oil into a successful range of healthy food products.
Whether it is food and farming, woodwork, essential oils or art the key is that being part of a local community allows people to come together, to make connections and support one another. That can be in so many different ways: from helping build tiny homes for the homeless and supporting the local community centres, to innovative regenerative farming practices and business development and employment. As all these elements weave together they create community, support lives and the local economy. The hope is that as we move forward the idea of community is not lost, that what has been created, in terms of connection and support, can grow stronger in the face of the challenges of climate change and political corruption. That integrity, hope and the value of people, the environment and caring is one of the things we can keep as an integral part of what we have made here and what might continue to inspire.
Aslan Shand, editor
• Made here was distributed with The Byron Shire Echo issue 36.16