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Byron Bay News

FROM DREAMER TO HEALER: ALLEGRA’S inspiring JOURNEY

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Allegra Family

FROM DREAMER TO HEALER: ALLEGRA’S inspiring JOURNEY

 

BY ACAP

Allegra Faery is an inspiring counselling student who has triumphed over life’s challenges to live her dream in the Northern Rivers, where she now has a husband, four children and one grandchild. Allegra shared her journey from working at her husband’s business to now studying the Bachelor of Counselling and making life-long friends at the Australian College of Applied Professions (ACAP) in Byron Bay.

Moving up from Melbourne, Allegra has called the Northern Rivers home for more than 15 years, finding love and building a family in the region. “It took me 10 years to move here, but I never gave up on that dream,” Allegra reflected. “It has been a beautiful journey as I never thought I’d live in the Northern Rivers and find love – I now tell people to never give up on their dreams!”

Allegra’s dedication to her family serves as a foundation for her compassionate nature. She believes that her genuine empathy makes her a trustworthy confidante.

“Being a mum and now a grandmother are the most important things in the whole world to me, and I think people can sense I’m a compassionate person and will listen to those who wish to share their stories with me.”

The path to counselling wasn’t always clear for Allegra. Before studying at ACAP, she worked as an office manager at her husband’s business and conducted children’s workshops on ethical and sustainable farming. However, a persistent calling to help others led her to pursue counselling.

“After finishing high school, I had enrolled to study social work, but after taking on some advice from my school counsellor, I ended up studying naturopathy, which I didn’t end up finishing,” she said. “I’d always wanted to help people, and that’s when I came across an ad on Facebook that said ACAP had a campus in Byron, so I gave them a call, and soon enough I enrolled in the Diploma of Counselling Skills. I enjoyed it so much; I’m set to complete the Bachelor of Counselling next year!”

Allegra Family

Allegra Family

Her experience at ACAP has been transformative, developing not only professional skills but also growing meaningful relationships with her peers. “I have built the most beautiful friendships – I am super close with [my peers], and we like to catch up socially,” Allegra shared. “The lecturers are really approachable, and I enjoy the personal anecdotes they share.”

Allegra’s personal experiences have shaped her into the caring and empathetic person she is today, and she acknowledges the role of counselling in helping her navigate through challenging times.

“As a child I experienced a lot of alcohol and substance abuse, and at that age you just try to disconnect yourself and survive,” she said. “And with the father of my children I was in a situation that wasn’t serving me or my two little girls, so I spent many years getting counselling advice to help me through.

“Mental health is just as important as our physical well-being, and there is even more awareness around it than ever before. There will always be a need for quality counsellors.”

ACAP CEO, George Garrop, commented on the value of counsellors in society and commended Allegra on her dedication. “Counsellors play a vital role in our communities, supporting people through challenging times, and providing them with the tools to navigate life,” Mr Garrop said. “Allegra embodies the spirit of ACAP – compassionate, resilient, and committed to making a positive impact. I look forward to seeing her future career as a counsellor blossom.”

Study counselling at ACAP Byron Bay with a $15k scholarship through Destination Australia. Find out more here.

 

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Byron Bay News

Know of a community project that needs a funding boost this year?

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Community Initiatives Program

Know of a community project that needs a funding boost this year?

 

Applications are set to open for two streams of Council grants on offer for 2024-2025 community projects and creative activation of public space.

The two grant streams are:

  • Community Initiatives Program – grants of up to $5,000 per organisation on offer (with a total pool of $57,500) for investment into inspiring community projects.
  • Creative Public Spaces Small Grants – seed funding of up to $5000 (with a total pool of $15,000) for new temporary or permanent art works in public spaces in the Byron Shire.

Applications for these programs open on Monday 8 April and close on 30 June 2024. Further information, eligibility details and the application forms are available from Council’s website.

Byron Shire Mayor Michael Lyon said the purpose of Council’s investment in the funding programs was to deliver small grants that could make a big difference to community groups and creatives and help them to generate amazing outcomes.

“Last year Council supported a Japanese language play group, environmental initiatives through Mullum Seed, creative youth projects and lighting up the Love sign in Mullumbimby. Council’s grass roots funding programs have been running successfully for many years now and have been proven to help make outstanding projects happen in our community,” Mayor Lyon said.

“It’s one small way we can help to enrich community life and build connections to one another,” he said.

“Our grant application processes have improved over recent years – there is no longer a need for matching contributions from applicants and the assessment criteria have been simplified.”

“We encourage applications for any event or project that supports the environment, the creative life of the community or that improves access and inclusion and opens up ways for more people to participate,” the Mayor said.

To find out more about the Community Initiatives Program and the Creative Public Spaces Small Grants program, go to Council’s website. Eligibility criteria vary for each grant program so please read the terms set out on Council’s website.

 

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Byron Bay News

Byron Comedy Fest 2024 Laughs at The Hotel Great Northern

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Bev Killick Byron Comedy Fest 2024

Byron Comedy Fest 2024 Laughs at The Hotel Great Northern

 

The legendary Hotel Great Northern’s Backroom opens its doors to laughter when it welcomes The Byron Comedy Fest with 8 big headline shows.

With audiences packing out shows every year, Festival Directors Mel Coppin and Zara Noruzi have decided a new venue with increased capacity was in order. It also means the festival is an all weather event!

Expect all your favourites!

With perennial sell out favourites Best Of British headed up by UK comic Dan Willis. Willis welcomes his favourite Brit funny people, this year’s crop include Bob Franklin, Matt O’Neill and Gillian Cordiner.

Sri Lankan born Comedy super star Dilruk Jayasinah left the world of finance as a sit down accountant and started working as a stand up comic. While his parents may have been a little dismayed at first, Dilruk has become an award winning face of Australian TV. He’s guested on Network Ten’s Have You Been Paying Attention?, Would I Lie To You, and Hughesy We Have a Problem, ABC’s Spicks and Specks and Question Everything, and showed off his mercurial acting abilities on Channel Ten’s How to Stay Married and ABC’s Utopia. Dilruk has also appeared as a contestant on renowned reality shows including I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Celebrity MasterChef and the Amazon Prime comedy game show Last One Laughing hosted by Rebel Wilson.

Bringing bites of the Bold and the beautiful is Bev Killick. A non-stop joke fired power plant of comedy gold. Newly Australian insights come from Venezuelan born comic Ivan Aristagueita – performing comedy in a second language more expertly than most would do in their first.

With his critically acclaimed show ‘Weed C#nt’  full of drug references and suitably strong coarse language, John Cruckshank is funny in a way that is raw and sometimes brutal.

Byron Comedy Festival is also featuring two of Melbourne Comedy Festival’s finest, Lewis Garnham and Scout Boxall. Unique, insightful, and pushing into the zeitgeist of the younger gen.

And for those who prefer not to choose, there’s the Comedy Showcase, Gump’s Big Box of Comedy Chocolates.

With shows able to be bought as single tickets, or one day or 3 day passes.

Don’t miss a relentless weekend of laughs with Byron Comedy Fest.

30, 31 May and 1 June. Byroncomedyfest.com.

 

For more Byron Bay news, click here.

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Bangalow News

Rifle Range Road Upgrade Commences: $4.1m Project Set to Enhance Safety and Connectivity

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Rifle Range Road Upgrade

Rifle Range Road Upgrade Commences: $4.1m Project Set to Enhance Safety and Connectivity

 

The highly anticipated upgrade of the Rifle Range Road intersection in Bangalow is set to commence on Monday, April 8th, marking the beginning of a three-month project, weather permitting.

During the upgrade, traffic will be redirected to Raftons Road via Keith Street or Leslie Street, with comprehensive traffic management and signage in place throughout the duration of the project.

Cameron Clark, Acting Director of Infrastructure Services at Byron Shire Council, emphasised the significance of the upgrade for Bangalow. He highlighted key features of the project, including the widening of Lismore Road, drainage enhancements, the installation of new bus bays and shelters, and the creation of shared paths connecting bus bays to Tristania Street.

“This project represents a significant enhancement for Bangalow, promising improved safety for motorists and pedestrians alike,” stated Mr. Clark. “It will serve as a lasting asset for the community, addressing crucial infrastructure needs for years to come.”

Acknowledging the inevitable inconvenience caused by road closures and detours, Mr. Clark expressed gratitude to the community for their patience and understanding during the construction period.

The works program will involve the closure of the Rifle Range Road and Lismore Road intersection to all traffic except buses and emergency services. This temporary closure will facilitate road elevation, intersection reconstruction, and the installation of culverts under Lismore Road.

Funded by contributions from the NSW Government, Australian Government, and Byron Shire Council, this major project underscores a commitment to enhancing local infrastructure and connectivity.

For updates and further information regarding the project, residents are encouraged to visit the Rifle Range Road upgrade page on the Council’s website.

 

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