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Bangalow News

Wild Imagination let loose among a perfect setting

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Author Holly Ringland (The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart) talks about her new book The Seven Skins of Esther Wilding with Jemma Birrell from the Sydney Powerhouse.
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Wild Imagination let loose among a perfect setting

 

Review By Lesley Apps

What do you get if you cross three days of glorious weather in the perfect setting, with a jam-packed program of entertaining encounters and wildly evocative conversations?

The Byron Writers Festival of course.

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Held in its new home of the Bangalow Showgrounds, the venue’s leafy surrounds and gently undulating grounds was a user-friendly and laid back hit for the thousands of thinkers and shakers that flocked to this year’s three-day literary gathering.

With so many enriching experiences on offer the only thing raising anxiety levels was trying to decide who you were going to see next.

The Byron Writers Festival made its debut in Bangalow this year with stunning results all round. Photo- Kate Holmes.

The Byron Writers Festival made its debut in Bangalow this year with stunning results all round. Photo- Kate Holmes.

This year’s theme of Wild Imagination was seized with both hands as authors and panelists didn’t hold back.

Dominating the conversations was the patriarchy, and not in a good way for men at least.

Which is probably why they seemed to be few and far between at this year’s festival.

Maybe it was Anna Funder’s decimation of George Orwell’s legacy by writing a book about his wife Eileen O’Shaughnessy  — the clever woman who made him, but was so easily erased by his hand and the all-male biographers that followed. Wifedom shines a floodlight on Eileen’s amazing contributions and the crap she endured.

Or was it Tracey Spicer’s deep dive into male and racial bias being built into everything from handwash dispensers to self-drive cars. Her book Man-Made saw plenty of women’s eyes widen and gents shrink in their seats.

What about Grace Tame? She is known to ruffle patriarchy feathers by typically not holding back, which is probably why she packed out two tent as she briefly reflected on the Morrison era with journalist Amy Remeikis like a couple of whip-smart observational comedians catching up amongst the serious messaging about child sexual abuse and grooming.

Better one of Gabriel Krause by Kurt Petersen

Better one of Gabriel Krause by Kurt Petersen

Among the matriarchy messaging, was Gabriel Krause, the UK writer whose first hand account of London gang life earned him a finals listing for the Booker Prize. His frank account of life on the fringes of what’s acceptable by white, Christian, middle class Australians made for a provocative and ultimately fulfilling hour of conversation if you left your tsk tsk at the door. His book Who They Was was one of the festival’s biggest sellers.

Myf Warhurst changed the tone, literally, with musical accompaniments juxtaposed with recounts from her musical memoir. She delved into her past behaviours including everything from kissing Daryl Braithwaite as a four-year-old, to murdering Islands in the Stream with an unrecognisable Kenny Rogers.

Speaking of rock stars, author Holly Ringland (The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart) also drew record crowds as she introduced fans to her latest creation Esther Wilding and her seven skins. There were plenty of fascinating co-incidences leading up to her new book according to Ringland, it was meant to be, despite having to cancel her always compulsory research trip due to the pandemic.

Richard Fidler also attracted a capacity audience, mostly made up of the Conversations crowd rather DAAS fans, going on the demographic. His historical accounts of Bagdad were as amusing as they were disturbing to the modern listener, but handled with expected aplomb from this seasoned broadcaster.

The few panels able to be caught in between sessions were brilliant, fresh discussions touching on migrant life in Australia, the spectrum of racism, home ownership and feminism before wrapping up the festival traversing my favourite topic — the media — and all its warts and wonder.

More information on the Byron Writers Festival here.

 

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Alstonville News

Northern Rivers Koala Hospital needs funding: Urgent appeal for support

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A koala being treated at the Northern Rivers Koala Hospital in Lismore
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Northern Rivers Koala Hospital needs funding: Urgent appeal for support

 

By Sarah Waters

Koalas are becoming an increasingly rare sight in NSW and the one organisation that is dedicated solely to their care in the Northern Rivers is desperately trying to keep operating as normal.

The Northern Rivers Koala Hospital, operated by Friends of the Koala, has made an urgent plea for financial support.

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A decline in donations and available funding has threatened the hospital’s ability to operate effectively.

The hospital is specifically designed for the medical treatment of koalas and is the only wildlife hospital in NSW licensed to vaccinate all treated koalas against Chlamydia – the number one cause of death for koalas in the Northern Rivers.

General manager of Friends of the Koala Silva Everaers said more than 350 Koalas are treated at the hospital each year.

“From July last year we’ve seen a 20 per cent increase in koalas coming in, versus the year before,” Ms Everaers said.

“It will continue to increase as the threats to koalas are increasing with climate change, natural disasters, habitat being destroyed causing more koalas on the road, which leads to car hits, dog attacks and more diseases due to stress.

“So that’s obviously concerning, and it has been really, really busy for our volunteers rescuing and caring for them,” she said.

The Northern Rivers Koala Hospital was formed in 2019 and is part of the wider Friends of the Koala (FOK) organisation.

The FOK organisation receives government grants for certain projects including a recent grant to vaccinate 300 koalas against chlamydia.

But no government money is received for the operational cost of the koala hospital.

General Manager of Friends of the Koala and Northern Rivers Koala Hospital Silva Everaers

General Manager of Friends of the Koala Silva Everaers

Half a million dollars needs to be raised by Friends of the Koala each year to cover the hospital’s annual operating expenses.

It is set up with diagnostic and treatment tools including ultrasounds, x-rays, a blood bank, as well as surgical and pathology equipment to provide specialised 24/7 veterinary care to koalas.

Until more funds become available the hospital may not be able to continue in its current capacity.

Ms Everaers said the priority was to keep the hospital funded and veterinary staff paid.

“That really is where the research and the magic happens,” she said.

“We work with over 300 volunteers, who do an absolutely incredible job rescuing and rehabilitating the koalas treated in our hospital, and because of that we are able to keep operational costs really, really low.

“But we can’t do it without financial support, in the end, there’s medicine, veterinary staff, the equipment we need, research facilities – it’s not free.”

Friends of the Koala have set up a special donation drive, appealing to the public’s generosity to help keep the hospital in operation and maintain their high standards of care.

Anyone with a heart for wildlife, including business owners and philanthropists, can become a ‘Friend of the Northern Rivers Koala Hospital’ at: friendsofthekoala.org or support by donating to the organisation.

Friends of the Koala are a grassroots organisation with more than 35 years of experience working on critical, on-the-ground activities to conserve habitat and protect koalas individually and as a species.

It originated as a charity focused on planting trees but has evolved into a multifaceted organisation that also provides 24/7 koala rescue, medical treatment, research, advocacy and community education.

Friends of the Koala has successfully rehabilitated and released over 2000 koalas back into the wild since its inception.

The Northern Rivers is home to one of the last significant, genetically diverse koala populations.

 

For more local news, click here.

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Bangalow News

ANDY GOLLEDGE BAND – ‘YOUNG, DUMB & WILD’ ALBUM TOUR

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ANDY GOLLEDGE BAND
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ANDY GOLLEDGE BAND – ‘YOUNG, DUMB & WILD’ ALBUM TOUR

 

Prepare yourself for an unforgettable musical adventure as the Andy Golledge Band embarks on their ‘Young, Dumb & Wild’ Album Tour 2024. Slated for release on April 19, 2024, the album captures the essence of life’s transitions, celebrating the beauty of ageing, the excitement of new love, and the thrill of exploring new environments.

The title track, ‘Young, Dumb & Wild,’ stands out as a powerful anthem that transcends superficial notions of youth to delve into the core of creative freedom. This single follows the earlier release of ‘Country Band’ in late 2023, a lively road trip anthem that celebrates the many forms of love in various relationships. Together, the tracks weave a seamless narrative, encapsulating the highs and lows of life’s twists and turns.

Andy Golledge, a prominent figure in the Australian alt-country scene, aims to deliver a mature and cohesive experience with this album, showcasing his unique ‘Alt-Country-esque Dad Rock’ style. Following the success of his debut album, ‘Strength of a Queen,’ which won ‘Best Independent Country Album/EP’ at the AIR Awards 2023, Andy Golledge continues to make waves in the music scene. His debut album charted impressively on ARIA’s Top Vinyl Albums and Australian Country Albums, earning nominations at the ARIA Awards 2022 and CMAA Golden Guitar Awards 2023.

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An Andy Golledge show promises to be both exhilarating and unpredictable. The band features some of the most respected musicians in the Australian alt-country/Americana scene, including Leroy Lee (guitar/vocals), Caitlin Harnett (banjo/vocals), Nick Ryan (bass), and Josh Piltz (drums). Their performances range from tender moments that bring tears to rollicking numbers that make you dance wildly.

Don’t miss the chance to experience the spectacle of the ‘Young, Dumb & Wild’ Album Tour. Grab your tickets now and pre-order the album, available with exclusive merch bundles you won’t want to miss!

EVENT DETAILS:

  • When – Friday 24th of May at 6:30pm
  • Where – Bangalow Bowlo
  • Price – from $33.40
  • TicketsAvailable here.

 

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Bangalow News

Rifle Range Road Upgrade

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Rifle Range Road Upgrade
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Rifle Range Road Upgrade

 

Commencing this Monday, May 20th, the eagerly awaited Rifle Range Road intersection upgrade in Bangalow will kick off, following a brief delay last month attributed to unforeseen approvals needed from Transport for NSW, now successfully resolved.

Expressing gratitude for the community’s understanding during the setback, Phil Holloway, Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services, underscored the significance of this project for Bangalow. The upgrade encompasses various enhancements such as the widening of Lismore Road, drainage improvements, establishment of new bus bays and shelters on both Lismore Road and Rifle Range Road, and the creation of picturesque, shared paths connecting the bus bays to Tristania Street.

Beginning Monday, construction crews will mobilize on-site to commence the works, necessitating traffic diversion to Raftons Road via Keith Street or Leslie Street.

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Mr. Holloway outlined the works program, indicating that certain periods will entail road closures at the Rifle Range Road and Lismore Road intersection, with detours in place. Advanced notice will be provided through information boards, yet all users of Rifle Range Road and Lismore Road should anticipate delays and alternate routes.

Here’s what you need to know about the works program:

  • Intersection Closure: The intersection of Rifle Range Road and Lismore Road in Bangalow will be inaccessible to all traffic, barring emergency services. This closure facilitates:
    • Elevation of the road.
    • Reconstruction of the intersection.
    • Installation of culverts under Lismore Road.

This substantial undertaking is made possible through funding contributions from the NSW Government, Australian Government, and Byron Shire Council.

For regular updates on the project’s progress, interested parties are encouraged to visit the dedicated ‘Rifle Range Road upgrade‘ page on Council’s website.

 

For more Bangalow news, click here.

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