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Lismore News

Ambassador impressed with Lismore flood recovery

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Ambassador impressed with Lismore flood recovery

By Samantha Elley

Using the stunning views of Southern Cross University’s grounds in Block A as a backdrop, Japan’s new ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Mr Shingo Yamagami, addressed staff and students, both past and present, last week commenting on the friendship between his home country and Australia.

Accompanied by his wife, Mrs Kaoru Yamagami and the Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, Kiya Masahiko, Mr Yamagami passed on the condolences of the Japanese people to flood-ridden Lismore.

He spoke of how during the Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami, Australia was quick to send in the RAAF and search and rescue teams.

To reciprocate, Japan supported Australia during Cyclone Debbie and the 2019-2020 bushfires.

“Coming from Japan, which is so susceptible to natural disasters, we are fully aware of the difficulties,” Mr Yamagami said.

“The heart of all the Japanese people is here with Lismore.

“I can see that mates were helping mates.

“Rescues in boats and canoes and caravans given out so people had a place to sleep.

“I am impressed by the pace of recovery.”

Mr Yamagami spoke of mutual respect, economic ties and cultural similarities and differences.

He highlighted the coming 60th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Lismore and Yamato Takada next year.

“Lismore was the first to establish a sister city relationship between Japan and Australia,” Mr Yamagami said.

“It is important to celebrate these milestones.”

The ties are so strong that Yamato Takada also had a float in last weekend’s Lismore Lantern Parade.

Mr Yamagami talked of the importance of having a strong partnership in the Pacific region.

“This is highlighted by one of Australia’s greatest literary works – Neighbours,” he laughed.

“That’s when neighbours become good friends.”

From the gathering of the university community, Mr Yamagami headed over to the university’s Japan-Australia Centre to meet with local mayors Lismore’s Steve Krieg, Ballina’s Sharon Cadwallader, Federal member for Page Kevin Hogan and Bishop of Lismore Greg Homeming.

After musical items by Grace Cockburn and Dylan Curnow, Mr Yamagami was presented with a number of gifts including a book on Father Tony Glynn, founder of the sister city relationship between Lismore and Yamato Takada.

 

Ambassador 1 – Mrs Yamagami and the ambassador Photo: Samantha Elley

Ambassador 2 – Speaking to the university community against a beautiful backdrop

Ambassador 6 – Receiving a gift from the SCU Vice Chancellor Professor Tyron Carlin Photo: Ronny Susanto

 

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Council wants to work with business

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Lismore Flood Business

Council wants to work with business

 

By Samantha Elley

In their July industry update, through their Flood Restoration Portfolio, Lismore City Council has put a call out to the business community.

The council wants to collaborate with local business by leveraging with their expertise and experience to deliver a very extensive program of works.

Mayor Steve Krieg summed up the extent of works that continues to need fixing, in council’s recent video.

“Across the region this damaged more than 400 of our roads and our bridges,” he said.

“And 2000 individual sites.”

Since the flood council, along with local contractors have spent more than $160 million to repair the emergency damages.

However, there is so much more to do and council know it can’t be done alone.

While partnering with state and federal authorities, Josh Hartcher, Executive Director of Flood Restoration Portfolio, said the challenge has been finding alternative approaches to delivering restoration works.

“(We’ve looked at) collaborative contracting models,” he said.

“One of which delivered the outcome…at the Lismore Memorial Baths.”

Working with Bennetts Constructions, most of council’s assets have been restored.

“In our roads program, with the support of Transport for NSW and the Reconstruction Authority, we are working on another collaborative contract,” Mr Hartcher said.

“To remediate approximately 70 landslips that have damaged the local road network.”

Council’s CEO, Brendan Logan said the restoration works are the largest undertaken by a local council in Australia.

“We will be actively seeking collaboration with the business community and we will need to draw upon their expertise and experience to execute this project successfully,” he said.

“The strategy will involve engaging both small and large providers.”

Mr Logan said there will be a combination of procurement methods, to ensure all local businesses with the right expertise can participate.

If you have a business interested in collaborating with Lismore City Council, register via Vendorpanel on its website.

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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Saffin Secures $30,000 Grant for Youth Crime Prevention

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Lismore MP Janelle Saffin with North-Tracks Works Chair Patrick Higgins, Secretary/board member Kevin Bell and Mr Bell’s working dog Maezzie. - Youth Crime Prevention

Saffin Secures $30,000 Grant for Youth Crime Prevention

 

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin has successfully secured a $30,000 grant for North-Tracks Works, a Lismore-based organisation dedicated to empowering vulnerable young people. This funding will enable the expansion of their life-changing programs to engage more youth in Goonellabah, Coraki, and Casino.

Ms. Saffin expressed her gratitude to NSW Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism Yasmin Catley for approving the grant following her advocacy on behalf of North-Tracks Works. She praised the organisation, which operates out of a shed in South Lismore, for its impactful work with young people aged 11 to 18, offering one-on-one support, mentoring, and practical learning opportunities.

“I previously secured a $44,000 Local Small Commitments Allocation grant to help North-Tracks purchase equipment and materials for skill-building,” Ms. Saffin said. “This additional grant will allow North-Tracks to employ youth workers and expand their proven youth program, which is supported by Richmond Police District Commander Superintendent Scott Tanner.”

Patrick Higgins, Chair of North-Tracks Works and a local real estate agent, thanked Ms. Saffin for her efforts in securing the additional funding from Minister Catley. “We don’t fit in the box for normal funding. Our approach is about creating a sense of belonging and purpose through our skills program and training working dogs. It’s the work with the dogs that bridges the gap,” Mr. Higgins explained.

“At North-Tracks, we spend 10 percent looking back, 10 percent at where you are now, and 80 percent looking forward. We help them chase their dreams and goals,” he added. “Our team has three basic goals: keep them safe and alive, keep them out of jail, and help them move forward to live a full and productive life.”

This funding is set to sustain and expand North-Tracks Works’ impactful initiatives, providing more opportunities for at-risk youth to gain essential skills and find a sense of purpose and for Youth Crime Prevention.

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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Lismore City Council Mechanic Awarded Cory James Scholarship

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Cory James Memorial Scholarship

Lismore City Council Mechanic Awarded Cory James Scholarship

 

In celebration of NAIDOC Week, Lismore City Council awarded the annual Cory James Memorial Scholarship for Indigenous staff to fleet services mechanic Shannan Caldwell. The scholarship honours Cory James, a young Indigenous Council employee who passed away suddenly in 2019. Cory was dedicated to promoting his culture and heritage within the community.

Aunty Jenny presented the scholarship to Shannan, 33, at a ceremony held at Council’s Brunswick Street Depot. This scholarship will enable Shannan to pursue various training options to enhance his technical skills and broaden his career opportunities.

Shannan expressed his gratitude for receiving the scholarship, noting the significant impact it will have on his career. “I am so humbled to have been awarded this scholarship,” he said. “This opportunity will allow me to select training courses to grow my technical knowledge as a mechanic and equip me with the skills I need to continue to advance my career. It opens pathways for my career as a mechanic, which is a job I love.”

Shannan also emphasised the importance of sharing his knowledge with his community in North Casino. “Passing knowledge to my community so they have basic understanding of keeping their car running smoothly is important to me. You never know, they might find the same passion as me and pursue a career as a mechanic, which is a very rewarding industry, especially at Lismore City Council.”

Lismore City Council’s General Manager, Jon Gibbons, highlighted the significance of the Cory James Memorial Scholarship. “This scholarship not only honours the legacy of Cory James, a young Indigenous man dedicated to promoting his culture and heritage within our community, but it also reflects our commitment to supporting the growth and development of our Indigenous staff,” he said. “By enabling Shannan to enrol in quality advanced training opportunities, he can further advance and thrive in his career. By investing in our employees, we are investing in the future of Lismore.”

Council will continue to use National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week to recognise the achievements of Indigenous staff and support their development and career pathways.

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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