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Byron Bay News

Innovating for a greener future



Northern Rivers Community Foundation, the Green Innovation Awards

Innovating for a greener future

Matthew Bell

The Green Innovation Awards are synonymous with school-aged children presenting incredible ideas for a greener future and now the not-for-profit organisation wants to see it part of the everyday classroom.
The Green Innovation Awards is now in its fifth year which continues to see hundreds of primary school and high school students involved.
Each year, students are asked to invent, develop and present ideas for greener living across categories of water management, waste management, building and packaging materials, biofuels and renewable energy, and technology.
This year, with the support of the Northern Rivers Community Foundation, the Green Innovation Awards have been able to create curriculum-aligned teaching resources to make it easier for teachers to introduce the program into the classroom.

Founder and local chiropractor Dr Bridie Cullinane said the resources are available to both primary and high school students with a focus on trying to get more high schools involved.

The resources have been put together in partnership with the Department of Education and other department programs which will provide greater access to mentors for students.

“They’ll have access to academic mentors from Southern Cross University as well as industry mentors which we’ve found in the past is amazing for schools because the mentors can come into the classroom,” she said.

Dr Cullinane also highlighted that it helps the teachers get the message across.

She said, “It gives the teachers the chance to have the message brought in by someone externally and I think it is really engaging for the students and maybe gives them some lightbulb moments of a career path.”

The resources have been considered for a ready-to-go approach with lesson plans set out for teachers and student worksheets already drafted.

Bridie emphasised that this program allows students who may not be the best at science or STEM subjects in the classroom to flourish in an environment that they may be passionate about.

The Green Innovation Awards is not just for top performing students. Some of our favourite previous finalist and winning entries have come from students who having typically performed well in science and other STEM subjects. The Green Innovation Awards provides all students with an opportunity to show their strengths and hopefully ignite a passion for learning,” she said.

Schools that are interested in piloting the resources can contact the Green Innovation Awards at

For more information teachers and schools can visit the online website at

Picture supplied by Green Innovation Awards

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2022 Floods

Byron Shire Flood Update – 1:00pm Wednesday 30 March 




NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

Byron Shire Flood Update – 1:00pm Wednesday 30 March 


Residents and businesses in many parts of the Byron Shire, especially Byron Bay and Suffolk Park, have been affected by flooding with heavy rainfall across the region overnight.  

Rainfall figures released by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) show Coopers Shoot recorded 319mm of rain to 9am this morning (30 March 2022) with 282mm at Byron Bay. 

A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall and thunderstorms remains in place. 

Moderate flooding is also possible along the Brunswick River at Mullumbimby and along the Marshalls Creek at Billinudgel early this afternoon.  

All available Council staff are at work, although many have also been impacted by the rain and flooding.   

For links to all the latest information from the SES, BoM and Council go to our Emergency Dashboard. 

Our Facebook page has loads of information as well. 



At 11:30 am, we have 37 reported road closures and a significant number of flood cautions issued across our network in Byron Shire. 

The M1 is closed southbound at Tyagarah. 

Significant flash flooding has been experienced in the Byron town centre and industrial estate. 

The flash flooding experienced in Lawson, Jonson Street and surrounds has been unprecedented. Traffic controls have been in place since early this morning.  

Shirley Street is closed at Kendall Street and Ewingsdale Road is closed near Belongil Bridge at Sunrise Boulevard, police are on the scene. 

We also have a landslip reported at Broken Head Road near the Coast Road and emergency services have been on site this morning. There is another landslip reported at Bangalow Road that remains inaccessible to emergency services. 

Suffolk Park experienced significant flash flooding overnight, a number of roads remain cut off here. 

New Brighton Road is closed near the intersection of Redgate Road. 

The majority of our major hinterland roads remain cut off and inaccessible, with crews unable to further inspect the damage in these areas. We have been advised by locals a new landslip has occurred at Wilsons Creek Road. We will provide updates on this when they come to hand. 

We’ve received reports of a number of trees down, blocking roads across our network, many in areas we are still unable to access. 

Evacuation Centres


The Cavanbah Centre Byron Bay was opened as an Evacuation Centre this morning by the lead agencies (Department of Communities and Justice and Northern Rivers NSW SES). 
We are aware getting to the Cav is a challenge at the moment because of road closures. Check MyRoadInfo to see what roads are open and closed.  

Water and Sewer


All available staff are working on the water and sewer network across the Shire. 

Any urgent problems with water, sewer and drainage should be reported to our Depot staff on 02 6685 9300. 

Non-urgent problems can be reported via Report It on our website. 

Drinking water and water for household use 

There is currently no problem with water supply in the Byron Shire and the water is safe to drink and for household use.  

Our water treatment plant at Mullumbimby is still off-line but we have enough water reserved and we have also turned on the emergency connection to the Rous County Council water supply. 

There are no water restrictions but we do ask that people use water sparingly until the flood water recedes and operations return to normal. 


Heavy rain yesterday and overnight is continuing to have an impact on our sewer system and our network is under pressure from the large amount of water flowing into pump stations around the Shire. 

Staff are doing all they can but they can’t get to some sites because of flooding.  Once the rain stops and water subsides we will get to all the affected areas. 


Everyone should stay out of stormwater.  This is the water in the streets and coming up through the drains. 

Stormwater is dirty and often contaminated with sewer run-off and other substances that are harmful to our health.  

For more information about the danger of stormwater go to the NSW Health website. 


Due to the severe weather and issues with access, Byron Resource Recovery Centre, the tip, is closed today. 

Kerbside bins will be collected on your normal bin collection day. There may be some delay to collections if access has been limited due to road closure and flooding. 

Flooding through Byron township has resulted in multiple vehicles getting inundated and large quantities of floating rubbish. This area will be a primary focus for our crews clean-up once water levels drop.


Areas that we have not been able to collect are: 

·        Byron Industrial Estate 

·        Skinners Shoot Road  

·        Shirley Lane   


Flood recovery clean-up is on hold. 


Visit Flood clean up and waste for more information. 

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2022 Floods

Flood relief support





Flood relief support

100% of the profits on products sold from our friends and suppliers in the Northern Rivers will be donated to The Salvation Army to support flood relief efforts.

When times get tough, Aussies come together.

Healthy Life is running this initiative


Flood relief support

When times get tough, Aussies come together

With the recent flooding having a devastating impact along the eastern seaboard, we’re lending a hand by donating 100% of the profits on products sold from our friends and suppliers who call the Northern Rivers region home.
The money raised will go towards The Salvation Army – our long-standing natural disaster relief partner at Woolworths Group – in its efforts to support those evacuated from their homes through meals at evacuation centres, as well as grants and support for the recovery and rebuilding to come.
Shop products by Bare Blends, Byron Bay Bronze, Byron Bay Chilli, Canabella, Coconut Bowls, Eco Minerals, Eye of Horus, Simply Clean, The Monday Food Co and We* the Many and help support those in need.

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Byron Bay News







Jacqui Boyett is Byron Shire’s 2022 Citizen of the Year

Jacqui Boyett, founder of the not-for-profit Global Ripple charity and op shop is the Byron Shire 2022 Citizen of the Year.

The announcement was made at Byron Shire Council’s Australia Day awards that were held virtually on 25 January.

Ms Boyett is well known in the community, and further afield, making true her organisation’s name, Global Ripple.

Global Ripple raises money through an op shop in the Byron Arts and Industry Estate with proceeds used to support people in need locally and in places including India and Bali.

Ms Boyett’s Global Ripple charity has supported the Hot Showers project in partnership with the Byron Community Centre and the Women’s Collective.

It has also helped people in India cope with COVID-19 and provided funds to help rebuild a family home on Savu Island in Indonesia after it was destroyed by a cyclone.

Byron Shire Mayor, Michael Lyon, said people like Jacqui Boyett are the true heroes in the community, always putting others ahead of themselves.

“The Australia Day Awards are our way of thanking and honouring the incredible people in our Shire who make such a difference to the lives of so many,” Mayor Lyon said.

“We all have such busy lives and still there are these incredible people who have such a passion for the Byron Shire that they donate countless hours to look out for the needs of others, to improve things where they can, however they can and these acts of kindness have the ability to transform communities both locally and abroad,” he said.

“On behalf of our community and the Council congratulations to all our Australia Day award winners.

“Your contribution to our Shire is very much valued and appreciated,” Mayor Lyon said.

Byron Shire Council’s Australia Day awards recognised the outstanding efforts of people in eight categories:

Citizen of the Year – Jacqui Boyett
Jacqui Boyett is the founder of the not-for-profit Global Ripple charity.

Global Ripple raises money through an op shop in the Byron Arts and Industry Estate with proceeds used to support people in need locally and in places further afield including India and Bali.

Ms Boyett’s Global Ripple charity has supported the Hot Showers project in partnership with the Byron Community Centre and the Women’s’ Collective.

It has also helped people in India cope with COVID-19 and provided funds to help rebuild a family home on Savu Island in Indonesia after it was destroyed by a cyclone.

Senior Citizen of the Year – Kathy Norley
Kathy Norley has worked tireless for many years for the South Golden Beach community, including serving as President of the South Golden Beach Community Association.

Kathy was instrumental in helping to design and secure money for a major renovation of the South Golden Beach Community Centre and was the driving force behind a playground, exercise area and skatepark in the area.

She maintains a Facebook page with regular updates on events that concern local residents and visitors.

Young Citizen of the Year – Ella Whan
Ellla Whan, who finished her HSC last year, has already notched up many years of community work, taking on the challenge of raising awareness of the importance of the environment in 2017, working with two other young women to organise the Climate Strikes in the Byron Shire.

As School Captain of Byron Bay High School in 2021, Ella worked with the P&C committee to represent the needs of the student body and was instrumental in lobbying for funds to get a dedicated Senior study and recreation area.

Ella was a Rural Ambassador for the Northern Rivers and received the Academic Excellence Award, the Principal’s Award and the Long Tan Citizenship Award.

Volunteer of the Year – Narelle Anderton
Narelle Anderton has provided outstanding service to the sport of netball in the Byron Shire for 31 years, particularly with the Brunswick Byron Netball Association and the Mullumbimby Netball Club.

She averages more than 20 hours each week volunteering for the netball community in various roles including coaching, administration/organisation, umpiring, meetings and the canteen.

Through her efforts to keep the canteen functioning for the past 10 years, it has raised more than $150,000. She is a tireless worker, arranging and participating in working bees to clean the courts and maintain the clubhouse.

She has also worked with many players at all levels to help them reach their potential including coaching several teams to win State Championships, coaching players who were accepted into the North Coast Academy and working with other coaches and umpires.

Creative Artist of the Year – Kiahn Ladkin


Kiahn Ladkin

Dancer Kiahn Ladkin is a proud Awabakal woman who has danced on Arakwal land for seven years. Kiahn has been involved in the Secondary Aboriginal Dance Company for five years and has also been selected to dance with Bangarra Dance.

She was a valued student at Byron Bay High School and was a mentor and volunteer tutor for the ATSI homework club.

Kiahn has been involved in teaching indigenous dance and culture across a variety of platforms including mentoring Indigenous primary and high school students in dance and culture. She represented her people and culture at school assemblies for seven years and promoted justice and celebrated the achievements of First Nations People.

Kiahn achieved academic excellence in 2021 and was received a Year Advisor’s Award as well as an Indigenous Excellence Award in recognition of her commitment to culture, study and friendship.


Community Event of the Year – Nina’s 100th Birthday Celebration
One of Byron Bay’s most popular residents, Nina Mazri, celebrated her 100th birthday last year and the event was a true community celebration.

More than 200 people turned out to honour Nina and celebrate the joy of living, the benefits of engaging with your community, acknowledging the contribution of the elderly and the importance of remaining connected with family and friends, especially through the pandemic.

As Nina would say “Why walk through life when you can dance.”

Community Initiative of the Year – the Library of Stuff
The Library of Stuff is a community operation that shares infrequently needed items with its members who are mainly households and local not-for-profit groups.

The library’s aim is to reduce consumption and waste and help create a sharing culture in the community. It does this by encouraging people to “borrow” not “buy” and advocates for good maintenance and repair of items rather than throwing them out.

The range of items in the inventory has grown to include non-fiction books, sporting equipment, camping gear, games, kitchen appliances, power and hand tools.

Environmental Project of the Year – Bangalow Koalas Community Wildlife Corridor


Linda Sparrow

Bangalow Koalas’ community wildlife corridor strengthens the connection between community and wildlife by enhancing koala habitat/rainforest remnants in a wildlife corridor that will connect to existing habitat in the Byron Shire, west to Tenterfield, north to the Queensland border and south towards Grafton.

What started as a handful of concerned neighbours wanting to protect a 400m stretch of 30-year-old koala food trees has grown into a community group with more than 120 members.

Led by Bangalow’s Linda Sparrow, Bangalow Koalas has planted 157,000 trees in three years. The original goal of planting 250,000 trees by the end of 2025 will be achieved early next year and it has set a new target of 500,000 trees by 2025.

The Bangalow Koalas’ Wildlife Corridor project, whilst aiming to protect and enhance koala habitat, has brought the community together through planting days, recording sightings and workshops.

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