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Byron Bay News

Introducing the new Byron Shire Council

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Michael Lyon-Byron Mayor

Introducing the new Byron Shire Council

The wait is over. All the votes have been counted, preferences distributed and the new Byron Shire Council has been declared.
The Council is:

  • Michael Lyon (Mayor)
  • Sama Balson
  • Mark Swivel
  • Cate Coorey
  • Asron Pugh
  • Duncan Dey
  • Sarah Ndiaye
  • Alan Hunter

Mayor Michael Lyon today welcomed a mix of new and returning councillors who will guide the Shire for the next two and a half years.
Councillors Ndiaye, Coorey and Hunter successfully recontested their positions and Councillors Dey and Westheimer have served previous terms on Council.
This will be the first term for Councillors Balson, Swivel and Pugh.
“Congratulations to all the new Councillors on their success in the Local Government election,” Mayor Lyon said.
“Putting yourself forward for election is never easy and with this election delayed because of COVID-19 it has been a long run to the finish line,” he said.
“Welcome to Sama, Mark and Asren and welcome back Peter, Cate, Duncan, Sarah and Alan.
“I know we all have the best interests of the Byron Shire at heart and with our mix of backgrounds and interests I am excited about what each of us will bring to the table for our community,” Mayor Lyon said.
The first Council meeting will be held on 20 January 2021.

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Byron Bay News

BYRON SHIRE AUSTRALIA DAY AWARD WINNERS

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BYRON SHIRE AUSTRALIA DAY AWARD WINNERS

BYRON SHIRE AUSTRALIA DAY AWARD WINNERS

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

BYRON SHIRE AUSTRALIA DAY AWARD WINNERS

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

BYRON SHIRE AUSTRALIA DAY AWARD WINNERS

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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Byron Bay News

FUNDING FOR BYRON BAY FC A GAME CHANGER

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FUNDING FOR BYRON BAY FC A GAME CHANGER

FUNDING FOR BYRON BAY FC A GAME CHANGER

Byron Bay Football Club will soon be able to begin a full renovation of their clubhouse thanks to $414,943 from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund.

A brand new second story will be added to the Clubhouse to provide the best possible experience to members, visitors and the wider community.

The renovations will also focus on ensuring more women have the opportunity to play for the Club.

Minister for Regional Youth Ben Franklin said the renovations would be a game-changer for the Club.

“Junior, youth and men’s and women’s teams will soon have a brand new, modern and fit for purpose sports facility to enjoy and make the Byron Bay FC and even better club to be a part of,” Mr Franklin said.

“The add-on will be more accommodating to all teams and will have dedicated facilities for women to encourage more female players to get involved in the game.

“The funding will also mean the Clubhouse can be FFA & FIFA compliant to be a ‘live site’ which will allow streaming of all games in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held right here in Australia.

“As Minister for Regional Youth, I am excited about the possibilities and opportunities this will open up for more young people, especially young women.”

Dedicated and modern change room and bathroom facilities for women helps remove the barriers women may face to getting involved in local sport and opens up the opportunity for growth at a local and higher competition level.

Byron Bay Football Club said this project supported the Club’s ethos and would make them stronger moving into the future.

“The football game we play in the Bay is all about the team, and the club we run is the same; amazing individuals coming together to create a hub for the local community to be as one. The NSW Government and this grant are now part of this great team.

“We are an inclusive club open to all and our future clubhouse will only make us stronger.”

Byron Bay FC also intends to make the renovated venue available to other community groups and organisations for hire to help support local events and fundraisers.

The Stronger Country Communities Fund is delivering new and upgraded facilities, infrastructure and programs that make a big difference to everyday life for people in coastal and country towns across the state.

Since 2017, the Stronger Country Communities Fund has invested over $500 million into regional NSW to support upwards of 1,900 local projects.

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Byron Bay News

Covid claims ‘deeply loved’ Australian artist

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Covid claims ‘deeply loved’ Australian artist Craig Ruddy

Covid claims ‘deeply loved’ Australian artist

By Margaret Dekker

Archibald Prize-winning artist and Byron community figure, Craig Ruddy, has died at his home in The Pocket near Billinudgel last Tuesday, January 4 from complications from Covid-19.
The internationally-acclaimed painter who had described his work as ‘evocative .. delving into an ethereal world of beauty and desire,’ was 53 years young.
It’s believed Craig Ruddy and his partner of more than twenty years, Roberto Meza Mont, both contracted the virus weeks ago.
“It is with the heaviest of tender hearts we let you know that last night Craig left his body peacefully at home in Roberto’s arms,” a post on Craig Ruddy’s Facebook page read.
“We have lost the most divine human that gave so much to our communities, the creativity, the inspiration, the pure love and plenty of dance.”
Michael Lyon, Byron Shire Mayor, friend and neighbour of Craig Ruddy, confirmed the artist’s death in a statement last Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s probably the first Covid death we’ve had in the Byron Shire and certainly comes as a shock and surprise. He’s such a deeply loved and respected local artist,” Michael Lyon said.
Craig Ruddy won the Archibald Prize, Australia’s eminent portraiture prize, in 2004 for his charcoal drawing of actor David Gulpilil, titled ‘Two Worlds.’ The controversial, mixed-media work was famously created in a time of the ‘reconciliation’ movement.
“This seminal portrait was controversial but profoundly important for Australia with its timely message about indigenous recognition and reconciliation. It is widely regarded as one of the most influential paintings of that decade,” Craig Ruddy wrote on his website craigruddy.com
His inspiration for this prized work was also shared.
“After watching Walkabout (1971), Craig recalls that “David’s role as a storyteller really awakened a curiosity in me about the spiritual connection that Indigenous people share with the land, which we are all a part of and is so mysterious to mainstream Australians. It’s more evident now than ever in these uncertain COVID times that we heed the ancient wisdom of our Indigenous comrades to lead us into a more symbiotic relationship with each other and nature.”
Craig Ruddy was also an Archibald finalist three times for the works, ‘Self-portrait – into the box’ in 2006, a portrait of athlete Cathy Freeman in 2011, and recently in 2020 for his portrait of author, Bruce Pascoe. Craig Ruddy twice won The Archibald’s People’s Choice award (2004, 2010.)
In a moving tribute, the artist last year entered a portrait of an older Gulpilil (who died in November, 2021) in the 2021 Archibald Prize, famously driving the entry from early morning Byron Bay to reach Sydney’s Art Gallery of NSW by competition deadline.
The Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre in Murwillumbah had only just acknowledged Craig Ruddy in its artist credits for 2021, to which Craig replied two days before his death:
“Happy new year to you all! You guys are doing great work! Looking forward to visiting the gallery this year. Warm hugs.”
TRGMOA was quick to join in worldwide condolences on the loss of Craig Ruddy.
“We will remember him as a generous, thoughtful and passionate artist. Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and especially Roberto, and all those who were lucky enough to know him. Vale Craig Ruddy.”

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