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Lismore News

Lismore Students depart for a Japanese experience of a lifetime

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Brandon Davis Yee, the Lismore Student Exchange Group chaperone standing in front of the the Lismore City Flag at Council Chambers.
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Lismore Students depart for a Japanese experience of a lifetime

 

The five Lismore students and chaperone taking part in the Lismore City Council’s Yamato Takada Sister City Student Exchange Program leave for Japan today, which holds extra significance as this year marks the 60th anniversary of Lismore’s Sister-City relationship with the Japanese City.

The program returns this year after being postponed in 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative, which strengthens the ties between Lismore and Yamato Takada, offers an unparalleled cultural and educational opportunity for local youth, with the five students embarking on a busy schedule of events before returning from Japan on Sunday, 8 October.

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Mayor Krieg said he was excited for the students and their once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

“Our Sister City’s relationship with Yamato Takada is a cherished one, which this year is celebrating 60 years since it was established,” he said.

“I look forward to hearing from our local students on their return from the beautiful city of Yamato Takada, which has facilitated the exchange of not just students but also ideas, culture and goodwill over the years.”

Brandon Davis Yee, the Lismore Student Exchange Group chaperone who was part of the exchange program in 2016, said the five students were keenly interested in Japanese culture.

Brandon Davis Yee, the Lismore Student Exchange Group chaperone standing in front of the the Lismore City Flag at Council Chambers.

Brandon Davis Yee, the Lismore Student Exchange Group chaperone standing in front of the the Lismore City Flag at Council Chambers.

“The five students come from Kadina High School, Trinity Catholic College and Richmond River High, with each student learning the Japanese language as part of their high school studies,” he said.

“One of the students wants to study engineering at University, so visiting Japan to be immersed in the technological culture that Japan offers will assist his career dream.”

Mr Yee also said his student exchange experience gave him career confidence and lifelong connections in Japan.

“To see a different culture and way of living opened my eyes to the world and gave me a career and social confidence. I have no doubt the five students leaving today will experience personal growth, newfound perspectives and memories that last a lifetime,” he said.

The group will be staying with Japanese host families, with two students staying at the home of Yamato Takada students who visited Lismore during the recent Japanese student exchange visit in August this year.

Council established a Sister City relationship with Yamato Takada on 7 August 1963 through the efforts of Father Tony Glynn.

Father Glynn, who had been working in Yamato Takada, collaborated with businesses in his hometown of Lismore to raise funds to construct a kindergarten in Yamato Takada. Through this collaboration, the Sister City relationship developed.

 

For more local Lismore news, click 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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Lismore News

Saffin secures one-off grant for Thistles’ shower cubicles project

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Thistles Soccer Club shower cubicles
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Saffin secures one-off grant for Thistles’ shower cubicles project

 

LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin has helped secure a one-off grant towards Lismore Thistles Soccer Club Incorporated’s project to construct and install six lockable shower cubicles at its East Lismore clubhouse.

Ms Saffin, who championed the club’s priority project, thanked NSW Minister for Sport Steve Kamper MP for approving the $15,710 (ex GST) grant under the NSW Government’s 2023-24 Project Support Program recently.

Ms Saffin said Thistles would engage a local contractor to build the six cubicles – three for home teams and three for away or visiting teams – promoting safe and diverse participation for girls and women.

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“The fact that the club owns this site rather than leases it from Lismore City Council has meant they do not qualify for infrastructure repairs or rebuilds under normal disaster funding arrangements,” Ms Saffin said.

“Thistles is a very proactive club but having its clubhouse and fields located in a low-lying area, has meant that it has had to wear the costs of fixing damage caused by the devastating floods of February and March 2022.

“This is one of those small sporting infrastructure projects which will make a big difference to players.

“I thank club officials for their innovative and inclusive approach, particularly Grants Officer Dr Pascal Scherrer.”

Lismore Thistles Soccer Club President Tina Cotroneo said: “This grant is going to make such a difference for players having their own space to shower and relax after a game in a more private environment!

“Our goal at Thistles is to provide a fun, safe and enjoyable sporting environment that encourages all members to reach their full potential.

“This grant supports our efforts to encourage inclusion, provide a safe sporting environment and foster the growing participation of women and girls in football.

“Thank you again to all involved in the process.”

 

For more sports news, click here.

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Entertainment

Rising Tide Northern Rivers Gains Momentum with Film Nights and Action Initiatives

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Rising Tide Northern Rivers
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Rising Tide Northern Rivers Gains Momentum with Film Nights and Action Initiatives

 

Rising Tide Northern Rivers, a dynamic climate defence movement, has officially launched in Hastings Point and Lismore, galvanising local communities to address Australia’s significant contributions to the global climate crisis. As one of the world’s largest exporters of coal and gas, Australia faces crucial challenges, which Rising Tide aims to confront by targeting coal exports, especially through Newcastle, the world’s largest coal port.

The formation of Rising Tide Northern Rivers was inspired by a significant turnout at the World’s Largest Blockade of the Port of Newcastle in November 2023. Over 2,000 activists, including more than 100 locals from Northern Rivers, participated in the 32-hour blockade using hundreds of kayaks. This monumental event led to Australia’s largest mass arrest for climate action, with seven locals among the 109 detained.

At the movement’s Hastings Point launch, attendees took to Cudgera Creek in kayaks, discussing motivations behind their climate activism and exploring strategies to expand the network. The Lismore launch featured heartfelt welcomes from Uncle Roy Gordon and musical contributions from Terri Nicholson and Paul Paitson, who performed songs echoing themes of resistance and environmental stewardship.

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Emma Briggs, who attended the Lismore event, expressed her commitment to challenging the ongoing reliance on fossil fuels within Australia. “Despite international promises to move away from coal and gas, domestic practices remain largely unchanged. It’s crucial that we implement the environmental safeguards we needed decades ago,” she stated.

Upcoming Events: Rising Tide Northern Rivers continues its outreach with upcoming film screenings of ‘The First Wave: The People’s Blockade’. These events aim not only to educate and inspire but also to support crucial environmental campaigns:

  • Brunswick Heads Picture House: Join us on Sunday, 5 May at 5:00 PM for a screening that will benefit the Save Wallum campaign. Tickets are available in advance through the Brunswick Heads Picture House website.
  • timbre in Lismore: Another opportunity to engage will be on Friday, 24 May at 5:00 PM. To attend this event, please RSVP at The First Wave Lismore Screening.

These film nights are excellent opportunities for community members to come together, learn about the impacts of coal and gas, and take actionable steps towards a more sustainable and equitable future. Rising Tide Northern Rivers is at the forefront of local climate action, urging residents to join in their ongoing efforts to protect our planet.

 

For more entertainment news, click here.

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