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Ballina Shire News

Rainbow Dragons Regatta this weekend.

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Rainbow Dragons Regatta poster.
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Alumy Creek Angus - Stud Angus Sires Tenterfield - Top of the Range Angus Genetics

Rainbow Dragons Regatta this weekend.

 

All the excitement of the 2023 Rainbow Dragons Regatta is happening this weekend and everyone is welcome to this free event, on the shores of Shaws Bay, East Ballina.

Northern NSW and south east Qld clubs have been training during the cooler winter conditions and are ready to start their racing season at this regatta.

The weekend will start Saturday afternoon with 1km chase race and the State of Origin sprint. This won’t be a normal 200 metre sprint, they’re lucky drew teams who have never paddled together before and it will be over 250 metres, so we’ll see which State has enough puff to last that extra distance.

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Rainbow Dragons dragon boating.

State of Origin 2022 NSW team. Photo Action in Sport

Then Sunday is a full day of 200 metre racing where the tussles are not restricted to dragon boat club. A variety of business groups and organisations will also get to test their paddling skills in the “Community Team Challenge” and the champions get to donate $250 to their chosen charity..

These community teams will also showcase their costuming skills, in the Best Dressed Team and yes- things can get a bit crazy when they get into competitive character.

Rainbow Dragons welcome all the community to come along and enjoy this free family friendly, alcohol free sports event.

There will be food, drink stalls and Rainbow’s Whoppa Raffle (it’s big) which they thank local business’s for their generous prize donations.

Bring a chair or picnic blanket – It this weekend.

Rainbow Dragons Regatta poster.

Rainbow Dragons Regatta poster.

For more sports news, click here.

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Ballina News

Federal Budget 2024/25: Implications for Ballina Shire

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Sharon Cadwallader Federal Budget Ballina
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Federal Budget 2024/25: Implications for Ballina Shire

 

Mayor Sharon Cadwallader of Ballina Shire Council offered insights into the Federal Budget 2024/25 and its potential impact on the local community.

Acknowledging the significant commitment of $27.7 billion towards various national projects, Mayor Cadwallader underscored the importance of initiatives targeting cost-of-living relief, education, and healthcare for community well-being. However, she expressed a desire for increased infrastructure spending specifically directed to regional areas.

“We appreciate measures aimed at supporting low and middle-income Australians, but Ballina Shire Council advocates for more infrastructure investment in regional Australia,” Mayor Cadwallader emphasised.

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Key highlights from the Federal Budget 2024/25 that are anticipated to benefit Ballina Shire and the Northern Rivers region include:

  1. Infrastructure Investment: Allocation of $40 million for regional airports and community Wi-Fi initiatives.
  2. Roads to Recovery Program: Progressive increase to $1 billion per year, along with additional funding for the Black Spot Program.
  3. Cost-of-Living Relief Measures: Including energy rebates, tax cuts, and debt relief for tertiary students.
  4. Support for Small Businesses: Funding totalling $290 million, with extensions to the instant asset write-off scheme and support for small business owners’ well-being.
  5. Healthcare Investment: $227 million for Medicare Urgent Care Clinics and regional healthcare support.
  6. Housing Initiatives: Allocation of $6.2 billion to housing programs, aiming to address housing challenges and support new home construction and renters.

“While these allocations present opportunities for our region’s development, we await further details on funding distribution to Ballina Shire,” Mayor Cadwallader noted. “With our population growing, it’s crucial that infrastructure keeps pace to support evolving community needs.”

“We hope for infrastructure investment directed towards Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, crucial for our local economy, given its significant passenger traffic and anticipated growth,” Mayor Cadwallader added.

She also highlighted the importance of addressing housing challenges amidst ongoing pressures faced by the construction industry and home builders.

For more information on the Federal Budget 2024/25, visit here

 

For more local Ballina news, click here.

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Wave of advocacy against domestic and family violence that started in Ballina

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Ballina Domestic Violence
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Wave of advocacy against domestic and family violence that started in Ballina

 

By Sarah Waters

Domestic violence is an epidemic in Australia, but past President of The Rotary Club of Ballina on Richmond Dave Harmon is drawing support from all corners of the country – and abroad – to tackle the issue head on.

The grim reality of the country’s domestic violence statistics were highlighted last month, following the death of 28-year-old NSW childcare worker Molly Ticehurst, who was killed by her ex-partner.

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She was the 25th women to die from gender-based violence in Australia this year.

The Federal Government has since announced a suite of funding measures to target the escalating crisis, including an investment of $925m over five years to permanently establish the Leaving Violence Payment.

Mr Harmon said there will always be a need to support people escaping domestic and family violence, but he believes preventing it is the long-term solution.

For the past six years, since his friend’s sister was killed by her partner, Mr Harmon has rallied together rotary clubs from across the country to address domestic violence at a grassroots level.

Domestic Violence Ballina

Dave Harmon, front left, has led the ‘Rotary Says NO to Domestic and Family Violence’ campaign

“I just remember sitting there (at the memorial service) thinking this is bloody crazy, what’s going on, what could I do,” he said.

“It was 2018 and I was the incoming president of The Rotary Club of Ballina on Richmond and I felt like this was my call to action.”

At a local Rotary club board meeting, Mr Harmon explained he felt as though Rotary needed to connect with the community and what’s relevant in today’s society.

The board all agreed there was probably no cause more relevant than the shocking prevalence of domestic and family violence in Australia.

Rotary formed partnerships with the NSW Police and local agencies in Ballina to discuss their ‘Rotary Says NO to Domestic and Family Violence’ campaign and they all got behind it.

Now in November each year, Mr Harmon coordinates the Domestic and Family Violence Community Walk through Cherry and River Streets in Ballina to raise awareness about the crisis.

Hundreds of people have shown up each year since the walk started in 2019 and it has gone on to become a national – and international – movement.

Last year during 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, 110 events and activities were held by Rotary clubs throughout Australia.

About 1300 Rotary clubs from 16 countries have also followed The Rotary Club of Ballina on Richmond and actively participate in the ‘Rotary Says NO to Domestic and Family Violence’ campaign.

Mr Harmon saw the opportunity to take the campaign abroad when he became a Rotary District Governor last year.

He presented the idea that Rotary Zone 8, which includes rotary clubs in Australia, New Zealand and several Pacific Islands, combine together to raise awareness and advocate against domestic and family violence.

“It was fully endorsed by them all,” he said.

“It was the first time in over 40 years that we had a common purpose or cause in our rotary zone.

“That shows you how connected we feel about this cause.”

And, at a local level, Cherry St Sports group have helped to fund 1000 free shirts for the Purple Friday campaign.

The joint initiative between The Rotary Club of Ballina on Richmond and Cherry St Sports has seen more than 90 businesses in Ballina, schools, council and sport organisations all wear purple t-shirts with the ‘Rotary Say No to Domestic Violence’ slogan each Friday.

Ballina Domestic Violence

The Rotary Club of Ballina on Richmond run a community event with Ballina Shire Council to help combat Domestic and Family Violence, from left, retired Detective Sergeant Damian Loone, CEO of Cherry St Sports Tere Sheehan, Ballina Shire Mayor Sharon Cadwallader and Rotarians David and Robyn Harmon

Mr Harmon said it kept the issue of domestic and family violence in the spotlight, so women felt seen, heard and supported.

“Some of the discussions that have happened in our town in Ballina have been very, very powerful,” he said.

“A local hairdresser here in town, who wore the purple t-shirt, had a couple of women come in one day and discussed them being current victims of family violence.

“They hadn’t told anyone before.”

Despite the groundswell of support for the campaign here, and abroad, Mr Harmon said stamping out domestic violence won’t happen overnight.

He maintains the focus needs to be on preventing misogynistic behaviours and changing current attitudes.

“I use the analogy of the drunk driving laws that came in, in the late 1970s in New South Wales.

“It took 20 to 30 years of increased penalties and campaigning to educate our community about drunk driving.

“Today, if you see someone getting into a car drunk most of us will either ring the police or do something about it.

“We also need to step up and call it out when we see disrespectful behaviour happening towards a family member, a friend or when we’re out socially.

“But prevention is the long-term way out of this.”

Mr Harmon and his wife Robyn have helped to introduce Love Bites, a Respectful Relationships Education Program for young people into local schools.

It equips young people with the knowledge about communicating mindfully, warning signs of abusive behaviour, power in relationships and responding to concerns as bystanders.

If you need support or assistance with domestic and family violence call: 1800 RESPECT or visit 1800respect.org.au

 

For more local Ballina news, click here.

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Experience the Joy of Creativity at the TOGETHER Arts & Community Wellbeing Day

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TOGETHER Arts & Community Wellbeing Day
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Experience the Joy of Creativity at the TOGETHER Arts & Community Wellbeing Day

 

Mark your calendars for an enriching day of arts and culture at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery (NRCG) this May.

The NRCG, in collaboration with artist and educator Claudie Frock and the Ballina Shire Council Community Recovery Team, is excited to present the TOGETHER Arts & Community Wellbeing Day.

This special event is scheduled for Saturday, 11 May 2024, from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, and is set to transform the NRCG & Ignite Studios creative precinct into a vibrant hub of artistic and cultural activities.

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Event Highlights:

  • Natural Fibre Weaving: Join Tania Marlowe and Deb Cole from Jugan Dandii for a session of gentle natural fibre weaving.
  • Pop Up Play Space: Experience the fun with Roundabout Theatre’s Lollipop Ladies in a colourful game’s installation in the NRCG green space.
  • Collective Collage Workshop: Dive into a creative collage-making session with Claudie Frock & Mia Zapata.
  • Inclusive Gallery Movement Tours: Move and groove through the gallery with dancer and performance artist Katie Cooper-Wares in the DANCE THE ART tour.
  • Youth Virtual Reality and Digital Storytelling Workshops: Engage with cutting-edge technology in art workshops led by Sean Spencer from Social Futures Computer Clubhouse.

TOGETHER is designed as a free, fun, and accessible event where community members of all ages can engage with some of the region’s most imaginative artists and facilitators. This is a fantastic opportunity for individuals and families to explore their creativity, connect with others, and enjoy a playful day in the heart of Ballina.

Accessibility and Additional Information:

  • Auslan Interpretation: The event will include Auslan interpretation to ensure accessibility.
  • Wheelchair Accessibility: The venue is fully accessible by wheelchair.
  • Sensory Friendly Space: A quiet space will be available for those who might need a break from the sensory stimulation.
  • No Bookings Required: There is no need to book in advance. Feel free to turn up and participate in any of the creative sessions that interest you.

This program is supported by both the Australian Government and NSW Government through the Community Recovery Program and represents a key arts and cultural initiative of the Ballina Shire Council.

For any accessibility queries or further information, please contact Ella Millard at Ella.Millard@ballina.nsw.gov.au.

Join us for a day of creativity and community spirit at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery & Ignite Studios Creative precinct located at the corner of Cherry St and Crane St, Ballina. Come along, and let’s create and connect TOGETHER!

 

For more entertainment news, click here.

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