Resilient Byron is a community organisation that is developing tools and skills to help patch the gaps that will appear as we go through coming changes. It works with existing Government agencies and NGOs. It aims to create, support and nurture a movement in the Byron Shire and Northern Rivers that is regenerative for people and the environment, as well as developing resilience to disasters and crises.
People decide to live in Byron Shire for many different reasons. Some are looking for community and a more relaxed lifestyle than what is on offer in the cities. There is a potential to develop activities that are more sustainable and self-sufficient. Being resilient is to be more adaptable and innovative. There is lots of innovation going on already and RB wants to coordinate with that and make the region even more cohesive and strong.
RB’s chair is Jean Renouf, who is also an academic at SCU and a firefighter and the vice-chair is Ella Rose Goninan, who is also active with COREM and Renew Fest. There is a board of advisers and ambassadors that include the author and filmmaker Damon Gamau, Richard Hil formerly of the Ngara Institute, Catherine Ingram, author and internationally renowned dharma teacher; Jennifer Joiner, a former corporate executive and part of Sourdough Business Pathways and Delta Kay, an Arakwal Bundjalung woman active in local indigenous affairs.
Then there are the people at the coal face. These are volunteers in team leader positions each with their own area of responsibility: food security, energy, water, safety and emergency, health and wellbeing, geographic groups, networking and research. I, Michael Murray, am the housing security team leader.
Over the next couple of months, RB will be rolling out the Roadshow. Five local big thinkers will share one concrete idea each. Something they believe will help create resilience and regeneration, starting with their neighbourhood. You will also be invited to share your ideas so we, as communities, organisations and changemakers, can make the Byron Shire the blueprint for local and regional positive change.
Roadshow dates and locations:
- 13 Feb: BYRON BAY (afternoon) ~ guest Delta Kay
- 27 Feb: BRUNSWICK HEADS (afternoon) ~ guest Zara Noruzi
- 13 Mar: BANGALOW (morning) ~ guest Richard Jones
- 27 Mar: BALLINA (morning) ~ guest Catherine Ingram
- 17 Apr: FEDERAL (afternoon) ~ guest Mandy Nolan
Tickets are FREE. and numbers are limited so RSVP is essential. The Byron and Bruns events are already full. Go to: www.renewfest.org.au/roadshow
The findings and outcomes will be showcased and further workshopped at the Renew Festival. This will happen May 7- 9 May at the Mullumbimby Showgrounds. More info on that is here.
Personally, I am a supporter of Resilient Byron and other grassroots change organisations as we believe that community groups working together can make the region stronger. Local, state and federal politics can only do so much and NFPs, Co-ops, and community organisations will be playing a major role in the decades to come.
Here is some relevant reading material:
- HUMAN KIND, A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman
- THE NEW POSSIBLE: Visions of Our World Beyond Crisis (an anthology of essays)
- GOVERNING THE COMMONS by Elinor Ostram