Byron Bay Lighthouse hang gliding

Byron Bay lighthouse hang gliding preparation experience with Byron Airwaves video here >

A #periscope video we made in Byron Bay yesterday, with lots of breezy sound effects. 

We’re still getting the hang of on-the-fly periscopes (if you’ll excuse the terrible almost puns), but hope you’ll enjoy this video of 20 minutes or so, showing preparations for jumping off a cliff at Cape Byron, and taking flight like a bird.

Photo: Motorised glider departs Tyagarah airfield* © by Big Volcano Tourism

For more info on Byron Bay visit

For more info on Adventure, Outdoors & Thrill seekers Activities in our region, visit

*Tyagarah airfield is 20 minutes north of Byron Bay and home to the Gliding club, gliding operators, sky diving, hot air ballooning, and micro light tours and activities.


Excavating Main Street, Free talk at Murwillumbah museum

For visitors to Murwillumbah late last year, it wasn’t hard to notice the major road works taking place along the length of Main Street in the historic town centre.

What they might not have noticed was the project provided an opportunity to dig into the past of the central business district and uncover a few interesting finds.

 Photo: One of the bridges uncovered during the Main Street excavations

Exhibition on until 15 July 2016

Museum Director Judy Kean said Excavating Main Street was a small display that documented the project and featured some of these finds, on exhibition until 15 July this year.

Murwillumbah-based archaeologist Cosmos Coroneos, who completed research and documentation of the historical aspects of this project, will present a free talk about his work at Tweed Regional Museum on Wednesday 17 February.

Refreshments will be available from 5.30pm with Mr Coroneos’s presentation starting at 6pm.

“We are delighted to be able to add the wealth of significant information assembled during the project to the Tweed Regional Museum’s extensive collection, particularly for an area already recognised for its heritage value,” Ms Kean said.

“The replacement of major drainage provided an opportunity to re-examine some of the early infrastructure in the area, in some cases dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.”

She said historic photos and maps already in the Museum’s collection provided important points of comparison for those working on the project.

“For example, the 1929 concrete road and associated drainage was uncovered, as well as wooden foot bridges dating back to the late 1800s,” she said.   “One of these showed clear evidence of damage caused by the great fire of 15 September 1907, which became known as Red Sunday.

“By adding this next generation of documentation, and an intriguing selection of finds to the Museum collection, we are making sure that in 100 years’ time the story of Murwillumbah Main Street drainage 2015, and the earlier story of this historic precinct, can be easily discovered.”

“Archaeology brings a crucial dimension to projects like this,” Ms Kean said.

“The process of researching historical sources such as early photos in the Museum’s collection enabled Council to anticipate what might be found during excavation and the involvement of Mr Coroneos ensured that important historical finds could be appropriately documented, preserved where appropriate, and that work could continue as quickly as possible.”

Courtesy Tweed Shire Council Newsroom.

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See also Tweed Regional Museum – Murwillumbah at Big Volcano and Big Volcano Museums, Historic Places and Heritage Buildings

Lismore Australia Day Awards 2016

Jodie McRae, a cancer survivor and founder of local charity Jodie’s Inspiration, has been named Lismore’s 2016 Australia Day Citizen of the Year.


Image: Lismore’s 2016 Australia Day Citizen of the Year, Jodie McRae.

Jodie was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer in 2013 and after being given the all-clear, was diagnosed with secondary cancer in 2014. The mother of two and local business owner channelled her energy into establishing Jodie’s Inspiration, which in six short months has raised $105,000 for new medical equipment at Lismore’s oncology units.

“I am truly thrilled to name Jodie the Citizen of the Year,” Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell said.

“Jodie’s Inspiration is the name of the charity Jodie founded but those who know this amazing woman also know that Jodie is an inspiration to many people in everything she does and in her attitude to life. Jodi’s motto is ‘Live Life Large’. That’s what she does every day and it is most fitting that Jodie is Lismore’s 2016 Australia Day Citizen of the Year.”

Jodie, who was in Sydney and unable to attend the ceremony, said she was taken aback to be awarded the top Australia Day honour.  “I was blown away… it’s just awesome. Best thing ever!” she said.

“There are so many people out there doing such a great things for our community, and you never expect something like this to be given to you. I’m so passionate about Lismore and the whole community, because it’s given me so much. My input is minimal compared to what I see other people doing.

“The generosity and the kindness of people in Lismore – people who expect nothing and will go out of their way to help you – is truly amazing.  “Just the other night I had dinner out with my niece and nephew, and I went to pay the bill and it had already been paid!  It took me a week to work out who it was!

But I feel like you don’t get that everywhere; it’s something unique about the Northern Rivers. It’s such a close-knit community.”

Other Australia Day Award winners were:

Aboriginal Citizen of the Year: Thelma James
Thelma has been chairperson of the Lismore Reconciliation Committee for over 10 years, and gives strong support to other committees for reconciliation. Thelma is involved in many community projects such as the Banyam Baigham Landcare Group in North Lismore, Rous Water’s ‘Reconnecting to Country’, Sorry Day and NAIDOC Week. She is described as an inspiration, and a patient and good listener who represents the Bundjalung people with dignity and pride.

Young Citizen of the Year: Holley Somerville-Knott
Holley is the CEO and founder of the Stardust Foundation charity and a songwriter who hopes to inspire solutions to social justice. Holley is a speaker for the United Nations and was recipient of the inaugural Young Sustainability Champion Award at the Green Globe Awards in 2014. Holley is creating a comic book to inspire others to be compassionate and kind.

Sustainable Environment: Judi Emmett
Judi is secretary of the Keerrong Gas Squad, an active member of Gasfield Free Northern Rivers, and gatekeeper of Lock the Gate. As part of the anti-CSG movement, Judi organised marches, stickers, bumper stickers, pamphlets and a host of other merchandise.

Art and Culture: Amber Gooley
Amber is a volunteer with Northern Rivers Performing Arts (NORPA). She is also a tireless volunteer for LightnUp Inc. She is described as an effective and efficient administrator and a reliable, kind, honest and trustworthy person.

Services in Community (Individual): Ross McDougall
Ross started the Dunoon Men’s Shed. He formed a small team and energised the group to make the project work. Ross is also captain of the local fire brigade and puts in time and effort to improve the local community.

Services in Community (Group): LightnUp Inc
LightnUp Inc is a community-based arts organisation in Lismore. It provides individuals, artists, volunteers and community members with the opportunity to create artwork inspired by light and shadow. The group conducts workshops for school groups, people with disability, disadvantaged and isolated people. Programs provide employment and support people with disability, youth, the aged and migrants.

Junior Sportsperson: Keea Parrish
Keea has been selected as team and tour captain in the Under 16 Australian Futsal team to tour Brazil. At 15 she was selected to play in a Premier Division team, was the Golden Boot winner in 2015, and is the youngest student to play open girls soccer for Trinity Catholic College. She is also a zone, regional and state representative in athletics.

Lismore City Council Media Release. Published 27th January 2016. (Links inserted by Big Volcano Tourism)

‘First lady of first aid’ named the Tweed’s Citizen of the Year

Residents celebrated on Australia Day for community contribution

Some of the Tweed’s leading contributors were recognised when the 2015 Tweed Shire Australia Day Awards were presented as part of the main celebration and citizenship ceremony at Kingscliff High School.


Photo caption: From left:  Sporting Achievement Award winner Max Bryant, Betty Metcalf  (15 Minutes of Fame – Arts and Cultural Achievement Award), Quota club representatives Sue Wickham and Barbara Lee (Community Event of the Year), David White (15 Minutes of Fame), Citizen of the Year Fay Gleave, Volunteer of the Year Kenneth ‘Mark’ Eglington, Australia Day Ambassador George Ellis, Young Achiever in Community Service Award winner Elizabeth Kirk, and far right; 15 Minutes of Fame representatives Jenny Clarke, Marilyn White and Jenny Unwin (Arts and Cultural Achievement Award).

The highest honour, Citizen of the Year, was awarded to Tweed resident Fay Gleave, who has been sharing her knowledge on saving lives for 41 years. Ms Gleave first became involved with St John Ambulance in 1958, gaining a number of certificates along the way and becoming a lecturer and examiner on first aid in 1974.

In 2015 alone, she taught the finer points of first aid to more than 2000 students in northern NSW as part of the St John First Aid School program. Through the program, students were introduced to techniques such as checking airways, dressing cuts and phoning for help.

Seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Kirk received the Young Achiever in Community Service Award for juggling an ongoing commitment to community service, volunteer work, high academic achievement at school and two part-time jobs.

Elizabeth will be undertaking her Year 12 HSC at Murwillumbah High School this year but continues to mentor students through the Student Representative Council, maintains the rank of Leading Seaman in the Naval Cadets and also achieved the highest Scouts award, the Australian Scout Medallion.

She has also completed the MAX potential program, a Rural Fire Service cadetship, assisted with the Cool Heads program for youth in the region and volunteered at the Murwillumbah Show.

The monthly ’15 Minutes of Fame’ event at Stokers Siding/Dunbible Memorial Hall won the Arts and Cultural Achievement Award. It is completely staffed by volunteers and has attracted a wide variety of professional and amateur performers of all ages.

Kingscliff resident Max Bryant took out the Sporting Achievement Award for his outstanding accomplishments in cricket and rugby league. At just 16 years of age, Max was selected in cricket for an Open North Coast Cricket Team, the Gold Coast Dolphins 2nd grade team, the Queensland Under 17 team to play in the Australian Championships and the Gold Coast Titans Under 16 rugby league team, among many others.

A service project for Remembrance Day, organised by Quota International of Tweed Heads/Coolangatta, was the Community Event of the Year. The service group knitted and crocheted 1327 red poppies that went on display and opened the doors of conversation for locals, visitors, Quota members and returned soldiers.

Kenneth ‘Mark’ Eglington was celebrated as Volunteer of the Year for more than 25 years of service with the NSW Rural Fire Service.   Mr Eglington rose through the ranks from fire fighter to Captain of the Cudgen Brigade, receiving the Rural Fire Service National Medal along the way.

As a well-respected member of the local community and self-employed small crop farmer, Mr Eglington advises land owners on fire permits and laws controlling pile burns. He received the Rural Fire Service National Medal, a testament to thousands of voluntary hours.

Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Katie Milne, said: “One of the loveliest things I find about the Tweed community is that we not only care for each other but we are also passionate about this environment, and care for the other residents of this Shire, the wildlife, too.

“Like the First Australians, the traditional Custodians of these lands, we all need to be custodians to care for this country.  Each one of us needs to do our part to give back to this country that gives so much to us.”

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom (links inserted Big Volcano Tourism aka Big Volcano Visitor Guide)
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Dunbible Creek Bridge now open

Ganger cuts ribbon to open Dunbible Creek Bridge

Tweed Shire Council Ganger Wayne Lack cut the ribbon last Friday January 29th, to complete the official opening of the new Dunbible Creek Bridge at South Murwillumbah, which he and his gang built last year.

Dunbible bridge grand re-opening

Doug Anthony, CH, AC, congratulates Ganger Wayne Lack after he cuts the ribbon officially opening Dunbible Creek Bridge. To the left of Mr Anthony is his wife, Margot, and State Member for Lismore Thomas George, MP. To the right of Mr Lack is Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack, MP, Mayor of Tweed Cr Katie Milne and Federal Member for Richmond Ms Justine Elliot, MP, and Cr Barry Longland.

Mr Lack cut the ribbon after Federal Member for Riverina and Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Michael McCormack MP and Mayor of Tweed Councillor Katie Milne, unveiled a plaque acknowledging the contribution of the Federal Government in funding the new bridge, and outlining the contribution Mr Lack has made to Tweed Shire in his role as a ganger.

“This used to be the main thoroughfare from Brisbane to Sydney,” said Mr McCormack. “It’s still a very important road and this bridge is integral to the economic prosperity of the area.

“The Federal Government this year is providing $32 million to improve local roads in the electorate of Lismore.”

Guests of Honour

Dunbible resident and former federal Member for Richmond, the Honourable Doug Anthony, CH, AC, and his wife, Margot, were guests of honour at the opening ceremony.

Mr and Mrs Anthony provided the land used as the site compound during construction. The Williams family also provided land for the bridge build.

Also acknowledged at the opening was the late Mrs Josephine Nugent, who successfully campaigned for a shared user path to be included as part of the bridge design. Mrs Nugent was represented at the opening by her daughter Rebecca Nugent, who travelled from Sydney for the event.

The 47-metre bridge cost $2.1 million to build, with the Federal Government contributing $950,000 under its Bridge Renewal Programme.

The new concrete bridge has four-metre wide carriageways in both directions and a 2.7-metre wide pedestrian path and cycleway. It was built using sustainable construction methods and will last for at least 100 years.

2015 Service and Productivity Excellence Award for Sustainability

Ganger Wayne Lack and his crew received Council’s 2015 Service and Productivity Excellence Award for Sustainability for the work they did in building the bridge. Their construction method saved Council $200,000.

They also retained the old timber bridge deck and used it as a work platform to drive the 16-tonne concrete piles, removing the need to work at ground level and significantly reducing the impact on the waterway below.

Mr Lack, who turns 70 next month, has built 34 bridges in Tweed Shire over the past 17 years and plans to do two more this year before he retires.

In acknowledging his enormous contribution to the shire, General Manager Troy Green described the worker as being like pure gold – highly valued and sought after.

“Wayne turns 70 next month, and every day he brings that same drive and commitment to his work that he did when he was a younger man,” said Mr Green. “He is a great role model, deserving of this honour.”

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom, Friday 29 January 2016
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