The Byron Shire Resilience and Regeneration Roadshow kicked off recently at the Youth Activity Centre in Byron Bay, on Saturday 13 February.
Hosted by Renew Fest and Resilient Byron, the Roadshow encourages local communities to connect, share, listen and work on concrete ideas to take on the challenges presented by bushfires and floods, the economic and housing crisis, and COVID.
The Roadshow will involve four more Saturday “stopovers” across the Byron region (Brunswick Heads, Bangalow, Ballina and Federal) up until mid-April, before culminating at Renew Fest in Mullumbimby on Mothers’ Day Weekend in May.
Each roadshow event is free, and features a different guest speaker followed by hands-on workshops. Santos Organics is generously supplying local fruit and nuts as part of the organic refreshments, and the Roadshow is being supported by the Northern Rivers Community Foundation.
Roadshow organisers said, “locals seeking to spend an inspiring half-day of storytelling, sharing and concrete ideas for regeneration and resilience in our neighbourhoods are most welcome!”
Special guest for the first Roadshow event was chair of Resilient Byron, Dr Jean Renouf, a local academic and firefighter, who was interviewed by the host of The Overview Effect podcast, James Perrin. Dr Renouf recounted his life as an international aid worker in Iraq and elsewhere which brought home insights into how communities in the Byron Shire can connect with each other and respond to disasters, bringing calm to chaos through on-the-ground networks.
The event also involved a guided workshop which saw participants exchange ideas and action points to increase our food, water, housing and energy security in the Byron region, alongside bettering our health and wellbeing and disaster preparedness.
Event participants also got to meet some of the energetic volunteer team members from both Resilient Byron and Renew Fest, who shared their plans and vision for community actions and change in the coming months.
Participants expressed feeling empowered, with a sense of hopefulness about what can be done locally. A number joined Resilient Byron’s sub groups and others are proposing contributions to Renew Fest.