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2014 - 2016 Sustainability Seminars

2016 Sustainability Seminar Program Items

Wednesday 23 November, 6:00pm - free film screening, cooking demonstration and taste testing

With the festive season just around the corner, it is time to reflect on our consumption habits and challenge the way (and where) we shop, prepare, eat and store our food. Join us for a free movie screening followed by discussion, a cooking demonstration and taste testing. Alison Drover, “locavore-frugavore”, sustainable food consultant, stylist/designer, writer, educator, speaker and organic food gardener will share ideas for nutritious low-waste Christmas recipes, storing, shopping and buying with a local emphasis. Linda Tohver, Education Coordinator from North East Waste and coordinator of the Love Food Hate Waste Program in the northern rivers, will highlight the main issues around the billions of dollars of food being wasted, and the local and global implications from a householder perspective.


Tuesday 6 September, 6:00pm - Vetiver in Action - Soil Conservation, Erosion Control & Wastewater Treatment

About Vetiver  Vetiver is a unique miracle plant, with an extensive range of effective applications across a broad range of industries and in your own backyard. Traditionally used in South East Asia for land conservation and agricultural improvement, Vetiver has now found its home as a unique bioengineering tool, with the capacity to address some of the major environmental and development issues afflicting our world. 


Tuesday 5 July, 6:00pm - This Changes Everything

Watch a short film screening of Naomi Klein speaking at the Sydney Festival of Dangerous Ideas. Naomi is a social activist and filmmaker well known for her political analyses and criticism of corporate capitalism. Her most recent book 'This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate' was a New York Times non-fiction best seller, and she was awarded the 2016 Sydney Peace Prize for her activism on climate justice.

Dr Amanda Cahill, founder of the Centre for Social Change in Brisbane, will give a keynote speech and lead discussion on the topic of how capitalism is linked with climate change.


Tuesday 3 May, 6:00pm - Seed Share Launch

Tuesday 15 March, 6.00pm: Zero Emissions Byron  – speakers, discussion & film screening - 'Transitioning Byron Shire to Zero Carbon'


Professor David Hood AM – leader of the QUT Sustainability Research & Teaching programs, and member of the Board of Directors of Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) and a riveting presenter, will introduce the evening with an update on the latest findings in the world of climate change.

Australians are generally conservative in how we accept the need to make changes to the way we live. No one has yet explained to us here what compelling vision and deliverable plans exist to transition our economy, environment and lifestyles to a post carbon world - probably the biggest change in the history of civilisation, forced on us by climate change.
What are other countries already doing to transition to a zero carbon economy? Is there anything out there to inspire us? How could that happen here in Byron Shire?

In 2007, the EU Parliament announced that European countries were committed to make such a change. They called it the Third Industrial Revolution (‘3Rev’ for short). At COP21 the French government showcased the progress made by their Nord Pas de Calais region, three years after the architect of that vision – global thought leader and economist, Jeremy Rifkin - had introduced it to them. China, our largest trading partner, recently committed to follow the same path.

At Zero Emission Byron, we think you deserve to hear that vision and plan explained by its architect. So following Professor Hood, a film will be screened showing the introduction to that rural French community of the vision and methodology for their transition to a Zero Carbon Economy that motivated them to change the way they work and live.
Finally a Q&A panel, facilitated by Byron Shire journalist Mick O’Regan, will answer questions and discuss how the Zero Emissions Byron (ZEB) project is working along similar principles to reduce Byron Shire’s emissions to zero within 10 years.
Light refreshments available. 

2015 Sustainability Seminar Program Items

Tuesday 3 November, 6.00pm: Brunswick Valley Landcare presents "My Local Native Garden"

Join Brunswick Valley Landcare for an evening talking about local native gardens. 

The talk will be about landscape design, good native plants to use and how to attract wildlife to your garden, and there will be free "My Local Native Garden" booklets to take home.

A light supper will be available.


Tuesday 8 September, 6.00pm: Byron Region Food Sovereignty Network - discussion & film screening - 'Grow!'

The film Grow! is an award winning film by Anthony-Masterson about young farmers working towards a more positive future. Anybody who appreciates the value of good, wholesome food grown close to home, who cares about our food supply and the future of farming will want to see GROW!

The Byron Region Food Sovereignty Network is a part of a greater movement of people who are active and engaged in creating a transparent and clean local food system. This brand new Network is inviting locals to join a network meeting along with the film screening at the Food Sovereignty Network Sustainability Seminar.

If you are interested in our community’s food, local ownership and sustainability, then come along to this interactive Network meeting.

You’ll meet other amazing 'go getters' and change-makers from the Byron region passionate about creating an ecological economy that is fair, safe and supportive for our community’s food and planet. The Seminar will assist in creating a peer-to-peer support network for real discussions, support and inspiration. Our focus is on facilitating networking opportunities and providing creative capital to projects for the young leaders in food sovereignty for our region (u40).

There is a need to support Australia’s ageing farming industry, over the past 30 years the number of farmers declined by 40% with less children taking on family farms.

If you are a young leader/entrepreneur/social creative with a great idea for our regions food sovereignty please come along! If you are an experienced farmer, food and sustainability leader please come along to help support our region’s emerging food sovereignty projects.


Tuesday 7 July, 6.00pm: Our Fresh and Salt Water Places presented by Byron-Belongil Environment Group.

Join Mary Gardner, biologist, researcher, writer for the Byron Shire Echo, and others from the Byron-Belongil Environment group as they discuss their learnings about fresh and salt water places.

This session will explore uncovering the history of land and water in Byron Shire, and learning how to read the coastal landscape.

Come along, bring a photo and discuss your favourite salt and fresh water places.


Tuesday 5 May, 6.00pm: Let's Talk Dirt To Save Our Soils - "Dirt! The Movie" film screening and talks presented by Munch Crunch Organics and Mullumbimby Community Gardens

This seminar will be in theme with International Compost Awareness Week. Munch Crunch Organics and the Mullumbimby Community Gardens will be co-hosting a screening of the documentary DIRT! starring Vandana Shiva.

The Community Gardens will provide an introduction of how to compost in your own backyard and Alasdair Smithson from Munch Crunch Organics will talk about the importance of soil health on a global scale and how organic agriculture looks after our soils.

Hot food + chai available from 6pm, film starts at 6.30pm.


Tuesday 3 March, 6.00pm: "Edible City - Grow the Future" film screening presented by Mullumbimby Community Gardens                     

Come along and be inspired by a film that showcases the importance of communities uniting around good food. The Mullumbimby Community Gardens is hosting a community screening of the incredible film ‘Edible City’ at:

  • Byron Shire Council Chambers, Station Street - Mullumbimby
  • Tickets $5 at the door – no booking required (children free or by donation)

 “Edible City digs into unique perspectives and transformative work, from edible education to grassroots activism, to building local economies and finding hopeful solutions to monumental problems.”

Through firsthand accounts, Edible City shows how growing food is fun, community-building and one of the most sustainable acts which we can personally carry out. Click here to view the film website and trailer. Mullumbimby Community gardens will be providing a light supper and fresh popcorn at the film screening for donations. This is a child friendly event. For more information please contact Kim Mallee at Byron Shire Council on 02 6626 7305.


2014 Sustainability Seminar Series

11 January (completed)

Talking Trash – Marine Debris

Take 3

18 March (completed)

Byron Precinct for Global Solutions

Transition Byron Shire

23 April (completed)

Reverse Greenhouse Forum

Mullumbimby Community Gardens

13 May (completed)

Sustainable Schools

Main Arm Public School

10 June (completed)

Growing and Cooking Sustainably

Munch Crunch Organics


Sustainable Agriculture

Mullumbimby Community Gardens

9 September (completed)

Energy Efficiency and Energy Audits

Joe Sparks – TAFE Student

18 November (completed)

Byron Shire Shore Birds

Byron Bay Bird Buddies

Byron Shire Shorebirds - Tuesday 18 November at 6.30pm


Everyone is welcome to come along to learn about the fascinating shorebirds who rest, feed or breed on the shores of the Cape Byron Marine Park from Lennox Head to North Ocean Shores including Byron Bay and Brunswick Heads.

Many of the Shorebirds that visit our region in the warmer months have flown thousands of kilometres from the northern hemisphere. To learn more about this amazing journey and what you can do to help protect both local and migratory shorebirds please join us on 18 November at 6:30 pm in Council Chambers.

Byron Bird Buddies is a community group working for the conservation of birds through education and habitat protection. Byron Bird Buddy Mandy Lisson will be the presenter for this event. Mandy is currently researching shorebirds for her honours degree.

Light supper will be available catered by Brunswick Valley Landcare. 


Energy Efficiency & Energy Audits Seminar - Tuesday 9 September at 6:30pm


Sustainable Schools Seminar - Tuesday 13 May at 6:30pm

Come along to an evening of inspiring education with the Sustainable Schools Seminar this Tuesday 13 May at 6:30pm. Hosted by Main Arm Upper Primary School, Principal Virginia Pavlovich will present some of the sustainability education programs taking place at the school, exemplifying what is possible at a small local public school in the area.

Donna Grey and Eric Bollen will also be presenting the vision for starting a K-12 Green School in the Northern Rivers, one that is modelled largely on the Green School in Bali - . Eric has toured the Green School in Bali and will give a brief description of the history of the school, its unique architecture and setting and the progressive environmental and educational curriculum that informs the direction of the school.

Lastly, Ian Hamilton, Director of Kookaburra Kulture Wilderness School, will convey the value and importance of Nature Connection in our current high tech culture and showcase how Kookaburra Kulture Wilderness School offers outdoor nature connection classes for children.

Light supper will be available by Main Arm Upper Primary School by donation.

Please arrive for a 6:30pm start and for further information or questions please call Kim Mallee at Byron Shire Council on 6626 7305. Bookings not required.

Reversing Greenhouse Public Forum

Wednesday- 23 April 2014 at 6.30pm A Byron Shire Council and Mullumbimby Community Gardens Event

An exciting new project is emerging from Mullumbimby Community Gardens known as the Eco Centro Reversing Greenhouse Centre. Come along to a public panel discussion to find out more on Wednesday evening 23 April 2014 from 6:30pm. Wayne Wadzworth from Mullumbimby Community Gardens said, "Eco Centro will be a  hands on education centre for turning off fossil fuels, developing carbon farming and green technology based on growing biomass such as bamboo, hemp. Additionally Eco Centro will display integrated systems for the sustainable use of water, energy and nutrients".   The evening will showcase four great speakers including: · The Eco Centro Concept - Wayne Wadsworth · Biochar and Reversing Greenhouse - Don Coyne · Urban Organic Agriculture - Joel Orchard from Future Feeders · Composting and Growing Abundance - Paul Taylor from Trust Nature

Light supper will be available catered by Mullumbimby Community Gardens


Local Solutions for Global Challenges

Tuesday - 18 March 2014 at 6.30pm Presenter - Mayor Simon Richardson