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Brenda Miley the Business Women in boardshorts - Lets Go Surfing

Surfing has been part of Australian culture for decades. Australian surf resonates on our pristine beaches and Australian waves. Today surf schools are lining up the coast from North to South, but 25 years ago this wasn't the case.

Brenda Miley started Let's Go Surfing out of the back of a Kombi van in 1995 at the iconic Bondi Beach as an idea to encourage more women into surfing.

One of a few women in Sydney’s 1980’s surf scene, Brenda was also a competitive surfer. She was always disappointed at the lack of women not just in competitions, but in surfing in general. Then, in 1995, a lightbulb moment hit.

“I was one of the only female surfers,” she says. “With the surfing bug fully entrenched in my life, I competed in all levels of competition from club level through to Australian titles, and discovered the absolute joy of travelling the world to surf. It was often daunting, being the only woman in the surf. I wanted to change the way girls experienced surfing and wanted to encourage them. And I thought to myself, I’m a PE teacher. I’ve got these skills, why don’t I start teaching women how to surf?” And that was the little piece of a life puzzle Brenda’s heart desired: ”Armed with a passion for teaching, surfing and making a difference to women’s lives, I discovered running a surf school was exactly what I was meant to be doing.”

Brenda’s Kombi van surf school is now a multi award-winning surf school head-quartered in Australia’s Sydney’s home of surfing, Bondi Beach, with operations in Maroubra, La Perouse, Byron Bay, Ballina and Lennox Head. Today the LGS Team includes local and international Male and Female surfing & Stand Up Paddle Board Coaches and Instructors, who love sharing their expertise and knowledge with their guests from all over the world. LGS has recently launched a new Stand Up Paddle Board Tours Lets Go SUP in the Beautiful New South Wales Northern Rivers regions of Byron Bay and Ballina.

Lets Go Surfing and Lets Go SUP run a daily surf and SUP lesson for kids, women, groups, and corporations, for all people of all levels. To find out more about our surf and SUP lessons give a call our friendly staff at 02 (02) 6680-9443 or visit our www.letsgosurfing.com.au

MAKE IT RAIN - FUND THE FIRIES

A Bushfire Fundraiser, Featuring Across Two Huge Nights 
Bernard Fanning & Ian Haug, Wolfmother, T’N’T,  Tim Rogers, Tex Perkins & The Loose Rubber Band, ARC (members of Spiderbait/You Am I/Jet/Even), Jackson Carroll, Jimmy Willing & The Real Gone Hick-Ups (feat. The Buffalo Gals), Monica Frances

The Beach Hotel Byron Bay Wednesday Jan 8 & Thursday Jan 9 
ALL TICKET SALES DONATED TO NSW RFS NORTHERN RIVERS AND FAR NORTH COAST BRIGADES.
Online Auction (open Dec 17 until Jan 17) with goods donated from Chris Hemsworth & Elsa Pataky, Ben Quilty, Stephanie Gilmore, Joel Parkinson, Mick Fanning, Powderfinger, Pat Rafter, Spell & The Gypsy Collective, Stone and Wood and more Via MAKEITRAIN2020.COM.AU

Tickets on sale now via www.makeitrain2020.com.au

A handful of your favourite Australian artists are inviting you to join them for two nights of entertainment in the heart of picturesque Byron Bay, this January, to raise money for the NSW RFS Northern Rivers and Far North Coast Brigades. 

We are asking for your help, we might not have influence over the heavens but we sure can do our bit to Make It Rain in dollar bills! 

Bernard Fanning & Ian Haug, Wolfmother, T’N’T, Tim Rogers, Tex Perkins & The Loose Rubber Band, ARC (members of Spiderbait/You Am I/Jet/Even), Jackson Carroll, Jimmy Willing & The Real Gone Hick-Ups feat. The Buffalo Gals, Monica Frances will take up at The Beach Hotel in Byron Bay.  To join them, head to MAKEITRAIN2020.COM.AU and donate $49 for a single night or $89 for two nights to secure your tickets. 

Local independent brewery Stone & Wood is donating several fundraising Karma Kegs for the evening, plus a prize of lunch and drinks at the brewery and four cases of fresh beer.

Can’t make it to Byron? We also have an online Auction featuring some money CAN’T buy items and experiences, that you CAN buy! Including an original etching from award winning artist Ben Quilty, a personal training session with Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky, a tennis lesson or game for three with Pat Rafter, a song writing session with ARIA Award winner Bernard Fanning, and more to be added! Head over to www.makeitrain2020.com.au bidding starts Dec 17th and closes Jan 17th. 

“A few months ago I was asked to play at a fire relief benefit called Ewingar Rising” explains Tex Perkins. “I was aware that the area had been devastated by fire storms. It’s always an honour to be asked to help people in hard times and to use my music for good, not only for fundraising, but for healing.

Then the rest of NSW started to burn. Suddenly fires were everywhere. Places that had never burned, and should never burn, and it hit really close to home, literally. A small bushfire in the national park near where I live quickly became a 2000 hectare blaze, it’s now over 6000 hectares and growing.

We evacuated our animals, children and prepared as best we could. The fire still burns but we’ve been lucky…so far.  

My local fire brigade announced an outpouring of thanks to the local people for their $1000 donation, as a result of that generosity, they could buy short wave radios to use out there whilst fighting fires!
 
I was shocked! Fucking hell! These guys are out here and deserve the best equipment!”

If they want equipment let’s get them what they want, let’s fund the firies!

Let’s MAKE IT RAIN
 

2020 Byron Bay Surf Festival - 10 years of Surf Culture!

The 2020 Byron Bay Surf Festival celebrates 10 years of bringing surfers, musicians, artists, filmmakers, activists and water-people together to celebrate surfing and all that it culturally encompasses!


 "We didn't aim for ten years and there was definitely no master plan to make anything huge or whatever. It was just like, 'our culture and the art of surfing deserves to be nurtured and celebrated...let's do this'...and we've pretty much just surfed that wave through each year". JMc


 
We dreamed up events, we invited friends, the biggest legends of surfing, artists, filmmakers, activists, and musicians and we prayed for waves. And because the Byron community and the larger surf community loved it and supported it, it's been a huge success!


 
Thank you for joining us to celebrate surfing and all that goes along with it!! It's been nothing but, as Bob McTavish describes BBSF, "F-U-N...FUN!!"

This year, like every year, we have a packed weekend...(see 3-day weekend!) New events, film premieres, live music, art shows, surf sessions, surf comp, surf markets, workshops, special guests and more…

Byron Bay Surf Festival
14-16 February 2020
Full details and tickets at www.byronbaysurffestival.com.au

Byron Bay summer school holiday fun for kids

The summer school holidays are a great time to visit Byron Bay. On top of all the normal summer fun for families to enjoy, here's a list of kid friendly activities to satisfy all ages that will make these school holidays even more memorable for the whole family!

The Brunswick Picture House

After laying dormant for over 30 years, the theatre was lovingly restored in 2016. This summer, the Brunswick Picture House is presenting four family friendly shows in January.

TALKING DOGS Starring Erik the Dog, Allen the Dog and Joel Salom
Four shows, 3-5 January
Allen the Dog is shy and soft, Erik the Dog (a Grand Finalist on Australia’s Got Talent) is metal and magnificent, and Joel the Human is the International Man of Circus.

The Space Cowboy: Metamorphous
Three shows, 10-12 January
Performing to sell-out crowds and making headlines around the globe, The Space Cowboy’s truly unforgettable “Mind Bending” show promises to do just that.

Imaginitis starring Shorty Brown
One show only, 16 January
Imaginitis is a colourful, extremely silly, funny, and highly interactive show, including magic, bubbles, comedy and extreme slapstick. It’s a colourful adventure created to entertain our youngest audience of 3–8 year olds.

The Picture House Circus Bonanza!
One show only, 19 January
Tailored for the young and the young at heart, expect things you’ve never seen before from a crazy talented, hugely entertaining and eclectic crew of performers from around the corner and throughout Australia.

Circus Arts Byron Bay

Leave kids at the circus and let their qualified coaches teach them trapeze, silks, tightwire, trampolining, pyramids, juggling, hoops, the famous flying trapeze and more in half and full day kids and teen circus programs. Afternoon programs have Parkour or JUMP focus depending on the day of the week.

The special add-on continues - regions only Ninja Warrior classes for kids, lead and instructed by Byron’s pocket rocket Lisa Parkes and her team at Ninja Play Byron Bay!

Kinder classes (under 5’s) are on daily and there’s a play space featuring mini aerial rig, caravan and climbing wall.

Full school holiday program and online tickets at www.circusarts.com.au/activities/byron-bay-school-holiday-programs/

Horse riding with Pegasus Park Equestrian Centre

Submerge yourself in nature, as you explore Byron Bay’s picturesque’s Hinterland and Beaches. Established 1994, Pegasus Park specialises in horse riding for people of all ages and all levels of ability. 

Full detail of tour and ride options, plus bookings at www.pegasuspark.com.au

The best fish and chips in Byron Bay

Fish and chips is a holiday classic best enjoyed beachside. Byron Bay is home to several dedicated fish and chips outlets, as well as restaurants and eateries that serve up their take on this fried favourite.

We asked our Facebook fans to vote for the best fish and chips in Byron Bay – now, the results are in. Here are the top five in alphabetical order.

Beach Byron Bay


Beach Byron Bay is a relaxed fine dining restaurant that showcases the best of the region. With a stunning beachfront location and breathtaking views over the Pacific Ocean, Beach serves up an in-season menu of old favourites and innovative creations. You can grab classic fish and chips from their kiosk’s takeaway menu or experience a gourmet take on the dish from their sit-down menu.

Beach Hotel


Located across the road from Main Beach, the Beach Hotel is truly iconic. For more than 25 years, this casual pub has welcomed locals and visitors to enjoy a drink or two in the beer garden, a fantastic meal, and live entertainment. Their menu offers all the pub classics, including fresh fish and chips.

Fishheads


Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Fishheads serves up some of the freshest seafood in town. Take a seat on their laid-back, beachfront deck or grab your fish and chips to-go and enjoy on the sand. Either way, you’re in for a real treat. Plus - during the month of December for every fish and chips sold at our restaurant and our takeaway, we will be donating $2 to The Liberation Larder and The Homeless Breakfast Hub (the two organisations in charge of Byron’s Community Centre’s breakfast).

Fishmongers


Fishmongers delivers so much more than your basic fried fish and chips. This gourmet eatery offers chunky homemade chips, delicious salt 'n' pepper calamari, and famous tempura vegetables. If you’re feeling adventurous, sample their barbecued baby octopus.

Hunky Dory


Hunky Dory is a Greek-inspired seafood restaurant with locations across the country. The family-owned business began with a vision to offer healthy, fresh seafood in a comfortable, casual setting. Incorporating unique, house-made marinades and sauces, their menu serves up a delectable selection of fried classics, grilled fish, nourishing salads, and more.

Best of Byron

Discover our Best of Byron series. Find out where to grab the best coffee, brunch, burgers, fish & chips, Mexicanbreakfasts, pizza, ice cream, cocktails, and romantic dinners – according to you.

(note - businesses listed in alphabetical order as voted for by our Facebook fans - no 'pay for placement'. However, we do link to, and hope you will best support, business that advertise with byronbay.com)

Byron Bay summer markets

Visiting one of the regions colourful markets is a great way to spend some time while on holiday in Byron Bay. As well as the crafts, clothes, arts, and homewares, you can enjoy an exciting array of exotic foods and coffee, baked goods, and local live music. 

Between mid December 2019 and end of January 2020, you have a choice of markets in Byron.

Byron Flea Market: Saturday 14 December & Saturday 11 January
8am-2pm, in the parklands behind the Byron Bay Library
Described as having that unassuming ‘Old Byron’ feel and people return month after month for its quaint charm.

Byron Bay Community Market: Sunday 15 December, Sunday 5 January & Sunday 19 January
8am-3pm Denning Park (Main Beach Foreshore)
These are the main Byron Bay markets, enjoy the combination of a welcoming atmosphere, artistic talent, fantastic food, local musicians, buskers and authentic products.

The Mullumbimby Market: Saturday 21 December & Saturday 18 January
8am-2pm, Cnr Stuart & Myocum Sts Mullumbimby
A buzzing little family festival. A vibrant yet chilled-out local craft market with live music, kids activities, and great food.

Bangalow Market: Sunday 22 December & Sunday 26 January
9am to 3pm, Bangalow Showgrounds (parking available for $2)
Held in beautiful grounds which are dominated by eleven huge camphor laurel trees which provide welcome shade and rustling leaves and a magic forest atmosphere.

Brunswick Heads Market: Saturday 4 January
7am-2pm, Memorial Park by the Brunswick River
Memorial Park comes alive with the many artisan stalls, which provide clothing, plants, food, candles, soaps, coffee, and more. Many locals also hold garage sales on market day too, so there are many bargains to be found. 

Byron Beachside Market: Wednesday 8 January
8am-4pm, Denning Park (Main Beach Foreshore)
Held four times each year in early January, Easter, mid-July and late September. This market has a ‘make it, bake it, grow it’ ethos, focusing on authenticity and sustainability.

Byron Twilight Markets: 4-9pm every Saturday at Railway Park.
Features boutique stalls of local artisans with a focus on authenticity, originality and sustainability. 

Take 3 for the Sea Byron

Every year Byron’s stunning natural beauty draws over 2 million visitors.

We love to share our beautiful region with friends and fans from all over the world, but paradoxically, this annual influx of nature lovers has the potential to create a devastating impact on the very environment they’ve travelled so far to enjoy.

Want to get involved and do something good for Byron Shire and the planet?

Here’s how you do it, It’s seriously simple...

Just Take 3 pieces of rubbish with you when you leave a Byron beach, waterway or nature spot and you’ve done it.

Who knew making a difference was that simple!

Be sure to:

take a picture of your haul and post it to Instagram;

tag @take3forthesea_byron;

include the hashtag #Take3forByron

so we can all see the impact we’re having.

From time to time they’ll be prize promotions to make saving the planet even sweeter.

Check the details of current and upcoming promotions.

Take 3 for Byron is a joint initiative between Byron Shire Council and Take 3 for the Sea.

Stone & Wood beer fans invited to exclusive brewery-to-door Beer Club

Those seeking guaranteed access to Stone & Wood’s limited releases, exclusive merchandise and special offers have been invited to join the Stone & Wood Beer Club, a community of beer fans who’ll receive monthly members-only video content and specials and beer packages direct to their door every two months. 

Guaranteeing members early and exclusive access to seasonal and limited releases including Counter Culture and the annual Stone Beer, the Stone & Wood Beer Club will also ensure drinkers who have trouble accessing these beers can enjoy consistent and timely beer deliveries, often before the rest of the country. 

The bi-monthly packs will feature variations of Stone & Wood’s limited-release beers, members-only merch, Stone & Wood event ticket deals and other exclusive offers. 

Membership of $15 per month can be purchased on a rolling basis or as a six-month membership as the perfect beery gift for someone else. 

 

 

New members who sign up before Tuesday 10 December will also go into the running to win a Stone & Wood Brew Experience for themselves and a friend, plus will receive their club welcome pack before Christmas Day

For more information or to join the Stone & Wood Beer Club, visit www.stoneandwood.com.au/beer-club

Belongil Beach luxury holiday homes

For families wanting a luxury beachside home for their holiday, Belongil Beach offers some unique properties and is located just a 5 minute drive, or 15 minute beach walk, into the centre of Byron Bay.

Here's some inspiration to help you plan your (large, extended or combined) family holiday.

To help with some family meals, Dinner is Served Can supply everything you need, from breakfast packs, delicious dinners, sides and desserts, and more. Browse their extensive menu - they can deliver right to your Belongil Beach holiday rental.

Moonstruck Belongil Beach

This unique, 3 bedroom beach house features huge sun decks plus well cared for lawns and gardens, BBQ facilities, all capturing the 180° panorama of the beach, coastline, lighthouse and hinterland mountains. Plus the sand is literally 3 metres away via a private access.

Byron Moon

A beautiful, architecturally designed, 5 bedroom (sleeps up to 12), luxurious home located steps away from the picturesque white sand Belongil Beach. A spacious, light filled, with a modern beachy feel it provides you with all the comforts you will need for a relaxing holiday.

Bluewater House

A two level, four bedroom beach house that has been designed to offer you everything you may need to make your holiday perfect. You can cool off in the heated pool or head to the beach across the road. Perfect for a family or group getaway.

Beach Box Belongil

A 5 bedroom, 5 bathroom Byron Bay holiday home situated in the Belongil Beach district. This holiday rental features unique luxury-industrial interiors, a large rear deck with BBQ, dining setting, fire pit and built-in seating, plus a 9.5m swimming pool.

2019 BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL - WINNERS ANNOUNCED

The 2019 Byron Bay Film Festival (BBFF) came to a spectacular close with the announcement of the winners of the BBFF Best Film Awards.

The event, now in its 13th Year, attracted entries from all over the globe.

BBFF Director J'aimee Skippon-Volke said: 

“Whilst our programme featured a number of the strongest Australian titles to be in the festival circuit of 2019/20, we have decided it is important to bring BBFF back to the roots that independent festivals were born from. It is for this reason our nominees are made from independent films that are not represented here in Australia by local distributors. This allows our awards to support these filmmakers as they continue on the festival circuit and bring more attention to the work they do.”

The winner of both Best Film and Best Documentary was the powerful and enlightening ‘In My Blood It Runs’ which offers a rare and compelling insight into the life of 10-year-old Arrente and Garrawa boy, Dujuan. The audience was moved to laughter, tears and horror as they watched Dujuan navigate his role as both a traditional healer; and child beholden to the Australian education system.

It is an exceptional film.

For more information see: www.inmyblooditruns.com

The Winner of Best Dramatic Feature was taken out by Australian filmmaker Josephine Mackerras who’s debut feature Alice addressed a host of ethically fraught questions around society’s relationship with prostitution.

After writing the film in English, Ms Mackerras decided she didn’t want to wait any longer for funding, or to deal with the restrictions of the Australian Film Industry. 

Ms Mackerras got the script translated into French, shot the majority of it in her own apartment using her own son and first-time actors - who gave an astounding performance - and delivered a finely tuned debut.

Alice previously took out the SXSW Grand Jury Prize.

To watch an interview with Josephine Mackerras click here.

The Winner of Best Experimental Film was ‘Continuum 01 – South in Self Exile’. The visual and sonic essay drew mixed responses from the audience, leaving very few people unmoved. 

Directed and produced by Byron Bay landscape artist Jack Bailey the film was described by some as, “Mesmerising, like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” whereas a vocal minority caused controversy amongst the otherwise appreciative audience. 

Mr Bailey said, “Poignant to my closing statement regarding the mediocracy of a homogenised society. I am glad through untampered natural imagery I was able to evoke such a primal and guttural reaction.”

The locals award for Best Byron Film went to Angus McDonald for Manus.

This short film shows the plight of refugees who have been detained on Manus Island in PNG by the Australian Government for the past six years.

Byron Bay Film Festival Director J'aimee Skippon-Volke said: “The Byron Film category is awarded to a film that encapsulates the spirit of our region and the strength of our local filmmaking talent. Human rights is an important issue to our community and Angus is an artist who uses his gift well in highlighting these issues.”

Brothers Jack and Peter Thompson also received an award honouring them for their work supporting and boosting the Australian Film Industry.

The announcement of the winners was followed by the Australian Premiere of The Cave - Tom Waller’s dramatisation of the rescue of the Wild Boars football team from Tham Luang Cave in northern Thailand.

Mr Waller himself was in attendance to introduce the film saying ”I’m really excited to be showing the film to an Australian audience here at the Byron Bay Film Festival. It was a remarkable story of ordinary people, who became heroes.”

And so, after an action-packed week, including films featuring everything from Shakespearean rifts to species extinction and the odd severed hand… the Byron Bay Film Festival draws to a close tomorrow.

People can still catch a number of films tomorrow including Manus, Why Can’t I Be Me? Around You and Yonlu. Plus, the encore screening at Pighouse Flicks of She is the Ocean at 3:30pm.

 
Full list of the winners:

Best Film - In My Blood It Runs, Maya Newell
Best Dramatic Feature Film - Alice, Josephine Mackerras
Best Short Film – Nero, Jan-David Bolt
Best Documentary Film – In My Blood It Runs, Maya Newell
Best Experimental Film - Continuum 01 - South in South Exile, Jack Bailey
Best Surf Film – She is the Ocean, Inessa Blokhina 
Honourable Mention (Surf Film Category) - Pacifico, Andreas Geipel and Christian Gibson
Best Animation – Hurlevent, Frederick Doazan 
Rob Stewart Environmental Film Award - Kifaru, David Hambridge
Best Cinematography – Kofi and Lartey, Sasha Rainbow
Young Australian Filmmaker of The Year – Appetite, Claudia Bailey 
Best Music Documentary - Out Deh – The Youth of Jamaica, Louis Josek
Best Byron Film - MANUS, Angus McDonald
Best Cinematic VR Experience – The Leap – Inside Architect Dorte Mandrup’s Mind
Best Interactive VR Experience – The Holy City, Occupied VR.
Honourable mention (VR Experience) - Gloomy Eyes, Fernando Maldonado, Jorge Teraso
Best Music Video – Pub Talk, Jake Taylor
Best Screenplay – Fear Sum, James Mayon 
The winner of the Best Screenplay Award, James Mayon, will walk away with a $1500 cash prize.

The winning films really epitomised the essence of the Byron Bay Film Festival. We exist so important films like this can be seen and filmmakers can continue to do their inspiring work.
 

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