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World Indigenous Leaders Converge at Byron Bay for Global Healing

UNITY EARTH presents “Fields of Healing: A Journey of Awakening”
BYRON BAY, NOVEMBER 24-25, 2018: 

  • An historic convergence of local and global Indigenous leaders joining artists, activists, musicians and healers for the inaugural “Fields of Healing” event at North Byron Parklands.
  • Legendary Eskimo Shaman from Greenland, Uncle Angaangaq to visit Australia for the first time 
  • Grammy Nominated Reggae Star Rocky Dawuni and other acclaimed international Artists coming to support the event
  • Hereditary Dakota Chief and Global Unity Activist Chief Phil Lane Junior’s first visit to Australia
  • Dr. Mindahi Bastida, Director for the Original Caretakers Program at the Center for Earth Ethics, returns to Australia for Fields of Healing
  • Commemorating the one-year anniversary of the momentous occasion of the Return to Country of Mungo Man. Indigenous people from the Lake Mungo descendants coming to Byron offering ceremony and songs for healing
  • UNITY EARTH is partnering with local indigenous community and other grassroots community organisations
  • Sam Cook, an indigenous Australian woman with a global profile and track record of event management is Event Director for Fields of Healing

A truly historic gathering, Fields of Healing, is to be held at North Byron Parklands, on the 24th and 25th November 2018. The event will bring together line-up of renowned healers, musicians, artists and thought-leaders for a historic “Convergence of Healing”. The event is co-hosted with local Minyungbal Song Man Uncle Magpie, traditional custodian of the land where this unique global-gathering is taking place.  UNITY EARTH is also working closely with neighbouring custodian Auntie Delta Kay of the Arakwal people and working in collaboration with the excellent Culture Aware initiative. The inaugural event Fields of Healing is delighted to also feature outstanding international acts Kristin Hoffman, Premik Russel Tubbs and GRAMMY® nominated Rocky Dawuni. Rocky was recently appointed a UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Environment. Local artists including Áine Tyrrell and Dane Kennedy are also performing.  

Uncle Angaangaq from Greenland has been travelling the world since 1975 raising the alarm to the global community about climate change and the melting of the Big Ice in this homeland. 

He says “my father told me to never go anywhere without being invited and I am so happy to be invited and accept that invitation, I’ve never been to Australia, I’ve never had a chance to visit you, you are my family, I will come with an open heart. Most importantly I will come with peace in my heart.”

Chief Phil Lane Jr, founder of Four Worlds International Institute has been a global activist working on peace, human unity and reconciliation for decades but like Uncle Angaangaq has never before been to Australia. Uncle Phil who believes that “Fields of Healing, is part of the fulfilment of Indigenous Prophecies everywhere on Mother Earth” is being accompanied by his Dakoda “Koda” (spiritual brother) Darcy Demas. Chief Phil says “both myself and my Koda Darcy Demas are so looking forward to visiting our relatives in Australia for Fields of Healing in November.  We are fulfilling a journey my beloved father always talked about. He said they have very good horses in Australia”. 

Of further historic importance, the event will also mark the one-year anniversary of the deeply historic Return to Country of Mungo Man in November 2017. This profound healing moment when the ancient remains of Mungo Man, a 42 000 years old human ancestor, were returned to his country in the Willandra Lakes Region of New South Wales, marks an important moment for Australia’s waking up and growing up. Representatives of the Indigenous group associated with Lake Mungo will attend Fields of Healing, continuing the important healing journey of this Ancestral Spirit. 

Dr Mindahi C. Bastida Munoz is a caretaker of the philosophy and traditions of the Otomi Peoples of Mexico and Director for the Original Caretakers Program at the Center for Earth Ethics, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. Dr Bastida was one of the international dignitaries at the Mungo Man Return to County commemorations in 2017 and is delighted to be returning To Australia for Fields of Healing, saying: 

“After attending the historic ceremonies of Return to Country of Mungo Man last November in Mildura, I am excited to be returning to Australia for Fields of Healing in Byron Bay. This is a great opportunity to strengthen our connections with aboriginal peoples and our aboriginal brothers and sisters from ancestral Australia. Also for the healing and balancing Mother Earth through ritual ceremonies in Australia’s Sacred Sites”. 

North Byron Parklands is a stunningly beautiful 660-acre cultural arts and music events venue. It is country which has deep significance for the local Aboriginal groups the Minyungbal and Arakwal people.

The two-day gathering is designed as both a “gathering” and a “retreat” offering an intimate experience capped at just 1500 people to ensure intimacy of attendees and delegates. Sam Cook is the Creative Director, herself an indigenous Australian and highly credentialed Festival director with decades of experience utilising the Arts as a force for healing and cultural expression. These two life-affirming days on the beautiful North Byron Parklands will be a deep shared experience of healing, intercultural community and personal transformation with powerful music, soulful food, healing ceremonies and healing circles. The event is alcohol and drug free and is designed to be family friendly with special activities for children who come along. It is a not for profit event. Unity Earth invite all who feel called, to come and gather for this powerful and historic event. Early bird tickets are available until September 30th. Go to www.fieldsofhealing.com.au for more info and to book.

Unity Earth Background
Unity Earth is a worldwide collective dedicated to promoting intercultural harmony, healing, and transformation through music, events and by weaving stories together into larger inclusive narratives. Unity Earth was a convenor and sponsor of the Return to Country Festival commemorating Mungo Man’s homecoming in 2017 as well as U Day Festival in Ethiopia in 2018. U Day Festival is planned for India in 2019 and Jerusalem in 2020. 

Take part in the annual Whale Census

Cape Byron Lighthouse Sunday, 24th June, 7am to 4pm 

The census is organised by ORRCA and relies on volunteers to get outdoors and record how many whales are spotted. This data is used to help understand more about whale populations and their migration along the NSW coast.

There will be ORRCA and National Parks volunteers at the Cape Byron State Conservation Area, the perfect spot to join in the annual Whale Census. Spot whales from the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse or take in the sights along the Cape Byron walking track.

Learn more at www.wildaboutwhales.com.au
 

Byron Bay's best coffee in town

Byron Bay takes its coffee seriously.

When in town, we like to drop into a whole range of coffee shops for our caffeine fix. So, we asked our Facebook fans which cafe they believe serves up the best coffee in Byron Bay.

We tallied the votes, and here are the top five picks (in alphabetical order).

Bayleaf

Bayleaf has been a favourite spot for coffee in Byron for years. With a bustling atmosphere and hip interior, it’s the perfect spot to escape the heat in summer or cosy up with friends in winter.

Passionate about serving locally-sourced, seasonal produce, the team at Bayleaf offer an inventive, ever-changing lunch and breakfast menu alongside their top-notch coffee.

Combi

Dedicated to delivering the very finest brew, Combi was another favourite among our Facebook fans.

The baristas use a fair-trade blend of beans with a medium to strong flavour complimented by a pinch of sweetness. Plus, all coffees are made double shot, so if it’s a morning kick you’re after, Combi is a great option.

Dip

A popular spot for breakfast and lunch, Dip serves up some of the best coffees in town. Using local, organic coffee beans, the skilled baristas at Dip help locals and visitors alike take on the day – even if that means lying on the beach!

The outdoor seats are the ideal place to people-watch as you enjoy your cuppa – you’ll want to sit there for hours.

Safya Byron Bay

Speciality coffee, Egyptian-inspired food, and one of the homeliest café settings in Byron Bay serviced by a friendly, tight-knit team of locals: that’s Safya. 

Bringing in a new single-origin brew every week, Safya is a coffee-lovers paradise.

Sparrow Coffee Co.

Need coffee fast? Drop into Sparrow for coffee on the fly. At Sparrow’s Byron location (you’ll find Sparrow Coffee Co. in several spots throughout NSW and QLD), expect quality, hand-crafted Allpress coffee without the wait.

If you’re feeling peckish, indulge in organic sourdough bread and pastries from The Bread Social.

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)

Looking back at the 2018 Byron Bay Surf Festival

Despite some less-than-perfect weather, the 2018 Byron Bay Surf Festival (February 22 – 25, 2018) was a huge success. Over the four days, Byron Bay played host to a number of inspiring surf, art, film, and music events, each celebrating the inclusive spirit of surf culture.

Image by Elliot Kirkwood

The Byron Bay Surf Festival is unique among other surf events across the country. “BBSF has a non-competitive approach to surf events,” said the festival’s Creative Director, James McMillan. “We have a focus on culture, art and environment.”

Without the pressure of competition, surfers are free to express themselves in the water. This year, the beloved Freestyle & Stoke Surf Sessions and the new FreeRadical Surf Experiments invited surfers of all levels to have a bit of fun.

Image by Kane Skennar

“I was high as a kite after the Freestyle & Stoke Surf Sessions on Sunday,” said McMillan. “It was a really amazing day with so many stoked and smiling people, both surfers, non-surfers, families, kids and the oldest surfer in Byron Dr Bob even dropped by. The surf sessions on Sunday are about fun [which] creates a totally different and inclusive vibe to all who participate.”

Image by Alex T Roberts

The celebration of surf culture continued out of the water. The always-popular Surf Art Market drew a crowd on Saturday, despite the rainy weather. A curated collection of ethical and environmental vendors put their unique wares on display, drawing attention to the importance of sustainability in surfing. “Giving these companies an opportunity to show and sell their products educates and brings focused awareness to the public,” said McMillan.

In addition, festival-goers were treated to an incredible surf art exhibition at the Lone Goat Gallery, live music at the iconic Beach Hotel, and the crowd-favourite Sunset Cinema, which began with a traditional Welcome to Country by the local Arakwal People.

Image by Raffaella Creative

“Many surfers are creative, surfing is a very creative expression,” said McMillan, commenting on the many imaginative manifestations of surf culture on display at the 2018 Byron Bay Surf Festival.

“Every time a wave comes in you never know exactly how it is going to play out. You paddle, jump to your feet and start co-creating with Mother Nature as you weave your way along the swell... It all feels amazing. The feelings and emotions from surfing stir a certain thing inside many surfers and this sparks creativity in many different ways.”

With its beautiful beaches, creative spirit, and laid-back attitude, Byron Bay was – once again – the perfect backdrop to one of the most progressive surf events in the country. “[The area] is open and accepting of alternate thinking, arts, and activities,” commented McMillan. “The Byron Bay Surf Festival easily fits in and sends people home smiling.”

We look forward to seeing what the Byron Bay Surf Festival serves up next year.

Learn more at www.byronbaysurffestival.com.au

The Byron and Beyond 2018 Accommodation Guide

Discover the best of beautiful Byron Bay and surrounding towns and villages with the 2018 Byron and Beyond guides. Both the annual What’s On and Accommodation Guides are packed full of inspiring editorial content and informative business and event details, all alongside striking visuals.

What’s On – the Visitor Guide is Byron Bay’s official printed guide. Discover uniquely Byron activities, tours, and attractions in Byron Bay’s township and surrounding areas. Learn more about Byron’s beaches, check out the ever-growing list of Byron’s gourmet eateries, and find out more about watching whales during migration season.

Plus, this year’s magazine offers seven maps, which you can use to navigate the Byron Shire and beyond.

The What’s On Visitor Guide is distributed to over 400 outlets in the Northern Rivers, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. Or, read online.

Alongside the What’s On Visitor Guide, Byron and Beyond publish an Accommodation Guide, which includes information about Byron Bay, Brunswick Heads, Ocean Shores, Ballina, Lennox Head, Lismore, Nimbin and beyond.

In addition to the curated editorial content, you’ll find a range of practical information about transport, food, and an accommodation directory that covers the Byron Shire and surrounding regions.

The Accommodation Guide is distributed to more than 800 outlets across Australia. And like the What’s On Guide, it’s available to read online.

For anyone visiting the Byron Bay region, a flick through these popular guides is a must.

Learn more and read these guides at byronandbeyond.com

World Naked Bike Ride Byron Bay 2018

Join a group of like-minded individuals for a scenic bike ride around beautiful Byron Bay on Sunday March 11, 2018 at 3pm. The catch? The ride is clothing-optional.

Every year in March, thousands of ‘biketivists’ from over 70 countries around the globe take part in the World Naked Bike Ride.

The event promotes a number of worthy causes. First, it advocates for bike-friendly towns and cities that protect the safety of riders, walkers, and drivers. The nude cyclists draw attention to the unique dangers riders face on the roads and footpaths on a day-to-day basis.

Second, the World Naked Bike Ride protests against the use of harmful, unsustainable fossil fuels that damage the wellbeing of our people and our environment.

And third, the spectacle ignites discussions on body image and body acceptance. The clothing-optional dress code calls for both riders and on-lookers to celebrate imperfections, practice body positivity, and embrace our natural state of being.

Have a bit of fun and promote a number of great causes this year at the 2018 World Naked Bike Ride in Byron Bay on Sunday, March 11. Meet at 2.30pm at the Railway Station in Byron Bay, before setting off on a liberating ride around stunning Byron Bay at 3pm. Be prepared for onlookers – this one-of-a-kind event draws quite a crowd.

The easy ride will take about 30-minutes, and is suitable for all fitness levels. If you’re not keen on revealing all, you can still join in the fun. The dress code encourages you to come along ‘as bare as you dare.’

Learn more about the fantastic World Naked Bike Ride on their Wiki

ONE BILLION RISING REVOLUTION 2018: SOLIDARITY

As the sun rises on Main Beach on Wednesday 14th February, local women, children and men will gather again, rising up and dancing for a global revolution to end the epidemic of male violence against women and children. 

Wednesday 14 Feb, 6.30am for a 7.30am dance, Main Beach Byron Bay.

One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history. The campaign, launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. 

Byron Bay has its own high incidence of sexual assault and V Day is a great opportunity for us to find our voices in protest, by being a part of this pivotal moment, instead of thinking the problem is elsewhere. 

One Billion Rising provides an important opportunity for women and men to step up, speak up and be part of the solution, taking a stand against any male violence against women. Previous years saw hundreds of women and children dance together in Byron, reminding everyone of the importance of equal rights, and freedom. 

Come along, and be a part of this global movement saying ‘END all violence against women and children’. The world is stirring and enough is enough.

Here's  great video of the 2013 event on Main Beach Byron Bay

learn more at www.onebillionrising.org.

The Byron Bay Starlight Festival

The Byron Bay Starlight Festival is on in Bangalow from January 3rd to 6th 2019 for four days of bliss, growth, community, and expanding consciousness.

Have a Byron experience and reconnect with your true essence at the Starlight Festival. The perfect opportunity to ignite your spirit, nourish your soul and celebrate conscious living among like-minded individuals. The Starlight Festival encourages growth, oneness and awakening over four days.

Bringing together exhibitors, presenters and workshops focused on health, wellbeing, sustainability, healing, lifestyle and enlightenment. With renowned practitioners and specialists across a variety of fields including massage, yoga, natural products, soulful food, healing, music and much more, take this opportunity to be inspired and enlightened.

A&I Hall Bangalow
3-6 January 2019 
www.starlightfestival.com.au

Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out with Byron Bay Merch

Byron Bay’s iconic “Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out” sign is loved by all, locals and visitors alike. Spreading good vibrations to everyone who drives into town via Ewingsdale Road, the sign has become a landmark and popular photo spot.

Now, you can take Byron’s chilled out, laid-back attitude with you wherever you go. Our new organic T-shirts, stickers, and tote bags are perfect reminders of your trip to the Byron region.

Byron Bay T-Shirts

Share positive Byron vibes with everyone you pass with a “Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out” T-shirt. Our tees are crafted from 100 percent fair trade, organic cotton, and are available in both men's and women’s fits.

Byron Bay Tote Bags

Say no to plastic bags Byron style with a canvas tote. Featuring our original sign graphic, this bag is made of 100 percent cotton canvas, and has reinforced shoulder straps.

Byron Bay Stickers

Decorate your car, laptop, fridge, notebook, desk, whatever with our iconic Byron Bay stickers. “Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out” stickers are 14.6cm x 10cm, and made from durable vinyl with a laminate coating that protects against scratching, rain, and sunlight.

Shop Byron Bay Now 

 

2018 Byron Bay Surf Festival

The annual Byron Bay Surf Festival is back. From Thursday, February 22 to Sunday, February 25, 2018, experience the best surf culture has to offer. From art, music, and film, to board shaping, fashion, and of course, surfing, get ready to celebrate the many facets of the surf lifestyle.

2018’s festival is set to be bigger and better than ever, with a whole host of brand-new events and Surf Fest favourites.

First up, the Surf Festival has been extended by one whole day. That means more opportunities to immerse yourself in surf culture, and get involved in the many free and paid-for events the festival has to offer.

Secondly, Friday will now host its own surf event. More details to come, so stay tuned.

Finally, the crowd-favourite ‘Surf Lit Lounge’ is getting an exciting makeover. Now titled the ‘Surf Legend Lounge,’ this event will kick off the festival in style. Taking place in the Byron Community Centre, the Surf Legend Lounge will give you the opportunity to mingle with some of the surfing world’s greatest icons, and soak up their inspirational insights on adventure, surfboards, arts, culture, and sustainability.

Early-birds will enjoy food and drink, plus live music. This event is a fantastic way to catch up with old friends, meet new friends, and feel inspired about the days to come.

Plus, all FEELGOOD and FREE events from the last Surf Festival will be back in action in 2018. That includes the iconic Sunset Cinema, the Art Show, the popular Surf Art Markets, Live Music, and much more.

Don’t forget to head to the beautiful Wategos beach, and get involved in the Freestyle & Stoke sessions.

For all the latest info, visit www.byronbaysurffestival.com.au.

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