Monthly Archives: November 2012

Ballina shire powering on Community Engine

Community Engine is now making its presence felt across the country, with more and more people signing up every day to talk and trade.

“I want to stress to the dynamic Ballina community that we are here for support” said Community Engine’s Dean Power, who is based locally. “Melissa is at the end of the 1300 number and you can email any time. There are so many new features on the engine, we have added a host of new features over the past two months”.

Following the successful pilot in the Northern Rivers, Community Engine is now focused on how their tools can be used by small business to keep the $16 billion spent annually on online sales in the local economy. According to research by Frost and Sullivan* 75% of Australians who shop online make purchases from offshore sites, with 45% of online expenditure going overseas.

Community Engine offers a web presence, email, social media and networking at no cost. For those wishing to utilise the world class e-commerce facility, a fee of 6% is charged upon sale for businesses and 2.85% for not-for-profit groups. Two of the most popular functions are the database and membership management facilities. “We are about providing easy presence on the internet” said Dean Power. “There is now no excuse to be offline, it’s all rolled in and it’s free”.

43 Ballina Shire organisations are signed up to the Community Engine Giveaway, which is donating $125,000 in a bid to entice more people to check out the platform and support their community. Every time a person clicks to “follow” a group, that group gets $1. If they are a business they donate it and if they are a not-for-profit group they keep it. All you have to do is sign up to the giveaway and you can raise up to $5,000 for each not-for-profit group.

“We are over the moon to have raised over $3,600 for Ballina Shire groups so far” said Dean Power. There is still $90,000 left to give so please encourage your networks to follow you”.

Ballina shire groups involved in the giveaway include the Heartfelt House, Ballina Soccer Club, House with No Steps, Biala Support Service, Rainforest Rescue and Ballina Community Mens’ Shed. Businesses raising money to give through Community Engine include IGA, Summerland House Farm, Ballina RSL Club, Elevation Lennox Head and Northern Rivers Financial Planners.

Until December 31 buy a $30 voucher at the Lennox IGA through Community Engine and receive a voucher for $50. Go to

For more information go to call 1300 266 686 or email


Downloadable high res images:

Photo 1 – Renee and Carly from Shortys Lennox Head, who are active on Community Engine
Photo 2 – Rachel O’Connor from IGA Lennox Head (portrait)
Photo 3 – Rachel O’Connor from IGA Lennox Head (landscape)
Photo 4 – Dean Power from Community Engine
Photo 5 – Community Engine’s Dean Power with client David Styles

Tallowood Ridge owners relentless

The collective of owners of Mullumbimby’s Tallowood Ridge community have been relentless in their pursuit of research and feedback. Over the past three months they investigated possible land use options, current resident feedback and national and international trends in residential living.

“We’re a passionate lot” said Tallowood Director Christopher Dean. “A lot of information we gleaned over these past months confirmed what we already thought, however new information has come to light which has been invaluable. For example, we are keen to incorporate some kind of community meeting place, as well as the childrens’ park, and are now wiser regarding how to position such a facility and what elements may bring the most value to residents”.

A day long seminar for Tallowood owners and consultants was held in September at the Lennox Head Cultural and Community Centre. Speakers included Australia’s leading urban design firm RPS Group, who outlined the latest trends in residential communities, focusing on what is working and what isn’t. Local urban designer and landscape architect Ian Oelrichs discussed the need to define what a community stood for and Christopher Dean closed the day with a group meditation and visualization.

In October prominent national market research expert James Cowley met with Tallowood Ridge residents at the home of Mandy Nolan. Mandy was the first to complete her home in the community. She invited a number of other residents to meet James and provide feedback on why they purchased in Tallowood and how they would like their community to unfold.

“Mullumbimby is the community that I moved to the North Coast for” said Mandy Nolan. “It’s a very engaged, vital community and there’s so much access to entertainment – ukulele nights, comedy nights, the Mullum Music Festival. We fell in love with the land and the whole concept of Tallowood Ridge straight away. The vibrancy of Mullum is built on the people who live here”.

One project being investigated is a small technical hub. “It’s early days” said Tallowood Director John Bennett, “however there may be some scope to use a few lots for a hub where like minded people can mix and work together. Having the region’s first NBN coverage and also being a part of the forward thinking, creative Mullumbimby region make this an idea we just have to explore”.

Land at Tallowood Ridge is priced from $186,000 for a 493m² near level block on a quiet street.

Downloadable high resolution images:

Photo 1 – Tallowood Ridge Estate
Photo 2 – Tallowood playpark during construction
Photo 3 – Tallowood meets with market research expert James Cowley
Photo 4 – Tallowood Ridge resident Mandy Nolan
Photo 5 – Summerland 128, part of Tallowood’s Country Home Range

Splendour awarded prestigious Greener Festival Award

Splendour in the Grass has received the coveted ‘Highly Commended
Award’ for their 2012 event at Belongil Fields, Byron Bay from the prestigious international Greener Festival Awards.

Recycling at Splendour 2012

Ben Challis, Co-founder of A Greener Festival said “This award embodies the spirit of sustainability that festivals all over the world aspire to achieve. However it is Splendour In The Grass that has gone above and beyond the commercial aspects of greening to produce a remarkable event with a true ecological awareness.”

The award comes as organisers are set to install Splendour in its new home, North Byron Parklands in the Byron shire. Work has begun to ready the stunning 660 acre site for Splendour in the Grass 2013.

“We have gone from a Commended to Highly Commended Award and now aim for the Outstanding Award next year” said Environmental Scientist Mat Morris, who has managed Splendour’s environmental programs for the past ten years.

“Outstanding Awards” were given in Europe and the UK only. Other festivals in Australia to receive Highly Commended Awards were The Falls Festival in Victoria and Island Vibe on North Stradbroke Island. Commended Awards were given to Woodford Folk Festival, WOMADelaide and BluesFest.

Some of Splendour’s many winning environmental initiatives:

• Murf the recycling beast This impressive green beast (Material Recovery Facility) sorts recyclable materials such as cans, plastic bottles and cardboard from general waste through a series of conveyor belts, sorting lines and balers.
• Carbon offset tickets Splendour was the first contemporary music festival in Australia to offer a carbon offset ticket, which over the past five years alone has offset over 3,440 tonnes of carbon and resulted in $100,438 being invested in renewable wind energy generation. The amount of carbon offset is roughly equivalent to taking 1,000 cars off our roads for a year.
• Green Chiefs and Eco Cops Environmental students lived in tee pees, operating across the camp grounds and the festival itself, focused on recycling and general waste practices for patrons.
• Traffic reduction Initiatives included staging the arrival and departure of event patrons from Byron, free parking for cars with 3 or more passengers, car share riding via Jay Ride website and extensive use of shuttle buses.

A Greener Festival Ltd. is a not-for-profit company committed to helping events and festivals around the world adopt environmentally efficient practices.

Downloadable high res images:

Photo 1 – Recycling at Splendour in the Grass 2012
Photo 2 – Murf (Material Recovery Facility) at Splendour 2012
Photo 3 – Mat Morris, General Manager of North Byron Parklands
Photo 4 – Splendour’s new home at North Byron Parklands

Byron at Byron incredible accommodation offer

From $295 a night for two people including daily yoga class.

Valid to December 14, Sunday to Thursday. Subject to availability.

Representing incredible value for this time of year.

1300 554362 /

Set within a stunning private 45 acre private rainforest, The Byron at Byron offers a heated infinity pool and internationally renowned Spa and Wellness Centre. Each exquisitely appointed suite boasts separate lounge and dining areas, a kitchen, two separate enclosed balconies and luxurious bathrooms with deep free standing bathtubs for two.

Downloadable high res images:

Photo #1 – The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa
Photo #2 – The Byron at Byron Spa and Wellness Centre
Photo #3 – Reception area, The Byron at Byron
Photo #4 – Verandahs at The Byron at Byron
Photo #5 – Complimentary daily yoga class, The Byron at Byron