November 2016 E-New
In this issue
Latest News
Youth Voices
Courses, Programs & Activities
Outreach Program
Byron Youth Service Team


October was for Byron Youth Service a time of many birthdays and many serendipitous happenings that felt like gifts. In the spirit of testing our luck, BYS staff have put together a wish list, which we present to you, our valued friend, as a glimpse into our idiosyncratic program goals and where our immediate sights are set:
The Official BYS Wishlist (Short Version)
  • T Shirts - for Street Cruise workers and for Byron Flea workers;
  • Café style stools and tables for YAC café;
  • Signage for Byron Flea Market - both in proper street signs and screen printed onto our blank tote bags;
  • Glassed-in billboard displays at each of YAC entrances - to promote BYS programs and our partners' activities;
  • Concrete or wooden u-shaped seats for two recently unearthed alcoves on YAC Western pathway and one for newly painted nook on East side of building;
  • Paint and working bee for painting the outside of the YAC building;
  • Funding for a shower in large toilet - to provide that service to homeless young people.
If you or someone you know can play Fairy Godparent, do get in touch, we have found your magic wand!
On a more serious note, Northern Rivers Community Foundation (NRCF) was generous to BYS and auspiced programs this year. The Mullumbimby Cottage was granted the funds to run Nalia Dubay - A Group of Girls in Bundjalung language - where, for eight weeks, young girls will be engaged in local Indigenous culture across a range of activities, lucky them! Also the Byron Youth Theatre was granted funds for the creation of a play called Here Today, dealing with youth suicide: difficult subject, so worthy of support. Congratulations to Deb Pearse and Lisa Apostolides for their successful applications and good luck on such worthy projects!
Our activities, from Hospitality to Byron Community Campus, from Case Work to Girls social group, from Youth enterprise to Holiday photography, from Triage to Brainstorming, all are humming along and gearing up to the end of the year. BYS auspiced project, BUDDI with Nicqui Yazdi at the helm, last week won a prestigious award. You can read more of these activities below.
Please consider this your personal invitation to join us on the 12th November at the Byron Flea Market in the morning and later at the LGBT+ and Friends Fancy Formal. Also, you are most welcome to come along and perhaps join our Management Committee and the BYS AGM on the 22nd November. And, please don't forget to invite one and all to BYS end-of-year fundraising event, YAC is Back! on 3rd December.
Until next month, have a wonderful November, and remember to give a smile of encouragement to the young people in your life.

From all of us @ BYS
Byron: 6685 7777
Mullum: 6684 3086

Latest News

Mullum Cottage
A busy and very positive month at BYS Mullumbimby Cottage. Our big news was a call from NRCF to let us know we
have been successful in obtaining funding to run a program next year for Indigenous and non-Indigenous girls
called Nalia Dubay. Yay, thanks to Northern Rivers Community Foundation!

The Year 9 girls group made the wise decision to change their paper maiche project to working with clay instead. They have been  doing some amazing work, creating modern families such as a single parent, dysfunctional, mixed, Indigenous and same sex  parent families.

Year 8 and Year 10 boys groups are still loving their teamwork and contact sport sessions combined with information on health and fitness. 

With some resistance one of the Year 10 girls groups is doing yoga sessions with Bess and Jacqueline from Soundlife yoga who  have very generously donated their time. With a little adjustment to the program it's a calm, relaxing and positive experience.

It's always great to hear and be informed what young people from previous groups are achieving in life so this month lots of good news.  Rhianna was a finalist in Australia's Top Aboriginal model search and was head hunted by a modelling agency while Marc has just  returned from Brazil where he was Futsal training. Emily, the girl who arrived at the Year 12 formal driving a horse and buggy has just  returned from Texas where she's been working with the horses she loves.

Positive Education at the BCC

At the Byron Community Campus we focus on the strengths of our students. This focus aligns closely with the values of the BYS and in particular 'improving the quality of life for young people and their families'.
According to a strengths approach, each individual has unique qualities that can be used to enhance wellbeing, overcome challenges, and nurture relationships (Park et al., 2014). A strengths approach in schools underpins Positive Education programs. Paterson and Seligman created and validated the Values in Action (VIA) Signature Strengths Survey which measures 24 character strengths. Research has shown that utilising these top 5 strengths on a regular basis increases wellbeing.
Students at the BCC have been exploring their character strengths. They have completed the VIA survey and conversations have commenced on how their strengths can be used and developed. They have printed their own copy of the free report (list of 24 strengths).

Here is the link to the survey.

Learn more about character strengths - watch the following clip.

Liz Harbison
BCC Teacher

Last week in Sydney, the BUDDI Community Drug Action Team were honoured with a very prestigious award for the 'Byron Schoolies Safety Response & Schoolies HUB' initiative, the very first ever '2016 CDAT NSW State Influence Award' for excellence for a CDAT initiative awarded by the NSW Ministry of Health and the Alcohol & Drug Foundation. There were also 6 'regional' awards given out to other Community Drug Action Teams across the state. There are now more than 70 CDATs across NSW, with another 220 to be rolled out across Australia over the next four years. For the BUDDI CDAT initiative to have been chosen over all the initiatives of the more than 70 other CDATs in NSW, was quite an achievement, as CDATs are the driving force in most communities, when it comes to initiatives and programs that aim to address major concerns and create change regarding the misuse of alcohol and drugs in their communities and there are some excellent programs run by these groups. There were also 6 'regional' awards given out to other Community Drug Action Teams across the state. 

As far as school leavers celebrations go, Byron Bay is a destination of not only abundant beauty, but also a destination of excellence for young visitors during these celebrations, due to the services of the Schoolies HUB. BUDDI Team Leader and Schoolies Coordinator Nicqui Yazdi said "We may not be able to change young people seeing 'schoolies' as a 'rite of passage', but we sure can change the way they do it here in Byron!" She also said, that "the 2016 CDAT Influence State Award, really goes to all of those organisations that have helped the BUDDI Community Drug Action Team, with the Schoolies Safety Response over the last 9 years, and of course the Schoolies HUB Volunteers, without whom, none of this would be possible." 

BUDDI Team Leader Nicqui was also chosen as one of only 6 'Star Profiles' from across NSW, presenting to the Alcohol & Drug Foundation's CDAT conference, on the Schoolies initiative. 

The Byron Schoolies HUB is an excellent initiative, situated in Main Beach Park, it's open 24 hours a day for the 18 days of Schoolies celebrations, managing all manner of assistance to the 10,000 young visitors who descend on Byron each year, including providing first aid around the clock, free sunblock and condoms, a hydration station with free water, DJs, and free pancakes and chai in the evenings, tourist information and a range of other activities. In 2016 the HUB has also added a HUB/Hospital Shuttle service for the evenings from 6pm to 6am. 

For information on the BUDDI Community Drug Action Team or the Schoolies HUB, or to volunteer, contact Nicqui at or call 0402013177.

BYT were invited to perform again for the Richmond Valley Mental health Expo as the central focus of the day organised by FSG Australia.  The cast delivered two fantastic performances to attendees of the event who were deeply moved by this powerful production.

Several cast members have also been busy researching, interviewing and surveying community members on issues around domestic violence for their latest production called Broken.  Funded by Northern Rivers Community Foundation and a donation from Splendour in The Grass this play departs from the usual vignettes style of production to portray the devastating effects of domestic and family violence on a particular family through a linear format.

Director Lisa Apostolides has engaged a local experienced actor Sam Hemphill, to play the role of the person who commits various acts of domestic and family violence against her character and that of her " son" in the production played by BYT member Seth Freeman.  The rest of the cast play supporting roles who are also affected through various ways and means in this heart wrenching, powerful production.  Local high school Year 10 & 11 students will view this performance in late November along with 2 public performances delivered on Wednesday 23rd November at the Byron Theatre as part of a Public Act Theatre event and on Sunday 27th November at the Drill Hall in Mullumbimby.

In amongst all the high intense theatre productions comes the Inaugural LGBT+ and friends Fancy Formal event being held at the YAC on November 12th with some short performances by BYT from the No One Way production leading into an evening of DJ, dancing and celebration.  Hosted by Byron Youth Service, the event has been made possible by a Small Change Grant successfully applied for by Raani Nichols ( long term member of BYT) and a Mental Health Association of NSW Small grant sponsored by ACON.  Again the wonderful Stephen Allkins has stepped up to donate some more funds which will ensure all areas of the event are realised professionally.

Tickets are on sale through the link below or at the door for $10.  Students studying TAFE Hospitality and Events Management will be on hand serving mocktails and food on the night.  The Tweed and Lismore LGBT+ youth groups will be attending the event as well as representatives from ACON.
BYT members and Lisa are celebrating the great news that NRCF have confirmed funding for their Youth Suicide prevention Production planned for next year, fingers crossed we get the 3 other grants applied for, to create a production on Youth Homelessness.
If you can assist BYT in any way or are interested in joining please contact Lisa on 0403023693 or


Youth Voices

Isaac Nash - 15 -  Student @ Byron Community Campus  

1. What has been the best experience in your life?
Skiing in France.

2. What inspires you?
People who are the best at what they do.

3. Who would you like to meet and what would you ask them?
Donald Trump and ask when the wall will get built!
4. What would you like to see happen in Byron Bay?
A skatepark.

5. When do you think a person becomes an adult and how?
When they become independent

6. What do you believe in?
Mother Earth.

7. What would you like to change in the world?
For Medical Marijuana to be legalised in Australia.

8. What's important in a relationship?

Courses - Programs - Activities 

Photography Workshops
This last month has been all about THE IMAGE. Facilitated by documentary  photographer and BYS Ambassador, Yani Clarke and organised by BYS Education  Support Officer, Dale Shaddick, BYS offered young people two photography  workshops over the September-October school holidays.
The focus of the workshops was orienting young people with an SLR (that stands  for single lens reflex!) camera and educating them in the art of storytelling with the  hope of providing them with tools to better understand and interpret their world.
They learnt about the technical aspects of shooting as well as the fundamentals of  visual storytelling. The first workshop was held in and around the YAC with the  theme of DISTORTED REALITY. Students were asked to make everyday  objects appear EXTRAordinary by using basic composition and perspective  techniques, long exposures, close ups and a mixture of tools such as a mirror ball,  a plastic glove, blown glass and obscure vases.
The second workshop was held at The Cottage in Mullumbimby with a focus on  street photography. Students were asked to look for moments firstly with their eyes  before using their cameras-it was an exercise in slowing down and interacting with
strangers in the community. The images that were produced on both workshops  were outstanding! Please see below for a sneak peak.


Yani Clarke with student at the YAC for the "Distorted Reality" Workshop - Photo by: Roni  Ben Harush

Did you know that the Byron Youth Service has been in operation since 1987?
That's 29 years for those of you counting. We've always prided ourselves on staying  up to date with the ever-changing social and cultural terrain. So now that it's 2016  we figured it might be about time for us to create an Instagram we
went ahead and did it!
Photography is a language which everyone understands. It plays a significant role  in young adult's lives as it helps them express themselves, connect with friends,  and discover the world around them-it's also an important tool for forming an  identity. Instagram has become the platform that young people use for these  purposes, with people aged 13 to 24 among the most active users. Through the  daily documentation of their lives, they are actually participating in visual storytelling  and in this way, Instagram is an important tool for young people forming their self identity.
It is therefore as important as ever to learn the fundamentals, ethics and  techniques that help them better communicate with the world.
You can find us under @byronyouth - we'd love it if you could follow us so you can  stay in the loop with what's happening day to day in and around the YAC. Over the  next few weeks we'll be posting a selection of students photos from the workshops
on our Instagram! But for now, here's a small taste...

Image by Georgia Roze from the "DISTORTED REALITY" workshop held at the YAC


Image by Omri Ben Harush from the "DISTORTED REALITY" workshop held at the YAC

Pepe Le Pew on the streets of Mullumbimby by workshop participant Adam Burger

Photo by Sammy Preston on the Mullumbimby street photography workshop

Photo by Emma Hopwood on  the M ullumbimby street photography workshop

Photo by Adam Burger on the Mull umbimby street photography workshop


Coffee image 
15th November
13th December
4 to 7pm
 Ages 15 to 24
Byron Youth Activity Centre
1 Gilmore Crescent Byron Bay
To book a place call Steffie on 6685 7777

Thank you to Byron Bay Coffee Co for donating coffee for our courses!










The Safer Learner Driver Course is a combined theoretical and practical Course for under 25 year-old learner drivers who have completed 50 hours of log book driving hours. The Course involves two Modules:

  • Module one: A three-hour facilitated group discussion on how to manage risks on the road. This will involve a maximum of twelve participants and will be delivered by a facilitator.
  • Module two: A two-hour in-vehicle coaching session to develop low-risk driving strategies. This will involve two participants and a coach.

Participants who complete the course will receive a bonus of 20 hours credit recorded in their learner driver log book.



  • BYS is an RMS authorised Course Provider
  • The Course costs a total of $140 for both modules.
  • Participants may enjoy completing the Course with a friend particularly for the in-vehicle session. 
  • For more information please contact:
Steffie on 6685 7777 or email
or book directly

Next Module 1 Courses @ the YAC:  
Wednesday 7th December 2016 - 4.30pm to 7.30pm
Wednesday 1st & 8th February 2017 - 4.30pm to 7.30pm 

Outreach Program


Cruising the Byron Shire on Friday nights from 8pm till 12am.  







for allowing us to park the bus on their property!  


Your donations are invaluable!

Click on link below to donate!

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Byron Youth Service Team

Management Committee 2016

Kristie Clifton                            Chairperson
Michael Goldberg                           Secretary
Ian Leggo                                    Treasurer
 Mark Smith                                    Member  
Alex Croall                                     Member
Patrick Lorenz                                Member
Stephanie Sims             Staff Representative
Teeya Blatt                                    Manager

Byron Youth Service Workers
Teeya Blatt                                                         Manager
Deb Pearse                               Mullum Youth Coordinator
  Rosalie Bryant                           Byron - Youth Coordinator  
 Stephanie Sims                                       YAC Coordinator  
                       Berri Drum                                  Byron Flea Coordinator                          
Dale Shaddick                 Education Support Youth Worker 
Lindy Lou Smith       Hospitality/Events Course Coordinator
Jonathan Edwards                                              Accounts
David Dalton                                               Street Cruise
Community Project Workers 

 Liz Harbison                                Byron Community Campus
Chad Kolcze                                             The Uncle Project
Morag Roseby                                          The Uncle Project
 Lisa Apostolides                    BYT Youth Theatre Co-ordinator
Nicqui Yazdi                                 BUDDI CDAT Co-ordinator