Dogs Can Help Kids With Autism

Raising a child with autism can be fraught with stressful days, but new research suggests the family pooch might bring parents some relief.

FOR MORE than two years, British researchers followed families of children with autism that got a dog.

“We found a significant, positive relationship between parenting stress of the child’s main caregiver and their attachment to the family dog,” said study leader Daniel Mills, a professor of veterinary behavioral medicine at the University of Lincoln. “This highlights the importance of the bond between the caregiver and their dog in the benefits they gain.

“Stress associated with parenting a child with autism continued to decrease among dog owners over time, but we did not see the same reductions in families without a dog,” Mills added in a university news release.

“This long-term follow-up study highlights the potential benefits of pet ownership in bringing long-term improvements to the lives of families living with a child with autism,” he said.

Steven Feldman, executive director of the U.S.-based Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation, said, “Parents of children with autism can experience increased anxiety and stress, and now we have strong scientific evidence to show that pets can have positive effects on these quality-of-life issues.”

He suggested that families dealing with autism consider pet ownership “as a way to improve family harmony.”

The foundation funded the study, which was published recently in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior.

More information

The National Alliance on Mental Illness has more about autism.

Source article: UPI

Council Greens Candidates Announced

    Greens candidates for Byron Shire Council at the upcoming elections, L to R: Sarah Ndiaye, Jeanette Martin, Michael Lyon and current Mayor Simon Richardson. Photo Jeff Dawson

Greens candidates for Byron Shire Council at the upcoming elections, L to R: Sarah Ndiaye, Jeanette Martin, Michael Lyon and current Mayor Simon Richardson. Photo Jeff Dawson

THE GREENS will run a ticket of four candidates in the upcoming (September 10) Byron Shire Council elections.

  • Current Byron shire mayor Simon Richardson, standing again for a second term, will head up the ticket.
  • Michael Lyon, the general manager of Santos Organics for the past four years, is second on the ticket.
  • Joining them is Jeannette Martin,  a community development worker and secretary of the Mullumbimby Chamber of Commerce. She’s also the founder of Mullumbimby Community Gardens.
  • Fourth on the ticket is Sarah Ndiaye, a high school teacher who is well known for her work in local radio at Bay FM and ABC North Coast, and her engagement in local community events.

‘Each candidate brings strong Green credentials to the team, with long histories of community involvement across important local issues including anti-CSG, chemical and plastic-free Byron, affordable housing, youth training and development, small business development, and affordable housing.

MayorRichardson said he was ‘thrilled to have such a fine team of local people standing up for a progressive future for Byron shire’.

More information is available on the Byron Greens Facebook page.

Source article: Echonetdaily

Council Announces “Have Your Rates Emailed” Option

YOU CAN now register to receive your Rates and Charges Notice and Instalment Notices via email.

Rates and Charges Notices will be in the form of a PDF attachment sent to an email address nominated by you. You can view, save and print all of your notices at any time.

I would like to register to receive my rates notices online. 

Convenient and easy
Perfect for when you’re away from home.

Register now
Simply scan the QR code printed on your rate notice using a suitable app on your smart phone or tablet or log on to and click the register link.

Registration Information

Full Name: Please enter your name or names exactly as they appear your rate notice.

Account Number: Please enter your assessment number from your rate notice,including all digits (do not include any spaces).

Email address: Your preferred email address.

Username: Enter an appropriate username.

Display name: Enter your First name.

Please contact Byron Shire Council on 02 6626 7000 for any help and support relating to this website.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I received the message ‘Update error:information is not found’.

Check that your name is entered exactly as it appears in your rate notice including Mr/Mrs and spaces between initials. Check your assessment number – ie 7 digits including leading zeros.

  • I have more than one property. Do I have to register twice?

If the name and address on all of your notices are exactly the same you should register with one assessment number and the system will automatically include all of your notices in the one login. It may be necessary to log out and log back in again to see all your notices.

If you require notices with different names to be registered on the same login you will need to contact Council Rate Section on 02 6626 7000

  • I forgot my user name or password. What do I do?

Click on the ‘forgot password’ link on the home page and complete the form to retrieve your password information.

Tim Stokes to Showcase New Songs at Byron Theatre

NEW RELEASE: Byron Bay artist Tim Stokes.

NEW RELEASE: Byron Bay artist Tim Stokes. Photo Contributed

IN LIFE Thou Art is Tim Stokes’ brand new music release. The Byron Bay singer-songwriter said he is preparing to unveil the six songs in a show that will offer a singer-songwriter concert.

“I’ll be playing with my band and the idea is to reproduce the sounds of the EP as closely as I can,” he said.

Read More…

Shark Pack Trial at Watego’s Beach Could Save Lives

Great White Shark. Photo:

Great White Shark. Photo:

A MEDICAL pack that may help beachgoers save people from potentially life-threatening shark attacks will be trialled at a northern NSW beach.

An initiative between Byron Shire Council and environmental group Sea Shepherd Australia, the Shark Attack Pack will be available at Watego’s Beach, near Byron Bay, from September.

Read More…

$5000 Up For Grabs in Tiny Homes Design Comp

The Sustainable House Day Collaboration – from left: Kim Mallee – Byron Shire Council, Paula Newman – Lismore City Council, Cindy Picton – Dorroughby Environment Educational Centre, Karrie Bowtell – North Coast TAFE, Debbie Firestone – Tweed Shire Council, Alice Moffett – Self Seed Sustainability and Sandi Middleton – Sandi Middleton Consulting.

FOR SOMETHING so tiny, it’s gathering a huge following.

That’s how Sandi Middleton, event coordinator from The Sustainable House Day Northern Rivers Collaboration, sees the future of tiny homes as they become more mainstream in our urban and rural landscape.

Read More…

Luscious Forest Workshops and Much More at Youth Connect 3


Youth Connect 2 attendees enjoying a rainforest walk

KINDRED YOUTH is a team of unique and inspiring young people with gifts and talents they wish to share with the world.

As part of their ongoing non-profit operations, they will host Youth Connect 3 on August 5th to 7th off  Pocket Road, Billinudgel.

Elias Kindred, co-founder and director of Kindred Youth invites Byron youth (aged 14 to 28) to a fully supervised weekend, with food and accommodation costing only $30.

“Come and spend a weekend in the beauty of the luscious forest, connecting with wonderful young people,” Elias said.


Photo shows Elias Kindred, Youth Connect 3 co-ordinator (bottom left), with some of the people who enjoyed Youth Connect 2.

“We have a super exciting program filled with heart opening, deep connecting, joyous expressive, learning and sharing activities and workshops run by the most beautiful inspiring young individuals.

“We are all united in a common calling to bring about shifts in our society and culture that reflect positive and symbiotic behaviors with each other and the earth we live upon.

“We can guarantee that this experience will deliver no less than delicious wholesome food, music and art workshops, permaculture, time in the abundance of beautiful and nurturing of trees, fire jam sessions, laughter, silence, circles, yoga, chi-kung and conscious connection group and personal guided sessions.”

Participants will be camping out in bell tents and there will be a bus leaving from Bullumbimby, providing transport to and from the event.

Elias said campers will need to bring:

  • Bedding, cozy blankets, sheepies and cushions.
  • Cutlery, toiletries and musical instruments, for those who play.

He was also at great pains to point out Youth Connect 3 is a completely drug and alcohol-free event.

“The sign-up form is at and it’s only $30 for the weekend or $20 for one night, food and accommodation included.”

Spell & the Gypsy Collective Nail Prestigious Telstra Business Award

Local Byron Bay based business Spell and the Gypsy Collective have taken out the 2016 Telstra NSW Business of the Year. Photo Contributed

Local Byron-based business Spell and the Gypsy Collective have taken out the 2016 Telstra NSW Business of the Year. Photo Contributed.

Local Byron-based business Spell and the Gypsy Collective have taken out the 2016 Telstra NSW Business of the Year.

The prestigious award signals the growing impact of the fashion business which has a large presence at musical festivals such as Bluesfest and Splendour in the Grass.

This Byron Bay fashion and lifestyle brand has a growing international presence, with vintage-inspired eclectic clothing, accessories and homewares, all with a modern-bohemian touch.

The awards took place in Sydney at Doltone House Darling Island Wharf, and was the last of the State and Territory events before Nationals.

Source article: The Northern Star

Migaloo Mystery: Where’s He At?

QPWS rangers have been keeping an eye out for Migaloo since he was seen near Fraser Island on Friday.

QPWS rangers have been keeping an eye out for Migaloo since he was seen near Fraser Island on Friday. Photo: Sea World Whale Watch.

THE Department of Environment and Heritage protection has responded to the many public requests to know where exactly Migaloo is right now.

Environment and National Parks Minister Dr Steven Miles said the white whale was not automatically “tracked” by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers, or by wildlife officers from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

“We get lots of inquiries from members of the public – and the media – wanting to know where Migaloo is, where he’s soon likely to be, and when he’ll be passing by a particular part of our coast.

“The truth is, although we know whales’ general migratory habits, including Migaloo’s, he and the rest of the whales who frequent our waters are wild animals, that aren’t tagged, and that move at their own pace.


  • Migaloo was seen near Fraser Island on Friday.
  • He may have already entered southern Great Barrier Reef
  • Migaloo was first spotted off Byron Bay in 1991
  • No-one can bring a boat or jet ski closer than 500 metres or fly an aircraft closer than 610 metres of a special interest whale like Migaloo without authorisation.

Members of the public that observe any whales in distress can report this by phoning 1300 130 372.

Source article: The Northern Star


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