LIFE OF BYRON | Family Ties

September 21, 2018

September always means school holidays, which can mean an influx of tourists to our beautiful destination towns. For the families that make their home in Byron Bay and the Greater Northern Rivers area though, there is a hidden wonder of natural beauty and community-based activities that make our corner of the world a marvellous home for parents and kids alike.

Our office counts many local mums and dads who choose to make their home here. We asked Sally Green to share with us the special family ties that exist between people and place – here in the Greater Byron Area.

What makes Byron Bay and the surrounding Shire a good place for families?

It takes a community to raise a child and I believe our community is an extended family. Byron is an intimate shire where we live in a microcosm that is special and not like any other place in the world. It can be tricky to describe the ‘vibe’ of the Byron area because there is such diversity of people and backgrounds within the community – and that is a big part of what sets us apart.

As a community, we embrace diversity over homogeneity and I can’t think of a better thing than to expose your kids to a wide variety of people and perspectives so that they have every opportunity to take it in – and become interesting adults.

What are some of the activities you like to do on weekends with your kids?

In a coastal town, much of the social life for family centres around the water and beach. We surf and snorkel and socialise with many families doing the same things at the beach, where the barbeques are always on, too.

What options are there for education?

A variety of options ranging from smaller to larger schools, religious and alternative education. It is also worth mentioning that in our town there are also many opportunities for extra-curricular activities and not just for kids.

With so many people making their home in the region because it is a hub of lifestyle and artistic expression, you can explore any number of new things with people who are truly passionate about it. We have a weekly “what’s on” section in our newsletter and I am always fascinated by the number of festivals, lectures, group exercise events and classes that families can be involved in. Everything from mud obstacles courses, yoga classes, painting, writing, food tasting – you name it – there is someone doing that and sharing their passion about it with the community.

What is the social life like for parents?

We live in a community where people are familiar with each other.

Wherever you go you will always see a friendly face and you can have a chat, cup of coffee or just say hello.  I always make the effort to keep this a custom in my day to day life.

Where are the places that act as hubs for families to meet up?

    • The lighthouse walk

    • All the after-school activities like tennis, soccer, martial arts, gyms, scouts

    • Little Nippers

    • The Beach

    • The local pool and the Mullumbimby pool

    • The cafes and bakeries

Are there lots of different types of families – traditional, single parent, LGBTQI? How inclusive is the area?

Byron is a multifaceted community and very accepting and inclusive. The Shire has always been known as a healthy, healing and nourishing community.

What impact do the community and the natural environment have on kids?

Living on the coast creates a healthy lifestyle as it encourages children and teenagers to respect their environment and the traditional owners of the land. What more could a parent hope to teach their children?

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