The Byron Shire Echo – January 17, 2018

Page 20


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Art therapy: a life-changing journey to help others nificance is the work she has been doing offering traumainformed support groups through the Mullumbimby Neighbourhood Centre for women who have experienced domestic violence.

Rebekah Popescu

Art therapy isn’t about being an artist, it doesn’t require an artist’s touch, and everyone is able to teach and engage in this type of therapy. In fact as a treatment for mental health art therapy is gaining traction and making a difference in people’s lives. People of all ages and abilities can participate in this form of therapy, and for those who struggle with verbalising their difficult emotions, the creative response is an alternative to traditional forms of talking therapy. Local art therapist Claudia Gyr has been offering art therapy in Mullumbimby since 2005. Of particular sig-

of Australia offered a one-year Advanced Diploma course in Mullumbimby. This year they are excited to announce the opportunity to enrol in their three-year Bachelor Degree in Art Psychotherapy. Students can complete a Diploma or an Associate Degree with a one or two-year commitment rather than a full three-year degree if preferred.

Deeper understanding Claudia has also facilitated art therapy groups for people suffering from terminal illness, domestic violence, weight gain issues, recovering from mental health, drug and alcohol and imprisonment. ‘Art Therapy can be used in individual and group settings,’ Claudia explained, ‘assisting us to connect to our right brain, which many of us

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USE YOUR OTHER HAND When you’re parked parallel to the kerb and you go to open the door onto a bike lane, please reach over with your far hand, the driver’s left hand, instead. This forces you to swivel your body and brings any cyclists approaching from behind into view, thus avoiding ‘dooring’ them and perhaps saving a life in the process. This is known as the Dutch Reach, and has protected many cyclists from a world of pain. Brought to you by Echo Publications Cycle for Life Service

20 January 17, 2018 The Byron Shire Echo

Local placement Local art therapist and Ikon Institue lecturer Claudia Gyr has offered art therapy in Mullumbimby since 2005.

benefit greatly from in various ways.’ ‘This part of the brain connects us to our bodies, creativity and intuitions enabling deeper understandings, to integrate more of who we are.’ Claudia is also a lecturer for the Ikon Institute of Aus-

tralia, which now has a presence in the northern rivers region. She remarked ‘Until recently, you had to go to a major city to be trained as an art psychotherapist. I was so excited that Ikon have come to town!’ In 2017, the Ikon Institute

Robert Jurecki, who is a current student in Mullumbimby, said his experience studying art therapy was ‘a life-changing personal journey that has opened many doors of opportunity’. Robert is about to embark on his clinical placement with INTRA, The Buttery’s community outreach program for people 12 to 24 years of age living in the northern rivers

region with various addictions such as drugs, alcohol and gambling. This placement will provide him with real-world opportunities to apply the skills he has gained to helping people in need. ‘I didn’t expect it, but the course has provided me with insights into my own life and others’ to a much greater depth than I ever could have imagined,’ said Robert. For those interested in finding out more, the Ikon Institute is hosting an information session on Sunday January 21 at 11am at the Byron Community College, 6/8 Burringbar St, Mullumbimby. Visit their website to register for this event or contact Skye Corrie on 1300 000 933. Q Rebekah Popescu is a staff member at the Ikon Institute.

School of Arts institutions possible casualty with new legislation their management and upkeep of Crown reserves. There are approximately 139 school of arts in NSW. Seventy-one are on private land and 68 on public land (reserved/dedicated).

Hilary Bone

The Crown Lands Management Act 2016 (CLM Act) and the Crown Land Legislation Amendment Act 2017 will change the way in which Crown land in NSW will be managed. Under the Acts, the lands minister has the power to hand over control of Crown land to other government agencies if they consider it to be in the public interest. Concerns have been raised that the government will be able to bypass checks and balances in the commercialising and selling off Crown land. The changes in legislation appear to fly in the face of public interest. For example, once Crown land is transferred to council, it is no longer Crown land and is held by Council in freehold. Any income generated by that land will be retained by Council. Generally councils will not need approval from the minister for Lands and Forestry for dealings on Crown land. Instead and in most cases, Council will manage these reserves under the requirements for community land and under the Local Government Act 1993 (LGA).

Lack of trust in Council Byron Shire Council has stated, ‘Land of local importance should be subject to local decision making and this is best achieved by trans-

Land donated

ferring these lands to local councils.’ However, we are all aware of what community consultation means. It means Council makes a decision and then the community is consulted, ie surveys, submissions, information sessions etc. Council then ignores community input and proceeds (for example, the sale of the Roundhouse site in Ocean Shores). The government and its agencies will then be in full control of Crown land and appoint managers. They will reap any financial rewards flowing from the efforts of voluntary labour that set these facilities up.

Legislation repealed One of the casualties of the amended legislation is the School of Arts institutions. Eight pieces of legislation have been repealed as part of the Crown lands amendment

process. One of these is the Trustees of the School of Arts Enabling Act 1902, which provided some protections to the schools of arts. Where the school of arts is on public land, it will be transferred to the government. Members of the community may occupy token management positions. Where the institution is on private land and subject to a Trust, the existing community management committee may elect to transfer the institution to the government or retain ownership and management as trustees. However, if the committee elects to retain control there are punitive measures in place. No longer will insurance cover be provided by the government and the institution will not be eligible for government grants. However, councils will continue to be eligible to apply for grants from the Public Reserve Management Fund program to support

In most instances, the land on which the halls stand was donated to the local community by local landowners. Local communities raised funds to build and furnish the halls. For more than one hundred years, community members have stepped up continuously to serve on these committees. Now they are subject to a land grab. A unique situation now arises with regard to the Federal School of Arts. The Anglican Church offered to sell the church to the Federal School of Arts Association Inc. The Association did not have the funds to make the purchase. Funds were raised by the community and donated to the Association. The purchase was completed and the church became the property of the Association. The management committee of Federal School of Arts (and church building) is now being invited to hand over the property to Council. It is time for communities to step up and fight to preserve ownership and control of their historic legacy. Q Hilary Bone is the former public officer of the Federal School of Arts.

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