19 – 23rd April 2021
Free Event

A free week of fun activities, workshops and presentations for our seniors community hosted by the Byron Community Centre.

About the Seniors Festival

Come and enjoy the Byron Shire Seniors Festival at the Byron Community Centre during the week of April 19th – 23rd. The festival will provide five days of free activities for seniors, as well as workshops and presentations from regional organisations that provide services for seniors. Throughout the week, seniors will also be provided with the opportunity to sample and experience various social, creative, healthy and physically active activities.

The Seniors Festival is a free event that attracts seniors from all over the Northern Rivers region to have fun and to connect them with local service providers and group activities in their area.

Pippy Wardell, Seniors Activities Coordinator at Byron Community Centre

Festival Program

Monday 19th April

1:00pm – 4:00pm

Simple Printmaking
Byron Community Cabin
Relax and explore the world of contrast in design with simple printmaking techniques. We will begin with a process of enhanced stamping to create wrapping paper, and progress to two types of intaglio printing, making cards to get the hang of positive and negative space, and finishing with a lino print. All materials provided.
Presenter: Kim Davidson

Opening Night 6pm – 9pm

Welcome to Country

Live Music – Loco Love and the Furry Cardigan
An entertaining musical duo doing old favourites from the 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond. Songs that everyone loves (but not many people play). Great vocals and harmonies with playful banter.

Free Film Screening – ‘What We Did On Our Holiday‘, a British comedy-drama starring Billy Connolly.

Book for Opening Night
Bookings are required for Opening Night. Tickets available online and at the door. Free entry.

Tuesday 20th April

10:30am – 11:30am

Elder Beats Drumming with Gareth Jones
Byron Theatre
The Byron Bay Elder Beats were established in 2013. The seniors that attend this amazing session are some of the most vibrant, energetic characters of their age on the planet. This is a very welcoming group and new people drop in each week. We are open to any senior looking to give African drumming a try. The session is designed for all levels. Our oldest drummer attending is 99. Come and experience the joy of drumming in a group that is led by our very experienced drum master.
Presenter: Gareth Jones, Sound Synergy


Chair Yoga for Seniors
Cavanbah Room
Chair yoga takes the principles of yoga adapted for seniors in a stress-free atmosphere, whilst sitting on a chair.
Presenter: Christina Stoevelaar

Wednesday 21st April

10:00am – 11:00am

The Benefits of Public Speaking for Seniors – Toastmasters
Byron Theatre
A fun and interactive workshop. Learning to give short speeches is a great way to stay mentally sharp. Join in some fun with a couple of entertaining activities.
Presenter: Sibylle Gibson, Vice President of Membership of Ballina Toastmasters Club

Safety for Seniors
Cavanbah Room
A conversation regarding general crime prevention initiatives and safety advice for seniors, covering Home Safety, Personal Safety, Vehicle Safety, Cyber Safety and Fraud Information including advice regarding current crime issues in the district. Followed by Q&A and guidance on any other relevant issues affecting seniors.
Presenter: Senior Constable Bradley, Crime Prevention Officer, Tweed Byron PD

Byron Shire Respite Service
Verandah Room
A presentation on the services offered at Byron Shire Respite Service including the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP), Dementia Specific Care, Dementia Friendly Communities, Home Care Packages and the beautiful history of our organisation. Followed by a dementia awareness workshop.
Presenter: Peter Devine, Karen Harborow and Janine Smith

11:00am – 12:00pm

Life, Death and Loss – Zenith Virago
Byron Theatre
A presentation about how being prepared emotionally and practically can be the greatest gift for ourselves, and especially for those we leave behind. Simple guidance on how to have the challenging conversations, knowing what your options are, your legal rights and making the right decisions for you. 
Presenter: Zenith Virago, 2021 Byron Citizen of the Year and Deathwalker Trainer

Byron Seniors Online Connect
Cavanbah Room
This presentation will introduce seniors to the program available around the Byron Shire which will offer one-on-one or group tutoring sessions that help seniors use their digital devices, such as phones, tablets, laptops and desktops. Seniors will be able to register with the program on the day and make appointments.
Presenter: Steve Howard, Byron Seniors Online Connect Coordinator

Byron Walks in association with Heart Foundation
Verandah Room
Register for your 20-minute walk using Norwegian walking poles. The trainers, using Feldenkrais strategies, will focus on postural re-education for better alignment, building stronger bones for ease and grace with every step. We can support you to register with Heart Foundation Australia.
Presenter: Jennifer Groves, Senior Movement Intelligence Trainer and Feldenkrais Practitioner, and Rangimarie Ferguson, Movement Intelligence Trainers

12:00pm – 1:00pm

This Book Changed My Life – Byron Writers Festival
Byron Theatre
A 40-minute video filmed at the Byron Writers Festival with a short intro by Lynda Dean who will also explain how the festival will be altered this year due to COVID-19.
Presenter: Lynda Dean, Byron Writers Festival Board

Healthy Eating While Ageing
Cavanbah Room
Nina Kelly will be talking about a healthy diet for seniors to embrace that aids seniors to remain independent in their homes. The talk will explain which nutrients become more important to focus on and different ways to achieve a nutritionally adequate dietary intake when problems occur, such as poor appetite, dementia, and other ailments.
Presenter: Nina Kelly, Accredited Practicing Dietitian

NSW Trustee & Guardian
Verandah Room
This presentation will cover the services offered by the NSW Trustee and Guardian Lismore branch relating to Wills, Powers of Attorney and Appointments of Enduring Guardian documentation, with a Q&A session relating to these topics to follow.
Presenters: Susan Slade and Carlie Drew

2:00pm – 3:00pm

How to Manage Joint Pain and Maintain Mobility
Byron Theatre
In this interactive workshop, Sibylle will share her own journey of illness and recovery after a near fatal car accident. You will learn about the wonderful benefits the Pilates method brings and simple, practical strategies for positive lifestyle changes that will keep your joints healthier for longer.
Presenter: Sibylle Gibson, Health Coach

Connecting Generations
Cavanbah Room
Ruth Winton Brown will talk about how and why Connecting Generations was formed to bring people of all generations together to support and enrich each other’s lives, especially for those both young and old without extended family nearby. The group runs picnics in the Bangalow Parklands (near the weir) once a month with the aim of diverse generations connecting for long-term mutual support or just having fun in the park.
Presenter: Ruth Winton Brown, Connecting Generations

Tweed Byron Ballina Community Transport (TBBCT)
Verandah Room – 2pm – 2:30pm
This presentation explains how to use the TBBCT service either as a client or a volunteer. TBBCT provide group transport in buses for shopping and social activities, as well as individual transport for medical and other appointments. These services are designed to support your independence and wellbeing. 
Presenter: Kathryn Dietrich, TBBCT

Community Visitors Scheme
Verandah Room – 2:30pm – 3pm
Edith Benoke will be introducing the Community Visitor Scheme which enables seniors to receive a friendly visitor. This means the visitor gets matched with similar interests to the elderly person. The aim is to establish a connection to reduce social isolation and loneliness, by providing safe, regular companionship and social engagement for recipients.
Presenter: Edith Benoke

3:00pm – 4:00pm

Dances of Universal Peace
Byron Theatre
The Dances of Universal Peace are simple circle dances which bring folk into connection with each other through heart-to-heart and hand-to-hand. They honour the sacredness of the self, each other, and the Earth using song and chant. Altogether they are a joyful and uplifting experience where no experience is required, just an open heart. These dances are like a walking meditation. They are also gentle, calming and create a peaceful state.
Presenter: Anna Sophia

Falls Prevention and Gentle Exercises
Cavanbah Room
Occupational Therapist Julia Dayhew will give a presentation about falls prevention, followed by exercise instructor Sarah Crowther demonstrating some of the exercises that will soon be on offer in Byron Bay by Community Health Education Groups (CHEGs).
Presenter: Julia Dayhew, Occupational Therapist and Sarah Crowther, Exercise Instructor

Seniors Rights Service
Verandah Room
Gerard Dunlop will be talking about Seniors Rights Service; who they are, what they do, and how to access this free and confidential legal and advocacy service for seniors. Seniors Rights Service is a community organisation dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights of older people, particularly vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.
Presenter: Gerard Dunlop, Advocate and Educator

Thursday 22nd April

11:00am – 12:00pm

‘Journey’ – Drama Performance
Byron Theatre
Studio 55 presents ‘Journey’; an improv play performed by our seniors drama group.
Presenter: Studio 55 Drama Group

1:00pm – 4:00pm

Art Therapy
Byron Community Cabin
Using art to explore the nature of how we respond and can make meaning to events in our lives. No previous experience required.
Presenter: Geraldine Devas

Friday 23rd April

10:30am – 11:30am

Gran Slam Poetry
Presentation of Poems made by seniors at the Feros Care homes in Byron
Cavanbah Room
Gran Slam is a slam poetry program specially designed for bold seniors who have something to say (and are not afraid to say it!) In this session, you will have the opportunity to hear on how the project came to life, ask questions of our Gran Slam former poets, and watch them performing their slam poems. We can guarantee some laughs and even some tears! A very real, raw and humorous talk show. 
Presenters: Gran Slam is a collaboration between Everybody NOW and Feros Care.


For more information please contact the Byron Community Centre on (02) 6685 6807 or seniors@byroncentre.com.au.

Generously funded by NSW Seniors Festival, Department of Communities and Justice, Byron Shire Council, Byron Theatre and Byron Community Centre