Anti-violence advocate our 2019 Australia Day ambassador
Anti-violence campaigner and founder of the award-winning KYUP! project Mel Thomas has been announced as Lismore’s 2019 Australia Day Ambassador.
Mel is a black-belt martial artist, passionate public speaker, published writer and advocate for breaking the cycle of violence against women and children across Australia.
Mel is a survivor of childhood domestic violence and both a victim and perpetrator of teen bullying. In 2013, she established the violence prevention education program KYUP!
Pronounced ‘Key-up’ after a warrior power shout, KYUP! tackles uncomfortable issues surrounding bullying, gender equality, domestic violence and consent with practical life protection skills.
It was launched in response to the growing number of domestic violence reports in Australia and more than 10,000 students and young women have completed the program since 2013.
Mel is now the ambassador for Layne Beachley’s Aim for the Stars Foundation and was also named the Game Changer of the Year winner in the Women of the Year Awards in 2018.
“We are very excited to welcome Mel as our Australia Day Ambassador – she is an amazing role model for young people and I am looking forward to hearing her story at our Australia Day Awards ceremony,” Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith said.
“I am particularly pleased that our young Australia Day nominees and winners will get a chance to hear her keynote address on the day. She has obviously overcome some big challenges in life to not only succeed personally but to reach out and help others, and I think her journey is one that any young person can learn from.”
World surfing champion Layne Beachley is a great fan of Mel’s work in working to end violence against women and children.
“Mel embodies passion and strength and shares my goal to assist all girls to fulfil their potential,” Layne said.
“Mel’s approach to self-worth and self-protection is real, enormous fun, accessible and empowering.”
Mel Thomas will give the Australia Day address and present Australia Day Awards at the official ceremony on Saturday, 26 January at Lismore City Hall.
The ceremony begins at 9am and will be followed by a community morning tea.
Image: Lismore's 2019 Australia Day Ambassador Mel Thomas.
Information for residents on the Fire and Emergency Services Levy
The NSW Government has changed the way the community contributes to the provision of fire and emergency services. From 1 July 2017, a Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL) will be collected by local government on behalf of the NSW Government. This will be included in annual rates and separately shown on the rates notices.
Please note the FESL is a NSW Government charge, not a Council increase in rates. Council's role is to collect the funds on behalf of the NSW Government.
The levy is applicable to all residential, farmland, industrial and commercial properties.
The levy will include a fixed amount: $100 for assessments classified as residential or public benefit and $200 for assessments classified as farmland, industrial, or commercial, plus a component based on land value.
In the past, these charges have been collected through property insurance. NSW Treasury indicates that the average fully insured residential property owner currently pays around $233 per year, but will now pay around $185 under the new system, giving a net benefit of $47 per year. A pension concession of $50 is applicable for those ratepayers that meet Council’s normal eligibility criteria.
Letters to all property owners, which includes FESL classification information, have been issued. The information in this letter, combined with your 2016 Land Valuation, which was recently issued by Land and Property Information, will allow you to estimate your FESL for 2017/18 by using the FESL Calculator.
Further details about the FESL are available in the fact sheets below, at fesl.nsw.gov.au or by phoning 1300 787 872.
If you disagree with your property's classification, you can request a review by completing the FESL Classification and Vacant Land Review Application Form.
Alternatively, for more information visit the Emergency Services Levy Insurance Monitor website or phone 1300 607 723.
Nominate now for 2019 Australia Day Awards
Lismore will be honouring exceptional citizens as well as welcoming new Australians during the 2019 Australia Day Awards ceremony on Saturday, 26 January at Lismore City Hall.
Local groups and individuals have been nominated in the 2019 Australia Day Awards for a host of achievements in disciplines ranging from sports, the arts and the environment to services in the community.
Mayor Isaac Smith will also host the annual Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony, welcoming new Australian citizens from more than 20 countries including Cyprus, Zambia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Thailand, New Zealand, the United States, Vanuatu, India, Kenya, Iran and Libyan Arab Jamahiri.
This year’s Australia Day Awards will be presented by Lismore’s 2019 Australia Day ambassador, Melanie Thomas.
Melanie is the founder of the award-winning KYUP! Project! – a violence prevention education program aimed at high school students.
A survivor of childhood domestic violence and both a victim and perpetrator of teen bullying, Melanie overcame adversity and established the KYUP! Project to empower other young people to value and champion their own wellbeing.
She launched the program in response to the growing number of domestic violence reports in Australia and since 2013, more than 10,000 students and young women have participated in her programs.
Melanie is now the ambassador for Layne Beachley’s Aim for the Stars Foundation and was also named the Game Changer of the Year winner in the Women of the Year Awards in 2018.
The 2019 Australia Day Awards ceremony will be followed by morning tea and everyone is welcome to attend. The ceremony will begin at 9am on Saturday, 26 January at Lismore City Hall.